About three years ago, Adam Small and I were sitting at our favorite coffee shop and he was mentioning how difficult email service providers were to integrate with. I had worked at ExactTarget as an integration consultant so I was fully aware of the challenges. Adam and his wife founded Agent Sauce, a real estate marketing platform that had grown and was sending tens of thousands of emails a week. The problem was that email service providers (ESPs) always seemed to build their integration features on demand or as an afterthought to their user interface.
We started digging and doing some research and found that there were several bulk email providers out there, even Amazon had started one, but the price and the complexity simply weren't worth it. As email marketing was becoming a priority of the users that Adam had, he was becoming more and more dependent, spending more, and becoming more discouraged. So he decided to begin building his own! About a year later, Adam's platform was sending out of his own MTA (Mail Transfer Agent). Adam built his own bounce management and click tracking on top of it as well! And his deliverability was on par with all of the platforms he had previously worked with.
At that point, we began brainstorming how we could utilize the infrastructure he had designed for a broader use. With Martech Zone's subscriber growth growing to 100,000 subscribers, we were spending quite a bit of money on our email vendor and weren't too happy, either. We had to manage two systems, one for writing content and one for managing subscribers and content. Why couldn't we just run it all from WordPress?
We could… and WordPress had come a long way in those years. Key to the opportunity was the addition of custom post types. Custom post types enabled us to make a type called email and use the default content management and templating system to build the email. Adam took his infrastructure which was now optimized for scalability, and we went to work on the plugin! So, the user could use the plugin to create and manage the content, and CircuPress could manage the sending, tracking, bounce management, subscription management, and other tasks.
Since we both had day jobs, the plugin took its toll. Adam worked on it, I worked on it, Stephen rewrote it, and we tested, tested, tested and tested more and more. We submitted the plugin to WordPress last week and they provided some great advice. Last week, Adam rewrote some key portions of the templating and we submitted again on Friday. It didn't take long before we got the news we wanted… WordPress approved CircuPress. We believe we're the only email service provider built specifically for WordPress!
We've added some very unique features. The plugin has integrated subscription form widgets, shortcodes and functions. The plugin automatically publishes your emails on your site – so your online view is right on your own site! Daily and weekly emails are automated and go out whenever you have new content. A really cool feature is that embedded videos are replaced with screenshots and play buttons so the half of email clients that don't play images still allow the reader to click the video to play it. More features are coming around the corner for that!
Tired of messing with expensive email vendors and want to truly leverage your content? Sign up for CircuPress today! We're already converting subscribers on this blog over to CircuPress… be sure to subscribe and you'll see how great they look.