Good email can take the ISP fast lane

Good email can take the ISP fast lane

Summary: Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable's Road Runner and Verizon have joined Yahoo and AOL in adopting the CertifiedMail reputation program from Goodmail Systems.Courtesy of Slashdot's "something-to-think-about dept," CmdrTaco asks What Happens If You Don't Pay for Goodmail?

TOPICS: Collaboration

Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable's Road Runner and Verizon have joined Yahoo and AOL in adopting the CertifiedMail reputation program from Goodmail Systems.

Courtesy of Slashdot's "something-to-think-about dept," CmdrTaco asks What Happens If You Don't Pay for Goodmail?  (Read CmdrTaco's blog for an objective analysis of both sides of the debate.) 

[Here's] the Catch 22: If an ISP gives the same deliverability to non-Goodmail-certified messages, then who's going to use it? On the other hand, if an ISP gives better deliverability to Goodmail-certified messages than to other messages (much more likely), then they are to some extent misrepresenting the services they sell to their users, since users expect an ISP to make the best effort to deliver all legitimate e-mails, not just the ones from paying senders.

A Moyers on America article provides an analogy in describing Net Neutrality. The analogy is equally applicable to reputation-based email:

For those companies that pay the fee, their content would breeze through the fast-pass lane at the toll bridge, reaching users more quickly; those who don't pay will be stuck in the crowded, slow-moving line, and users will have to wait longer for their content to load.

An email message travels many Internet roads to reach its destination. During its journey, it "stops" at way stations -- many of which are ISPs. Within the inner sanctum of Sender Reputation stakeholders, Goodmail has earned a marketing coup. It is a long way to the finish line (of protocol acceptance); however, Goodmail's marketing coup was picked up by the trade press and perception (positive or negative) can appear to be reality.

Topic: Collaboration

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  • It's the bulk, actually

    GoodMail's main "product" appears to be a sort of "Good Housekeeping Mark of Approval" for "good bulk mail."

    Individual senders aren't really relevant. If an individual sender could get GoodMailed by virtue of sending through his ISP's mail servers the next thing we'd all see was lots and lots of "GoodMail Approved" fast-track spam from 0wn3d computers (which use ISP mail servers and are already a huge source of spam.)

    Which means that for someone like me, a GoodMail mark on a message is very valuable indeed, since I can immediately route it to /dev/null -- it's bulk, it's trash.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval"

      Hi Yagotta,

      You are correct that Goodmail provides a "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" for email messages. To qualify for the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval," applicants must meet certain criteria, which is analogous to the Goodmail model.

      It's not the ISP that certifies the "good" reputation of the email message. Rather it is the company called Goodmail that certifies the reputation of the sender's email messages. That sender (and Goodmail customer) is not an individual, rather an organization that sends out lots of legit email messages (e.g., legit email marketers, local government, email newsletters from your hospital -- messages that you, the individual, opted-in to receive).

      The legit email marketers that wish to be Goodmail customers must meet Goodmail accreditation process (See

      A sender of spammy mail would not pass the Goodmail certification process. So, they'd not get the "Goodmail Housekeeping Seal of Approval."

      Thanks again, Yagotta, for commenting. BTW... your comments will never be routed to /dev/null :)

      - M.
  • 1/12 penny per emaiL???

    For double optin paying customers?
    You have GOT to be kidding.

    Why not take a stick and take the money that way!!!!!
    • As Mae West said, "Goodness had nothing to do with it"


      As you know... When you double opt-in, you are saying "Yes, I want to receive email stuff from you and, yes, that was me that signed up for it." This is all goodness for both you and the company sending you the requested email messages.

      The idea behind Goodmail is that they collect money from the company sending the emails to you. This is separate and apart from you (the consumer) opting-in.

      You bring up a good point though... If you have subscribed to a for-fee service, like a newsletter, from the Acme Company, which is sent to you via email [b]and[/b] Acme is a Goodmail customer -- would Acme push back some of the cost to its subscribers?

      Read "Will honest mail ever prevail? It gives more information on the workings of reputation companies like Goodmail.

      You've given me some ideas to think about.

      - Maurene