What's Ahead for Yahoo and Goodmail?

Though Yahoo executives are staying fairly quiet on the Goodmail issue — no doubt watching the controversy AOL sparked after saying it would phase out its Enhanced Whitelist and encourage senders to pay a fee to ensure consistent delivery of commercial e-mails — DM News has uncovered details of Yahoo's implementation of CertifiedEmail.

Both AOL and Yahoo said in October that they would work with Goodmail Systems, Mountain View, CA, to implement a CertifiedEmail program. After criticism followed AOL's announcement last week regarding its Enhanced Whitelist, the company said it would not eliminate the list.

Unsurprisingly, Yahoo will not phase out its whitelist nor change how it works with the DomainKeys authentication program. The Goodmail tag or token will be used only in transactional Yahoo e-mail for those who sign up, and not general, bulk e-mail as in AOL's case.

“Yahoo is also planning to implement Goodmail, but only for transactional mail,” J.D. Falk, a product manager at Yahoo Mail, wrote in an e-mail to ESPs that was obtained by DM News.

Yahoo's whitelist will change in the near term only in that Internet domains will be placed on the whitelist, instead of IP addresses, Falk added.

“The only substantial change we're planning for the whitelist is to start moving it over to domains [using DomainKeys and/or DKIM, once it's stable]. So, start signing now,” Falk wrote.

In addition, Yahoo said it would not shy away from its DomainKeys e-mail authentication program, developed in partnership with Microsoft, Cisco, AOL and other major players.

“DomainKeys will be an important part of the certified mail system we test in the future, and the system will work in tandem with DomainKeys,” Yahoo Mail spokeswoman Karen Mahon said.

Meanwhile, AOL has agreed to participate in an exclusive Webinar sponsored by Pivotal Veracity at 2 p.m. Feb. 15.

“Our goal is to wade through the hype of the last two weeks, to educate the industry on the facts behind AOL deliverability and to foster empathy and teamwork between the receiving and mailing community,” Pivotal Veracity president Deirdre Baird said in a statement. “This is a unique opportunity for mailers to engage firsthand with the experts at AOL and to learn not only what is required to optimize communications with their AOL customers but also how to objectively evaluate whether options like Goodmail CertifiedEmail might lend value to their e-mail programs.”

The free Webinar is open to the general mailing community, though non-Pivotal Veracity clients will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. To register, go to http://pivotalveracity.com/contact/aolwebinar.php and enter the code 0209DN .

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