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ESPC issues reputation position statement

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York, Maine—The Email Sender and Provider Coalition issued a Reputation Position Statement outlining industry parameters for third-party e-mail reputation companies. The statement is an effort to help differentiate reputation services from spam filtering and authentication.

Reputation services collect performance data—such as compliant rates, unknown user rates, infrastructure stability and unsubscribe integrity—from several sources to assess a sender’s reputation.

“Authentication has seen great adoption over the past year by senders and receivers, and we’re happy to see that reputation service providers are ready to step in and provide objective scoring systems for commercial senders,” said Trevor Hughes, executive director of the ESPC, in a statement. “It is the ESPC’s intent to act as a guide for reputation providers, senders and receivers, as reputation plays an ever increasing role in e-mail deliverability.”

The ESPC’s statement defines four principles of sender reputation, including recipient feedback, sender identity, bad addresses and bounce management.

Recipient feedback involves direct feedback from recipients of e-mail messages, allowing them to report improper mailing practices. Sender identity encourages reputation services to use authentication to associate a reputation with a domain instead of an IP address, ensuring the sending entity is fully responsible for all mailings coming from within its domain. The bad addresses principle encourages senders to keep up-to-date, accurate lists to ensure they don’t inadvertently mail to nonexistent e-mail addresses. Bounce management states that senders should promptly remove addresses that are returned as permanent errors by an ISP or other receiver.

A download of the ESPC Reputation Position Statement is available at http://www.espcoalition.org/erps.php .

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