Supercharge your SES email experience with Pepo Campaigns

Originally published at siftery.com.

Pepo Campaigns is an enterprise-grade email marketing platform built on AWS Simple Email Service — enabling organizations of all sizes to harness the power of AWS without writing a single line of code. Pepo Campaigns is a single robust SAAS platform for both campaigns and transactional email.

Kevin William David interviewed Jason Goldberg, CEO of Pepo Campaigns to know more.

Hi Jason, So tell us about Pepo Campaigns?

Pepo Campaigns is a powerful solution for Amazon AWS SES email marketing. Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) is an awesome set of pipes to send emails with high deliverability standards and in a cost-effective way. However, AWS SES is really just pipes — to make effective use of it most marketing organizations require a robust front-end on top of AWS SES.

Pepo Campaigns enables organizations of any size to benefit from AWS without writing a single line of code, utilizing our enterprise grade email marketing features.

Tell me more about why you are building this?

Pepo Campaigns started as an internal project in our previous e-commerce businesses (Fab.com, Hem.com), where we were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars every month on B2B email products.

When Amazon SES launched around 2012, we decided to give it a try and build our own flexible platform to cut costs and use the saved budget on other marketing channels. The performance of the project was amazing.

After several years of gaining experience in email platforming, Amazon AWS architecture, and running marketing departments, we decided to productize Pepo Campaigns as a standalone product for any company to utilize. The goal is to offer everyone the same benefits we achieved, thanks to the Amazon SES technology, and to support companies with our knowledge in terms of deliverability & email marketing performance.

How is Pepo Campaigns different from what’s already exists in the market?

The top players in email marketing are companies like MailChimp, SendGrid, Exact Target, and Campaign Monitor. While their solutions are very well known, they are also very expensive. None of them leverage AWS SES to pass on customer cost-savings and scalability.

The main technology competitors utilising Amazon SES are Sendy, EmailOctopus and MoonMail.

We are confident that Pepo Campaigns is now the most robust and comprehensive email marketing platform for AWS SES, with the most flexibility for customers, and the best pricing.

Pepo Campaigns provides the most complete set of user-facing features on top of AWS SES such as: The easiest to use responsive template builder, segmentation based on custom attributes and recipient behavior, dynamic email workflows, AB testing, and more of the stuff marketing organizations rely on to optimize and gain efficiency.

Pepo Campaigns also provides customers with maximum flexibility by offering two kinds of accounts:

  1. Customers can plug in their own Amazon AWS SES account using our Simple Connect AWS SES service
  2. Or, if the customer does not already have AWS, Pepo Campaigns can provision the entire service on behalf of the customer.

With the latter option, there is no additional hassle for the clients who are less tech savvy, but who still want to use the Amazon SES technology as well. Some competitors like Sendy, require the clients to set up their own server in order to use the service.

Pepo Campaigns’ pricing is in line with Amazon SES. In addition to providing a free plan, which covers the needs of low volume senders clients, we believe that Amazon SES customers want to have a similar pricing structure to the Amazon SES itself. For this reason our pricing is composed of a small fixed monthly fee and then per thousand email send. Being based on usage only, it allows to preserve the cost-effectiveness of Amazon SES. Our pricing is also 100% transparent and can be found on the Pepo Campaigns website with no hidden charges.

Can you tell us a bit about the different customer segments using Pepo Campaigns?

Because Pepo Campaigns effectively makes AWS SES “usable” for a large range of companies and teams who otherwise would not have been able to make use of it, we have seen solid adoption from marketers at various sized companies ranging from startups to even large enterprises.

In terms of verticals, in addition to technology startups, we’ve seen particular traction in real estate and e-learning companies.

How are your customers using Pepo Campaigns? Could you share a few different use cases?

Our customers uses Pepo Campaigns in different ways. Some of them build a very strong integration via API and utilize the platform to send transactional and automation workflows to their subscribers.

Others are more newsletter oriented and focus on their campaigns, extensively using the template builder. Another group uses the email services, but also utilizes the platform as a CRM platform thanks to the custom attributes availability and the advanced segmentation feature.

Have there been unique use cases for Pepo Campaigns that you hadn’t thought of or expected?

Every day we get feedback and features requests that we prioritize on our roadmap. We have been pleasantly surprised by our customers’ requests around Custom Attributes and Segmentation. Our customers have really helped drive a robust Pepo Campaigns roadmap in those areas.

Were there any early ‘growth hacks’ or tactics that have contributed to your current success?

Our approach has been to focus on building the most robust platform at the best price and then relying on positive word-of-mouth to take hold, accompanied by SEO and supported by some SEM. Strategic launches on Product Hunt have also helped.

What were some of the biggest challenges while building the product early on and how did you solve them?

Email marketing is a highly competitive industry with well-established large competitors. The most important thing for us has been to focus on what we do best: Provide the most complete email marketing solution for AWS SES.

Before we finish, what are the top products that you depend to run the company & how do you use them?

In this list there are many Amazon AWS Services. From EC2, S3, SNS, SQS, SES, DynamoDB all comes together to create this powerful but yet easy platform that Pepo Campaigns is. We love the scalability and the architecture of AWS and we are also AWS Technology Partners.

We also use Tawk.to for support and user engagement. It is a very simple solution that gives you some good management tools in terms of live chat.

For our CRM tool and Email Service Provider we obviously use Pepo Campaigns itself :)