Should I use an e-mail certification or accreditation service?

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Answer: The topic of certified/accredited e-mail spawns a tremendous amount of debate any time it’s discussed. Two years ago if we were talking about certified e-mail, we would more than likely be discussing an “e-mail tax.” Fortunately, today most of those fears have gone away. E-mail marketing has not been overtaken by tolls and postage. Smart marketers have recognized that certified/accredited e-mail can be another useful tool.

Goodmail and Sender Score Certified are the two main programs offering certification or accreditation services. Both work basically the same way. Between the two of them, they cover the three largest e-mail providers, and are adding new ISPs seemingly each week. With each service, you must go through an audit process and qualify for their program. Once accepted, you can start sending e-mail that is guaranteed to arrive in your customers’ inboxes instead of their bulk or spam folder. The e-mail is also marked in a special way depending on the providers. You may see an icon or a highlight on your message information. These marks are designed to draw attention to your message and let your customer know that this message is safe to view.

There is another benefit of these programs that is often overlooked: They guarantee that all mail delivered with the respective mark will appear in the customer inbox with all images displayed and all links functioning. I believe the ability to show your customer a marketing communication the way you intended, with functioning links, is a great advantage over your competitors. Think about this next time you receive an e-mail with 24 empty boxes and no content.

Take another look at these services and think about the impact they can have on your program.

Kevin Senne is director of global production and deliverability services for Premiere Global Services (, a provider of e-mail marketing solutions.

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