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Ice Turns Email into Revenue Channel with Return Path

Top Online Jewelry Retailer Dramatically Increases Customer Engagement During Holiday Shopping Season

Champlain and New York, NY – April 24, 2012 Return Path, the world’s leading email certification and reputation monitoring company, today announced it was selected by Ice (Ice.com), a leading online jewelry retailer and one of the first companies to turn a jewelry store into an online shopping experience, to drive higher revenue and increase customer engagement by improving its email marketing efforts.

Recognized as one of the top shopping sites online by Internet Retailer, Ice relies heavily on its email campaigns to drive purchases and engage with its customers. In early November, they turned to Return Path’s deliverability experts to gain the critical insight they needed to improve their inbox placement rates.

Return Path helped Ice tweak their email infrastructure to ensure they were properly authenticated and effectively received by Internet Service Providers. Working with Return Path, Ice learned how to sign its emails properly, automate responses to complaints, maintain list hygiene and implement best-in-class sending practices in order to improve its inbox placement. Ice was also able to apply for and get accepted into the Return Path Certification program, the world’s most widely used whitelisting service.

“As an image-driven business, it was mission-critical to get our jewelry images enabled across all of our email campaigns,” said Evan Frank, Director of CRM at Ice.com. “Becoming certified with Return Path helped ensure our images would be seen, but more importantly assured that our email would arrive in the inbox.”

Helping Ice Determine its Email Reputation
As a first step, Return Path had Ice determine its Sender Score, the email reputation measure compiled through Return Path’s cooperative data network of ISPs, spam filtering, security companies and email receivers, to see how Ice’s email program stacked up against other marketers. Sender Score aggregates data from over 60 million mailboxes and provided a deep view of the direct measures of Ice’s sender behavior and the impact those behaviors had on its email recipients and Ice’s brand and email deliverability. By utilizing Return Path’s Mailbox Monitor, Ice was able to get a complete picture of its email deliverability issues with each ISP helping them gain invaluable insight into whether their email arrived, when, and what folder it was placed in by each ISP. Coupled with Return Path’s Reputation Monitor, Ice was able to dive into the details of their programs and determine they had difficulty with both getting into the inbox and enabling images at Yahoo! and Hotmail. Ice also signed up for Return Path’s program to enroll them in available feedback loops and open whitelists.

Certification Improves Inbox Placement Rates and Enables Images in Time for Holiday Campaigns
With the problems identified, Return Path deliverability experts recommended that Ice get Return Path Certified. With Certification, companies receive preferential treatment at the world’s largest ISPs including Hotmail and Yahoo! as well as hundreds of other ISPs and filtering companies resulting in higher inbox placement rates (IPR) and higher response rates. Certified senders also have their images enabled at Windows Live Hotmail and Yahoo! allowing companies to optimize their campaigns for higher response and improved subscriber experiences.

“Online retailers know that a picture is worth a thousand words, especially in email,” said Matt Blumberg, CEO at Return Path. “For a retailer like Ice where photos of the jewelry are key to email response, having images enabled at key ISPs is crucial to driving high response rates. Of course, email that doesn’t arrive in the inbox at all will never drive response. By working closely with Return Path’s expert deliverability team and by leveraging our proven certification and reputation monitoring solutions, Ice got Return Path Certified, ensuring that their emails arrive in the inboxes of the world’s top ISPs. By doing this work in time for Black Friday, Ice was able to reap the benefits of greater subscriber engagement in time for the holidays.”

About Return Path

Return Path makes email work better by scoring and certifying email senders from around the world. We help marketers, publishers and other large-volume email senders increase their response rates by providing the world’s leading inbox deliverability solution. We help mailbox providers and email administrators at ISPs and enterprises block unwelcome and malicious email by providing near real-time IP reputation scores and other data-driven tools. Taken as a whole, these tools and services improve the consumer experience of email by protecting them from spam, phishing and other abuse. Return Path offers free access to Sender Score, the email reputation measure compiled through our cooperative data network of ISPs and other email receivers, at our reputation portal senderscore.org. Information about Return Path can be found at returnpath.com.

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