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Return Path's Bonded Sender Increases Email Deliverability to Inbox by Nearly 21 Percent; Email Accreditation Program Increases Inbox Delivery at More Than 35,000 Domains, Averaging 20.6 Percent Improvement across Accepting ISPs
[June 16, 2005]

Return Path's Bonded Sender Increases Email Deliverability to Inbox by Nearly 21 Percent; Email Accreditation Program Increases Inbox Delivery at More Than 35,000 Domains, Averaging 20.6 Percent Improvement across Accepting ISPs

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)-- June 16, 2005 -- Return Path, Inc., released today results of its recent study that indicates its Bonded Sender Program increases email deliverability rates by an average of 20.6 percent across the ISPs using the Bonded Sender program as a whitelist for incoming email.

Return Path clients using both Bonded Sender and Return Path's Mailbox Monitor delivery monitoring service experienced delivery increases of between 14.5 percent and 24.9 percent at Hotmail, MSN, and Roadrunner after the start of Bonded Sender, as shown by Return Path's Mailbox Monitor reporting. Those numbers serve as a baseline of improvement, as Return Path monitors delivery for both bonded and non-bonded IP addresses for some clients in the sample. The average inbox reach for Bonded Sender participants surpasses 95 percent.

"There is no question that Bonded Sender provides a significant improvement to delivery rates for companies accepted into the program, likely at levels higher than this study shows," says George Bilbrey, VP & GM of Delivery Assurance Solutions. "To ISPs, Bonded Sender status signifies a first-class mailer. This allows receivers such as MSN and Hotmail to handle email from those companies accordingly."

Currently, more than 35,000 domains representing corporations, ISPs, colleges and filtering packages utilize the Bonded Sender Program to determine what mail should be allowed through to the Inbox. Those domains represent more than 250 million email inboxes.

"Bonded Sender is extremely valuable in helping receivers such as Microsoft identify legitimate sources of email and enhance deliverability rates, and we are excited to continue working with Return Path for this program," said Craig Spiezle, director, Microsoft Technology Care and Safety Group. "Reputation and accreditation programs such as Bonded Sender combined with identity authentication mechanisms like Sender ID dramatically help the efficacy of our filtering to maximize the delivery rates of legitimate email while better protecting consumers from unwanted spam and phishing scam emails."

When it comes to getting email into the inbox, Bonded Sender is one part of the solution, Bilbrey said. "Companies need to utilize a full range of delivery services to ensure maximum delivery," he said. "This includes pre-campaign testing, campaign monitoring, delivery consulting, and of course reputation management. Our clients who utilize the full set of deliverability solutions we offer see significantly higher delivery rates than those who just monitor their results and troubleshoot on their own."

The Bonded Sender Program works by putting companies through an extensive accreditation process to verify that they follow email best practices and have extremely low complaint rates. Once accepted, companies post a financial bond to back up their claims of sending only wanted email. For every complaint received over a set threshold, the bond is debited.

Certification, third-party oversight and dispute resolution services for the Bonded Sender Program are provided by TRUSTe, the online privacy leader known for its Web site certification program. TRUSTe monitors sender complaint rates and audits compliance with program standards, and will continue to be a critical partner in the Bonded Sender Program.

Return Path acquired the Bonded Sender Program from IronPort Systems in April 2005.

The deliverability improvement data for Bonded Sender was compiled by analyzing 100,000 campaigns across clients who were accepted into the Bonded Sender Program while already utilizing Return Path's delivery monitoring services. By looking at data across the ISPs known to use Bonded Sender for companies in this study both before and after program acceptance, clear increases were noted. Some companies saw improvements upward of 40 percent. The time period for the study was 90 days. Only ISPs who use the primary Bonded Sender criteria, and those who say so publicly, were included in the sample.

As an industry leader, Return Path also has joins ranks of more than three dozen companies underwriting the upcoming email authentication implementation summit in New York City on July 12. This event is to provide prescriptive advice to companies on the urgency of email authentication and how programs such as Bonder Sender add additional value to senders and receivers alike. For more information, visit

About Return Path

Founded in 1999, Return Path is an email performance management company dedicated to improving the reach, delivery performance and overall success of permission-based e-mail programs. More than 1,500 companies use Return Path's services to generate superior results from their e-mail programs, taking advantage of Return Path's pioneering innovation in deliverability, ECOA, list hygiene, double-opt-in list acquisition and best practices strategy. Solutions include list maintenance, deliverability, data acquisition, online sampling, marketing technology and e-mail strategy. Return Path Delivery Assurance Solutions are the industry's original and premier email deliverability tools and services, including the Bonded Sender Program for e-mail accreditation, and remain the only full-circle solution for solving email deliverability issues. The company's investors include Sutter Hill Ventures, Mobius Venture Capital, Flatiron Partners, and JP Morgan Partners. For more information, please visit, e-mail, or call toll-free 866-362-4577.

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