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B2B email deliverability: Which spam filters are used by CAC 40 companies?

On the Internet, there are many articles on the email deliverability ! But most of these articles talk about B2C deliverability, by which I mean that they comment and gloss over the anti-spam techniques used by the main webmails and ISPs used by the general public.

But there are not only companies that send emails to consumers! So this article is made for all those who send emails to professionals (well, there is much more to say than what will be written here, I'm not going to write the bible of B2B deliverability right away).

Psssst... before I answer the title question of this article... I'm doing a little background. If you're too impatient, have a good little scrollllllll.

What is the major difference between B2B and B2C deliverability?

The first difference is the volumes! In B2C, we quickly have a LOT of customers and prospects, in B2B, we are immediately more reasonable (well, actually it depends on the business, when Airbus sells a plane to a single customer, Office Depot must sell many cartridges to its customers to achieve the same result).

Then, there are B2B and B2B. To put it simply, there are 3 categories:

  • Traders, artisans, small businesses Often, they use the same messaging systems as the consumers. They rarely have an email address using their domain name (when they have a site) and will therefore take an email address from their ISP (Orange is often over represented in this category in France).
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises Companies that most often have a website and want their employees to have an email address with their domain name. More and more, Office365 and Google Apps are used for their simplicity of deployment. But it is also in this type of structure that we find more archaic solutions of anti-spam filter (often old servers that are rarely touched).
  • Large companies In these structures, email is a strategic tool! The objectives of email filtering is therefore multiple and oscillates between the need for security... and the need for employees not to be drowned by spam (at the risk of losing productivity.... and yes!). As a result, anti-spam solutions are often more modern, and above all set up in a very aggressive way towards the senders of mass messages.

Well, what does the CAC 40 use to filter their spam?

As I like to keep you waiting, let's first talk about the methodology (it's not very complicated, I assure you). So we took the companies present in the CAC 40 index at the current time (yes, because from time to time it changes), and the current time is February 7, 2020. Then we went digging to check what domain names they use for their corporate emails (it's not always the same as the domain of their websites). Once we collected this info, we went to see what the MX records were (the server that receives emails for that domain), and finally, via that MX record, we were able to define what the frontline email server was. Yes, first line, because in many cases, this server will do some filtering, and then hand over to another server behind it, but we can't know that.

- We've updated the data for 2020 as some companies have left the CAC40 and others have re-entered. This update was made on August 29, 2023!

Well, what about these results?

In 2023, 6 solutions have been identified, 1 domain has no MX record and the rest, unfortunately, we have no information available:

  1. Proofpoint13/40: Proofpoint is still the most widely used anti-spam solution. It has even gained a little ground compared to the first analysis carried out in 2020!
  2. Microsoft11/40: Microsoft makes the biggest leap forward. Used at 12% in 2020, it becomes the 2nd most used solution in 2023 at almost 30%!
  3. Indeterminate, 8/40 Well, yes, sometimes you can't simply deduce what the anti-spam technology is just by reading the domain of an MX server or looking at the IP address. In practice you could know, but that's not the purpose of this small unpretentious study.
  4. Mimecast, 3/40 Mimecast enters the ranking! Not used in 2020, 3 companies migrated to this tool in 2023!
  5. Cisco, 2/40 Small increase for Cisco, which is still only used by 2 companies.
  6. Google, 2/40 : This is perhaps the big surprise of this ranking (or not!). Google is mainly used by small & medium-sized businesses, but is unable to break through to very large accounts.
  7. No MX, 1/40 A company has not set up an Mx record on its domain...

To conclude, we must not forget that by going to discover what is hidden behind the "Undetermined", it is very likely that this classification is slightly (or not), modified.

Anti-spam solutions used by CAC40 companies

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Here are the raw data for those who are interested!

Name of the companySectorEmail domain1st line filter in 20201st line filter in 2023
AIR LIQUIDEIndustryairliquide.comGoogleGoogle
AIRBUS GROUPAeronauticsairbus.comUndeterminedUndetermined
ALSTOMIndustryalstom.comMicrosoft
ARCELORMITTALIndustryarcelormittal.comProofpointProofpoint
AXAFinanceaxa.comProofpointProofpoint
BNP PARIBASFinancebnpparibas.comUndeterminedUndetermined
BOUYGUESConstructionbouygues.comMicrosoftMicrosoft
CAPGEMINITechnologycapgemini.comUndeterminedCisco
CARREFOURDistributioncarrefour.comProofpointProofpoint
CREDIT AGRICOLEFinancecredit-agricole-sa.frUndeterminedUndetermined
DANONEFooddanone.comMessageLabsProofpoint
DASSAULT SYSTEMESIndustry3ds.comUndeterminedProofpoint
EDENREDServiceedenred.frUndetermined
ENGIEEnergyengie.comProofpointProofpoint
ESSILORLUXOTTICAHealthessilor.frGoogleMicrosoft
EUROFINS SCIENTIFICSHealtheurofins.frMicrosoft
HERMES INTERNATIONALLuxuryhermes.comProofpointProofpoint
KERINGLuxurykering.comProofpointProofpoint
LEGRANDElectrical equipmentlegrand.frMicrosoftMicrosoft
L'OREALLuxuryloreal.comProofpointProofpoint
LVMHLuxurylvmh.frProofpointProofpoint
MICHELINPneumaticmichelin.comMessageLabsMimecast
ORANGETelecommunicationorange.comUndeterminedUndetermined
PERNOD RICARDFoodpernod-ricard.comMicrosoftMicrosoft
PUBLICISCommunicationpublicisgroupe.comProofpointMicrosoft
RENAULTAutomotiverenault.comUndeterminedCisco
SAFRANDefensesafran-group.frUndeterminedNo Mx
SAINT-GOBAINIndustrysaint-gobain.comUndeterminedProofpoint
SANOFIHealthsanofi.comUndeterminedMimecast
SCHNEIDER ELECTRICElectrical equipmentschneider-electric.comMessageLabsMicrosoft
SOCIETE GENERALEFinancesocgen.comUndeterminedUndetermined
STELLANTIS NVAutomotivestellantis.comMicrosoft
STMICROELECTRONICSTechnologyst.comProofpointProofpoint
TELEPERFORMANCETelecommunicationsteleperformance.comMimecast
THALESAeronauticsthalesgroup.comUndeterminedUndetermined
TOTALEnergytotal.comUndeterminedMicrosoft
UNIBAIL-WFDReal estateurw.comProofpointProofpoint
VEOLIA ENVIRONMENTEnergyveolia.comGoogleGoogle
VINCIConstructionvinci.comUndeterminedMicrosoft
WORLDLINEFinanceworldline.comUndetermined

Photo by Zachary Lisko on Unsplash

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