Over the course of 2020, we’ve been posting Q&A interviews with various partners and companies in the email marketing industry and today, we’re pleased to post our latest interview with ZeroBounce CEO, Liviu Tanase.
Talk a little about the history of ZeroBounce and how you came to found the company.
ZeroBounce came to life out of sheer necessity. Prior to ZeroBounce I had a company that relied heavily on email to reach its customers and prospects, and I knew how important email validation was. Yet, I wasn’t able to find an accurate, efficient, and secure method to do so. As a result, we founded ZeroBounce to fill that void and improve relationships through email.
When emails are viewed as spam by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and don’t reach people, that relationship suffers. ZeroBounce better enables people sending all types of emails to land in the inbox and not end up being regarded as spam. If you’re not sending spam, you don’t want Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to think you are.
Tell us a little about what makes ZeroBounce unique in the industry?
ZeroBounce started out as an email list validation and enhancement service, but has evolved into a platform that allows you to:
- verify email lists (in bulk and real-time)
- score email contacts and validate catch-all emails
- check your mail server to detect any missed configurations
- test your inbox placement
- check and see if your IP or domain is on any industry blacklists
Pruning your email list regularly is a great first step to improving deliverability. But we realized our customers needed more tools to communicate safely and effectively through email – and we created them.
Apart from that, our 24/7, every day of the year support is something many of our customers rave about in reviews. Someone from our team is always there to answer questions and guide you, and many people appreciate that.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned about creating and growing a business in the marketing technology industry?
Technology doesn’t wait for anyone. If you’re in the tech industry, you’ve got to be able to meet the needs of people today, but also anticipate the needs of an ever-evolving world.
That involves a lot of testing and investing in products that may not work perfectly from the beginning. You need patience, stamina, and a true desire to create something great.
For decades, prognosticators have predicted the demise of email, but the channel keeps evolving and growing. Why do you think email continues to thrive, after more than 40 years?
Email is just so good. People love getting emails, people like sending them.
Email is convenient and scalable. Need to send an invoice? Email. Are you running a shop and want to let everyone know about your new fall collection? Email.
It’s low-cost and embraced by people of almost all ages. It’s like nothing else out there.
2020 created many unforeseen challenges for companies in every industry. What are some of the bigger challenges you have seen in the Email Marketing industry this year?
Accelerated churn. Normally, about 22% of an email list becomes obsolete every year, a study by MarketingSherpa shows. That means email addresses that were once good aren’t anymore.
In a year like 2020, we’ve seen this degradation happening at a much higher rate. Tens of millions of people have lost their jobs. Of course, when they were laid off, they didn’t bother to unsubscribe from all of the lists they signed up for.
So, what happened?
Massive bounce rates for companies that rely on B2B email lists and that didn’t validate those lists. Bounces decrease your sender reputation which makes ISPs think of you as a spammer. Suddenly, companies that didn’t pay attention to this aspect found themselves dealing with serious deliverability problems.
Thankfully, there are lots of educational materials out there and simple solutions to such issues. No company has to waste money sending emails that go to spam or aren’t even delivered. Within minutes, you can take a messy list and turn it back into a high-performing, reliable marketing tool.
How has ZeroBounce adapted to 2020 changes, like having no in-person industry events since January?
We’ve adapted remarkably well. Switching to remote work was smooth and our team has been doing a fantastic job this year.
As for industry events, we’ve missed them in 2020, but have been taking part in more virtual events than ever! There’s always a new webinar or conference that we’re invited to. While online events don’t allow for the same human connection, they help keep the conversation going. We’ve learned a lot from each other this year.
What are some of the major trends you are seeing in the Email Marketing industry?
In the past two years, we’ve seen a broader use of A.I. across all marketing channels, including email. It’s not only helping marketers save time, but also improve their targeting and personalization – and produce better results.
Another trend I see is brands making the most of user-generated content. Customer feedback is invaluable. It helps to build trust in your brand and boost conversions. So I encourage you to use it not only on your website and social media, but in emails, too. We’ve been incorporating more user-generated content in our promotional emails this year, and have seen its efficiency first-hand.
What do you expect from the Email Marketing Industry looking ahead to 2021?
In terms of technology, more automation, more interactivity, and even more sophisticated personalization.
As for content, brands will have to pay even more attention to what, when, and to whom they send. The pandemic has exacerbated consumers’ need for relevancy. The more relevant you are, the more people will remember you.
Smart marketers will make use of all the data they can access to send the most relevant emails, at the right time, to the right people. And they’ll see great ROI because of that.
What is on the horizon for ZeroBounce for the rest of 2020 and next year?
We’ve just added a blacklist monitoring tool to our platform and it’s exciting to see how many of our customers are using it. More tools are in the works and will be coming soon – stay tuned!
More about Liviu Tanase & ZeroBounce
Liviu Tanase is a serial entrepreneur with more than 16 years of experience in the tech space. In addition to five other companies, he’s the founder and CEO of email validation and deliverability platform ZeroBounce.
In 2020, under Liviu’s leadership, ZeroBounce took no. 40 on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in America. With more than 4 billion emails validated to date, the company serves 75,000+ businesses in 190+ countries and adds up to 150 new clients every day.