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Return Path Expands into China, Signs Top ISPs, Tencent/QQ and Sohu, to Certification Service

Company Publishes Research Report to Arm Marketers with Email Best Practices for Marketing in China

New York, NY — April 13, 2011 Return Path, the global leader in email deliverability and reputation management services, today announced the company’s expansion into the Asia-Pacific region, signing on China’s two largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Tencent/QQ, and Sohu, to use Return Path Certification, the largest global whitelist of certified, legitimate email senders. As part of this expansion strategy, the company is also unveiling a new report for digital marketers called “Email Marketing in the New China,” which analyzes user behaviors, identifies market opportunities and details best-practices for email marketing in China.

“More and more marketers are trying to reach and engage critical audiences in China,” said Matt Blumberg, CEO of Return Path.  “Our entry into China enables email marketers around the world to reach consumers and businesses in China via our whitelist, while competently engaging them using strategies and best-practices found in our new report.”

Return Path Certification Covers More Than Two Billion Inboxes Worldwide

With the addition of Tencent/QQ and Sohu, Return Path Certification reaches more than 2.1 billion inboxes globally. Return Path Certification helps ISPs ensure that legitimate, permissioned email senders are given preferential treatment toward inbox placement at the world’s top ISPs and filtering companies. Global ISPs like Yahoo! and Hotmail already employ Return Path’s Certification program, and offer additional benefits to certified senders, including automatically enabled links and images.

Study Spotlights Virtually Untapped Digital Marketing Opportunity in China

Today, of the more than 400 million Internet users in China, a vast majority use the Internet primarily to access news and entertainment — leaving a huge opportunity for Internet marketers to develop ecommerce, banking and other commercial marketing ventures[i]. According to the report, email will be the primary driver for the successful adoption of commercial internet marketing services. The research provides comprehensive insight into these market opportunities, how-to’s on relationship building, localization and cultural awareness, advertising and anti-spam legislation, design/rendering perspectives, the role of mobile, SMS and IM and campaign execution strategies that ensure successful alignment with the China audience.

Internet Marketing User Behaviors in China

According to the study, Internet marketers need to develop strong mainland relationships and localize not only marketing materials, but websites and links.  It is critical to be mindful of regional variations, selection of color, use of numbers, and to consider the variety of platforms, methods of viewing email, and legalities taking into account slower bandwidth speeds, and compliance with advertising and anti-spam laws.  Design is a major consideration as the China audience prefers different styles, including brighter, flashier content over the minimalist look found in U.S. and European markets.

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.

[i] Source: Email Marketing in the New China, Return Path, Inc., 2011

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