If you are looking for an alternative to Return Path (actually an alternative to Validity Everest, since Return Path was acquired by Validity and became “Everest”), there is only one true alternative to Return Path / Validity Everest, and that’s us. Why do we say that there is only one true alternative to Return Path, when there are several services out there that help with email deliverability, some of which are quite good at what they do?
Because there are only two companies in the world who can put you on a certified “good sender” list that the inbox providers and spam filters use and respect, and those companies are Return Path (Validity) and us. In fact our list is called The Good Senders™️ list (also known as the “GSL”).
The reason that there are only two of us (and believe us, others have tried) is because we each have been around for going on 20 years. Together we founded the email deliverability industry, and we each had our genesis in the email receiving industries – us in the anti-spam industry, and Return Path’s founder, Scott Weiss, at Hotmail. Actually Return Path wasn’t even Return Path at first. Scott founded Ironport (an email-sending appliance product), and because the appliance was so good at sending mass amounts of bulk email, email coming from Ironport was being marked as spam by the inbox providers. So Ironport created the Bonded Sender program, through which they announced that if any of their customers was proven to be spamming, Ironport would donate a certain amount to a charity (that was the ‘bond’ in “bonded sender”). Ironport shut down in 2007; in the meantime Bonded Sender went through several iterations, eventually becoming Return Path and then Validity Everest when they were acquired by Validity.
At the same time as Scott Weiss was founding Ironport, our founder, Anne Mitchell, scheduled and held the first Email Deliverability Summit (in fact this is when and where she coined the term “deliverability”). You can read more about that here. A few months later we (ISIPP SuretyMail) held a second, much larger, email deliverability summit (“Email Deliverability Summit II”, you can read more about that here).
What’s important for you to know about this is that the inbox providers, ISPs, and spam filters participated in those summits that we put on, and as a result they trust us and have continually trusted us and our Good Senders List for going on 20 years. They know that when we say that someone is a good sender that they can trust that it’s safe to put that sender’s email in the inbox, and not the spam folder.
That kind of trust doesn’t happen over night. It requires a diligent dedication, and proving over time that a list is reliable, and that nobody ends up on that list unless they are adhering to best practices – the best practices that the ISPs, inbox providers, and spam filters want to see. Return Path (Validity Everest) and we are the only two companies in the world that have such lists, and who have gained the trust of the email receiving industry (inbox providers and other ISPs, and spam filters). In fact, their list and our list are baked into Spam Assassin, one of the most widely used open source spam filters in the world.
Of course, there are differences between us and Return Path, primarily in culture, price, and how hands-on our assistance is. But either of us will get your email delivered to the inbox. And only the two of us can put you on a list of certified good senders that actually means something to the inbox providers and spam filters.
And that is why we are the only true alternative to Return Path, just like they are the only true alternative to us.