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Podcast #4: Meeting with Loïc Péron from Validity. We discuss Everest, certification, deliverability, ...

For this new episode we wanted to dig a little deeper into the upheaval that took place at Validity after the acquisition of Return Path and 250ok and following the announcement this summer, of the Everest platform.

To enlighten us, we asked Loïc Péron to join us. Loïc worked for 6 years at ReturnPath, he is now Director of Customer Success at Validity.

In this podcast, Loïc will review the history of Validity and explain their strategy.

We'll also ask him about other Validity products, certification, competition and more.

You can find our podcast on the following platforms:
Spotify / Deezer / Apple Podcast

The transcript of our discussion

Jonathan : Hello Loïc, what has been your career path?

Loïc: I'm an exception to what people said before I started recording, I had a business and marketing background... and I'm still there. My background is mainly in advertising, first in the automotive industry with Peugeot, then in the tourism sector, then in consulting, and I've been with Return Path and now Validity for over six years. I am currently working on customer success.

Jonathan: What were the last episodes at Validity?

Loïc: Return Path was a company that existed for over 20 years. Validity has been around since 2018 and has gradually aggregated data and email companies. Validity started its life with activities around data in Salesforce. Then the company acquired BriteVerify, then Return Path in 2019 and finally 250ok in 2020. The idea is to consolidate all the expertise and the market. Validity also has a 3rd business which is data optimization for sales forces.

Jonathan: What is the concrete change for your customers in France?

Loïc: The idea is really to consolidate our expertise and so we launched a new platform called Everest which brings together the functionalities of the different solutions while improving some of them. For example, we took advantage of 250ok's API expertise with features from RP.

Thomas: What are the main Validity's competitors on the same perimeter? Do they exist?

Loïc: Trying to be objective 😉 I don't really see an equivalent solution in terms of features. Today we're going to be on deliverability analysis, DMARC monitoring, BIMI implementation, data network in order to evaluate the pressure of competitors. I don't have the impression that there is any competition on all these needs.

There is competition on some aspects of our platform, but who brings it all together, I don't see.

Jonathan: How is the migration to Everest going in practice?

Loïc: The platform is available for new customers, they will have a direct Everest proposal. For existing customers, there will be a migration that will start at the end of 2020. The idea is to offer our customers the opportunity to switch to the new platform as soon as they want.

Marion: Is it really true to be certified today?

Loïc: We see quite a bit of impact on many email address providers. We did a study with Emarsys in England on 35 customers. And we saw a real benefit on the opening and conversion rates by comparing before and after.

Marion: Does being certified mean that the filtering rules are relaxed for a certified advertiser?

Loïc: We have a role of third-party certifier. We make sure that the advertiser obeys the good practices of data management and email sending. And we provide a whitelist to different messengers around the world.

Typically, a Microsoft, Yahoo!, ... will go and query this list and will be able to relax its filtering decisions on certain advertisers.

Marion: Does this mean that when you are certified you can afford to have less good practices?

Loïc: An actor can be suspended from the certification if he is out of line. We can detect certain negative behaviors and we are challenged by email address providers on the subject.

So no, it doesn't allow bad practices. For example, if you start routing on all your inactives, it will trigger a certification suspension.

On the other hand, it is true that this may allow a little more flexibility, for example, on activity criteria. Going from 3 to 4 months of activity criteria might be ok. But we won't be able to do just anything!

Marion: Do many advertisers still ask you for it? I feel like it was the holy grail a few years ago, but it seems to me that it's fallen off a bit.

Loïc: We may hear a little less about certification, but on our side we still have as many requests. International players, for example, immediately see the impact. We see quite a few advertisers who have a specific problem on a local messaging system and who find a solution in certification.

Jonathan: Brands continue to struggle to invest in deliverability. What would be the arguments to encourage advertisers to invest in deliverability prevention?

Loic: We are aware that we often deal with operational people who want to generate income and who do not always consider the other aspects.

But is it conceivable that an advertiser does not have visibility on the complaints that are generated, the spamtraps that are affected, that they are not aware of the data available in Google Postmaster ToolsIt is in this sense that we make advertisers aware.

Spending thousands of dollars on creative, CRM devices, DMPs, ... if you are not aware that a spamtrap is blocking IPs to send your campaigns or that you are blacklisted or that you don't know your Gmail reputation... you are sailing blind. You have to keep an eye on what's going on. It's critical.

Photo by Naadir Shahul on Unsplash

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