More and more companies are taking their digital responsibility seriously and are formulating digital ethics, aware that not all that’s possible is right and leads to sustainable success. This also applies to digital marketing, especially newsletters and other commercial emails, which are important building blocks of digital marketing strategies and customer relationship management (CRM). But it also includes the protection of personal data as part of Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR), such as striving for corporate and social responsibility and ethics in relation to digital issues.
In addition to the obvious protection of personal data, there are many starting points for improvements in the sense of a CDR in the email ecosystem. Too many spam and phishing messages, alongside unwanted newsletters filling inboxes, can damage the image of email marketing. More and more companies are therefore deciding to actively take responsibility for their commercial emails.
In the long run, it pays off for companies to take ethical guidelines into account when planning and implementing digital communication, because that also makes life difficult for cybercriminals. By complying with strict technical quality criteria, senders prevent attempts at misuse, such as phishing attacks. This, in turn, benefits email recipients and consumers alike by reducing their risk of falling victim to a cyberattack.
Mailbox providers reward senders for their ethical behavior because they face a real challenge in their efforts to provide the best service. They have to protect their users from unwanted or even dangerous emails and at the same time ensure that the desired emails continue to arrive. That’s why mailbox providers are tightening their filters and blocking dangerous phishing emails and spam for security reasons. Unfortunately, this can also mean that desired messages cannot pass through these filters. However, if senders meet ethical standards and can prove this, then they get a good reputation. The result is usually improved deliverability of commercial emails.
In addition to ethical requirements, companies should also strictly comply with regulations, such as the GDPR, and generally observe international law in email marketing.
Julia Janssen-Holldiek from the Certified Senders Alliance (CSA) recommends to get certified by her company to prove high standards, for which the sender must demonstrably meet special criteria on a permanent basis. Messages from certified senders will then reach customers and partners better and more easily, which is a prerequisite to be able to interact with the emails and complete a purchase. “Unfortunately, many companies and senders do not know how to behave ethically and legally without restricting their own email marketing,” she says. “And many senders lack the necessary information to improve their own behavior.”
The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) therefore supports certified senders with the necessary information to protect their (IP) reputation and build trust with mailbox providers. It has developed the “Certification Monitor” to evaluate the data from various international sources and makes it available to the certified senders. Violations of established best practices reflected in the CSA regulations can also be seen there.
The web-based tool evaluates the sender's commercial emails and provides information on spam trap hits, DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) errors and the spam marking rate. In addition, senders have easy access to the 1&1 feedback loop, meaning if a recipient has moved a commercial email to spam, the sender can immediately remove it from the mailing list. In general, information from mailbox providers and Internet complaints offices helps to improve their own commercial e-mail dispatch in terms of Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR).