The chess game that started a few weeks ago with the AOL/Goodmail announcement continued this week with AOL countering the MoveOn.org move last week that called the proposed CertifiedMail program an e-mail tax. According to MoveOn.org, the cost to deliver e-mails to the AOL inbox would hurt nonprofit organizations, such as themselves, by making it too expensive to reach their constituents.
AOL countered late last week with an announcement that delivery to the AOL inbox would be free, although it would not be delivered through the Goodmail system and would not contain the branded “seal of approval” that is part of the Goodmail value proposition. Instead, the e-mails would be delivered through the AOL white listing service and would have the added benefit of ensuring that the non-profits’ HTML would render properly.
Not to be outdone, Goodmail competitor Habeas announced on Monday that it was launching its own program to help nonprofits get into the inbox. According to their press release, once the nonprofit has been okayed by Habeas, and paid the $200 certification fee, it will be automatically added to the Habeas Safelist program “which is used by more than 70,000 e-mail networks at both ISPs and enterprises to assist in delivering legitimate e-mail. Once a sender is on the Habeas SafeList, they will be considered a legitimate sender by most ISPs, a critical step to maintaining and improving delivery rates. If for any reason an organization does not meet the certification standards, Habeas will evaluate their existing practices and offer guidance into the areas that need to be fixed.”
In the meantime, Goodmail’s CEO Richard Gingras said that he is growing weary of the game: "I'm not too thrilled about the recent attention," he told USA Today. (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/computersecurity/2006-03-05-goodmail_x.htm)
But whether or not he likes it, in all certainty, the games will continue.