Validity announced last week it plans to acquire the email analytics company 250ok. We congratulate our friends and industry peers for this milestone. Given SparkPost’s position in the market as both an email analytics and sending platform, we are highly interested in this topic and decided to take a closer look at dissecting what this may mean for the email marketing landscape. Here is our take:

Email Analytics Are In Demand

All three of the major email analytics leaders have been acquired. Return Path and now 250ok are both under the Validity banner and SparkPost acquired eDataSource late last year. The momentum in this space is driven by mailbox providers like Gmail and Verizon creating more sophisticated deliverability filtering logic. 

These changes have moved email deliverability from a simpler brand-level filtering process to a more sophisticated one that decides what makes it to the inbox at a recipient level. As a result, we now need to look at how individual recipients engage with a brand’s email with more sophisticated capabilities like AI and machine learning and have those tools be integrated with your sending platform for insight-led email execution. 

As deliverability has moved to one-to-one, the need for deeper insights has skyrocketed. We’re excited to offer products that help marketers have the intelligence they need to be successful in the user-focused inbox by providing delivery insights that help maximize the value of email to drive the best possible ROI. 

Who Benefits from the Acquisition? 

The financial stakeholders at 250ok were presumably winners in this acquisition. In addition, Validity is reducing the competitive landscape for its services, increasing its revenue and market share and bolstering its client base. 

What We’ll Be Interested to Learn in the Coming Months

We’re most curious about how these disparate products will come together. 

  • Will Return Path and 250ok converge under Validity into one analytics product? 
  • How will they be integrated? 
  • If kept separate, what will be the impact be to those customers who use both services for validating results? 
  • How will they support their clients through services?

As of now, it doesn’t appear that the feature set will broaden all that much in the near term given that a lot of the capabilities overlap. 

Questions You Should Ask If You’re In-Market for an Analytics Partner

We recommend that anyone looking for an email analytics partner ask potential vendors the following:

  • What data sources are used to compile deliverability insights? Do you use multiple sources to get the most complete and accurate picture?  Does the data adequately reflect and monitor the ISPs in use by your audiences and the campaigns you send?
  • Can the data not only properly reflect your inbox performance, but also help diagnose and remediate deliverability challenges you may encounter?
  • Does the email analytics vendor provide the level of services you need from a deliverability analytics partner? Can they properly support problem analysis and solution, if needed?
  • What is the expertise of the team that would be working with you? Do they have deep experience in commercial email operations and deliverability management?
  • What type of ROI can you expect from having better sending and performance data, and improved inbox rates?

The market benefits from a better inbox experience for the consumer. Businesses who invest in the resources to optimize their email streams have higher rates of satisfied customers, compared to those senders who are not delivering a personalized email experience.

By identifying highly engaged recipients, businesses can better target their most valuable users and optimize their email streams for a better customer experience, maximize conversion KPIs that matter the most to their business, and improve the ROI of their email programs.

As the largest intelligent email analytics provider, we cover 90% of the world’s email analytics footprint and we are also the largest sender with nearly 40% of all commercial email going through our infrastructure.

With analytics, in particular, we have the most robust set of data sources in the market today and we uniquely integrated our analytics to help customers improve their sending to achieve great business results.

Our services are especially strong, with most of our experts having 15+ years of experience in email and deliverability administration.

Our leadership is committed to building and bringing products to market that offer deep yet easy-to-interpret insights, that are timely and actionable. SparkPost is champion of a landscape where email senders and recipients can both enjoy an optimized experience. Over 6,000  global clients, some of the most sophisticated senders in the world trust SparkPost to deliver email ROI.

~ April