Certification: it Ain’t What it Used to Be

Posted by Julia Petre on

Return Path has been around longer than anyone else in the deliverability space—18 years, in fact. Through the years we have heard a lot about ourselves from competitors that’s untrue and typically we move past it pretty quickly. But recently, we heard something about our Certification program that IS true and we want to put it out there that we are in agreement!

“Certification ain’t what it used to be”. We completely agree. They just got the details wrong.

Return Path’s Certification program is more critical to an email marketing program’s success than ever before. While it’s true that there is no silver bullet for deliverability, the inbox placement benefits, mailbox provider data feeds, and security monitoring that you receive by being a Certified sender is crucial to being a legitimate and high-quality email marketer.

The most well known benefit of Certification is increased inbox placement. Newly Certified senders see, on average, a 26 percentage point inbox placement increase across the top mailbox providers (AOL, Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft). But our program participants extend globally at over 120 mailbox providers and include key domains like mail.ru, LaPoste, and Orange. In addition, Certified senders also receive favorable reputation and treatment at filtering and security vendors like Cloudmark, SpamAssassin, and Cisco IronPort.

We’re quick to acknowledge that inbox placement benefits are the cornerstone of the Certification program, but there are other benefits that are less talked about by our competitors, most likely because they are proprietary to Return Path, incredibly valuable, and help make Certification program the powerhouse that it is today.

All Certified customers get a daily feed of data directly from participating mailbox providers. These feeds include actionable and insightful data that’s sent exclusively to Return Path from mailbox providers and includes data such as: volume, inbox volume, complaints, inbox complaint rate, and more. Return Path is the ONLY platform where this data feed is available. The insights and information that you can glean from this data is often the difference between guessing and knowing what mailbox providers are seeing from you, giving you the information you need to better understand your email marketing program and solve problems before they arise.

On top of the mailbox provider and data feed benefits, you can also rest easy knowing that Return Path has 24/7 monitoring, providing Certified senders with security alerts and working with them through the resolution of any compromises. It allows you to leave your work at work.

But that’s not all! Certified senders also receive alerts if their key KPIs fall out of line with Certification requirements. Feedback and ideas from Certified senders are shared during meetings with major mailbox providers, and a simplified and faster IP address warming, including stronger reputation and recognition when you migrate or obtain a new IP address.

Since the Certification program’s inception in 2005, we’ve continued to work tirelessly to ensure we’re building a program that is advantageous and valuable to senders and mailbox providers with the ultimate goal of making email marketing easier than ever.

It’s true Certification ain’t what it used to be. And the job of an email marketer ain’t what it used to be either. Today, email marketers are faced with greater pressures to improve engagement, drive revenue, and improve ROI. The measurable lift in inbox placement, exclusive mailbox provider data, and security monitoring you get by being Certified puts your email marketing program in the best possible position to establish and maintain a high performing email program.


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About Julia Petre

Julia has worked at Return Path for almost 8 years. With stints on client service and product, she ultimately found her sweet spot as Director of Product Marketing. In this role, Julia is focused on understanding why our products matter to marketers, and plays an integral role in driving strategy, ideation, and collaboration across a variety of pre and post-launch activities.

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