The answer to the question in the title of this post could be a number of companies, but bear with me as I make a case for the company with that snazzy, pixelated, blue-blocked logo: SendGrid.
In the fall of 2012 I was living in the mountains of Colorado. A few years before an email company had been started in Boulder with an interesting premise. Interesting enough that when they hosted a little event one weekday called SendGrid Delivered, I blocked out my calendar and drove the two hours to Denver to attend.
Their pricing, their product, their mission...it all kinda blew me away.
Not in a "whoa, these guys are going to be huge" moment of inspiration, but I'd just never thought of email as a sort of platform or something I could build with until that moment.
Fast forward to those days on the couch trying to tease out with ESPs were behind the emails my early SendView customers were receiving. I remember one day running a script to test the rules I'd built for a certain type of user I was seeing a lot of, and the results came back something like:
- 63% - SendGrid
- 31% - MailChimp
- 6% - I Can't Remember
The trick was that I had written rules for 5 or 6 different ESPs, but I was only getting results for 3. And SendGrid was way out in front of the usually dominant name.
So, I started digging.
And it didn't take long to realize what was up.
These ESPs had built their entire platforms on SendGrid. And not just mom-n-pop ESPs, big names. Well known names. The names that were taking email marketing by storm.
A reorder of my logic (checking for SendGrid last) fixed the issue, but that moment stuck with me.
Because these new ESPs were doing amazingly innovative stuff. And the reason they were able to be so innovative is because they could let SendGrid do all the heavy lifting and they could focus on solving big, important problems that didn't have as much to do with deliverability. Problems other ESPs couldn't tackle because they were doing all of that stuff in house.
SendGrid solved those problems
And, in turn, got our industry one step closer to the innovations we all were hoping for.