Mark Brownlow posted an interview with Matt Blumberg, CEO of ReturnPath, about the merger with Habeas. It is well worth a read.
I have not yet commented on the merger and how this is going to affect the delivery industry because I am not sure how it will. Some of the effect is dependent on what ReturnPath does with the two companies and how their policies change. Here at Word to the Wise, we have known the folks at both companies for a very long time.
One thing that strikes me about this merger is that it means there are few direct competitors left in the delivery market. Everyone currently in the whitelist / delivery certification market seems to have a slightly different target audience and slightly different business model.
ReturnPath has SenderScore Certified and the Safelist. To get on these lists senders must meet criteria that, while filtered through ReturnPath, are set by the ISPs. Many senders find that they can get consistently high inbox delivery just by meeting the ISP standards, even if they are not SenderScore Certified or on the Safelist. However, certification does provide senders with an assurance that they are meeting standards.
Goodmail has their CertifiedEmail product. While certified senders must also meet criteria, they are also paying ISPs for delivery. I have always seen the Goodmail product as more focused on and more valuable for transactional senders rather than other senders. This slightly overlaps with ReturnPath’s target market, but the senders in this market do have different needs pressures.
ISIPP has their SuretyMail product. This provides a framework for senders to make statements about the email they send in a way that receivers can reliably query. This is a slightly different approach, in that ISIPP does not classify mail for their customers, but allows customers to self-classify. The benefit of ISIPP is that the ISIPP framework is trusted by their receiver-users and can push back on ISIPP if customers incorrectly self-classify.
Different markets, different business models, different approaches.