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What is M3AAWG, and why you should get involved

We sat down with some of the leaders at M3AAWG to talk about Brand SIG, how community involvement impacts your email deliverability, and what resources you can leverage to protect your organization.

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Every company is trying to achieve growth and be more recognizable and the protection of that journey can be incredibly challenging. There are times when everybody considers themselves an expert, but in email the pool of experts can feel pretty small. It can be challenging to get the information you need, especially when you don’t know what you don’t know…you know?

At Sinch Mailgun, we like to make the learning curve an easier ride for senders, so we sat down with and organization whose goal is to bring the industry together and share knowledge. Get to know M3AAWG in this post recapping our recent podcast.

Meet our speakers

Email’s Not Dead is where our deliverability pros, Jonathan Torres and Eric Trinidad, interview experts and explore all things email and deliverability. In Season 5, episode 6 they sat down with representatives from M3AAWG’s Brand SIG initiative to find out what it’s all about, and how and why senders should get involved. Meet our presenters and podcast guests:

Jonathan Torres, Technical Account Manager, Manager at Sinch Mailgun

Eric Trinidad, Technical Account Manager at Sinch Mailgun

Thomas “T-Bird” Knierien, Sr. Multimedia Content Specialist at Sinch Mailgun

Mariska Calabrese, Sr. Manager Information Security at Beehiiv, Co-Chair of Brand Sig at M3AAWG

Sharon Kent, Co-Vice Chair, Board of Directors at M3AAWG

Melinda Plemel, Enhanced Services Specialist at Spamhaus, Vice Chair Brand Sig at M3AAWG

Aref Zahed, Security Engineer at Shopify, Co-Chair of Brand Sig at M3AWWG

Check out the full podcast:

What is M3AAWG?

M3AAWG, or Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group is where the industry comes together to work against bots, malware, spam, viruses, DoS attacks and other online exploitation.

There are a lot of amazing communities in the email world and M3AAWG has a twenty-year history of helping organizations send email. Established in 2004, M3AAWG is a trusted environment where email senders, mailbox providers, and other industry professionals come together to create resources and share best practices for the email sending community.

“What happens at M3AAWG stays at M3AAWG. And I think that's kind of the magic of what M3AAWG is, is people can share in this closed environment what they're seeing, how they're dealing with it, without giving away their secret sauce, of course, but working together to solve these problems.”

Sharon Kent, Co-Vice Chair, Board of Directors at M3AAWG

Defining a brand

In this post, we’re going to highlight M3AAWG’s Brand Protection Kit – a resources designed for all types of senders regardless of organization size or technical background. To do that, we first have to define what brand is.

Brand goes beyond just a company name—it's how an organization is perceived, but also how it protects its identity. Brand isn’t just a logo, or an organization’s media presence. Brand is the umbrella under which an organization operates, and brand protection involves stakeholders from marketing, security, privacy, and legal teams, all working together to safeguard the brand's reputation and customer trust.

“I think that the thing that sets brand aside is the stakeholders. The stakeholders for brand include everything from a marketing team to senior leadership, to security, privacy, legal, and everybody is invested and needs to work together in order to protect the brand from abuse and protect the employees, protect the perception of how the brand is perceived by external people and customers.”

Mariska Calabrese, Sr. Manager Information Security at Beehiiv, Co-Chair of Brand Sig at M3AAWG

What is Brand SIG?

Brand SIG, a special interest group within M3AAWG, focuses on addressing these issues of protection, perception, and privacy, that brands face – especially smaller, emerging brands. Brand SIG is about developing strategies and identifying issues that impact the community to get ahead of them, document them, and provide education and resources so some of these obstacles can be mitigated.

“I think one of the really important things about the Brand SIG is the fact that we're reaching folks that may not necessarily have a technical background.”

Melinda Plemel, Enhanced Services Specialist at Spamhaus, Vice Chair Brand Sig at M3AAWG

In other words, Brand SIG is a platform within M3AAWG that is creating digestible content, not just from a technical perspective, but also easy to understand for any group within an organization. The ambition is that an organization can take a best practice back to their org, and see what they’re already implementing, where they can improve, and become aware of perspectives or ways of working they might not have thought of.

“Oftentimes we forget that every brand has a beginning and there's a journey that they go through. What we're trying to provide them with is support through these publicly available documents and guidelines. If you are an up and coming brand and you cannot necessarily hire technical expertise, these will help identity some of the standard things you can do to protect yourself and prevent abuse.”

Aref Zahed, Security Engineer at Shopify, Co-Chair of Brand Sig at M3AWWG

The Brand Protection Kit

The Brand Protection Kit is a comprehensive guide available to the public on the M3AAWG website. This kit provides strategies and best practices to help brands protect themselves from abuse and maintain a positive reputation.

Learn more about Brand SIG and the Brand Protection Kit in the video below and get the kit under the Best Practices tab on M3AAWG’s site:

Resources and networking

M3AAWG provides a wealth of documentation and resources on its website, but the best way for brands to benefit is not only to utilize these resources but to engage with the community. Networking is a key aspect of M3AAWG, allowing senders to share experiences and learn from each other.

For some more resources on issues that impact all senders, check out our links below:

Building community

Brand SIG is on a mission to grow its membership and include more voices, particularly from smaller brands. Participation and voices from all sectors of the email industry and from all types and volumes of senders is what will ultimately make sending safer.

M3AAWG isn’t just for the techies, tools like the Brand Protection Kit are formatted for those working more in the marketing and communications arm. More resources are being developed as well, like an email guidance kit that will focus on all brands from the small mom and pops to the larger organization.

“Having the power of group thought to be able to identify risks, and to have the ability to quantify them to bring them back to their organization is very powerful.”

Mariska Calabrese, Sr. Manager Information Security at Beehiiv, Co-Chair of Brand Sig at M3AAWG

Wrapping up

M3AAWG is an example of what can happen when we highlight the collaborative nature of the email industry and the importance of sharing knowledge and resources. By working together, we can ensure a safer, more trustworthy email ecosystem.

To check out the full podcast, stream Email’s Not Dead on your favorite listening platform, and check out some of our other recent podcasts.

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