Where are your emails going? We’d all love to assume they’re hitting the inbox of our subscribers, but as we know, that’s not always the case. That’s why we’ve developed our entire suite of tools! But why is it so important to keep an eye on your inbox placement rates? How best do you get the right impression of how your email is performing, starting with where your mail is landing?
Our next video in our Email Experts Series video touches on this exact topic, helping marketers contextualize inbox placement, what it means, and how it affects the success of your email campaigns. Tune in below to hear Anthony Chiulli, director of product marketing, and Sloan Simmons and Sridhar Chandran, solution architects, share their perspectives.
(We’ve found key timestamps and transcribed this video below.)
Total Run Time: 15 minutes
00:43 – Why measuring inbox placement performance is important
1:45 – Differences between delivery rates and inbox placement rates
4:00 – How inbox placement can impact revenue; you can’t measure what you can’t see
5:45 – Evolution in inbox placement algorithms and filtering technology
7:28 – How marketers can use tools and data to effectively measure inbox placement
11:00 – Understanding why Gmail’s Tabs are all considered the “Inbox”
13:10 – Closing thoughts: Ways to measure inbox placement, why it is important, and ramifications of limited visibility
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Hi everyone. I’m Anthony Chiulli, and I’m really excited about today’s topic. We’re going to be discussing ways to monitor inbox placement and why it’s important. And joining me today are my colleagues Sri and Sloan Simmons. And this is something that I think is primitive to anyone involved in deliverability about the importance of monitoring inbox placement. But there’s some nuances that I think are helpful to understand, and differences in the ways that you can actually do that, the pros and cons with different metrics that help you measure inbox placement, and why it is so important, to reiterate. So Sloan, maybe just to kick us off, just in general for marketers, why measure inbox placement? Why is it something that is important as a KPI for marketers to pay attention to?
Yeah. So inbox placement, in many ways, is directly correlated to open rates which is one of the major KPIs of email deliverability in general. So when you have some kind of, not necessarily one-to-one correlation, but a way that you can visually reference where your mail is landing, you can get an idea of, well, if something didn’t specifically not make it, where did it go? Can I tailor my mail to get to a specific location so that it can get in front of people? So it’s an open-driver. It’s an engagement driver. It helps with your opens, helps with your clicks, which ultimately helps your business.
And to clarify, reporting inbox placement isn’t a statistic that ESPs offer. There’s limited ways in which they can measure that. And so Sri, can you talk about kind of the differences between what we call deliverability or inbox placement and delivery, and why that’s important to understand for marketers?
Sure. So just coming from the background of a mailbox provider, I always thought that all the marketers had the same kind of visibility that a mailbox provider has. But what I realized is most of them know what your delivery rates. So you send a bunch of emails, how many bounced, how many actually got a 250ok, and so on. But actually, the devil is in the details. It’s the last mile deliverability that matters. So that’s where we need to start using a bunch of tools where we get to know, hey, did the mail actually go to inbox or the spam folder, or did it just go to black hole? So one of the major ticket drivers for us was we usually get a lot of tickets where people used to say, “Hey, my spam complaint percentage is about 0.4%, but still I’m getting throttled. What’s reason?” But when we look into our tools, we see that the spam complaint percentage is around 5%. So what they don’t understand is that the mails have got delivered, that they go to the inbox or that they go to the spam folder? And that’s what I think the tool, the seedlist testing and so on, they’re trying to give that kind of visibility to the user saying that, “Hey, just getting delivered does not mean that your mails are going to get any eyeballs.”
That’s a really strong point. So you were asking about the difference between delivery and— sure, you can create math and have a concrete answer, is your mail delivered? Did it deliver? But the deliverability are those details where you’re looking for what’s the likelihood that this is going to make it in front of somebody? What’s the likelihood that somebody’s going to interact with it? What’s the likelihood that it’s not going to make it to the inbox based on something that I did or make it to a subscriber based on what I did or how I collected, or anything like that? So inbox is really focused, and monitoring inbox is really focused on that deliverability aspect to give you those details.
One of the things that I’ll add, that I think is the universal language for many senders, is revenue and money. And usually, in my experience, measuring inbox placement isn’t really something that is a priority until it becomes a priority. And if there’s any brands that have encountered deliverability issues or inbox placement challenges, whether it be Gmail or another major mailbox provider, not only is it going to hurt open rates and engagement, but at the end of the day, that’s lost revenue. That’s an opportunity missed by a mail not having the chance to land in the inbox. And so, oftentimes, it boils down to you can’t measure what you can’t see. And that’s why having a tool like 250ok, or other means, to monitor and track inbox placement is crucial for any marketer, just like it is paying attention to open rates, to clicks, to conversions, to site traffic, it should be a KPI that marketers certainly take onus of and something that they should be paying attention to, ongoing.
