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DMA, Bigfoot issue white paper

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The Direct Marketing Association and e-mail marketing company Bigfoot Interactive today announced the release of a white paper that will educate marketers about authentication, accreditation and reputation, among other key e-mail marketing topics.

The DMA recently has been encouraging its members to keep up with emerging standards for e-mail authentication. Realizing that the standards are always changing and sometimes confusing, the DMA collaborated with Bigfoot Interactive to produce the document.

"This idea was born from the need to embrace marketers in a big way," said Jordan Cohen, director of ISP and government relations at Bigfoot Interactive. "In today’s world, communication between marketers and IT needs to be solid."

Perhaps due to the vast amount of spam e-mail in circulation, spam-blocking applications are developing increasing numbers of authentication checks. Legitimate messages often are placed in a customer’s junk folder or are refused receipt altogether.

Legitimate marketers will find that authentication is often complemented by accreditation and reputation solutions, which can improve the reliability and deliverability of their e-mail.

Entitled "Authentication, Accreditation & Reputation—For Marketers!" the white paper covers such issues as leading authentication, accreditation and reputation (AAR) solutions; AAR development and implementation; AAR navigation, practical advice for marketers trying to increase revenue by e-mail marketing and the short-term AAR process.

The leading solutions section gives marketers a background on many current solutions, including Sender ID Framework, which according to the white paper is "like a Caller ID for e-mail." Development and implementation discusses the reasons behind AAR solutions. Practical advice and navigation techniques include a list of "keys to success" and a checklist for success in deliverability.

"Marketers don’t need to know all the technical specs, just the concrete benefits," said Cohen. "We’re giving them a high-level conceptual view, a bare-bones understanding, avoiding the nitty-gritty. We’re helping them with ‘What do you need to do as a marketer?’ "

According to America Online, an AAR solution called "whitelisting" described in the white paper brought a decrease in the number of average daily spam reports but a comparative increase in the average daily number of spam e-mails blocked between November 2003 and November 2004. This is good news for direct marketers, because with AOL’s Enhanced Whitelisting status and the accreditation and reputation that comes with it, they can be known to prospective clients as "trusted e-mail sender[s]."

The white paper marks a "move from discussion to widespread marketplace implementation" of AAR solutions, said Cohen.

The white paper is available online at www.the-dma.org/whitepapers/.

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