Director, Certification Security & Standards
As you may know, just in time for Christmas, The Spamhaus Project recently announced their new anti-snow-shoeing service the CSS component of the SBL: http://www.spamhaus.org/css/index.lasso
Spamhaus also has an article that offers some good information.
The CSS is the second such list to appear online; Invaluement was the first out of the gate with their ivmSIP/24 zone.
Both the SBL and ivmSIP/24 are part of the batch of checks we run constantly, against Return Path Certified and Safe whitelisted IPs. We also run a number of other tests to flag activity that is frowned upon by the receiving community.
SURBL, the domain blacklist, just announced their new, experimental zone of snowshoe domains, XS.
So, what is snowshoeing and how do you avoid such a pitfall?
Snowshoeing is, in a nutshell, spreading mail over IP ranges, domains or name-servers, in an attempt to lessen the impact of poor reputation upon an individual element.
For example, instead of sending email with poor reputation over a single IP, snow-shoers will send it over numerous IPs, or even split it up over several netblocks in the hope that not all of them become blacklisted, or suspended from a whitelist.
See The Spamhaus Projects’ glossary entry for more information.
Here’s some of what we look for among our whitelisted IPs, and strongly discourage as practices for any mailer who doesn’t want to appear to fit the profile.
Blacklisting: Naturally enough, presence on the Spamhaus CSS component of the SBL and ivmSIP/24 should be avoided at all costs
Number of IPs: At Return Path Certified, we look for too many IPs against the average of a given Certified volume tier that lack a reasonable segmentation plan. The following table shows the averages across our client volume tiers:
|Sender Tier||Volume Limit||Average # of IPs|
|Non Profit||Less than 250K||2|
|Tier1||Less than 50K||2|
|Tier2||Less than 250K||3|
|Tier3||Less than 1MM||3|
|Tier4||Less than 5MM||7|
|Tier5||Less than 10MM||13|
|Tier6||Less than 20MM||11|
|Tier7||Less than 50MM||33|
|Tier8||Less than 100MM||33|
|Tier9||Greater than 100MM||50|
When we see extraordinary numbers of IPs in a given IP Group, we ask the client to submit a complete segmentation plan, explaining the use of each IP, then we review them and suggest adjustments, bearing in mind that one of the big advantages of presence on the Return Path Certified whitelist is that Certified IPs are not subject to hourly throttling at Hotmail some and other receiver partners.
For non-certified senders: We recommend that you use as few IPs as possible to send any of your mail streams, while keeping an eye on your logs to determine if you have been subjected to throttling by receivers. You may want to consider any number of MTAs out there that do this for you automatically, keeping dynamic receiver throttling levels (messages per hour, and the number of simultaneous open connections) in mind as they deliver mail.
Contiguous Netspace: Some folks will try to send their mail from discontinuous netspace using IPs from disparate providers so their mail isn’t readily tied together at receiver sites. Return Path suggests a primary, and possibly a secondary IP range for contingency use in the case of a data centre malfunction, but no more. Beyond two IP ranges for your mail, you look suspiciously like someone trying to snowshoe. Drop the extra ranges, as soon as possible.
Volume Profile Disparity: Something we measure and keep an eye on at Return Path Certified is what we can ‘Volume Profile Disparity’. We use five receiver partners to determine the mailing volume of a given client: Yahoo! Hotmail, Senderbase and two anonymous webmail sites. Generally speaking, we see a 45%/45% split between Yahoo! and Hotmail volume, the remaining 10% accounted for by Senderbase and our other partners.
Domain Reputation: Over the past 18 months or so, all of us have been ramping up for domain-based reputation with the deployment of DKIM, and so on. Return Path president George Bilbrey has some terrific advice to clarify domain reputation over at Media Post and RP’s J.D. Falk published a series of articles on DKIM as well as a great synopsis at Deliverability.com entitled The Final Word on DKIM and Deliverability.
Domain Snowshoeing: One thing we very actively disallow for any Return Path Certification customer is the use of WHOIS cloaking for domains in use in their email. We expect that our customers are proud of their mail streams, and should not have anything in places that masks who they are; we expect full accountability so that if something does go wrong, any member of the Internet community with a complaint or concern can contact them quickly, and easily. And, of course, we expect our clients to maintain a reasonable number of domains from which they should send. That is just plain good sense. After all, you want recipients to recognize your mail as coming from you, to promote your brand and online identity. We are aware of at least one “high volume email deployment service” that has registered over 50,000 domains and not yet used them, apparently to skew one metric that receivers look for, namely, the age of a given domain.
Name Server Snowshoeing: Recently, we have spotted some interesting name server deployments for domains, which have lead to the termination of clients doing such things. It works (well, doesn’t work) like this:
A bad sender will get a series of domains, then set up a series of name-servers with the same name (or something else) as the domain. For example:
The domain entries then are rigged as follows:
Each name server will only serve up a handful;, or as few as one domain. Nice try, to firewall one domain from another. And naughty, naughty! Santa Claus and Security & Standards at Return Path Certified will be bringing you a lump of coal this Christmas if you deploy your name-servers in such a fashion. Normally, we, and receivers want to see:
Lastly, this holiday season, if you want to not appear to be a snowshoer, we suggest giving the Vancouver Olympics a miss, and vacation somewhere warm!
Mark Briggs serves as Chairman and CEO of Validity. He has over 20 years of experience building and leading high-growth technology companies with a strong track record of generating exceptional shareholder value. Most recently, he served as
CEO of ABILITY Network, a company he grew from <$10m to over $120m in revenue in four years. ABILITY was recently 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
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.
As Chief Marketing Officer, Charlie brings to Validity extensive marketing and sales expertise and a successful track record driving technology companies to growth. Previously, he served as CMO at Applause, PTC (NASDAQ: PTC), and Globoforce, as well as earlier roles in sales, marketing, and product management. Charlie’s deep experience in tech spans both established enterprise software and emerging SaaS-based companies, including participation in two successful IPOs.
Charlie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French from Fordham University and a diploma with honors from the Université Paris-Sorbonne.
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.
Erik Dasque serves as Executive Vice President of Engineering for Validity and is responsible for all aspects of the company’s engineering product development activities, including strategic planning, direction and control.
Erik brings ten years of experience in developing startups at the VP and CTO level. His experience includes SaaS, distributed systems, service-oriented architecture, micro-services, mobile applications, direct to consumer websites, big data analytics, B2B applications and complex third-party API integration.
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.
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 of Technical Operations, Chris manages PreSales, Sales Enablement and Customer Success teams across Validity’s International business.
One of the first International employees of Validity, Chris brings 25+ years experience as an individual contributor and leader in Pre-Sales, Product Specialist, 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 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 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.
Jeremy has over 20 years of strategic sales and customer growth experience, with over a decade of leadership roles within high-growth SAS organizations. He has a passion for growing retention rates and new customer revenue and is driven to empower his teams to exceed goals. A graduate of Auburn University, Jeremy is an avid sports fan and enjoys golfing in his free time.
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.
As Vice President of Product Management at Validity, Greg is responsible for the business’s email deliverability, certification, validation, creative, and API solutions. He works closely with industry operators, customers, and data analytics to drive an informed product strategy from concept to completion.
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.