Yep. I mean, we don’t have enough data visibility. And it’s not helping us that a lot of these inbox providers do not provide us a lot of data regarding opens and so on. If you know, Gmail just caches the images, so you have a hard luck over there. Yahoo does the same. So the importance of just having multiple tools that you can just—or a tool where you get multiple data sources fed-in, and looking at that kind of information, I think that’s the trend that we’re going towards, and that’s what we’re going to see in the future.
Yeah. So let’s shift gears and talk about—because I think it’s really important to understand, on this topic of measuring inbox placement, there’s been an evolution in the way that not only the mailbox providers have evolved over the past decade, but also, the means and the channels, or the methods that marketers can actually measure inbox placement. Sri, can you help me understand what some of the ways of monitoring inbox placement are and how they have come about due to the evolution of measuring and monitoring deliverability?
Sure. So as you’ve rightly said, most of mailbox providers, were looking hard at IP reputation because that was very good signal for them, and that was the easy way to go ahead and start filtering messages at scale. But they realized that—I think it was IPv6 which prompted Gmail to just go ahead with the domain reputation. But now, just with a lot of vanity domains in the wild now, there’s a lot of this-that, and with spammers figuring out that they can just go ahead and snowshoe whatever they want to sell, it’s changed a lot. And now we have to—that’s where it’s very interesting that we have data coming in through, say, SNDS or Google Postmaster Tools, which is mostly played to the domain-based reputation. So it’s good that we have that kind of information. And just feeding that data into the seedlist resource that we get, I think that’s pieces of the puzzle that you need to fit together to build a picture.
Sloan, what are some of the ways that marketers can actually, physically keep tabs and measure inbox placement?
Sure. So there’s a couple of things here. And one, I want to talk about what Sri just mentioned, which is the external tools that are just cropping up. Well, SNDS isn’t super new but it is something that more and more people are paying attention to. Because of things like inbox placement that gives you another data point to be able to reference where somebody is telling you your reputation associated with this which is going to directly impact your engagement. Engagement is a lot of the ways that you can utilize your ESP or whatever your sending platform is. So usually, with your sending platform, you have open rates, you have clicks, you have all the engagement that is associated with that. Bounce messaging is really important for being able to identify if something is happening from the mailbox provider level, in case something might be causing a dip in open rates, maybe you’re seeing a rise in deferrals or a rise in what may be an IP block, or something like that. So these are the indicators that you get, with your engagement, from your sending platform. Something like 250ok offers you an additional layer much like these other tools, like SNDS and Postmaster, on building a reputation associated with that. Deliverability is all focused on, what is your reputation? How have you treated your domain or domains to build that lasing reputation and trust between mailbox providers and you as a business? So when you send out seeds, you’re getting a control. Or with 250ok, you can actually weight the seedlist to associate to your brand that you’re sending across or the segmentation that you’re using. You can weight the seedlist to associate closer the results and get an idea of how is this look from an inboxing perspective and spam perspective versus what my open rates are. Am I going to the spam box more on this group of addresses and noticing a decline in my open rates? Maybe, I’m seeing a rise in my deferral rates at the same time. Well, now you’ve used these two different tools to create a story and go try and solve an issue.
Yep. Yep. Yeah. Just to add on, when people have problems, say your delivery dips on a particular day, when you have the visibility to the data that, hey, can I go ahead and check what was the spam complaint rate the previous week? What was my bounce rate the previous week? And then we have data from SNDS and GPT just fed-in. With this kind of information, you can go ahead and just check how your deliverability is going to be for the next one week. So it’s very important nowadays that you need to go ahead and adjust the volumes. You can not just keep on sending the same type of volume throughout the month or the year. You need to just get feedback from these ISPs and you need to either throttle your email or decide if you want to do some kind of send-time optimization or something like that, and need to evolve as a marketer.
So I think one of the really cool things about seedlist testing from that perspective is, you’re not just reactionary anymore. You don’t have to just react to if all of a sudden you see a bunch of bounces. Working with seedlist testing gives you that second set of data where you can start planning your own impacts that are going to happen, whether positive or negative.
What are some of the newer methods and ways that have cropped up over the past few years and ways to measure inbox placement?
Want to take it? Because yeah, I can just go in there.
Yeah. So, I mean, there’s a few different ways that people are measuring inbox. Gmail, is a really good one. We talk all the time about how Gmail split inbox and now has a variety of tabs format. So I’ll use 250ok as an example, again, where you can see where you’re landing in the specific tab. And according to Gmail from a technical perspective, all these tabs, if it doesn’t say spam, it’s still part of the inbox. So if you’re landing in updates, if you’re landing in promotions, if you’re landing in forums, if you’re one of the people that uses forums, those are still all part of the inbox. And you can start measuring the impact across the board for how people are reacting to your mail from these new tab formats as opposed to having everything located in the one spot.
Yeah. I can’t harp on the importance. I mean, I’ve heard a lot of people just saying that, “Hey, I landed in promotions. I should be landing in the inbox.” But from an end-user perspective, it’s much more worse that if you’re a promotional email and you go to the inbox, because the chances of you getting marked as spam are much more higher and—yep.
So there is a few different ways that are coming out, additionally. And I don’t think that every way is created equal. So there’s automated seedlisting, or a smart-seedlisting which will reenact engagement and then focus around there, which is similar to the concept of weighting, but you’re not creating the parameters specifically around that. So you have a less control over that. So it can give you data. It can give you information. But it might not give you the targeted information that you’re looking for. But it is another option that’s out there as well.
Yeah. And I think it’s important to actually have options. And I think no matter what, what I would be remiss to not mention is there’s no foolproof way to know exactly without a shadow of a doubt your true inbox placement. Because that data isn’t shared by mailbox providers. So—
Wouldn’t that be great?
Wouldn’t that? What that leaves us with, as an email ecosystem, is various different ways to get as accurate and as honest feedback about your performance through the variety of means and channels that you’ve mentioned. So I think, again, for a marketer that may be new to deliverability or perhaps inbox placement isn’t something that their currently monitoring, I think the information that you’ve both shared today has been extremely valuable, and educating brands and senders about the different ways of measuring inbox placement not only why it’s important but also the ramifications of flying blind, right? Visibility matters, and if your mail’s not reaching the inbox, it can have not only severe implications to engagement and your audience, but also your bottom line. So thank you guys so much. I hope this was helpful for you all tuning in, and we will see you on another 250ok experts series video.
Mark Briggs serves as chairman and CEO of Validity, a company he founded in partnership with Silversmith Capital Partners. He has over 25 years of experience building and leading high-growth technology companies with a strong track record of generating exceptional shareholder value. Most recently, Mark served as CEO of ABILITY Network, recognized in the Forbes Cloud 100 as one of the top 100 cloud companies in the world, which was acquired by Inovalon (NASDAQ:INOV) for $1.2 Billion.
Prior to ABILITY, Mark held executive leadership positions at Carefx Corporation, at NaviNet, was the President of MPI Solutions at QuadraMed Corporation, and served as the Chairman and CEO of LinkSoft Technologies, a company that he founded. Mark is a member of the Board of Advisors to the Dartmouth Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies and is a Senior Advisor to Silversmith Capital Partners, a leading Boston based growth-equity firm.
Mark holds a Master’s in theoretical physics and a Bachelor’s degree in physics, both from Dartmouth College.
Wayne Parslow serves as Executive Vice President of Validity for International and is building a world-class sales and go-to-market team to maximize Validity’s opportunities across the UK & Ireland, EMEA, LATAM and APAC. In addition to general management, he is responsible for the development and execution of business plans, go-to-market programs, sales management, strategic partnerships, and public representation for the International markets, and to develop the business at least in line with the aspirations of the US domestic market.
For over 25 years, Wayne has been successfully building, scaling and restructuring international companies in various industries, including document and workflow management, integration and interoperability, web application development, security, access management, eCommerce, business process management and the application of open source and open standards.
Prior to Validity, he served as head of European, Middle Eastern and African markets for global digital identity company, ThreatMetrix.
Wayne received his Bachelor of Science in Applied Science from Kingston University.
Gary Hall serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Validity. Gary has over 20 years of experience leading finance and operational teams at high-growth, technology companies and helping these companies generate significant shareholder value through public and private offerings and successful exits.
Prior to joining Validity, Gary was the Chief Financial Officer of Casa Systems, Inc., a provider of ultra-broadband solutions for mobile, cable, fixed and converged service providers, and helped lead the company through significant growth, culminating in an Initial Public Offering in 2017. Prior to Casa System, Gary was the Chief Financial Officer of eCopy, a provider of document management solutions, which was sold to Nuance Communications in 2009. Gary was also the Controller and then Chief Financial Officer of MatrixOne, a product life-cycle management software company, and he helped lead the company’s Initial Public Offering in 2000 and the sale of the Company to Dassault Systems in 2006. Gary is a Certified Public Accountant and worked at Deloitte, a multinational professional services firm.
