Hijacking? So not the point

Posted by George Bilbrey 

The research brief we released earlier this week on email reputation has created quite a stir — and not all of it accurate. Stories like the ones here, here, and here report that 97% of email is spam, sent from hijacked computers. This is not necessarily the case. For one, we were not talking about the share of spam out there — were were talking about the percent of IP addresses likely sending spam. What our research showed is that 97% of IP addresses sending email have terrible reputations. Are they spammers? Most likely. Are they hijacking computers? Maybe. Will they earn inbox delivery? No.

The point of our study is that of those sending high volumes of commercial email, most have terrible Sender Scores (our gauge of reputation). We were not trying to instill worry over your computer being hijacked. The point is to worry about your company’s reputation. Make sure your reputation is solid so that you are not mistaken for the 97% of crap out there. Know your score, and manage it upward so that all of your email makes it to the inbox.

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About George Bilbrey

George Bilbrey is the founder of the industry’s first deliverability service provider, Assurance Systems, which merged with Return Path in 2003. He is a recognized expert on the subjects of email reputation and deliverability and is active in many industry organizations, including the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) and the Online Trust Alliance (OTA). In his role as president of Return Path George is the driving force behind the ongoing innovation of our products and services. Prior to Return Path, George served as Director of Product Management at Worldprints.com and as a partner in the telecommunications group at Mercer Management Consulting. He holds a B.A. in economics from Duke University, and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business, University of North Carolina.

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