Get Certified

What is Return Path's Certification program?

Return Path's Certification program is the industry’s most recognized and valued certified whitelist. Getting on the whitelist helps ensure better inbox placement with major mailbox providers, including Microsoft.

When you become Return Path Certified, email providers acknowledge you as a safe, reputable company and in turn, your email program receives reduced filtering at major mailbox providers. Certification is accepted by mailbox providers around the world and is the only program of its kind with such universal acceptance. By following the program’s proprietary standards, you will beat the competition by reaching more of your subscribers' inboxes.

How does the Certification program work?

The Return Path Certification program provides mailbox providers with a whitelist of trusted senders who meet high program standards. The Certified whitelist covers more than two billion mailboxes worldwide at top mailbox providers and filters. The whitelist is built on a network of trust between senders and receivers founded on the common goal of ensuring that good email gets into the inbox.

When you're accepted into the Certified program, your Certified IP addresses and domains are placed on a whitelist that receivers and mailbox providers around the world can access through a secure DNS server lookup. Through the DNS, Return Path shares data with mailbox providers and filters so that you can receive benefits the day you are approved.

What are the benefits of Certification?

Our coverage includes three of the world’s largest mailbox providers - including Microsoft - and many others, representing over 70 percent of total global mailboxes. Certified members receive numerous benefits, such as:

  • Get preferential email delivery, leading to more email delivered to the inbox and increase revenue.
  • Gain the highest and most consistent inbox placement rates.
  • Significantly reduce volume filtering and throttling, especially during the holiday season.
  • Reduce filtering from Cloudmark, IronPort, Barracuda, SpamAssassin, and more.
  • Enable links and images at participating mailbox providers.

Why would I want to be Certified with Return Path?

Return Path Certified senders follow industry best practices and send relevant email to subscribers who want it. They are best-in-class senders who agree to maintain the high standards required of them.

Your brand will not only benefit by reaching more of your customers’ inboxes, you'll also see improvements across your email marketing program by adopting the best sending practices for the email industry.


What benefits can other Return Path products provide?

Return Path helps you reach the right inbox by getting more email delivered to more of your subscribers. The first step to optimizing email visibility and increasing revenue is making sure your message arrives in the inbox. Return Path has three ways to help you reach the right inbox:

  • Get on the only certified whitelist.
  • Assess your inbox placement.
  • Know your sender reputation.
Learn more about our Email Optimization solutions.

How do I get Certified?

To be accepted into the Return Path Certification Program, you must:

  • Submit your application.
  • Pass our review of your email practices.
  • Show that you are compliant with all applicable laws, including CAN-SPAM.
  • Demonstrate that you only send email from properly configured and authenticated servers.
  • Maintain exceptional sender complaint and spam trap hit rates.
  • Not appear on any reputable blacklists.
Once Certified, we will continue to monitor your performance and adherence to standards. We'e on your side. Our experts are always ready to help and ensure that you remain in good standing.

What is the process and timeline for becoming Certified?

Once we receive your application, we'll send an email that we received it and are working hard to see if you're eligible.

Because we need to check dozens of factors about your email program — and wait for data to be sent from participating mailbox providers — the average audit process takes about a month.

During this time, we will send status updates and possibly ask some questions. When we are finished with our audit, we'll let you know right away so you can start enjoying the benefits of certification.

What happens if I'm not eligible?

If your mailing program is not eligible, an analyst will give you a customized explanation about what the problem was and why it happened. If the changes needed are within eligibility requirements, you'll get the opportunity make corrections to those items. Then, you can just resend your application … at no additional cost!

Where can I learn more about Certification?

To learn more about Certification and how to get started, please visit the Return Path website or watch our video to see Certification in action.