FAQ for Get to the Inbox by SuretyMail Email Reputation Certification, Accreditation, and Deliverability Services
A Word About Email Reputation Certification and the Good Senders List™ (GSL™)
1. SuretyMail or ReturnPath – Which One Should We Use?
2. What if We’re in the EU or Elsewhere?
3. What is the difference between accreditation and certification?
4. What’s it Cost?
5. What’s My Financial Obligation?
6. What is Your Money-Back Guarantee?
7. What’s Involved in Setting it Up?
8. Don’t You Have to Audit My Email or Something?
9. If You Don’t Touch My Email, How Does it Work?
10. What if I’m an Agency Applying on Behalf of a Client?
11. Ok, How do I Apply? And How Long Does it Take to Get Certified?
A Word About Email Reputation Certification, Accreditation, and the Good Senders List (GSL)
Before diving into our FAQ, here is a quick overview of how email reputation accreditation and certification works. To start, we certify the IP addresses through which our certified email senders send their email. When an email receiver (such as an inbox provider, ISP, spam filter, or other such email receiver) receives your email, they look up the IP address you are using to send that email in a variety of databases called ‘DNS’ lists or databases. You may be familiar with the concept of a spam blacklist – which is also a DNS list. Our SuretyMail Good Senders List, which is also a DNS list, can be thought of as the opposite of a blacklist. If your IP address is listed on a blacklist, then the email receiver is likely to reject your email, instead of delivering it to the recipient. When an email receiver finds your IP address on our Good Senders List, it means that we are certifying the reputation of your email, and that they should deliver it to the person to whom you are sending it.
Now you may be thinking that means that the Get to the Inbox by SuretyMail DNS lists are whitelists. The difference is that a whitelist says to inbox providers, ISPs and spam filters only “you should accept this email because we say so”. Our system not only tells them that they should accept and deliver your email, but why they should accept and deliver it. This is one of the reasons that the email receivers trust us so much. Our system provides real-time data about your email practices to the email receiving systems every single time they look for you on the Good Senders List – which is every time your email sending system connects to them – so with every single email you send! (We were, by the way, the first to develop and pioneer this system, which has since been copied by other services).
1. SuretyMail or ReturnPath / Validity – Which One Should We Use?
It can be a little overwhelming and confusing trying to figure out which email certification or reputation service you should use. In some ways, the services are similar; in fact our CEO and one of the architects of our Get to the Inbox by SuretyMail service was an original founder of Habeas, which was acquired by ReturnPath (now ‘Validity’)
However there are some important differences. For example, we don’t require you to go through an audit, to sign a multi-paged contract, or to make a time commitment – something that the other services do (we also offer a money-back guarantee, something that the other services don’t do).
We’re also a lot less expensive. In fact, we are so much less expensive that sometimes people are confused by the difference!
The reason that we can charge so much less for a comparable (we would say superior!) service is that we only do one thing, and we do it very well. We help get your email delivered.
Other differences between the services include:
Our fees are based on your business model, not on the volume of email that you send. This means that whether you are a giant email service provider, or a mom and pop newsletter, we have a rate that you will be able to afford. And you won’t be penalized as your email volume grows along with your business.
Get to the Inbox is a privately held organization, meaning that our program has no venture funding or other outside monetary interests driving it. This means that the administration of our program is completely free of outside financial influences. This is important for you because it means that inbox providers, ISPs and spam filters know that each sender certified through us is there entirely on their own merit, and so they trust us, and they trust our senders. As a result, by their own account, our email senders enjoy some of the highest deliverability rates in the industry.
Because of our unique reporting system, we can provide these high deliverability rates without requiring that you use a confirmed (double) opt-in system in order to participate in our service. What matters is how clean and spam-free your system is, not how many hoops you’ll jump through. This means that solid, legitimate legacy lists can still qualify for certification with us, even if they were not built using double-opt in.
And because we take our role to facilitate the delivery of wanted email seriously, and because of our affordable pricing, we are the only service which openly welcomes and works with newsletters, smaller publishing houses, and individual publishers and mailing lists.
