So, you’re in the market for software to improve your email campaigns. Perhaps you’ve sounded the alarm because your open and conversion rates are dropping. Maybe you’ve discovered you’re on a blocklist. Maybe bad email addresses lurking in your database are weighing you down.
Whatever the reason, you’ve realized that your email tech stack needs an upgrade to get the maximum lifetime value out of your database. Now you’re faced with a dizzying array of alternatives to choose from, and they all talk a good game about improving email deliverability. How can you distinguish one from another?
The answer is to do your due diligence. Here are criteria and questions for evaluating those alternatives so you can make the best possible choice and get the most out of your email campaigns.
Your email marketing campaigns are a critical channel for your business. Whether you’re a B2C company selling direct to consumers or a B2B company engaging your subscribers, you’re religiously following all your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and doing everything you can to boost them across campaigns. Open rates. Click-through rates. Conversion rates. Your Return on Investment (ROI) depends on those metrics.
At Validity, we’ve seen clients get more messages to more people by increasing their deliverability rates from the mid-70% to the high-90% range. Our clients stand out in a crowded inbox, some reporting open rates increasing by 15-35% and click-through rates by 20%. Plus, Validity helps our clients deliver better campaigns faster by a 75% reduction in time spent on database and list management. Add those benefits up, and a typical company sending 20 million emails per month – at industry benchmarks for open, click-through, and conversion rates and averaging $30 per conversion on a 75,000-customer base – would see a payback in a little over three months and a three-year ROI of 450%.
Beware of companies that build you an ROI story by decreasing the “I” rather than increasing the “R.” After all, you get what you pay for. If they’re packaging their deliverability technology as part of a broader tech stack – or throwing it in the deal for next to nothing to win you over – then they may be desperately trying to build a customer base to prop up a failing technology because their solution can’t compete on its merits alone. You don’t want to be a casualty when the company fails to scale.
Ask the question: What ROI can I expect from your solution?
When evaluating alternatives, it’s tempting to take everything at face value. Inbox placement rates? Engagement metrics? Reputation monitoring? Check, check, check… looks like they all have the same features.
However, not all these reports are alike. Your insights from the reports depend on the accuracy of the underlying data. What determines the accuracy of that data? The company’s data network.
Some solutions report results based on a small, limited set of signals. To make up the difference, they may rely on inaccurate, fabricated, or unrepresentative data, such as panel data, to track certain metrics. On the surface, those techniques sound viable, but at best these “directionally correct” results may lead to misinformed decisions.
In contrast, as the global leader in email data, Validity’s data network dwarfs the ones other vendors rely on. Covering over 140 ISPs across the entire globe, our seed network is the largest in the industry, providing accurate, reliable, comprehensive coverage of inbox placement results in 38 countries. We even personalize the data to represent real placement stats for your actual audience. We analyze over three trillion data points a year – that’s 10 billion each day – through hundreds of proprietary data feeds and customer data. We also have the largest publicly available commercial trap network with 50 million hits per day, covering mail originated from every country in the world. By virtue of its broad partnerships with mailbox providers and industry leaders, Validity gives its customers the most accurate view of their KPIs.
Ask the question: What data network is powering your reports?
With so many different use cases for optimizing your email campaigns, it’s possible to assemble your own hodgepodge of technologies and pray they all work together.
Some vendors of email solutions have done just that. By stitching together a patchwork quilt of aging third-party solutions, they attempt to cover their bald spots to give the impression of a more complete platform.
Because Validity owns its technology, we have control over the roadmap for our all-in-one platform. We can make sure they integrate so we can correlate results across related functionality. Unlike other vendors, Validity isn’t beholden to the timelines and releases of those other point solutions to plug gaps. Having that control means that when Validity does partner, it’s to work with leading inbox providers, such as Verizon Media Group, to provide exclusive capabilities like View Time Optimization.
Ask the question: Which parts of your solution are yours, and which are powered by other vendors?
Imagine you’re taking your car to the shop, and the mechanics ask you questions like, “How do you want me to fix this? If you could rebuild the car, how would you do it? What have you seen other repair shops do?” Not exactly a way to build trust in their expertise. Yet some email vendors, in a scramble to figure out what to invest in next, are asking their customers for direction because they don’t know what to do next.
They’re watching to see what Validity does.
Validity’s Everest is built on top of the innovation legacies of Return Path and 250ok – two giants in the email marketing industry. It represents a technological leap forward for both former companies. It not only knits together the strengths of their technologies, but also extends their capabilities with competitive intelligence, stronger data integrations, and a cleverly designed interface to tie it all together. Plus, we have more innovations from our roadmap already in motion.
Ask the question: When was your last big release, and what’s next?
Using Everest generates more revenue and increases the LTV of your database, thanks to Validity’s expertise, technology, and experience.
If you’re not serious about getting the best ROI on your email marketing, then by all means find another vendor. There are plenty of email optimization vendors out there that will let you “check the boxes” and look like you’re doing something. But if you’re being judged on the performance of your campaigns, then why not get great results and be a hero?
To learn more, check out these videos of Everest to see Validity’s technology in action.