April 1, 2009

Senders No More

Senders No More February marked the official end of Return Path being in the email sending business, even a little bit. Of course we still have corporate email servers, and we still have basic retention email marketing programs for our customers and prospects (with explicit permission of course!), but after a 9 1/2 year run, we no longer have direct consumer email-based relationships. As we announced last fall, we recently divested all of our businesses other than our deliverability and whitelisting business — Postmaster Direct (list rental), Authentic Response/MyView.com (surveys), and ECOA (change of address). Those were great businesses, but they increasingly diverged over the years from each other and from our core deliverability business, so it made sense for them to belong to different companies in the end. Besides diverging from each other, being a bulk sender of email had both advantages and disadvantages for us as a company. On the one hand, it was good for us to see firsthand what some of the issues are that impact our clients. We were, in fact, our own clients, one business unit to another. But on the other hand, being a bulk sender carried a real business risk of compromising […]

November 3, 2008

No Separation Anxiety

No Separation Anxiety   When we announced last week that we were selling our Email Change of Address (ECOA) business unit to our competitor Fresh Address as part of our corporate restructuring that allows us to focus exclusively on our flagship deliverability and whitelisting business, a bunch of people asked if me if that decision was emotional or difficult.  As ECOA was Return Path’s initial business — you know, the one that was going to be $100 million in revenues within 5 years — shouldn’t I be sad to see it go?   In the end, it wasn’t a difficult […]

August 13, 2006

It’s a Sad Day When the Lawyers Take Over

It’s a Sad Day When the Lawyers Take Over With all due respect to lawyers, of course, Google’s recent decision to start making a legal fuss when people in the media use the word “Google” as a verb is NUTS.  Someone, get Marketing on Line 1 — and make it snappy.  Steve Rubel wrote about it, as did Jeff Jarvis, and the source material is here. For the record, anyone who wants to use any of the following words or phrases as a verb, noun, or any other part of speech, may do so at any time:  Return Path, Sender […]

February 22, 2006

Memory Lane or Dark Alley?

Memory Lane or Dark Alley? We had an interesting meeting today.  A small group of the old-timers at Return Path, including one of our founders who doesn’t work at the company any longer, convened a summit to brainstorm ways to reinvent our original, original business, Email Change of Address (ECOA). For those of you who don’t know what it is, ECOA is a very simple idea — that people who change email addresses need help updating their personal and business contacts, and also their most trusted commercial email newsletter relationships.  It’s a free service for consumers, and a paid service […]

December 20, 2004

The Gift of Insight

The Gift of Insight Jonathan Schwartz has a great post entitled “Every Customer Visit is a Lesson.” It’s so true…if you want to give yourself a gift this holiday season, give yourself the gift of insight and spend some time in the market with a few of your top customers or prospects.  I’ve always found that to be one of the most valuable ways to shape the business, both strategically and operationally. One of the most vivid memories I have to illustrate this concept is a meeting that I had with Crate and Barrel, a prospect, in the very early […]