Home Documents for Senders and ESPs

M3AAWG is one of the few operational forums where senders can engage in a respectful and meaningful dialogue with network operators to solve common problems that both sides of the industry face. The documents below were developed to help senders of bulk mail and email service providers put into place the best practices that will help reduce spam and the spread of malware.

1.   Trust in Email Begins with Authentication (M3AAWG Email Authentication White Paper – updated February 2015)
Along with the effort to detect and filter problematic traffic, there is a complementary effort in place to identify trustworthy email participants. This white paper provides background on authentication and looks at the most popular mechanisms currently in use.

2.  M3AAWG Sender Best Communications Practices, Version 3.0 (February 2015)
The only email marketing best practices developed with the cooperation of both senders and ISPs, this paper creates a greater transparency between senders of bulk mail and the receiving operators. This transparency helps distinguish legitimate mailers from spammers, and the BCPs also advocate technologies and practices that help to make email a more secure and reliable communication channel.

3.  M3AAWG Position on Email Appending(Sept. 2019)
“Appending” is the practice of taking demographic information known, or assumed, to be related to a particular customer and matching it with other data.  Email appending is in direct violation of core M3AAWG values. 

4.  M3AAWG Vetting Best Common Practices (Nov. 2011)
Email Service Providers (ESPs) send large volumes of email on behalf of their clients and are at the mercy of their worst clients' worst practices. This document covers the general intent, purpose and benefits of a client-vetting program. It outlines specific guidelines on the process, the operation and criteria for vetting customers before they mail, and monitoring after the initial send.

5. M3AAWG Complaint Feedback Loop BCP (Aug. 2010)
Note: This M3AAWG best practices paper has been replaced by RFC 6449, Complaint Feedback Loop Operational Recommendations, November 2011, from the IETF. See https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6449

6. M3AAWG Best Current Practices for Building and Operating a Spam Trap (Aug. 2016)
This document attempts to lay out the best practices in operating a spamtrap such that researchers will achieve accuracy in their research, whatever theirspecific goals.