Gary holds a M.S. degree in Finance from Bentley University and a B.S. degree in Accounting from Southern New Hampshire University.
Derek Swaim serves as Executive Vice President of Corporate Development for Validity and is responsible for all aspects of corporate development strategy and execution.
Derek brings more than 20 years of corporate transaction experience to Validity. He has advised leading private equity and founder-owned technology companies on domestic and cross-border strategic M&A, leveraged buyouts, and growth equity recapitalizations. Prior to Validity, Derek was a Managing Director at Aeris Partners, a provider of M&A advisory services to software, digital media, and business information companies. Derek also held investment banking positions at Harris Williams, Broadview International, and Goldman Sachs.
Derek has an AB in Economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.
Bonnie is passionate about excellent customer experience. With a background in marketing, merchandise buying, and retail management, she helps companies stay relevant amid the changing digital landscape.
Bonnie leads the Customer Success team at Validity, the most trusted name in customer data quality. She is an active Email Experience Council committee member, featured speaker for events, and has written for the company blog and TotalRetail.
Don Williams serves as Executive Vice President of Sales for Validity. With over 25 years in the healthcare technology industry, Don has a track record of creating, restructuring, and motivating organizations to consistently exceed sales, financial and operational goals.
Don is focused on client services for the firm, as well as creating a positive culture of accountability, developing and executing growth strategies, and monitoring business operations with attention to cost efficiency.
Prior to Validity, Don served as the SVP of Operations for MedeAnalytics Inc., a leading healthcare analytics company for providers and payers.
Don received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He also received his Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate from Villanova University.
Josh Stuber is a customer centric leader focused on delivering value and leveraging customer feedback to ensure long term relationships. Josh currently runs the Validity Global Renewal Team, responsible for spearheading Customer Retention and Renewals across the globe.
In addition to his executive career, Josh serves on the board of West Georgia Habitat for Humanity, a charity that brings people together to build homes, communities and hope for impoverished families.
Scott Ziegler is Validity’s Chief Product Officer. Leveraging input from customers and analyzing market trends, Scott sets the strategic direction for Validity’s product portfolio. Scott joined Validity through the acquisition of Return Path in 2019. He remains active in the email community and the product management community and has presented at industry events.
Before joining Validity, Scott held leadership roles in Product and Engineering at IBM and Ricoh and holds multiple patents. He has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from Muskingum University.
Josh Stuber is a customer centric leader focused on delivering value and leveraging customer feedback to ensure long term relationships. Josh currently runs the Validity Global Renewal Team, responsible for spearheading Customer Retention and Renewals across the globe.
In addition to his executive career, Josh serves on the board of West Georgia Habitat for Humanity, a charity that brings people together to build homes, communities and hope for impoverished families.
Helen Parslow serves as Vice President of Validity for International managing a world class go-to-market team to maximize Validity’s opportunities across the UK & Ireland, EMEA, LATAM and APAC.
Helen is a seasoned marketing leader who is passionate about building brands and is experienced in developing and executing insights-driven marketing plans and World class event presence that span both our global and international marketing initiatives.
Prior to Validity, she served as Head of Marketing and Business Development at Medeanalytics, EMEA. Marketing data solutions for healthcare unlocking the value of data for better patient outcomes.
Helen received her BA (Honours) Business studies degree from Nottingham Trent University.
Tunc Bolluk is Vice President, APAC for Validity. He is responsible for leading sales and for overseeing general management of the region for the company. Tunc brings his extensive regional experience in the digital sector to support Validity’s clients across their marketing, sales, data & CRM business units.
For over 20 years, Tunc has worked in general management roles in sales, channel/alliance management, and client services. He has extensive experience leading and mentoring sales teams and executing strategic business plans within the Cloud/SaaS, digital, big data and the ad-tech space.
Tunc holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from Macquarie University.
Chris Bryan serves as Vice President of Sales for the UK & Ireland at Validity International managing Validity’s go to market efforts in the region.
Chris brings 27 year’s experience working for technology companies predominantly SaaS based Software Companies. Chris is passionate about enabling everyone to make better fact based, data driven decisions coming from the Business Intelligence and Visual Analytics space (Qlik, Business Objects (SAP), Crystal Decisions) building and developing highly successful Sales & Business Development teams.
Chris is passionate about Sales Best Practice to deliver positive outcomes with excellent service for our customers and supporting his teams personal and professional growth.
Brian Winters brings nearly 20 years’ experience in the marketing technologies field to Validity and has worked for many marketing technology software companies including ExactTarget, Salesforce, and Movable Ink.
He has held positions in Sales, Sales Leadership, Operations, Strategy, and Partnerships. He has provided tactical execution strategies or program deployment guidance for organizations such as Intel Corporation, Motorola, and 3M amongst many others. He is truly passionate about the positive impact that a well-designed, deployed, and executed partner program can bring to an organization and is considered to be a thought leader in the development of indirect sales channels within the SaaS industry.
At Validity, he leads our efforts to develop programs that empower partners to best leverage Validity technology and solutions for our customers.
As Senior Vice President and Global Head of Data Solutions at Validity, Chris is responsible for executive direction, roadmap, and overall management of Validity’s data solutions. He works closely with industry operators, customers, and data analytics to drive an informed product strategy.
One of the first International employees of Validity, Chris brings 25+ years experience as an individual contributor and leader in Pre-Sales, Product, and Customer Success roles across multiple startup and large enterprise software companies.
With a passion for technology, Chris is a regular contributor to events, blogs and an active member of the International Salesforce Community.
Cecilia Belele serves as Vice President for LATAM. She is responsible for leading sales team and also oversees general management of the region.
Previously she served as Regional Director for Return Path and earlier as Channel Director responsible to develop the partner program for LATAM Region. With an extensive experience leading sales teams and executing strategic business plans she helps Validity to increase its presence in Latam market.
Cecilia has Bachelor of Economy with an MBA for Business and Technology Management
Kevin Randall serves as the Head of the Integration and Project Management offices at Validity. Kevin brings 15 years of experience in Integration, Portfolio, Operations, and IT Service Management as well as a track record of developing the teams, processes, and systems to scale growth oriented organizations.
Kevin received his Bachelors from Bentley University in Waltham MA.
Guy is a passionate advocate for intelligent use of customer data to drive responsive sales and marketing programs. With a knowledge base spanning twenty years, he is globally recognized as an email & data expert and thought leader.
Over the past decade Guy led Return Path’s global consulting team and worked with world-famous clients across 6 continents to improve their email delivery, subscriber engagement and revenue.
Now Validity’s VP for Customer Engagement (International), he continues to explore his passion for email and data and share it with his clients to maximise their program value. He’s a strong believer in giving back to his community, speaking at flagship events, providing training, and producing fresh and insightful thought leadership.
Outside of work, Guy has had long-term involvement with the DMA, currently sitting on the email council and involved with key pieces of research. He is a regular contributor to the industry press, and a 3-time finalist as data storyteller of the year!
Alex Rubin serves as Vice President Business Development at Validity. He is responsible for data acquisition efforts including mailbox provider and filtering company relationships. Alex has worked in leadership roles at several successful start-ups including Return Path (acquired by Validity), RemarQ (acquired by Critical Path), and Rocket Science Games (acquired by Sega Software).
Alex was born, raised and currently lives in San Francisco, CA. He holds a BA from UC Berkeley and an MBA from UCLA.
Brendan Peregrine serves as the Vice President of North American Sales for the midmarket. Brendan has spent the last 12 years in sales leadership roles, building process driven teams that achieve results.
With a background in data and years of working in data related business, Brendan is passionate about coaching problem solving skills in the data and world with his teams. Previously Brendan served as Vice President of Sales at Greenway Health, after spending 10 years in operations and services roles.
Elaine Ginsberg serves as Vice President Sales Operations. Elaine brings over 25 years of operations, sales and product experience to Validity. She has a solid track record building organization infrastructure and executing programs utilizing process, technology and employee engagement to drive rapid growth.
Prior to Validity, Elaine served as SVP Customer Operations & Success for ABILITY Network, a leading healthcare technology company, recently acquired by Inovalon; and held leadership roles with Vitera Healthcare Solutions, Sage Healthcare and Emdeon.
Tom Bartel is Validity’s Senior Vice President of Data Services. Tom has more than 20 years of email delivery, data, technology, operations, and privacy experience. He most recently joined Return Path through its acquisition of ThreatWave, where he served as CEO/Founder. Prior to that, he has held roles at Return Path, MessageMedia (acquired by DoubleClick), and founded several other startups.
Tom is actively involved in key industry organizations, such M3AAWG and ESPC, and advises start-ups and non-profits. Tom has a Bachelor in Speech Communication from Colorado State University.
Karen Friedrich serves as Senior Vice President of Enterprise and Channel Sales for North America. With over 15 years’ experience in enterprise software sales and strategy, Karen has a track record of success in both the private and public sector markets including sales management, product strategy, marketing, channel management, and solution deployment. Karen brings an entrepreneurial drive, strong relationship development skills, and credibility gained through sales and operational experience.
