About the Certified Senders Alliance

CSA-logoThe objective of the CSA is to improve the quality of the medium email. As a neutral organization, the CSA has taken on the task of setting technical and legal quality standards and developing these standards into a certification.

The Certified Senders Alliance (CSA) was established in 2003 by eco – Association of the Internet Industry e.V. and the DDV, the German Dialog Marketing Association. The cooperation of the two associations in the project ensures both the backing of the Internet industry and the support of direct marketers.

The CSA today is no longer an exclusively German, but an international project. More than 100 certified senders from 11 countries and 37 international ISP and technology partners are proof of this. 60% of the certified senders have already been with the CSA for more than 7 years.

Here is a list of all CSA certified senders, more information on participants and partners can also be found here at the CSA website.

The CSA Certification

What are the CSA standards?

The CSA quality standards include legal and technical admission criteria.

  • The CSA legal criteria are consistent with the applicable EU law. Each sending of commercial emails within the EU Member States must comply with these criteria.
  • The technical criteria have been developed on the basis of feedback from ISPs, technology partners and senders, and are updated to correspond to evolving requirements. Including DKIM signing of all messages and use of List Unsubscribe headers, to name just two.

Advantages of sending via a CSA certified Email Service Provider

According to the CSA, the certification has the following benefits for companies that use a CSA certified Email Service Provider.

Did you know that… CSA certification…
…more than 17% of all marketing emails never reach the inbox of the receiver? …can increase ROI. As a rule, there is no SPAM-filtering at the ISPs and technology partners of the CSA, resulting in a higher inbox placement rate.
…the eco Complaints Office received over 130,000 individual complaints from email recipients in 2014? …avoids damage to brand reputation caused by public complaints about email campaigns through effective early warning system through the CSA complaint management
…court cases for unlawful emails can cost up to €250,000? …ensures full compliance with EU law and thus minimizing the chance for these court costs.

The certification process

csa-certification

  1. For a sender to be certified, they first need to make sure they are able to comply with the admission criteria and get familiar with the rules of procedure and pricing.

    The CSA certifies email senders; decisive for the certification is the IP-sovereignty over the sender server. The certified sender’s IP-addresses are included in a central whitelist and thus enjoy improved delivery (as a rule, server-side spam filtering does not occur for CSA ISP and technology partners. Filtering that prevents the delivery of emails from certified bulk mailers can only be undertaken through the individual user settings.

  2. After they have filled in and signed the Conditions of participation and questionnaire for bulk mailers, the CSA will then ask for a sample of the newsletters and mails they send.
  3. The newsletters will be reviewed and amended by legal and technical experts. The applicant will get feedback about any required changes.
  4. Once a sender complies with the admission criteria and the committee makes a positive decision, the applicant will be CSA certified.

Pricing

A certification by the CSA is tiered based on the size of the sender company, from a starting price of €300 per month plus the one-time certification fee. DDV, DMVÖ, BVDW and eco e.V. members receive a 20% discount. Find the price list here.

Further services

The CSA offers further services, such as workshops where experts train marketers in the optimization of email delivery, deliverability management and in the legal framework conditions for compliant and effective email campaigns. More on the CSA workshops….

Contact with the CSA

Senders that would like to get more information about the CSA or become a certified sender, visit the CSA website or contact them using the following email address: Maike Marx, maike.marx@eco.de