Email is the best marketing channel. So why not exploit it?

That's PostUp's thinking -- and today it announces an integration company officials claim will work better than anything else.

The email marketing provider has partnered with an email data platform to help its clients manage campaigns, optimize deliverability and analyze results within a single UI "with no technical effort."

Austin, Texas-based PostUp joins the Return Path partner program to bring its clients capabilities that include seed testing, render previews and device detection.

Officials at PostUp called email the "highest ROI of any digital channel."

They said their platform is designed for high volume senders and particularly suited to enterprise publishing, media and entertainment companies. 

Keith Sibson, vice president of product and marketing at PostUp, told CMSWire Return Path is a great fit because it is the "undisputed leader in email deliverability tools and intelligence," a fact Yesmail may dispute. He further claimed PostUp is the first Email Services Provider (ESP) to offer a "comprehensive integration of the Return Path tool set, fully baked into the email platform."

Email Marketing on Steroids

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What does PostUp get with a partnership with Return Path?

Marketers can determine in advance the proportion of email that will be delivered to the inboxes of their target audience, as opposed to the spam folder or returned as undelivered. They can preview email as the messages appear on more 30 different device and browser combinations.

"Both of these features allow corrections and improvements to email campaigns before hitting send, to optimize your email program and also avoid making potentially costly mistakes," Sibson said. "Inbox delivery and render quality are crucial in maximizing engagement with email."

Other features include:

  • Device detection to aid in future targeting, segmentation and campaign strategy
  • Detection of deliverability issues at the inbox provider level (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo) before they impact an email program
  • Competitive intelligence for brands, giving insight into competitors' campaign creative and email campaign performance statistics

Why PostUp?

This is a flooded tech space. Why is this offering unique from others?

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"This is the most comprehensive integration between Return Path and any ESP platform," Sibson said, "and the first that fully 'bakes' Return Path into the ESP platform by default."

PostUp will bundle the core Return Path functionality into its platform by default. Sibson promised Return Path is "seamlessly integrated with PostUp." The official launch date is April 17.

Taking on Competitors

Asked about competitors in the space, Sibson cited the Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Experian Marketing services, which also offer similar functionality. But they do so in the form of "add ons" that are not baked into the core platform from Day 1, he claimed.

"PostUp has the most extensive integration with Return Path," he said. "Other competitors, such as Sailthru, for example, simply don't have a deliverability solution, apparently missing the point that emails not delivered to the inbox have zero value to marketers."

Not So Fast

But competitors were quick to fire back.

Ken Pfeiffer, Sailthru's global director of delivery, called it "ironic" to "hear this remark on Sailthru's lack of a deliverability solution when I run deliverability and have been in this business for more than 10 years."

"To be clear," Pfeiffer told CMSWire, "just because a company isn't in bed with a third party provider and, furthermore, doesn't charge its clients extra for delivery services, doesn't mean they don't offer a deliverability solution."

New York City-based Sailthru, he added, has a full team that monitors delivery for all clients 24/7, using delivery-monitoring solutions from companies like eDataSource, 250ok and Agari. It provides the same seed listing, IP reputation monitoring and panel monitoring that other companies charge for but for free.

"We believe that email and deliverability is such a core element of any marketing technology platform that it's completely baked into our offer for clients," Pfeiffer said. "Our clients have no need to contract with a separate deliverability provider, which naturally can frustrate those trying to take advantage of marketing budgets today. With Sailthru, we offer clients a tremendous cost efficiency and any marketing technology company that doesn't have an in-house team and solution is creating needless, additional expenses for their clients."

Spencer Kollas, vice president of global deliverability services for Costa Mesa, Calif.- and Schaumburg, Ill.-based Experian Marketing Services, said Experian Marketing Services and Return Path have a "long history together and our clients have benefitted from that relationship for years and continue to benefit from it today."  

He added that Experian is one of two companies with "global premier partner" status in their program, "which speaks to success of our integrated offering and the value that we’re providing to marketers in the US and in markets around the world."

"Marketers choose the Experian Marketing Suite," Kollas added, "for its scalability and integration across all communications channels and for its flexibility. Our partnership with Return Path is right in line with that approach. Our platform allows marketers to pick and choose the solutions that meet their unique challenges and needs and help them get to the next level.”

Salesforce declined CMSWire's request for comment.

PostUp was founded by Josh Baer in his dorm room at Carnegie Mellon in 1996 as Skylist. Part of larger organizations for about 15 years, it spun out as an independent company in 2014 with a 100 percent focus on email. PostUp has 70 employees.