End the Year Strong with New Updates from Validity

It’s been a year of huge progress here at Validity! To celebrate, we’ve launched features that will help you close the year strong and drive better business and professional outcomes. This time of year, marketers and sales professionals are under an enormous amount of pressure to hit their goals. These releases provide better views and deeper understanding to ensure you’re spending time in the right places and getting the best insight possible.

Validity for Email – Return Path Platform

Our new SmartSeeds provide a simplified and better seeding-based way to monitor your deliverability. With this release, we’ve made insight into engagement filtering at Gmail more accessible than ever before.

It’s no secret that Gmail is a key mailbox for B2B and B2C senders – and because of the amount of engagement filtering they do, senders struggle to understand and overcome inbox placement challenges. SmartSeeds provide a detailed view into how your email is delivering based on subscriber interaction – whether they are engaged mailboxes, unengaged mailboxes, or somewhere in between.

With mailbox providers’ increased focus on using engagement-based filtering, you need access to the full picture of your deliverability. That’s exactly what SmartSeeds provide. With SmartSeeds, the work to determine the type of subscribers who are impacted by a deliverability issue is much easier. Because we break the data down by subscriber interaction, you have a better understanding of the problem and the potential impacts to KPIs. This time of year, this critical insight at Gmail across all your campaigns will have you ready for the holiday season like never before.

B2B Seeds
With the expansion of our B2B seed offering, we’ve added filtering companies to our already robust set of hosted mailboxes, such as G Suite, Office 365, and Go Daddy. Unlike consumer mailboxes (like gmail.com, yahoo.com, and microsoft.com), B2B hosted mailboxes commonly add an additional level of filtering onto the native hosted mailbox filtering.

With this release, we’re extending this coverage to including Barracuda and Proofpoint with Mimecast coming shortly. This time of year, ensuring your email is going to the inbox is paramount, and with this new update from Validity, our B2B marketers will be better positioned than ever this holiday season to hit year end goals.

Automated Reporting
We know this time of year, all eyes are on the email program. With that spotlight, you need a high-level snapshot of your email performance you can share with your organization. With automated reporting, you are armed with the reports you need to understand your deliverability trends and performance. We’ve replaced our legacy reporting dashboard with a brand new, automated monthly deliverability report available to you on the first of each month. They are more accessible than ever, located with easy navigation from the homepage of Return Path Platform. Your report for October will be available on November 1st and you can view your historical monthly reports starting today!

Validity for Sales Productivity

ReadyGrids for Pipeline
Our new set of ReadyGrids, a feature of GridBuddy, deliver a platform of actionable sales analytics. As sales teams are under pressure to close deals by year’s end, these grids surface at-risk opportunities threatening that oh-so-important revenue number and display them in an easy to manage, grid-based Salesforce workspace.

ReadyGrids for Pipeline are designed to make impactful sales data actionable. At-risk opportunities that affect pipeline are integrated into an editable grid for efficient and focused opportunity and pipeline management. It’s now easy to work with at-risk opportunities for the last or next 90 days and access the data that directly impacts your business. Use ReadyGrids to work with critical metrics in a simple spreadsheet-like interface and experience high CRM adoption and a better understanding of your sales data.

Boost Business Performance with New Updates from Validity 

End the Year Strong, Start the New Year Off Right
2019 has been a busy year for us! We’re growing like crazy, innovating, and as always, we’re on a mission to help businesses run better and grow faster with better data insights. We’re thankful to work with amazing clients and companies and we’re proud to bring these new features and updates from Validity into market. We’re invested in providing broader and deeper solutions to our customers to help them drive sales, make smarter business decisions, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

How Do Mailbox Providers View Your Email Program? [New Report]

Though you might not see it in your inbox, there is a lot of bad email being sent every day. Last year alone saw over 600 billion emails from spammers. Faced with this wealth of illegitimate messages, mailbox providers rely on sender reputation to identify the “good” from the “bad,” when determining what email to allow or block from their users’ inboxes. Unfortunately for marketers, each mailbox provider has their own secret sender reputation calculation for incoming mail.

At Return Path by Validity, we’ve created our own reputation calculation system—Sender Score—that evaluates the same reputation criteria that mailbox providers use in their calculations— to give senders a benchmark for how they and their messages are perceived by mailbox providers.

In the 2019 Sender Score Benchmark, we take a look at the impact of reputation and Sender Score on email performance, including:

  • The distribution of email volume by Sender Score.
  • The impact of complaints, spam traps, and unknown users on reputation
  • The average inbox placement rate at Microsoft, AOL, Gmail, and Yahoo by Sender Score
  • The average Sender Score and inbox placement rate by industry

To see how your reputation is impacting your ability to access the inbox, look up your program’s Sender Score for free and then download the report.


