ReturnPath customers?


Someone posted the following question about ReturnPath in the comments:

Does anyone have any reports or links as to whether Return Path are worth the thousands p.a that they charge?

I don’t have any reports or links handy. Anyone have any?
Also, what about competing services like Goodmail and PivotalVeracity?
Have a great weekend all.

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  • I’m not sure there’s been any published reports on us, though we have plenty of client case studies up here: We can always provide plenty of client references, including lost accounts, if that’s helpful.
    We now have close to 2,000 clients who use one or more of our services, most directly and many through an ESP. The value of an email address or email campaign varies greatly from company to company, but that’s a big number of clients who have made the numbers work.
    If you do have an email program that drives revenue or saves costs, making sure that it’s completely deliverable, as opposed to a more typical 80% inbox rate, is well worth what most clients pay us. We have a number of clients for whom even the slight difference between 98% and 99% inbox rates is worth it.
    Matt Blumberg
    CEO, Return Path

  • As a small ESP, we’ve been using Return Path services for just about 2 1/2 years and I feel the expense is justified (and I write the checks). Our clients rely on regular Inbox and Reputation reporting when making their internal decisions. The Campaign Preview tool is a great tool for testing new email code or showing a new prospective client what their current emails actually look like when read. We’re also able to gather information for clients that might not know that it even exists or for those that couldn’t justify the expense on their own.
    I don’t have any experience with Goodmail or PivotalVeracity but hope somebody offers some info.
    Hope it helps.

  • I would have to echo both Matt and Peter’s comments regarding Return Path’s service. We’ve been using them for over 5 years and feel the expense is very reasonable and well worth it! In fact, before renewing our contract this year I was asked to look at one of their competitor’s just to make sure we were getting the best deal and the other competitor was going to charge about 4 times what we pay for Return Path’s deliverability service. Their tool is incredibly robust not only giving you in-depth visibility on your deliverability, but you can also use their campaign preview tool to see how your emails are rendering across all major email clients.
    I can see how it might be hard justifying the cost of this service in an economy like today’s where budgets are being cut, but I personally feel you can’t put a price on deliverability – it plays such an enormous part in your email program’s success. I think you’ll find Return Path offers the most and is the most affordable tool out there.

  • A JupiterResearch (now Forrester) study we commissioned last year found that Certified senders generate, on average, 38% more annual profit from their email campaigns than non-Certified senders. You can download the report from Goodmail’s web site here:
    Also want to point out that there are significant differences between what our respective companies do — and the benefits senders receive — that are important to understand and consider.
    -Jordan Cohen, Goodmail

  • By the way, fees are flexible. In the past 4-5 years we have been using ReturnPath they have only invoiced us for the features we used. It also seems a little generalistic, in my opinion no one is counting in “thousands”. As our needs grew and our demands expanded, yes, the bill has increased; but you could start small and still get all the benefits. Mailbox Monitor and Reputation Monitor are as close as realtime monitoring can get, not to mention all the ISPs that they report on. (And as far as I know, all of ISPs are included; our bill does *not* change from month to month, so no nasty surprises)
    Personally, when it comes to dealing with ISPs/large marketing mailing/infrastructure overhead, all these dollars invested are still constitute a hefty saving. Imagine doing all of that yourself? Definitely more than the price they are charging.

  • Is there anything like Return Path for small business?
    I send 7,000 to 15,000 emails per month, but need to manage email reputation, etc.

  • ReturnPath fees used to be worth their weight in gold. Unfortunately, that has not been the case since 4/23/12. They are now using an entirely too subjective metric to unilaterally judge customers by called “SRD” (Windows Live Sender Rating Data) that will likely have you suspended more often than not. All other metrics can be in good standing, but if this one is over threshold, you are automatically suspended. It is literally 1 select Hotmail/Live/MSN customer who is expected to blindly represent 100,000 others when viewing your mail. It’s insane. Anyway, fees are paid up front on a yearly basis and there are no refunds or pro-rations when suspended. So, if you don’t mind potentially paying thousands of dollars for a service you may not actually receive, by all means, give them a call.

  • Chris – we currently have some solutions that will work for small businesses and we are also actively looking at new solutions. Feel free to reach out for more information.
    a current ReturnPath customer – In regards to Sender Reputation Data. Hotmail finds that this metric is effective and they have the numbers to back it up with. The “report junk” mechanism isn’t as effective as a high number of Hotmail users are using it as a way to unsubscribe instead of actually reporting legitimate spam. This harms all the good email in the ecosphere. There was a recent article that briefly explains how they use this group to fight spam: ‘”If you just give me a handful of spam messages, I would not be able to figure out what the weak points are,” says Heckerman. The first spam filter deployed at Microsoft was based on a very limited data set:20 people saving their junk mail. Today, Hotmail collects hundreds of thousands of data points a day just from the small fraction of people who volunteer to label their spam–and that makes it far easier to fight.’ Point being, this group’s feedback is less subjective than the “report junk” button. Please reach out to us though as we want our clients to succeed and we are happy to discuss options on how to resolve your issue.

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