Jon Lim was there at the beginning of this wild double journey now known as thirdocean and XConnectTO. So when Jon connected to let us know what he was up to we were all ears!
Jon Lim is the Product Manager of PostageApp. He spends his day getting PostageApp into the hands of more people, providing customer support, and managing the community of PostageApp.
Over a year ago, PostageApp was released. What’s this new version all about?
PostageApp was released as a fully fledged product – it was software that sat between a website or application and its mail server, neither of which were provided. PostageApp would receive commands from the website and use the mail server to send messages. It worked for us because The Working Group was looking for something to drop into our client applications and make emails really easy to send and track.
However, when we released the product we realized that it wasn’t just agencies with mail servers that wanted to use it. Websites and applications wanted to be able to connect with PostageApp and not have to worry about getting emails into inboxes. We built this new version of PostageApp because we want to let developers of websites and applications to not have to worry about sending emails and continue to focus on development.
What are some of the new features and benefits?
For this release of PostageApp, we are introducing the email sending engine, the first iteration of email analytics, a new tier for our sending plans, and beefed up sending plans across the board.
Email Sending Engine: we’ve engineered the infrastructure necessary to send emails. There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to sending email, and we have developed an engine that takes care of all of the grunt work associated with emails. Emails will get into inboxes.
Email Analytics: emails can tell you a whole lot about the health of your website or application, and we want to tell you the story behind each and every single one of them. This is the first iteration of what we have planned for email analytics, and we are working hard to achieve our vision for this space.
New Sending Plan + Beefed Up Existing Plans: we wanted to make PostageApp even more valuable for our customers, so we are introducing the Pterodactyl plan that allows for up to 1,000,000 emails per month, and we are increasing the amount of emails existing plans can send per month.
What did you learn over the past year and what users wanted?
Over the past year, we’ve learned that users really don’t want to deal with emails. They want to develop their websites and apps and not have to worry about what has happened to their emails after sending them out. We’ve taken it to heart and we’re doing our best to make email as painless as possible!
What problem is PostageApp solving?
PostageApp solves a bunch of problems for website and application developers: designing email templates on PostageApp allows for copy changes without having to re-deploy your website or application, taking away any headaches that might bring about. PostageApp also delivers the emails, as mentioned earlier, and makes sending email from websites and apps simple and easy. We also make it easy to analyze emails to figure out how many emails have been delivered, how many emails have been opened, and eventually, how many emails have been clicked.
Why is this a problem worth solving? What solutions were developers employing before?
If you are running a website or application, you are going to want your emails to be delivered. You want users to be able to confirm their sign ups, reset their passwords, and see all of the important system messages from you. The traditional method of making sure this happens is to build or rent an SMTP server and just sending it out directly from the application. This method works, but it’s not great.
You have no idea what happens once your email goes out into the wild. Did it successfully send? Did your SMTP server encounter an error? Did your message get flagged as spam? In addition, you have to abide by a specific set of rules so that you aren’t marked as a spammer and blacklisted from sending, and the list goes on and on.
By contrast, you can sign up for PostageApp, drop a PostageApp plugin or library into your website or application, enter in your API key, and get to sending. No fuss, no worrying about delivery, and you get a complete view of your emails.
What tools did The Working Group use to build PostageApp and why?
We built PostageApp using Ruby on Rails because Rails allows you to iterate on an idea quickly and continue to iterate on the idea while remaining in control of the platform.
The floor is yours now Jon. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Yes! We are huge supporters of startups (because we are one!) especially Canadian startups, so any startups that read this should definitely get in touch (let me know you found us through thirdocean and XConnectTO!) and we can work out the best way to give you support.