New to BriteVerify: Introducing Phone and Address Verification

Today, we announce exciting new features to our real-time email validation solution, BriteVerify, including expanding our data validation capabilities beyond email to now cover phone numbers and physical mailing addresses along with the ability to verify millions of records in bulk.

The cost of bad data is staggeringly high. Companies in the US lose over $3 trillion every year as a result of poor data quality, according to IBM. Even the US Postal Service spends an estimated $1.5 billion or more every year processing undeliverable mail as a result of poor data. This is why we are thrilled to expand our verification capabilities beyond email to phone numbers and physical mailing address to the BriteVerify validation platform. These powerful new services expand and enhance your ability to prevent errors and improve data confidence. 

With the enhanced BriteVerify solution, marketers are able to:

  • Create a better customer experience from the point of data collection
  • Confidently reach customers by email, mail, and/or phone before wasting precious time and budget on marketing campaigns
  • Reduce long term costs associated with undeliverable email and mail, and unreachable phone numbers
  • Integrate easily with existing platforms like MailChimp and Constant Contact, and administrative tools like DemandTools. 

Of course, the best place to correct data quality issues is preferably in real-time and before they are added to your database. Our customers currently experience great results with our industry-leading real-time email validation. And now, you can rest easy knowing we’re checking even more to make sure your mailing addresses and telephone entries are accurate and validated in real-time. We now have three real-time APIs to choose from: our Email API, our API for Email, Phone, and Address verification, and the Bulk Verification API. Read more about them here

“Real-time email validation has allowed us to weed out bad emails without adding any additional steps to the user experience. Issues with unknown users seem to be a thing of the past as our rates have dropped from 3% to .02%.” – — Sr. Vice President, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation

Have confidence that you have a working email address, a physical address that exists, and a phone number for a real person. This leads to a smooth customer experience and reduced business costs. Interested in using our new APIs? Contact us

GDPR: One Year Later & Email is in Good Shape!

A year ago, and email in Europe was in turmoil. The May 25th deadline for the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) had finally arrived, and many email programs were frantically trying to get out their privacy policy updates, or their re-permissioning emails (or both!) in time. Overwhelmed by volume, many consumers simply chose to do nothing, secure in the knowledge it would soon end. It was the email apocalypse, which I later wrote about in a DMA blog post.

However, some forward thinkers were already considering GDPR in a more optimistic light. An article from Information Age predicted, “GDPR is the perfect opportunity for businesses to rethink their approach to data and the enhanced customer relationships and experiences it allows”. Marketo identified the “two tribes of marketing” (legal-first vs marketing-first) and predicted the latter would benefit more as stronger consent, better data quality, and greater transparency combined to deliver stronger and more trusting relationships.

They were both correct, and it makes absolute sense. GDPR wrote into law a number of best practices that we have talked about for years, so improved performance was to be expected. In this article, we’ll examine the resulting uplifts through a few different lenses:

Better deliverability
Email deliverability has shown a significant YoY uplift. Comparing Return Path’s 2017 and 2018 Deliverability Benchmark reports produces the following inbox placement summary:

Email deliverability is informed by a broad set of signals that includes data quality (low unknown user rates, no spam traps) and positive subscriber engagement (good read rates, low complaint rates). GDPR has clearly moved the needle for these factors, and senders are benefitting as a result.

Reduced list churn
We have also been seeing signs that some of GDPR’s benefits will be longer-term in nature. At a 2018 data protection conference, Homeserve reported ”people are more receptive to and interested in what we are selling . . . plus we are receiving fewer complaints and unsubscribe requests.”

Return Path’s own data provides validation. As part of our GDPR thought leadership, we monitored a “basket” of 250 major senders. Average complaint rates for these senders have reduced by slightly more than half.

This will have a big positive commercial impact for email program owners. The US DMA’s 2018 Response Rate report shows email cost per acquisition at $22.50 (£17.65), while Bluecore’s Cost of an Unsubscribe report values each lost address at $17.92 (£14.05).

According to IBM Watson’s 2018 Marketing Benchmark report average list churn (bounces, unsubscribes, and complaints) for UK and Europe is 0.8 percent. Halving this metric will protect around £60K ($75K) of customer lifetime value (CLV) per million emails sent!

Enhanced performance
Program performance metrics have also shown big improvements. We plotted the YoY change in email read rates for the same basket of 250 senders, and identified the following:

Updating the privacy policy was generally the “legal-first” approach while marketing-first programs generally went the re-permissioning route, illustrating the greater benefit of the latter approach (note many programs took a blended approach, updating their privacy policy for existing customers, and re-permissioning their prospects).

