TL; DR: For nearly a decade, SendGrid has been helping enterprise-level giants and SMBs broadcast billions of emails per month through its email infrastructure solution. The company’s email API is scalable and optimizes delivery, so messages get into inboxes and drive customer engagement. Building on its tradition of innovation, SendGrid’s new email marketing solution allows businesses to nurture customer relationships through targeted, contextual campaigns. With a culture encouraging forward thought, SendGrid is sure to continue to transform how businesses connect with their audiences well into the foreseeable future.
Nine years ago, Isaac Saldana, Tim Jenkins, and José Lopez were already seasoned veterans in the tech business space. Isaac and Tim had worked together in the aerospace industry, and, later, Isaac and José had been partners at two startups. José and Tim’s fates were about to collide with Isaac’s again.
At his previous startups, Isaac had found email deliverability to be a huge issue. Because of the growing problem of spam at the time, businesses were finding it more and more difficult to navigate through filters and reach customer inboxes with legitimate messages. Knowing Tim and José had similar experiences, Isaac recruited them and began what would become the wildly successful email infrastructure solution SendGrid.
“The three found email delivery to be a huge pain,” said Scott Heimes, SendGrid’s Chief Marketing Officer. “So they rolled up their sleeves and built an email API to solve the problem.”
Once their platform was developed, the Founders applied for a Techstars program out of Boulder, Colorado, and were accepted into the startup accelerator. From there, SendGrid took off.
“Fast forward nine years later, and SendGrid is one of Techstars’s biggest success stories,” Scott said. “It’s grown from zero to a huge organization with more than 350 employees and vast reach.”
In terms of scale, SendGrid is one of the world’s largest email infrastructure providers. The company has more than 50,000 paying customers and sends upward of 30 billion emails every month. Coming up on nearly a decade of this volume of service, SendGrid recently sent its trillionth message.
“Anything with a “T” in front of it is pretty astounding,” Scott said.
SendGrid innovated the email IaaS space and shows no signs of slowing efforts to help connect businesses with their customers. The company has built a new email marketing solution that empowers businesses of any size to easily develop effective marketing campaigns that drive consumer engagement and, in turn, revenue.
A Scalable & Secure Email Infrastructure Solution to Optimize Delivery
The organizations that employ SendGrid’s email infrastructure solution run the gamut in terms of size and industry type. From enterprise-level giants, like eBay, to mid-market businesses and startups, the scalability, deliverability, and support network that comes with the email API allow businesses to optimize their interactions with customers.
“We help these companies send billions of emails every month,” Scott said. “They choose us because we’re reliable and able to handle scale, and we bring unparalleled expertise to the table.”
Getting set up with SendGrid is fast and easy. Within five minutes, a business can integrate through SMTP or API. The platform comes with a host of features that allow users to improve deliverability, including domain and link customization. The email infrastructure sits in a secure environment, protecting email with two-factor authentication and comprehensive permission management functionality.
The platform has everything a business needs to create and send transactional emails for account creation, password resets, purchase receipts, and other automated notifications.
“We serve all categories and segments that go all the way down to very small businesses,” Scott said. “It might be a startup that’s just launched a new app and the team wants to ensure they have a password reset mechanism that’s automated — something they can set once and never have to worry about again as they scale.”
Dead-Simple Marketing Campaign Creation With High Email Open Rates
Scott told us SendGrid’s new email marketing solution, Marketing Campaigns, serves multi-app marketers who are tasked with the primary job of acquiring prospective customers and nurturing relationships with existing ones. And SendGrid views email as the perfect channel to do just that.
“The scalability and deliverability is still present in this solution,” Scott said. “But businesses also enjoy the value of the intuitive tools and A/B testing features included. The built-in capabilities really make marketers’ jobs much easier.”
The SendGrid Marketing Campaigns interface makes it simple to develop and broadcast campaigns through scheduling and recipient management tools. The platform includes a complete analytics suite, so marketers can dive into insights to measure success.
All of SendGrid’s email templates are professionally designed and responsive. No matter the device on which they’re viewed, messages will paint a positive picture of the organization that’s sending them.
“Anywhere from 60% to 70% of email is opened on a smartphone,” Scott said. “So being savvy about responsive design to deliver an optimized mobile experience becomes incredibly important.”
According to Scott, deliverability is both a science and an art. It’s essential for businesses to ensure their messages make it through the filters and obstacles blocking inboxes. Strategies need to be developed to do this.
“Whether it’s signing with a DKIM signature, using an SPF document, or having a DMARC policy, how you approach deliverability can really impact your marketing program,” Scott said. “And turning to a service provider, like SendGrid, can help.”
One of the big buzzwords in email marketing today is contextualization. Marketers are always looking for ways to reach the right customers at the right times with the right content. Through SendGrid’s analytics, marketers can learn about customer buying habits, purchase history, and other behavioral data to deliver a hyper-personalized experience.
“We’re getting to the point where an email can be designed, created, and produced for a recipient of one,” Scott said. “It’s difficult to accomplish, but it’s the Holy Grail.”
A Thriving Culture With a Forward-Facing Approach to Development
After growing from a company of three engineers in a startup accelerator to an enterprise with more than 350 employees, it might seem surprising that SendGrid has retained its unique startup company culture. But, as Scott says, this is mainly because of the overarching philosophy espoused by the team.
“We think of our culture in terms of four Hs — Humble, Hungry, Honest, and Happy,” Scott said. “These values reflect who we are and permeate through our culture.”
As a result, SendGrid has been able to stay focused on the future and anticipate market change. The company’s product development process, called The SendGrid Way, validates new product ideas through customers. Through a series of interviews and deep research, SendGrid comes to understand the pain points of customers in its target market to substantiate the efficacy of developing a new technology.
“We’re not a company that comes up with a super-creative idea and builds it in hopes the market will love it,” Scott said. “Instead, we go through a rigorous, research-driven validation process to ensure there is a high degree of desire for the product.”
According to Scott, the SendGrid Labs team validates and tests at high velocity to come up with visionary ideas. Currently, the focus has been on what Scott calls MarTech, the intersection of marketing and advertising technology.
“We’re looking to build solutions that will add more funnel and view on the front end,” Scott said. “That way, marketers can design outcomes more effectively by managing their funnel through an insight process.”