Back to the Future at the CSA Summit 2017

On a beautiful sunny day, around 120 attendees gathered in the Sports Museum on the banks of the river Rhine in Cologne for the plenary session of the annual CSA Summit on Thursday, 11 May 2017.

After a light breakfast for those who arrived early and a chance to wake up and chat over croissants and good coffee, Ivo Ivanov welcomed the guests and introduced the representatives of the three sponsors of the event: the silver sponsor dmarcian, the gold sponsor port25, and the diamond sponsor 250ok. “Back to the Future” is the motto of this year’s Summit; while half of CSA participants are already preparing for the future, the other half are still implementing current best practices. 

After giving an overview of how the CSA has developed over recent years (e.g. from 9 certification criteria in 2004 to 9 pages outlining the certification criteria in 2017), Ivanov formally handed over to the new Director of the Certified Senders Alliance, Julia Janßen-Holldiek. In a touching scene, Julia thanked Ivo for his work and leadership over the last years and presented him with a compass to symbolize his new role in the background guiding the overall direction of the CSA. The CSA team, the day’s host, took to the stage, all decked out in team t-shirts in CSA blue. In keeping with the “Back to the Future” film theme, all guests found sunglasses under their seats for some inspiration in the photo booth, with a prize promised for the funniest picture tweeted from the Summit

So what did the CSA get up to in the last 12 months? Thirteen new Certified Senders brought the total to 110. Six new partners swelled ranks to a total of 45 partners. By no means all senders who apply for certification are successful; of the 163 applicants in the last year, only thirteen were successfully certified and six are still in the certification process.

The CSA’s most recent publications were introduced by some of the authors present; eco Directive for Permissible Email Marketing, which deals with the legal aspects and requirements of e-mail marketing, and Best Practices for e-Mail Marketing, an overview of how to best get your emails into recipients inboxes. All of the various white papers and publications that were published in recent months are available online under

The new partnership with Email Vendor Selection (, announced at last year’s Summit, started successfully with 77 impressive numbers of unique page views supporting the business of CSA certified senders.