Email and Data: Looking Back

2019 was a busy and exciting year as Return Path joined the Validity family. Now that we’re into 2020, I wanted to share some thoughts on our core vision and mission around data.  

First, the Return Path acquisition – a 20-month old company (Validity) acquired a 20-year old company.  Along with two other acquisitions, you can imagine it has been uniquely exciting, challenging, and disruptive (in the normal ways these things are) – yet ultimately invigorating as we now are driving towards a larger combined vision as Validity.  

I’m motivated this year largely because data continues to be central to our mission and vision. Data is the common thread across the Validity family of products and services. Our DemandTools product enables businesses to manage their core customer data assets. BriteVerify helps ensure clean and tidy email datasets. Return Path allows deep management of email optimization efforts. GridBuddy enables sales teams to efficiently work with CRM data to spend more time on selling and less on administration. From the earliest diligence through our latest work in product integration and plans for 2020, we are building around a common operating philosophy and foundation of data.

Return Path has always led the way with data-driven products and services, long ago recognizing that you need quality, trustworthy data to solve problems. Validity understands that clean and valuable data is the foundation of every successful business. We collect, process, and analyze data to help our customers excel at their jobs and drive increased revenue for their companies. Without reliable customer data or access to data for optimizing your business, all your efforts to grow and succeed will likely fail.   

Providing data-driven tools means being good practitioners and citizens when it comes to collecting, processing, and using data – for ourselves and for our partners. Through 20 years at Return Path – we’ve seen a lot.  From the early advent of permission marketing laws like CAN-SPAM in the US through the various EU Directives and most recently with CASL in Canada and the GDPR in the EU.    

Today, it’s more important than ever that our partners and customers trust how their data is handled, stored, and processed. We’re compliant with GDPR and CCPA, we follow the ISO 27001/27002 framework, we complete regular SOC 2 audits, and most of our products are 27001 and 27018 certified (the rest will be by August 2020).  None of this is “fun” but it’s necessary and we’re committed to advancing alongside the data industry with our products and our policies and view regulation as a starting point, not a finish line.  

Despite varying approaches, privacy and security of data is globally recognized as critically important, and we’ve always embraced our position as leaders and early adopters of best practices for data.  We’ve also seen a lot of market changes, and this year was no exception – from mergers and acquisitions to an increased focus on data transparency.  

With that in mind, heading into 2020, we’re evolving some practices. We will continue to be transparent in the data we’re collecting and how we’re using it. We want that to be clear and obvious to anyone who’s working with Validity, in any capacity.  We will continue to work with our partners, mailbox providers, and filtering companies to help shape data privacy and protection standards. 

The ways we adapt will always impact our Return Path products – and we’re thrilled to be on the front lines of innovation! Be on the lookout for additional communications on what’s new for Validity. We are incredibly excited about where we are going and how we’ll get there. Here’s to an incredible 2020!  

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