WordtotheWise: Goodmail sued for patent infringement

21 Sep 2009, Laura, Word to the Wise: Late last week RPost sued Goodmail for infringing two patents. One patent authenticates content and delivery of documents. The second verifies the message was received by the recipient…read on
– – –

Oh dear!

Wise man say:
If you need to pay the likes of Goodmail and Return Path to get in the inbox, you probably won’t pass their tests to qualify for it.
If you pass their tests to qualify, you don’t actually need them!

oooh, controversial!

12 responses to “WordtotheWise: Goodmail sued for patent infringement

  1. Trying to keep the controvesy quotient up here: So, I'm not really sure how wise the man that made that statement actually is. If you do pass tests there is frequently value:Most clients on RP Certification see a pretty good increase in inbox placement. I'd hope that Goodmail certificaton does something similar.The reason for this is that ISPs frequently change rules. Certification means that you can have a degree of assurance that those changes aren't going to effect your program.Moreover, you get other benefits than inbox placement – such as images being on by default.

    Like

  2. Images loaded automatically is good!The improvement in inbox placement, must be hard to evaluate as you can only really know from the open/render rate but if the images load automatically the render rate will increase anyway because everyone's images load whether they are reading the email or not.So I suppose the only test in the click throughs?

    Like

  3. We have tested the lift in delivery rates by the use of seed addresses across a large number of campaigns and companies.So in this case delivery rates = inbox placement.We of course see lift in opens because images are on by default in many places. We also see a lift in clicks as well.

    Like

  4. Nice we all like that..So in summary, even if you are a perfect sender and your IPs are virtually worshipped by the IPSs you can still get us better open rates because no matter how good our deliverability is there is no replacement for certification, because without it you could still get junked – for a number of random reasons?

    Like

  5. A load of twaddle…..If you are a legitimate sender and you follow the rules the ISP's will WANT your emails.Rules changing is a often quoted reason why you need the services of return path or goodmail, but in reality if you are with a ESP who knows their onions or you are a large enough internal sender to warrant the effort it's not exactly complicated to adapt to changes which ISP's are very open about publishing. All the changes revolve around giving a better service to the users of the webmail services, email marketers should be working towards the same goal – delivering value.Return Path/Goodmail are just a distraction, a dangerous one at that because it leads people to believe that deliverability is somehow a black art and that these guys are the wizards!It's like concentrating on ways of cheating in a race as opposed to just training hard.

    Like

  6. Return Path has never claimed, and never would claim, that good email senders HAVE to use our products and services to get delivered. You are both absolutely right that a good sender can get to the inbox on their own if they are willing to make the investments in time and resources into deliverability expertise.So why do companies outsource to us? For the same reason they outsource any number of business functions – including email sending, ad creative, accounting, etc. — to vendors. Because it’s a better investment than trying to do it internally. Allow me to borrow your analogy about running a race. Most of the world’s elite athletes work with coaches and trainers. We don’t help our clients cheat (though some surely wish we would!). But we help them train harder, better and more efficiently.Tami Forman, Return Path

    Like

  7. Wow Tami, that's a great response, really detailed, thank you!So as I understand it, companies will buy certification of their emails "because it is a better investment than doing it internally".Doing what internally?Sending good emails to people who have asked for them containing the content that they have asked for?That's doing it right, internally or externally.Surely companies who out source that would outsource creative to agencies to make the emails and often will also be sent a list send the campaign. Sometimes they might employ one company to the list work and the report data work and then use a third party to make the emails. They'll often use an ESP to send the campaign and track the actions.If that is outsourcing where would Return Path fit in?I didn't think you guys actually sent the email for people?I have been asking for about 6 months now how you guys actually apply this certification. The perception that has always been presented to me, by Return Path sales people, is that once a brand passes your tests, Return Path gives them a special string of characters to use as the SPF record on their sending servers, log the IPs of the sending servers and they get better deliverability?Is there now more to it?

