MSN Requires Sender ID Today

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MSN's Sender ID e-mail authentication program for e-mail sent to Hotmail users gets under way today.

Some e-mail delivery firms and the Direct Marketing Association alerted e-mail marketers of the program's implementation. Notification was provided by the DMA late last week while the e-mail delivery firms informed their customers yesterday.

In the surprise move, MSN Hotmail will send e-mails in which the sender cannot be verified to customers' junk e-mail boxes.

"Messages that have not been authenticated will most likely be placed into a customer's junk folder or deleted altogether in conjunction with other spam filters," the DMA e-mail sent June 17 stated.

Though Microsoft announced the Sender ID program last summer, it did not say when it would be implemented, and has not communicated with the industry about it for several months, said Chip House, deliverability expert for e-mail software firm ExactTarget, Indianapolis.

"Our discussions with Microsoft, even two weeks ago, confirmed that they hadn't yet made a decision on whether or not to take this action or exactly how it would be implemented," according to a statement from ExactTarget.

Yahoo has discussed a similar program but has not implemented it yet.

"We want to make sure that our customers are compliant with the latest authentication technologies out there," House said.

Ken Takahashi, senior director of e-mail delivery management at DoubleClick, New York, said it is "non-issue" for most of its customers, since they are already compliant with the Sender ID program. It will more likely affect businesses that "e-mail through in house software solutions."

"We definitely applaud Microsoft's approach to this," Takahashi said. "They're making the first step, saying we're going to make this happen for our mail. Hopefully, the industry follows."

The DMA and e-mail delivery firms have urged their members to implement authentication programs for several months.

"We encourage all of our member companies to adopt an authentication program as quickly as possible," said Jerry Cerasale, DMA senior vice president, government relations. "Compliance with authentication programs is a necessary step to protect both corporate brands and consumer confidence."

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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