Agreement Improves Deliverability Rates of Permission-Based Email

ipoints Ltd, the online coalition loyalty programme, today announced that it has been certified to participate in the Return Path Bonded Sender Program. The Bonded Sender Program, powered by email delivery specialists Return Path and certified by TRUSTe, helps consumers as it identifies legitimate senders of email based on their adherence to programme standards and the posting of a financial bond. In turn, Bonded Sender Program participants benefit from increased deliverability rates of permission-based email at more than 35,000 domains.

To qualify for Bonded Sender status, participants must meet a strict set of best practices for sending commercial e-mail that exceeds standards set forth in the federal Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM) and they must demonstrate a history of good sending behavior derived from recipient feedback. Certification, third-party oversight and dispute resolution services are provided by TRUSTe, the online privacy leader known for its Web site certification program. Once certified, senders post a financial bond and undergo TRUSTe monitoring of compliance with programme standards and complaint rates. To make certain that only legitimate email is sent through Bonded Sender, a sender’s bond is debited when end-user complaints exceed a certain threshold. The Program benefits consumers and businesses in the UK as well as in the US.

“Maintaining and being seen to maintain legitimate email marketing practices is an extremely important part of our business, and being part of the Bonded Sender Program is a great reward for this behaviour– a reward that will impact our bottom line by allowing us to reach more customers while ensuring that we can be part of the unfolding solution to the spam problem,” says Robert Barker, Commercial Director for ipoints Ltd. He adds, “As technology solutions to the spam problem continue to evolve, we know that industry leading companies like Return Path will innovate even more ways to protect and advance email. Joining the Program is an important step to show our members that we are committed to best email practice and will also benefit our clients for whom we broadcast emails.”

“The Bonded Sender Program allows legitimate senders of email to identify themselves and avoid delivery problems at accepting ISPs and corporate domains,” said George Bilbrey, general manager of Return Path’s Delivery Assurance Solutions. “Companies must meet extremely high standards to be accepted into the Bonded Sender Program, and we are pleased to have ipoints join this community of responsible mailers.”

Bonded Senders meet the highest standards of email quality and build their brand by communicating their Bonded Sender status to email administrators and customers. The Bonded Sender Program also ensures that messages from Bonded Senders get delivered to 35,000 ISPs, corporations and universities (representing more than 250 million mailboxes).

About ipoints Ltd

Ipoints ltd is a direct marketing and loyalty services provider. Ipoints own and operate ipoints.co.uk, UK’s biggest internet-based coalition loyalty programme, with over 1 million registered members who earn ipoints from over 300 etailer partners and exchange them for a variety of rewards covering over 200,000 items. It provides the means for companies to reward their customers with meaningful and desirable products. In addition, ipoints as a media-owner has a database of active online customers, providing access to clients for direct marketing purposes. Ipoints also build and manage white label staff and trade incentive and motivation programmes.

About Return Path

Founded in 1999, Return Path is an email performance management company dedicated to improving the reach, delivery performance and overall success of permission-based email programs. More than 1,500 companies use Return Path’s services to generate superior results from their email programs, taking advantage of Return Path’s pioneering innovation in list maintenance, deliverability, data acquisition, online sampling, marketing technology and email strategy. Return Path Delivery Assurance Solutions are the industry’s original and premier email deliverability tools and services, including the Bonded Sender Program for email accreditation, and remain the only full-circle solution for solving email deliverability issues. The company’s investors include Sutter Hill Ventures, Mobius Venture Capital, Flatiron Partners, and JP Morgan Partners. For more information, please visit www.returnpath.net, email info@returnpath.net, or call toll-free 866-362-4577.

Published on: 12:00AM on 26th April 2006