E-Mail Service Warns of Filtering in Real Time

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NEW ORLEANS -- About one in five e-mails is diverted by aggressive filters, sending messages to a spam mailbox or not delivering them at all. EnhanceRate wants to change that.

The Portola Valley, CA, company's new EnhanceRate Delivery Monitoring Service automatically notifies users via text message or e-mail within minutes of an ISP filtering or blocking the marketer's messages.

"The primary purpose is to let you know in real time when ISPs are filtering your e-mail," said Bart Narter, general manager of EnhanceRate. "You can then stop the mailing, resolve it with the ISP and then resume mailing."

EnhanceRate allows this by adding its seed list to the marketer's database. The marketer tells EnhanceRate which address the e-mails originate from, then is notified by text message, e-mail or the Web. It can review results for active and completed tasks through the Web.

Notification occurs within eight times the expected frequency of the seeded decoy's return or 30 minutes. If the marketer is sending decoys at the rate of one every 10 minutes, EnhanceRate notifies it within 80 minutes.

Delivery Monitoring Service tracks the delivery of the marketer's e-mails to the seed list and constantly recalculates the delay between messages against the projected delay. The marketer is notified if the delay crosses a certain threshold.

EnhanceRate notifies recipients at the client's side on the occurrence of several events:

* When the decoy is initially detected at the start of mailing.

* When the ISP stops routing messages to the inbox.

* When the transmission to all ISPs stops for a brief time.

* When no more messages are detected for a mailing.

ISPs monitored are America Online, Yahoo, Hotmail, EarthLink and MSN. They account for more than half of all business-to-consumer mailings.

Narter said his company charges $100 per campaign with no monthly fee if the client does not lock into a plan, or a marketer can pay progressively. EnhanceRate will charge $250 monthly and $28 per campaign. The greater the campaign use, the lower the price per unit. Clients include Hewlett-Packard, Hotwire and Carat Interactive.

"We're looking for the pattern of delay and continuously re-examining that, and when the delay is sufficiently long, we sound the alarm," Narter said.


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