Time Consumer Marketing Inc. this week completed a test of a new "trusted" email certification service that lets advertisers bypass Internet service providers' spam filters for a fee.
In a three-month test, Time used Goodmail Systems' CertifiedEmail service, in which accredited senders with good email practices can choose to send their marketing messages with a cryptographically-secure "token." The token enables the messages to be delivered directly to the service provider customer's mailbox intact, without being filtered or stripped of key content by anti-phishing tools.
Eventually, CertifiedEmail might become a "class of service" that enterprises can purchase on a per-message basis to help ensure the intact delivery of their marketing materials.
Interestingly, Time executives said they did not see much difference in the rate of successful delivery via the Goodmail service during the trial. However, the customers who received the Goodmail messages, which are marked with a "certified" tag, were about 30 percent more likely to click on them and follow the links inside. "CertifedEmail messages resulted in higher click-throughs and improved response rates," said Ernie Vickroy, a marketing director at Time Consumer Marketing.
Proponents of "Net neutrality," however, cited the service as another example in which senders with deep pockets will enjoy different treatment of their Internet traffic than everyday senders. A spokesman from MoveOn.org Civic Action said his organization opposes the new service. — Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading