Well-behaved marketing firms that pay a bond of $20,000 will be able to send mass-marketing emails without fear of hitting Microsoft's spam filters. Firms that sign up to the scheme, IronPort's Bonded Sender Programme, can rest assured their emails will reach up to 170 million Hotmail and MSN users.
Companies that break the standards described in the CAN-SPAM Act could also lose their bond. The bulk mail senders are to be monitored by TRUSTe, a independent group that monitors complaints on spammers, IronPort said. Microsoft said it supports the program because it wants to reclaim email marketing from criminal spammers. Microsoft and IronPort have been secretly developing the scheme for five months.