Deliverability Aids Young Victims in Lebanon

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E-mail marketing is used not just by commercial firms to sell products and services, but also by nonprofit groups to save lives. This adds new meaning to deliverability.

GetActive, Berkeley, CA, an e-mail service provider for nonprofits, recently signed up with white-listing provider Habeas, Mountain View, CA. This partnership makes GetActive one of the pioneering firms to offer a free, safe listing service to nonprofits.

"In the absence of a service like Habeas, we would have to go hand to hand to each Internet service provider for each client," said Bill Pease, chief technology officer of GetActive. "They take a lot of the heavy lifting out of the challenge around deliverability by providing a huge network."

GetActive clients include 750 charities, associations and organizations like PBS, Planned Parenthood and the University of California.

One such client is Save the Children, Washington, DC, which specializes in helping children in poverty and in crisis. Its July e-mail newsletter to supporters included a link to information about its response to the conflict in Lebanon. Despite not asking for funding specifically, the group still raised $16,000 from private donors for the Middle East.

"Internet appeals and direct Web donations play an important role in our fundraising efforts," said Mike Kiernan, director of communications for Save the Children. "Use of the Internet helps keep costs down while giving donors the latest information about our response efforts on our Web site."

Save the Children expects to receive more money. Mr. Kiernan said it is not unusual during periods of intense conflict that donations are slow. Historically, donations rise once the fighting stops and media attention shifts to needs of displaced children and families. Save the Children will keep up the e-mails, he said.

GetActive currently uses Return Path's Sender Score e-mail reputation system and will continue to do so on some existing accounts in addition to the Habeas white listing. New accounts will use only Habeas.

"Return Path's SenderScore was a lot harder to implement," Mr. Pease said. "Some overlap will remain. Habeas has a much larger adoption of paths."

Mr. Pease likes Habeas' feedback system for its ability to track e-mail deliverability and troubleshoot in cases of failed delivery. Habeas provides white listing through relationships with ISPs, working with clients who follow best practices.

"It is imperative that our clients' appeals end up in the inbox immediately," Mr. Pease said. "There isn't a political issue or disaster that our clients aren't working to help."

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