The Industry Sets a New Standard

Neil Schwartzman
By Neil Schwartzman
Senior Director, Security Strategy, Receiver Services

In a vast sea of associations, The Messaging Anti-abuse Working Group is an interesting organization. Its focus is on preventing abuse of all sorts of messaging platforms, especially email. And it’s also unique in that it takes a three-pronged approach to the problem: collaboration between receivers and senders, technology solutions and public policy. For all these reasons and more Return Path is proud to be an active MAAWG member.

In the spirit of receiver and sender collaboration, they recently announced the release of the “MAAWG Sender Best Communications Practices.” (There is also an executive summary of the document that helps to explain some of the more technical aspects in terms that marketers and executives are likely to understand.)

This document focuses on five core areas that are important for both marketers and operations professionals:

  • Obtaining email consent
  • Recommended unsubscribe options
  • Sender accountability and reputation
  • List maintenance
  • Resolving messaging disruption issues

The best practices MAAWG outlines have been endorsed by both CAUCE (the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email) and the ESPC (Email Sender & Provider Coalition), giving it real “street cred.” We encourage you to review it with your team, and adopt as many of the practices as possible to enhance and sustain your deliverability and improve your subscriber experience.

But, I was also struck by another interesting point that I think more people need to understand: Effective emailing is a tight collaboration between technical staff and marketing/sales personnel.

In my work as the Sender Score Certified Compliance Officer, I have had occasion to interact with many of our clients, and it amazes me at how diverse a group they are.

From the neophyte marketers and part-time website administrators to MBAs with a penchant for advanced statistical analysis and systems engineers, there is no end to the variety of skill-level and knowledge-set of the person appointed to work with Sender Score Certified.

What the MAAWG best practices underscores, and we face as a challenge every day, is realising that some marketers don’t know a HELO from a hello! and certain techies think segmenting is what they do to an orange.

It seems to me that MAAWG’s excellent new publication recognizes that successful email marketing is a team effort, that requires the full participation of areas of a company that sometimes find a tension between them. It’s time to take the other people dealing with your email program to lunch, and begin your own collaboration toward a better – and more successful! – email future.

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