April 16, 2007 — The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) announced today the launch of its Email Authentication Help Center, which is designed to help email marketers to comply with the DMA Board of Directors’ mandate requiring DMA members to authenticate all outbound email.
This authentication process is likely to become essential to clearing ISP gatekeepers. In fact, it is a first step in helping to assure consumers that a marketer is legitimate, which in turn will have a positive impact on the generation of revenues and profits.
“The Help Center simplifies the email authentication process, which many organizations find daunting or complex,” said Pat Kachura, DMA’s senior vice president, ethics and consumer affairs. “In addition, the Center raises awareness about why DMA’s email authentication requirement makes good business-sense, and how authentication builds consumer trust.”
Email performance is threatened by double-digit non-deliverability rates as ISPs and consumers work to filter out the increased volume of SPAM and fraudulent messages. By using the Help Center to authenticate email, organizations can protect their brands, distinguish themselves from spammers and phishers, and ensure that their email reaches their intended recipients.
DMA’s Email Authentication Resource Center includes definitions, practical instructions, test-tools, and a checklist to help marketers make sense of the information requirements, as well as a directory of DMA member companies that have agreed to offer technical assistance at reasonable prices. The Resource Center can be accessed at http://www.the-dma.org/emailauthentication.
Authentication Is Not Just for Promotional Email.
In order to comply with DMA’s mandate and to clear ISP gatekeepers, marketers will need to authenticate more than marketing and promotional messages. In fact, domains distributing such communications as mailing lists, fulfillment orders, customer service messages, shipping confirmations, and even newsletters must also be authenticated.
“The center clearly communicates that we're not just talking about promotional email,” said Lynn Wunderman, chair of DMA’s ECommerce Integrity Subcommittee. “ALL categories of email require authentication, including customer service emails and emails sent in transit from mobile devices like BlackBerries. DMA research has revealed that many firms think they are in compliance once they've authenticated their marketing messages and don't realize they are still vulnerable for rejection.”
Wunderman adds that authentication can benefit all marketers and their bottom lines. “Email has become one of the most effective media vehicles for customer retention and increasing customer value - approaching a billion-dollar industry.”
“DMA has already compiled some impressive resources on email authentication,” said Austin C. Bliss, president, Fresh Address, Inc. and member of DMA’s Committee on Environment and Social Responsibility. “The new help center was the next logical step, presenting a clear, step-by-step guide to the what, why and how of email authentication. As email marketers, we need to embrace email authentication and other technologies that will allow recipients to easily identify phishes and other falsified emails.”
DMA has taken a leadership position in educating marketers on the latest developments in technology, including its role on the steering committee and participation in the upcoming Authentication and Online Trust Summit 2007, (www.aotalliance.org/summit2007) taking place April 18-19, 2007 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.
DMA will also host the 2007 Email Policy Summit to discuss developments in legal and policy frameworks, market changes, advances in technology, and the industry outlook on Friday, May 18, 2007 in Washington, DC. For more information, please visit http://www.the-dma.org/seminars/emailpolicy/.
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