Email and Data: Looking Forward

Welcome to 2020! 2019 was a banner year for Validity – one of major growth, great change, an expanded family, and increased product offerings. At Validity, we made our new year’s resolutions and we’re excited to share our direction and what’s most important to us.  

As we re-focus our privacy efforts across all of Validity, we’re going to ensure our data-handling practices are uniform across the company.  As part of our refocus on privacy and building trust, Validity has decided to exit from the panel data business (also known as our Consumer Network). We operated the Consumer Network in partnership with mailbox providers and platforms who made data available for their users through partners like Return Path.  We’re proud of always going beyond requirements with user notices, choices, and transparency with our Consumer Network. Our efforts brought much value to the users of those mailbox provider services and to our sender customers who work hard to understand their users’ needs and deliver the best email experience possible. While we are proud of our efforts and transparency with the Consumer Network, the data privacy landscape has evolved, and we are evolving with it. It is always our obligation as a leader in the email marketing space to help the industry leverage data to improve email for users, and to do so with the highest integrity. 

Who’s still doing it wrong 

We stand behind how we’ve operated our Consumer Network because we are one of the few who did it in a transparent way. And it opened a door for many less transparent companies to mislead consumers into providing very sensitive information without their knowledge and explicit consent. Even major email providers still have loopholes and backdoors that allow companies to continue to gain access to that information – and those companies are using them. They’re prolonging making the change the email industry requires and investing resources in something that will go away instead of something new. Or they continue to deny the need for new types of data at all – as they’ve been doing for years. We simply don’t want to follow that path. That’s not the type of company we are. 

The future of data you can’t live without 

We operated a data panel for over 7 years, and in that time, we’ve done hundreds of analyses and spent a countless amount of time understanding how people engage with email. We’ve learned in depth how subscribers interact with their commercial email, and how senders could best improve those experiences.  We also know, undeniably, that Microsoft, Verizon Media Group, and Gmail use more advanced message filtering mechanisms than other mailbox providers. 

Insight into deliverability based on engagement is a critical part of understanding your email program and without it you’re at a disadvantage. The data panel was a great way to provide that data, but we’ve gone and one-upped ourselves (we do that sometimes). We’ve innovated a completely new measure for engagement-based insights from mailbox providers to meet your needs. 

Enter SmartSeeds.  

Our SmartSeed offering provides AI-driven deliverability monitoring that provides engagement-based inbox placement insights, just like our data panel did. This innovative technology is an exciting new way to get an even deeper view into your deliverability at the mailbox providers who use engagement-based filtering. We launched SmartSeeds for Gmail in October 2019 and are excited to announce that SmartSeeds for Yahoo and Microsoft are launching today, January 15, 2020!  

When it comes down to it, email recipients interact with mail in one of four ways – an engaged, loyal, potential, or disinterested subscriber. SmartSeeds show inbox placement data for each engagement persona represented in your list and how their email is placed. For example, subscribers who are highly engaged may have an inbox placement rate that is higher than those who don’t engage. With SmartSeeds, you have access to that level of detail and those intelligent insights. 

SmartSeeds offer our customers a lot of advantages. Here are just two of the way:  

Coverage: SmartSeeds offer 100% coverage for our senders. This means you are no longer leaving engagement-based deliverability insights to chance. Because you are in control of sending to your seedlist, you are not relying on the overlap between your list and the Consumer Network anymore. You see engagement-based placement data for 100% of your campaigns and we offer this coverage for 100% of our clients. 

Transparency: SmartSeeds provide the insight senders have asked for to better understand deliverability metrics. The Consumer Network aggregated all your engagement metrics into one data point.  SmartSeed deliverability is broken down by engagement profile, allowing you to better understand your deliverability across your subscriber base and the potential impacts on your bottom KPIs. 

Change is never easy, but sometimes change is right, necessary, and puts you in a better place. And that’s what we’re about here at Validity. We are incredibly excited about where we are going and how we’re going to get there. Here’s to an incredible 2020!  


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