Message Keys FAQ

What are Message Keys?

Message Keys are a unique code or key that is embedded into an email address in such a way that it is likely to be retained during normal use of that address, and is therefore available to Spam-filters to white list messages.

There are three types of keys and they look like this:

  1. CaseKeys
  2. Display Name Addressing (DNA)
    “John Smith-864884” <>
  3. Tagged Addressing

In all three of the above examples above, is the user’s email address, and 864884 is the value of the key.

All three encoding methods can be used at the same time to produce a Hybrid key that might look like this:
“John Smith -864884” <joHN.SmiTH-864884@eXamPLE.Com>

Message Key are just a code that is:

  • embedded in such a way that it is likely to be retained during normal use of that address
  • works with the existing Internet infrastructure
  • requires no modification to existing third party processes

Message Keys work with the existing Internet infrastructure that is in place today, and requires no additional headers or modification to existing third party systems or processes.

How Message Keys Work

  • They providing information to the Spam Filtering Engine on how the email address was acquired by the sender.
  • The reason why there are multiple forms of Message Keys is to optimize the likelihood of preservation of the key while presenting the email address in a form compatible with the intended method of acquisition.

How Message Keys Help

  • Match an incoming email with an email issuing event
  • Identify messages mistaken for spam
  • Improves User Confidence in their Spam Filter

Why they will use it?

Message Keys provide significant benefits to the end user, which include:

  • Dramatically reducing a users exposure to spam.
  • Reclaiming time that is currently lost by the user reviewing their Spam folder and looking for lost messages.
  • Restoring confidence, alleviating fear, frustration and spam related stress.
  • Optionally the user can be alerted each time that a lost message is found – reassuring the user that the system is working and maintaining the perceived value of the system form a user’s perspective.

How does this affect the user?

  • The technology is transparent to the user – the user does not have to be concerned with the Case – this happens for them automatically.
  • No one has to “type in” the CaseKey. CaseKeys are distributed automatically with outgoing messages.
  • The CaseKey is automatically preserved when the recipient clicks reply, or adds the sender to their address book.
  • Most modern mail readers display the sender’s Display Name, rather than email address, so often recipients don’t even see the CaseKeyed representation of the sender’s email address.

How does this reduce spam?

  • Whenever a user has to check their Spam folder, then they are still being exposed to all of their Spam – only the folder name is different.
  • CaseKeys may well be the difference between a system that users trust and one that they don’t – the difference between exposure to all of the Spam, or no Spam.

What is lost email costing you?

  • Is there any point in filtering spam at all, if we need to continually be checking our junk folder for lost messages?
  • Why do we have spam folders?
  • Why do people check their spam folders.
  • The fear of lost messages
  • The cost of the lost messages themselves?
    User support
  • The domino effect
  • The cost of disenfranchised users
  • The impact on user confidence,
  • What is the cost of unreliable communications
    • to business?
    • to a person’s social network?
  • Negate the value of a spam filter
  • What email have you lost today?


– because everybody's somewhere