A few months ago I wrote an article detailing how one email vendor, Campaign Monitor, was branching out from its traditional email campaign management approach and offering a transactional email platform. Today it is the turn of SendGrid, a vendor offering an existing email developer platform to move the other way: The company is rolling out marketing email features to go with its core platform.
SendGrid Marketing Campaigns is an offering that leverages SendGrid's existing email platform to offer tools specifically for end-user marketers. While the company talks about it being built for developers, with its easy to implement APIs, this is targeted at Campaign Monitor and its competitor MailChimp's tradtional area, marketing campaign workflow and management. As would be expected from a solution aimed in this direction, customers can create, send and track email campaigns. SendGrid Marketing Campaigns features include:
- Wizardless campaign creation workflow
- Subscriber and contact list management
- Campaign analytics
- A/B subject line and content testing
“Both transactional and marketing email are critical to a successful customer engagement strategy that nurtures one-to-one relationships with key audiences. SendGrid is proud to offer both services to our customers in a single platform,” said Sameer Dholakia, CEO of SendGrid. “With Marketing Campaigns, our platform now provides an affordable pathway to optimize and mature email engagement, enabling businesses to scale and evolve their strategy from a one to many conversation to a more targeted, personal relationship with their customers.”
This is a no-brainer. SendGrid's original model, that of being an email infrastructure provider, is increasingly becoming commoditized as other, larger vendors offer a similar service. It makes total sense to leverage SendGrid's existing scale (the company sends some 20 billion emails per month) but to build a value-added service on top of it.
The real question here is whether SendGrid has any real defensible point of difference to separate itself from the myriad of other vendors offering email campaign management. Additionally, the very real question remains whether a standalone campaign management tool such as this has a place in the face of an increasing adoption of higher level marketing automation platforms such as Marketo and Hubspot.
This is an interesting move for SendGrid and probably one they couldn't avoid making. But I'm not convinced it is going to really move the needle for the company.
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