Prior to joining Validity in 2018, Karen served as VP of Channel Sales at MedeAnalytics, Inc. a leading analytics company for providers and payers, and held sales leadership roles at Harris Corporation, Carefx Corporation, and WebMD.
Serving as Validity’s CIO, Steve Doyle is responsible for creating and executing upon the business-aligned vision and roadmap for Information Technology systems and solutions at Validity, including IT Corporate Services, telephony, corporate networking, and Core Business Systems. Steve brings more than 25 years of prior industry experience in a variety of IT roles, all in High Tech, SaaS-based industries.
Prior to joining Validity, Steve was Vice President of IT & Business Systems for Endurance International Group, where he oversaw Corporate IT, Infrastructure, CRM, Data Warehouse, and other mission-critical business applications for Endurance’s 4,000+ employees, globally.
As Senior Vice President of Strategy & Corporate Development, Lily is responsible for developing and executing cross-organizational strategies that drive scale and growth for Validity.
Lily started her career as a consultant at PwC, and has since moved into high-growth technology startups where she has held various leadership positions at industry-leading SaaS companies. Prior to Validity, Lily ran Strategic Partnerships for Optoro – a VC-backed reverse logistics company – where she was responsible for the company’s channel revenue and network of distribution partners. Before that, she was the Co-Founder and COO of Aspire – a tech-enabled employee engagement company – where she managed all business strategy and operations. Aspire was acquired by Raffa, P.C., now a part of Marcum LLP.
Lily graduated Summa Cum Laude from Georgetown University with a BSBA in Finance and Chinese. Hoya Saxa!
Michael Fairchild serves as the Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis for Validity and brings to us his expertise regarding all aspects of strategic corporate financial planning, and valuable analysis which drives business decisions.
Michael brings 12+ years of financial experience in SaaS technology companies, ranging from start-up companies to large enterprise technology companies. Prior to Validity, Michael supported the growth of a Rhode Island based start-up, from venture backed to private equity sponsorship. Additionally, he spent 5+ years in various roles at IBM in the SaaS finance group, where he supported mergers & acquisitions, integration, and growth of over 10 acquired technology companies into a single business unit.
Michael holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School and a degree in economics from Dickinson College.
Diane Gordon is an accomplished C-level executive with over 25 years of driving retention and growth by creating scalable infrastructure in support of profitable P&Ls and customer loyalty, the basis for minimizing churn. She designs and leads the development of market-leading products, programs and solutions, achieving high growth, while ensuring customer loyalty, and healthy renewal and NCVI rates for technology companies. Diane’s career includes executive roles in customer care, operations, marketing, product development, product management and corporate development.
Greg has BSBAs in Economics, Finance and Real Estate from University of Denver and an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.
As Senior Vice President of Marketing, Kate leads all of Validity’s marketing efforts.
Prior to Validity, Kate was Vice President of Marketing at Drift, where she discovered her passion for helping and marketing to sales professionals and marketers. While there, Kate built the demand generation function from the ground up, achieving more than 200% in pipeline growth. Before Drift, Kate led the demand generation and marketing operations teams at SmartBear, where she managed the pipeline generation for a portfolio of more than 20 products.
Kate has also led marketing and product for a number of early stage startups ranging in size and industry, from education and healthcare to employee engagement. She is passionate about bringing businesses to life in the hearts and minds of prospects and customers by creating amazing customer experiences across the entire customer lifecycle.
Kate holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature from Regis College.
As SVP of Legal, Eduardo owns the global legal function at Validity.
Eduardo has practiced law for more than 20 years in both corporate and law firm environments. Eduardo has broad legal experience in SaaS commercial transactions, risk management, M&A, due diligence, entity and product integrations, intellectual property, data privacy, regulatory compliance, and corporate governance.
Eduardo has an LL.M. in Securities and Financial Regulation from Georgetown University Law Center, a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and a B.A. from the University of Dallas.
Jim co-founded Silversmith Capital Partners in 2015. Over his career, he has served on the board of 20+ tech companies. Past and current board seats at Silversmith include Absorb Software, Centauri Health Solutions, Comlinkdata, Formstack, impact.com, Market Access Transformation, Net Health, PDFTron Systems, RedAwning, TMA Systems, and Validity.
Jim spent 15 years as a growth equity investor prior to co-founding Silversmith. Jim joined Spectrum Equity in 2002 and became a Managing Director in 2009. At Spectrum Equity, Jim sourced, led, and served on the board of numerous enterprise SaaS, information services, and healthcare IT companies. Investments of note included MedHOK (acquired by Hearst), Net Health (acquired by Carlyle), and Passport Health Communications (acquired by Experian).
