Return Path Targets Nonprofits With Sender Score Certified Program

E-mail marketing services firm Return Path Inc. released Sender Score Certified Nonprofit, a product that makes whitelists available for nonprofits.

Sender Score Certified Nonprofit helps delivery of permission-based e-mail by removing a large portion of filtering at participating domains including MSN, Windows Live Mail Beta, Hotmail and Roadrunner.

“We wanted nonprofit marketers to have some of the benefits that commercial companies already have,” said George Bilbrey, general manager of New York-based Return Path’s delivery assurance division. “Our program has new technology which can screen more people upfront more quickly, so we can handle a larger number of applicants. We now have the ability to maintain a large number of nonprofit clients.”

Formerly Bonded Sender, the Sender Score Certified program has stringent requirements for accepting and maintaining membership. It is based on Return Path’s Sender Score Reputation Monitor database, which analyzes data from various Internet service provider and filtering companies for more than 60 million e-mail inboxes.

Mr. Bilbrey said the license fees have been dropped and application fees reduced for the nonprofit sector. The remaining fee is $400 for the processing of the application, a fraction of the license fee.

New York-based Return Path is an e-mail marketing service provider that focuses on delivery assurance. The firm does so by offering tools to monitor mailings, test addresses, spam filter reading, message rendering and follow up certification. Its database includes more than 45 million inboxes across 10 different Internet service providers. Consulting services make up a large part of the business to over 500 clients.

Before offering the Sender Score Program to nonprofits, applications had a much longer turnaround period. Today prospective nonprofits can have their mailing practices reviewed and reputation assessed quickly. A response to a membership application now happens within a day versus the several days it took in the past.

Other e-mail service providers like Habeas and Goodmail also offer a third-party accreditation program to nonprofits. Return Path offers a third-party whitelist for Hotmail and Roadrunner.

The nonprofit Sender Score release follows the launch of the Sender Score Reputation Monitor.

“With these new tools we hope to expand our clients both commercially and to nonprofits,” Mr. Bilbrey said.

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