Yahoo to use Return Path Sender Score Certified?

Yahoo is soon to start accepting Sender Score Certified via Return Path!

Yahoo using Sender Score Certified whitelist and Return Path was quietly made public in January 2008, “Yahoo! is implementing the scheme and will begin checking using it sometime in spring.” We have not heard much since. My connection at Return Path just mentioned Yahoo the other day and brought it back to mind.

Return Path blog says “Receivers that accept the Sender Score Certified whitelist include, among others, Windows Live Hotmail, Time Warner Cable, GoDaddy and soon Yahoo! and Yahoo! operated email properties.”

Maybe this is why Yahoo has been such a nightmare to deliver to lately and why Yahoo pulled it’s FBL in March.

Since they announced that Comcast would offer an FBL managed by Return Path I have been expecting the Yahoo Sender Score Certified Return Path full press release to come forth.

I don’t mean to be a nutty conspiracy theorist here, but first Comcast has no whitelist, no FBL and is tough to get your email delivered to. Then Comcast offers an FBL through Return Path. Next, it’s Yahoo, who pulls their FBL, calling it an end to a beta, is impossible to deliver any email to for months and now is poised to solve it all with Sender Score Certified and Return Path.

As always I invite your comments below! = Chris Lang

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  1. [Note: I’m the General Manager of the the group at Return Path that runs the Sender Score Certified program and provides FBLs to ISPs.]

    When I first read your post, I was tempted to reply:

    “Oh no, he found out Return Path’s plan for total global domination.
    [cue manic laughter]- Bwa, ha, ha, ha.” Then I would simply send out some black helicopters to your location.

    However, I was urged by what is left of my good sense (and the members of the SSC team), not do do so. So, I’ll try to answer some of your questions/issues from your posting:

    * Yes, it’s true that a lot more ISPs are (and will be) accepting Sender Score Certified. With the addition of Yahoo, we expect to have about 1.5 billion mailboxes using the program. We will certainly publish it when we add new ISPs and filtering companies to our networks.

    * Yahoo and other ISP partners make their own blocking and filtering decisions. I see no linkage to the use of Sender Score Certifed and any blocking or filtering issues at Y!. Our inbox placement data for over 1,000 companies wouldn’t indicate a significant change in inbox placement at Yahoo!

    * We’ll also be launching a number of FBLs in the not too distant future. We don’t see this as a bad thing – we’re attempting to increase the number of places where our clients can get good reputation data. As a result, everyone is getting access to FBLs free of charge.

    Let me know if you have any questions not answered above.

    • Chris Lang
    • May 15, 2008

    George, thanks for you gracious comment.

    As much as anything my conspiracy theory spin is me testing copyrighting and using inflammatory remarks to get a reaction. I could say that it had it’s desired effect?

    I am still solidifying my style and testing what has the effect of getting reader response. I hope I did not come off as too negative.

    In fact, I steer my email delivery consultation clients to Sender Score Certified especially when they have set up on a new server with a new IP. The sandbox period at Hotmail and AOL is always a surprise to inexperienced emailers.

    I always recommend Return Path if their business model fits the yearly pricing.

    I have always said and will continue to support any authentication as a good thing. Anything that allows legitimate mail to reach the inbox is a positive indicator for the future of email.

    We are all glad to see Comcast finally offer an FBL and look forward to others.

    Some of us little guys do feel however, that when the big boys can pay to get email delivered the rest of us face heavier filtering that can catch our mailings to our opt in lists.

    Also we are all frustrated by the poor delivery at Yahoo lately. Got any ideas on why DomainKeys and or DKIM passes all the tests in some of my clients MTA’s but when you send to Yahoo it fails to pass?

    Inquiring minds want to know….

  2. I don’t think you have to pay, or should have to pay to get your email delivered – whether you are a small guy or a big guy. All you should need is a solid reputation. The reason that Sender Score Certified exists is that we can hold out SSC customers to have excellent reputations that are monitored in real time with very granular reputation data from many sources (including proprietary, hard to get sources). This is valued by receivers.

    As to Y! authentication failure, I’ll have to check with my colleagues who do our deliverability consulting work. I would guess there is a difference in the implementation of the DK/DKIM check.

  3. This information is great. It is a pleasure to hear from both of your and the input you have for the white listing process.

    Because of both of your vast knowledge in this industry, I was wondering if I could throw a question your way. My company is attempting to submit to the Yahoo white listing program and have been fairly unsuccessful. Our problem is that we were hoping to find a contact number of the white listing department at and haven’t been able to do so.

    Are there any contacts that either of you might have or numbers that you might know that I am not aware of?

    Please keep posting. Thank you for your time.

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