We are flexible while never compromising our standards, and are willing to work with both senders and receivers with special requests. When one of the largest email senders in the United States needed a version of a certification list which served up domains, complete with sub-domains, rather than IP addresses, we had one up and running for them within the week. And when a national inbox provider wanted a special custom version of our Good Senders List, we had that up for them within a day!
There is no time commitment, and we offer a money-back guarantee! SuretyMail participation is month-to-month, and the cost is so reasonable that it costs less to give it a try for a month than it costs to even just apply elsewhere. Try getting that kind of flexibility from the other services!
All that said, we are on very good terms with our colleagues at ReturnPath / Validity, and we have had a few customers who have chosen to use both services at the same time; this is possible because our costs are so reasonable.
It takes less than five minutes to fill out our online application, and another ten minutes to provide us with the follow up information once approved. In the vast majority of cases, once you are approved your listing will happen within 30 minutes, with nothing to do on your end but sit back and enjoy immediately improved email deliverability.
SuretyMail Email Accreditation and Certification will work for you wherever you are! We help email senders in countries around the world get their email delivered, including in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and the United Kingdom, as well as the United States!
For our purposes, the terms ‘accreditation’ and ‘certification’ are interchangeable, and in fact we use them interchangeably on our site. When we accredit – or ‘certify’ – your email, we are certifying to the ISPs and spam filters that you are following email best practices, and that they should deliver your email to their users’ inbox, and not the spam folder.
The monthly fee for all businesses (other than ESPs) is $299, all inclusive. The only other cost to you is the application fee, which is $500.00. That’s it. There are no hidden costs or fees associated with being certified with SuretyMail. For more pricing information, check out our pricing schedule.
How Come You Don’t Charge More?
We know that the other guys charge as much as ten times what we do, or more. But here at Get to the Inbox by SuretyMail we do just one thing, and we do it really well: we get your email delivered. We’ve priced our offerings so that it makes sense to outsource your email deliverability to us, rather than hiring someone to do it in-house, or spending so much more on the other guys. WIth the money you save, throw your employees a party! (Back to Top)
There is no financial or time obligation. Participation in our SuretyMail Email Senders Certification Program is month-to-month, and there is no time commitment or obligation. This allows you to try our service with no risk, and, in fact, with our money-back guarantee. (Back to Top)
If at any time you decide that you are not satisfied with the results you get from being certified with our SuretyMail Email Senders Certification Program, just let us know and we’ll refund the full fee for that month! (Back to Top)
There is nothing you need to do to set up your certification other than apply, and sit back and enjoy enhanced deliverability. You don’t need to do anything on your end. Your email does not have to be routed through us – in fact we don’t touch your email at all. And you don’t have to make any changes to your mailing programs or server. There are optional things you may want to do, but nothing that you have to do. (Back to Top)
No, we don’t have to audit your email (let’s face it, your practices and/or volume could change the very next week). What we care about is what you tell us on your application, and what we find when we are processing your application.
ISPs, spam filters, and corporate mail servers check our database of SuretyMail certified senders in real-time. Here is how it works: the ISP’s incoming email server notes the IP address of a sending email server (that’s your email server!) which is connecting to it, and checks it at that very moment against the IP addresses listed in our database (DNS zone). The presence of your IP address in our database of SuretyMail certified senders tells that ISP, spam filter or other mail server “Hey, these are good senders.”
Now, this is pretty much how all of the services – blocklist, blacklist, accreditation, certification, and reputation – all work. The difference is that when the ISP, spam filter or other mail server checks our SuretyMail database, we don’t just tell them “hey, these are good senders”! We also tell them “and here is what makes them good senders!” They not only get the information that you are certified by SuretyMail, but they also find out – on the spot – everything you are doing right (such as your opt-in policies, whether you publish rDNS, whether you publish SPF, etc.).
10. What if I’m an Agency Applying on Behalf of a Client?
If you are an agent or other third-party wanting to apply on behalf of a client, please have your client contact us directly. While we do need to work directly with the party who will actually be certified, your client can designate you as a contact so that you will be kept in the loop every step of the way. (Back to Top)
It takes less than five minutes to fill out our online application, and another ten minutes to provide us with the follow up information. In the vast majority of cases, once you are approved your listing will happen within 30 minutes, with nothing to do on your end but sit back and enjoy immediately improved email deliverability. (Back to Top)