    Like

  8. My response was referring to our entire solution set, not Certification alone. The services we provide are for deliverability and reputation management, we do not send email. We do, however, work with top ESPs that offer our tools as part of their solution.But, as George said in his original comment, we have many clients that have achieved significant results specifically with Certification. You can see our case studies here: http://www.returnpath.net/blog/whitepapers.php. It's the full list, but they are labeled to help you hone in on the ones that pertain to Certification. In particular this one from Publisher's Clearinghouse might help: http://www.returnpath.net/downloads/resources/PCH_Case_Study.pdf. And we also have two studies on Certification specifically for UK companies that might interest you. One is the Racing Post: http://www.returnpath.net/downloads/resources/Racing%20Post%20Case%20Study%20v052109.pdf and the other is the Association of Accounting Technicians: http://www.returnpath.net/downloads/resources/AAT_and_DbGI_Case_Study_v052109.pdfHumbly I think our salespeople are some of the best in the business, so if you've been talking to someone for 6 months and have not yet been convinced then it is certainly possible that Certification is not the right solution for your business. Of course if you want me to put you in touch with someone who can help answer these questions in more detail, I'm happy to do that. You can email me at tami [dot] forman [at] returnpath [dot] net.Cheers!

    Like

  9. Thanks again Tami.Just to clear the air, I have no problem with RP sales people at all.My actual question was, I have asked various people from Return Path over the last six months how certification is applied and I have had no clear answer.My perception is:"that once a brand passes your tests, Return Path gives them a special string of characters to use as the SPF record on their sending servers, log the IPs of the sending servers and they get better deliverability?"This was a little of track seeing as the initial discussion was: if good senders should get good deliverability, how could certification get them better deliverability.I then suggested that maybe certification bypasses personal inbox filters that could cause false positives or do ISPs favour certified emails and allow them to bypass content filters all together to avoid any false positives at all?Surely that is a fair question

    Like

  10. Return Path Certification is a simple whitelist. You get on the list, ISPs use that list to identify the best of the best and give them special privileges (it varies by ISP but can includes automatic inbox placement, bypassing content filters, automatic links and/or image enabling and so on). Here's the best way I can think to explain it.ISPs are like the hottest nightclub in London.Your email is the cute chick who wants into the nightclub. Certification is the List the bouncer has on that clipboard.If our cute chick looks HOT every single night of the week, she is going to get in to the club, even if she's not on the list.Of course, if she's on the list then she just slides past the rope, even if maybe her pedi is a bit chipped. She's still HOT, of course. Or maybe she hasn't changed anything, but the line is longer tonight. But she's on the list, so she gets in. Or the bouncer is in a bad mood today. Doesn't matter, she's on the list and she gets in.So can she get in without being on the list? Yes. But being on the list makes it a lot easier and more consistent.If that still isn't answering your question then I really think you need to speak with someone on our team. Send me your email address and I'll hook you up. As much as I am enjoying our chat I do have a day job! 😉

    Like

  11. NICE! Thank you soo much Tami. As well as being very detailed it was also quite entertaining. It reminded my of an episode of Brighton Beach patrol!I thought it was some kind of secret mystery like the ingredients of Coca-Cola.So, in conclusion, to actually implement it, RP will simply add the IP address of your sending server(s) to their white list. This is then referenced by the participating ISPs when you send an email. Each email then gets to avoid pretty much all of the filter checks and IP reputation throttling that would happen normally.Sounds good.If every one of my recipients has my from address on their safe list and in their address book I would expect to slide through all of the content checks, so maybe I don't need certification for that.But if some of my recipients are a bit fickle and sometimes only sign-up because they are a little bit interested and after 3 or 4 emails get bored or de-prioritise me, they might hit spam instead of unsubscribe because they are lazy or not savvy. This would then hurt my IPs reputation if I was sending out over 200k per delivery. If my IP's rep is not spotless I might find my emails getting deferred if I send too quickly.Certification should mean that what ever the rep of my IP from recipient interaction, I should not get deferrals.If that information is correct, the main reasons for going to RP would be if you send a lot of emails and you can prove optin. You do want to optimise the recipient experience from auto-loading if images, you want the emails to be received as quickly as possible and not depend on IP reputation for time of receipt and you cannot handle the prospect of deferrals due to IP reputation if a campaign has a bad day.I know from experience that IP reputation is easy to lose and hard to rebuild and that would be a primary reason to pay to avoid it. The auto-image loading would just be an added bonus.Stage 2 would be to find out what the tests are that we have to pass – but that is for another day.Thanks again to Tami from Return Path.

    Like

Comments are closed.