If you follow email industry news, you’ve most likely recently seen stories about deliverability services provider Validity buying up two deliverability software vendors: Return Path and 250ok.

It’s natural to wonder what these and other acquisitions in the email space might mean for your own efforts to improve deliverability, or for the industry as a whole. Here’s our take:

Validity’s two acquisitions mean that the industry’s top three stand-alone deliverability services are now part of other organizations, beginning when Validity bought Return Path in May 2019 and when email services provider SparkPost bought eDataSource in October 2019.

These consolidations will likely bring fewer service options to companies working on their own with a single company. However, they won’t affect Trendline’s ability to pinpoint and help you solve nagging issues like delivering emails into the inbox.


What is Email Deliverability?

Service over software

These consolidations, and even the potential loss of one or more of these services, won’t affect our ability to provide deliverability services because we work with all the leading players in the industry. We aren’t limited to the findings and insights you get when you use only one software program to detect and resolve problems.

Our deliverability experts know the various software solutions inside and out. Our network of working relationships with industry insiders gives us deeper insights into findings to help us create workable solutions for your deliverability issues.

That’s not just a sales pitch. We use a wide spectrum of deliverability service providers, so we can get the most detailed picture of what happens to your email after you push “Send.” Not only do we review multiple deliverability software tools, but we also focus on the data from your ESP to provide a full view of deliverability issues.

Each deliverability software program approaches the issue from a different angle. You need to see every angle to get the fullest insight into the problems and create a way toward solutions.

A holistic approach to deliverability

We’re not knocking any single-deliverability providers because the best ones provide useful services. But they can give you only part of the deliverability picture–the part that matches the resources they use to track and report on your deliverability.

Some of these providers use audience panel data, while others use email seeds to model your email’s inbox placement. Each provider creates a different performance landscape. It’s like trying to draw a circle with a compass that rotates only 90 or 180 degrees.

You can extrapolate what a circle would look like from that limited access, but wouldn’t you want the ability to draw the whole thing yourself?

At Trendline, we believe you can develop a workable deliverability strategy only when you have a 360-degree view of your deliverability situation. That’s why we work with the top providers–we can see every data point from your ESP and campaign datasets to figure out why your email isn’t hitting the inbox every time.

As part of our holistic approach to identifying and solving deliverability problems, we’ve built relationships with ISPs, blacklists, and filtering services, so we can work with them directly to resolve problems. Also, we are members of multiple email and deliverability organizations, and we work closely with these companies.

Deliverability: not a job for the Lone Ranger

You could try to solve your deliverability problems on your own, but it takes more than buying a “shelfware” software program and plugging in some numbers.

We have worked with many teams that tried to do it alone, only to find these software programs were difficult to use, offered no training on correct use, and did little to suggest strategy-based solutions.

Another issue you’ll find if you try to maintain your deliverability on your own is the difficulty of making sense of your deliverability reports, and you need to make sense of these so you can get out of the spam folder–and stay out of it!

Trendline’s ‘white-glove’ service

Trendline’s deliverability services not only study your email’s placement across multiple services and campaigns, but they also suggest solutions and monitor your campaigns’ subsequent performance. Our deliverability experts focus on all areas of your email marketing program, including creative, content, infrastructure, platform, design, and many other areas.

Here’s what you can expect when you work with us:

We begin with a comprehensive deliverability audit to get the lay of the land. This where our partnerships with a broad spectrum of deliverability providers come in handy.

One service might report 100% delivery into Gmail. Another might show Gmail Inbox placement at 5% but a 40% open rate. That data shows us we need to figure out your true placement picture while providing us details of which aspects on which you need to focus.

We’ll also review email activity like opens, clicks, and bounces. Then, we’ll use that data to put a plan together to monitor your IP addresses, domains, and campaigns and track inbox placement, blacklisting, spam traps, and complaints.

All of these negative issues can hurt your sender reputation and, consequently, your ability to reach the inbox.

Our audit might reveal problems with your overall acquisition practices or find that only one list is giving you problems. Whatever the issue, we’ll track it down and come up with a monitoring and remediation plan to get your email placement back on track.

Group of Women Working Together on Computers

Don’t lose sleep over deliverability!

Deliverability monitoring and strategic solutions are primary concerns for email marketers. You need a good inbox placement rate so your subscribers can see and act on your emails. Hitting the spam folder isn’t good enough anymore!

Your email list is your email program’s greatest asset. Tracking how well it performs is essential for a high-value email program. If you’re tired of riding the deliverability range alone, we’d love to show you what’s possible when you partner up with our full-service deliverability consulting service.

Get Me Back in the Inbox

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Chris Arrendale