In February of 2012, Tate, James, and I decided to quit our jobs to start Robly Email Marketing out of my apartment in New York.
Robly had a very, very rough start. We were all first timers with zero relevant experience. Two years in we still hadn’t launched a product, and all three of us were on the brink of financial ruin.
We finally launched in 2014, and thankfully it took off.
This is Robly on Launch day with me and our first two employees, Anne and Melissa. They are both still here, five years later!
By mid–2015, our 5,000 small business customers were absolutely loving Robly’s service. Our employees were happy. We were bootstrapped, profitable, had an amazing remote team, and we were gaining momentum. Tate, our CTO, was constantly building new, innovative features for us and our customers.
I couldn’t actually believe it when James messaged me that Robly was voted #1 in Customer Satisfaction in 2017 across the entire email marketing space (ahead of Mailchimp).
Robly was everything we had ever dreamed of when we started in 2012, but something didn’t feel quite right.
I had always believed that many of the features Tate was building that made our product unique would be far more valuable for really big senders than they were to our SMB customers.
Tate, whose innovation carried us to 1,500 customers in our first six months, held up by our salespeople at our first Christmas party.
So James and I found some big senders and convinced them to migrate to Robly.
As we migrated dozens of these large senders onto Robly, we quickly realized they had a unique set of problems that they didn’t share with SMBs.
We came to the conclusion that any software built for an average list size of 2,500 to 5,000 wasn’t optimal for a frequent sender with three million contacts who sends 20 million emails per month.
Two Bad Options
Meanwhile, lots of incredible email tools were hitting the market that were very powerful, but they were all built for businesses that were just getting started.
Melissa and Anne with our mascot, Peanut.
After talking to the big senders who migrated to our platform, we observed that they were faced with two bad options:
- Struggle with software designed for a business 1/100th of their size.
- Migrate to a marketing cloud that is hard to use, very expensive, and has notoriously bad support, but built to handle the scale and complexity of a big sender.
We built Lead.com to give big senders a platform that’s easy-to-use and very powerful, yet designed to handle all the database, segmenting, deliverability, and reporting complexities that separate a massive email marketing business from someone who is just getting started.
And thankfully, because of our journey at Robly, we had our original group of big senders on day one.
I’m excited about Lead.com’s future and the opportunity to continue to evolve our solution to meet the ever-changing needs of the most powerful digital marketers in the world.
No one should have to migrate to a marketing cloud. Lead.com is here for you.