Jim received an AB, magna cum laude, in English & American Literature from Harvard College (1997). At Harvard he was nominated by the College for a Rhodes Scholarship and awarded the John P. Reardon Jr. Award as the class’ most outstanding scholar-athlete.
Sri joined Silversmith Capital Partners in 2015 and is a General Partner. At Silversmith, Sri focuses on investments in SaaS & Information Services, including sales, marketing and customer service related technology companies. His investment experience at Silversmith includes ActiveCampaign, DistroKid, Impact, PDFTron Systems, RedAwning Group, and Validity.
Prior to Silversmith, Sri was Senior Director of Advertising Products at salesforce.com where he served in various roles to create and scale the Salesforce Marketing Cloud business unit after joining Salesforce through its acquisition of Buddy Media. Prior to Buddy Media, Sri was an Associate at TA Associates and an Analyst with Jefferies Technology Investment Banking group.
He graduated from the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology at the University of Pennsylvania with a BS from The Wharton School and a BAS from the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Mike Volpe is the CEO at Lola.com, a business travel website that aligns managed travel policies with employee preferences for organizations to have a more controlled, yet fun, travel experience. Prior to Lola.com, Volpe was the CMO for HubSpot helping the company grow from a dozen beta customers to over 15,000 customers, 1,000 employees, $150 million in revenue, and creating an IPO leading to a $1.7 billion market cap.
Volpe has made more than 25 angel investments with 4 exits including HubSpot, Cybereason, Locately, GroSocial and ThriveHive through Operator.VC. He serves as an advisor to a number of companies and is on the board of directors of Repsly, a mobile CRM company and was on the board of Attend until they were acquired by Event Farm. Volpe has built his career in marketing at a number of different startups in Boston and San Francisco.
Mark Hastings is the Founder and CEO of Providence Strategic Growth. PSG has approximately $5B in AUM and has invested in over 200 software companies in North America and Europe. The firm is headquartered in Boston, MA and has offices in London, UK and Kansas City, MO. He received a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College.
Tom Reardon joined Providence Strategic Growth in 2015 and is a managing director. Mr. Reardon is currently a director of FluentStream, Formstack, INE, LogicMonitor, ShootProof, SignUpGenius and Skybox Security. Prior to PSG, Mr. Reardon was a general partner at WestView Capital Partners, where he focused on software and technology-enabled business service investments. Before WestView, he was a director at CIBC Capital Partners. Mr. Reardon received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College.
Barbara Cooke serves as Senior Vice President of Customer Success for Validity, where she is responsible for accelerating business value for customers and delivering an exceptional service experience through our market-leading cloud solutions.
Barb brings more than 25 years of international leadership experience to Validity through senior commercial, customer and operational roles at global technology organisations, including Cloudreach, Nasdaq and Thomson Reuters. She led these organisations through significant change, including post-merger integrations, the launch of new businesses from the ground up and organisational structure transformations that radically enhanced customer experience, improved efficiencies and drove product and service innovation. She has lived and worked extensively across eight countries in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, gaining first-hand experience in developing value-add, unique offerings and service strategies to multi-cultural customers.
Barb spent her early career leading and training teams for The Ritz Carlton Hotel company which ingrained her philosophy on what it means to deliver an exception customer experience. She is originally from Dallas, Texas and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Southern Methodist University.
Alain Marcuse serves as Chief Information Security Officer for Validity and oversees all strategic and operational aspects of data privacy, compliance, and security for the company.
Alain brings more than 30 years of experience in information security, data privacy and global 24×7 IT infrastructure operations to Validity. He has led high-growth, global, IT, security and privacy teams in organizations based in the Americas and Europe.
Prior to joining Validity, Alain led RSM’s cybersecurity consulting practice in New England and its data privacy practice nationally. In this and prior roles, he has led large-scale engagements in designing, developing and managing security and privacy programs for a wide range of companies and industries, as well as major incident response, litigation support and regulatory enforcement matters following some of the most visible data security breaches in the country. He has also been responsible for global 24×7 SaaS operations including infrastructure, security, and customer service.
He has also served as Consul of Belgium in New England, and is an Adjunct Instructor in the Master’s in Information Security Leadership program at Brandeis University, from which he received M.A. and B.A degrees in Computer Science. He holds multiple security and privacy certifications and serves as co-chair of the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ Boston chapter and is a frequent presenter at a variety of security and privacy industry events.
