Alek Mirkovich and Nick Cinger needed a simple email marketing solution for a client. They looked at the available solutions in the market and thought “this could be a lot better!”. They then set out to make a more “user-friendly tool” that they believed was unavailable in the market. They called it Campayn. Campayn is about making email marketing easy for small businesses and non-profit organizations. “Setting up email campaigns should be simpler than it is with most existing vendors, especially for small business owners who wear many hats and can’t afford to waste time.” says Alek. He adds, “Those busy entrepreneurs want to quickly build a beautiful, branded email, without the hassle of learning design or programming. They also want to get actionable results as soon as their email is distributed. Campayn offers that functionality in a few simple clicks. “
For Alek, Campayn was born out of “a strong desire to take control” of his own destiny. Several incidents pushed him toward becoming an entrepreneur. One of those incidents was him getting fired from a low-wage job at a bakery when he was 14. “I remember riding home on my bicycle vowing to never allow myself to be in a position where I felt that helpless again.” Alek recalls. Alek has been running a successful graphic design business for the last 17 years. “In working to address a client’s online marketing needs, I came up with the idea for what has now become Campayn.” he says. To launch Campayn, Alek started looking for a lead developer and found Nick Cinger online. “We immediately clicked, and although he started working with me as a freelancer, his passion for Campayn was so obvious that he eventually became my co-founder. We work really well together, and he’s brought so many great ideas for Campayn.” he tells us.
“Helping small businesses connect with their customers in a recurrent and meaningful way” is what Campayn primarily does. Campayn helps businesses send their emails and newsletters to keep customers informed about special deals, offers or news about their company. “Some of these businesses say they have tried to stay connected to their customers, but found our competitors’ software cumbersome, while others said they have limited time to write the emails. Campayn offers them a better tool for improving customer relations” says Alek.
“Bootstrapping has been the biggest hurdle” for the founders. Since inception, they have had to operate with limited resources. However, Alek looks at this hurdle as a “blessing in disguise”. He says, “If we had our dream budget, we would have attempted to launch with a long list of features that may have negated the simple, user-friendly approach we were striving for. We have had some features on our to-do list for three years, but fortunately having tight resources forced us to choose only the best ideas to move forward with. We initially wanted to do so many things, but we didn’t have the resources to make it all happen.”
Campayn gets its customers from a variety of their competitors, and most of them are the ones looking for an alternative to MailChimp. When asked about competitors, Alek says, “Many ESPs have been around since the early 2000s and they have resources that we don’t, which also means a lot of features have been shoehorned in over the years. Features are good, but too many of them presented in the wrong way overwhelm the user, and aren’t useful in the end.” He adds, “I also think we treat our customers better. We hear a lot of people saying their account was suspended by one of the major ESPs without much warning. These are small businesses who rely heavily on email to grow their business. Many of them are good senders who just needed some help and guidance. Of course, we also have had to suspend accounts, but we always warn customers and allow them to remove their contact lists and generally treat these situations with some sensitivity.”
In the last few years, Campayn has seen acquisitions of iContact, Vertical Response, Exact Target, and Mad Mimi. “We’ll see more get acquired in the next few years, some for hundreds of millions.” Alek tells us. Campayn’s focus at present is to continue to build an awesome service and run a profitable business. On Campayn’s target users, Alek says, “Although our initial target was small business owners, we’re quite surprised at the types of customers that use Campayn. We have many clients from education and our high-level of security also allows many levels of government to use us. Larger franchise based business as well as associations use our multi-user tools to share content like images, templates and and articles across their network of members.” Campayn has also been growing internationally and becoming one of the preferred services in Brazil.
Campayn offer customers competitive pricing plans that give them full access to its full suite of powerful features and integration. It attracts new customers with a freemium model and also has customers who use its paid versions. Right now, it is trying to experiment with pricing and might move to a 30 day trial soon.
Please visit http://campayn.com/ for more information.
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