Recent research from the DMA corroborates these findings, with respondents to the 2019 Marketing Email Tracker report identifying clear GDPR-influenced improvements in open rates, click rates, and conversion rates: 

Increased ROI
As a direct result of the improvements outlined above, email programs have become more profitable. In the DMA’s 2019 edition of its Marketer Email Tracker report, email return on investment (ROI) has increased YoY from £32.28 in 2017 to £42.24 in 2018, a 30 percent uplift.

Litmus provides a nice visualization of the comparative ROI between Europe and the US, and we can see that the European programs are currently >20 percent more ROI-effective than their US counterparts.

For the same period, subscriber lifetime value has also increased, rising from £28.56 in 2017 to £37.32, again an increase of 30 percent. Lifetime value is the most important metric email marketers are focused on in 2019. Programs that want to move the CLV needle can start by embracing GDPR’s core principles, even if they don’t fall within its jurisdiction.

The rest of the world is watching with great interest. India has already released its Personal Data Protection Bill, while Brazil’s General Data Protection Law (LGPD – blog post here) will become effective in early 2020. In the US, California’s new The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is expected by many to be the forerunner of similar federal legislation (see our great recent blog series on CCPA).

The key learning for email marketers is to embrace these changes as a force for good. While they are hard work to implement, the payoff is greater trust between senders and receivers, which in turn boosts program performance and ultimately generates greater returns.

As Michael O’ Leary, the irascible CEO of Ryanair once remarked: “If I had known being nice to people was so profitable I would have done it long ago!”

Check Out Our New Look at Salesforce Connections 2019

Looking for Return Path at Connections? We’ll be there! Now as part of the Validity family, you’ll be able to check out our new look and additional product offerings alongside the wealth of email knowledge you know we’re there to share. Come check out the new brand and meet some of the new team at booth 10 in the Expo Hall.

After your first day at Connections, join us Monday night, June 17th, from 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM for “Email with View” at the Vu Rooftop Bar. Register now!

You can also see us on Wednesday, June 19th at 9:00 AM at our theater speaking session “Extra! Extra! Read all about it! AI Improves Email Marketing.” During this session, our senior product marketing manager, Courtney Finger, will be joined by Mark Nylec, Senior Director CRM & Email Strategy of Gannett, to discuss how marketers can use AI to increase deliverability and email engagement.

Looking for a more personalized experience? Sign up for one of our individual coaching clinics with Senior Email Strategists Henry Gutierrez and Laura Christensen from our professional services team to answer any of your hard-hitting deliverability and engagement questions.

See you in Chicago!

Return Path Platform Heats Up with June Updates

Our teams are bringing the heat as summer ramps up with multiple unique updates across the Return Path Platform. So hot, in fact, that I have to eat a popsicle just to get through writing this! Read on to find out about these product updates that are sure to give you more ways to get value out of our products. So grab your own popsicle and read on…

SmartSeed inbox placement by persona
As an iteration of our newest deliverability data source, SmartSeeds, we are introducing inbox placement rate by engagement persona! Within the Gmail section of your Campaign Details and in the Campaign Trends graph, you will now see four SmartSeed personas and their corresponding inbox placement rate.

  • Engaged
  • Loyal
  • Disinterested
  • Potential

As a reminder about these four personas and how knowing their placement can help improve your email program, you can reference this blog post.

In-platform setup for Dynamic Optimization
We are excited to announce that setup for Dynamic Optimization is now available for all clients within Return Path Platform! Dynamic Optimization, one of our newer solutions, leverages your email data and provides customized mailing recommendations. You can log into your Return Path Platform account and select the Dynamic Optimization tile to get started.

In-platform setup has been available for our clients using Salesforce Marketing Cloud as their ESP. This launch is an exciting extension of our AI-powered products to our wider audience.

New domain-based blacklists and real-time email alerts
We added domain-based blacklists to the Blacklist tile in the Return Path Platform. You are now able to see if your domain has been listed on:

  • Spamhaus DBL
  • Invaluement

We have also launched a new alerting option for all blacklists. You can now subscribe to receive real-time email alerts when your IP address or domain has been added to a blacklist. With these new alerts, you’ll know in real-time if you have an IP address or domain on a blacklist so you can take quick action to address the underlying issue and delist.

Cloudmark alerting via Smart Alerts
A new Cloudmark alert, located in the Smart Alerts section of the Return Path Platform, provides visibility into Cloudmark issues (spammy fingerprints) on your campaigns. This alert provides insight into impacted campaigns and the problem category that caused the fingerprint. It also guides you in your effort to resolve these types of issues for future campaigns.

Login to see all these new updates in action!

Customers and partners can learn all about these updates by watching our training videos in this Help Center article. Not yet a customer? Request a demo of these new features as well as what the entire Return Path Platform as to offer.