Keeping the World Safe For Email (part one)

Posted by Matt Blumberg 

Matt Blumberg
By Matt Blumberg
CEO & Chairman

Since we put up our new web site with the above as its new tag line a couple months ago, a bunch of people have asked me what the heck it means. Some have even snickered when doing so. Why do we want a world that’s safe for email marketing? Doesn’t that mean just promulgating the spam problem?

First, I have to define my terms here. SAFE in this context means that you as a user (a consumer, a business person, whatever) have a right to an inbox free of unwanted commercial, irrelevant commercial mail, scams, and viruses. EMAIL MARKETING doesn’t just mean advertising. It means most any mail you get from an organization. Newsletters. Transactional messaging like eStatements and shipping confirmations. Customer service notices. And yes, advertising that’s relevant, targeted, and that you’ve requested.

So putting it all together in the context of our business, we at Return Path are doing our part to Keep the World Safe for Email Marketing. We work with our clients – some advertisers, some publishers, some email service providers, some ISPs and spam filters, some market researchers – to make sure each is doing its part to further the same mission, whether they use our tools, our data, our professional services, or just our free advice to do so.

We as a society have embraced email as a medium, and by doing so, we have put our trust in its effectiveness. Although we sometimes have a love/hate relationship with email, we require it to survive in a world that always wants to be connected. It’s at the core of most global business communications. It’s increasingly at the core of most personal communications as well.

What email must (and will) do is evolve. This evolution will allow us to experience the true power of the channel no matter where we reside in the email chain. But this will only happen if we obtain consumer trust above and beyond its current state. So the real question here is how can we work together to help consumers trust this medium more?

Find out in part 2 of Keeping the World Safe For Email.

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About Matt Blumberg

Matt Blumberg founded Return Path in 1999 because he believed the world needed email to work better. Matt is passionate about enhancing the online relationship between email subscribers and marketers so that both sides of the equation benefit. It is with great pride that he has watched this initial creation grow to a company of more than 400 employees with the market leading brand, innovative products, and the email industry’s most renowned experts. Before Return Path, Matt ran marketing, product management, and the internet group for MovieFone, Inc. (later acquired by AOL). Prior to that he served as an associate with private equity firm General Atlantic Partners and was a consultant with Mercer Management Consulting. He holds a B.A. from Princeton University. You can learn much more about Matt by reading his email marketing and entrepreneurship blog Only Once – one of the first CEO blogs on the Internet. Last year he wrote a book, Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business.

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