For the past 21 years, Reed has served in CXO roles (CEO/co-founder, COO, CFO) for start-ups and early/mid stage companies in the medical devices, healthcare IT, active RFID, SaaS, avionics and life-sciences industries. He has extensive experience in M&A, and in venture/PE/debt financing. He was most recently CFO of Invicro, a CRO (Contract Research Org) in drug discovery and development.
For 22 years prior to these activities, Reed held leadership roles at Hewlett-Packard Co. to include Controllerships in semiconductor, analytical chemistry instrumentation, and computer businesses. He managed Controllership, Tax and Treasury for HP Asia Pacific and – separately – Internal Audit for Asia Pacific. He also managed operations and Controllership for HP’s Patient Monitoring business in HP’s Medical Products Group. Reed holds an MBA in Operations and a BS Finance from The University of Colorado.
As a Senior Vice President of Engineering, Gary oversees all strategic and operational aspects of Validity’s Product Development and executes on the business-aligned technology roadmap.
Gary brings more than 25 years of leadership experience to Validity through senior technical and operational roles in technology-led organizations, including Verizon Media, PictureTel and Polaroid.
As a co-founder of several companies, Gary built multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams to deliver market-leading products and solutions. He led these organizations through meaningful change, including post-merger integrations and organizational transformations to enhance product innovations and to improve efficiencies and customer experience.
Gary received a BS degree in Computer Science from Northeastern University and an MBA in International Business from Boston University
MJ McCarthy serves as Senior Vice President of Global Account Management for Validity, leading the teams responsible for retaining and growing Validity’s broad customer base.
Prior to joining Validity, MJ spent over 9 years leading Account Management at Everbridge, helping to scale a 20M business through IPO in 2016 to its present-day status as one of New England’s top performing SaaS companies. As part of Everbridge’s evolution, MJ implemented a customer success model to increase focus on solution adoption and value realization across strategic customers. During her tenure, Everbridge consistently achieved best-in-class customer retention, net promoter score (NPS) and customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores based on feedback.
Recognized for her leadership in account management and customer success, MJ received a 2021 Stevie® Award, one of the world’s premier business accolades.
Prior to Everbridge, MJ held sales and account management leadership positions at CCBN, Thomson Financial, and Thomson Reuters.
As Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis, Andy is responsible for leading budgeting, forecasting, and analyses that support all major corporate decisions.
Andy began his career as an investment banker at Chestnut Partners – a life sciences industry focused boutique – and has since moved into corporate finance roles. Prior to Validity, Andy was Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategy at Invicro – a global CRO offering imaging biomarkers, core lab services, analytics & software solutions to pharma/biotech sponsors – where he was responsible for both FP&A and corporate development activities of the company.
Andy holds an MBA from The University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, a BA in Economics from Middlebury College, and is a CFA® charterholder.
Ryan Policella serves as the Vice President of Global Sales Development for Validity, leading teams in the US, UK, Brazil and Australia responsible for lead generation for our new business sales organization.
Prior to Validity, Ryan spent the past 4 years at CloudHealth Technology building and leading the Sales Development organization which was later acquired by VMware. Before CloudHealth Ryan held numerous positions in Sales and Sales Leadership at Oracle supporting the Applications business unit and IaaS across all segments from Emerging Markets to Enterprise. Ryan’s extremely passionate about building and scaling SDR programs to not only drive revenue growth but to develop the next generation of Sales leaders.
Ryan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Springfield College.
Chris Newhall serves as the Chief Accounting Officer of Validity, where he is responsible for the Company’s global accounting, financial reporting, financial operations, tax, and treasury functions.
Chris brings more than 25 years of business management and strategic financial expertise to Validity. He has extensive experience working with global and domestic businesses to optimize financial performance. Prior to joining Validity, Chris served in executive accounting roles at BCG, a global management consulting firm, and IDEMIA, a global leader in security and identity solutions. He spent the first nineteen years of his career in leadership roles within the audit practice of PwC, serving clients across many industries including technology, software, and professional services. Chris’ experience includes working with early stage, venture/private equity backed companies as well as publicly traded companies.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Babson College. He is a Certified Public Accountant in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA).
Brian Prusak serves as Vice President, Corporate Controller for Validity, leading the teams responsible for financial reporting, accounting operations, payroll, revenue operations, and accounting systems.
Prior to Validity, Brian held a similar role at iCAD, a publicly held, global leader in medical technology. As the Vice President and Controller, he was also responsible for all SEC filings. Prior to iCAD, Brian served in various roles with responsibility for the operational and financial functions at Skillsoft Corporation, a global leader in corporate digital learning. Brian’s experience includes leading teams through mergers and acquisitions, and the transition from a public to private company.
Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Bentley University and an MBA in Finance from Southern New Hampshire University.