• Customer Success

Mailgun + Dovetail: A recipe for rapid growth

Mailgun Team
5 min read

A different type of agency

Dovetail is not your typical software agency. They don’t specialize in marketing strategy, Salesforce integrations, or creative design-- they specialize in building ambitious fast-growing companies. Dovetail seeks out smaller startups and scaleups who, usually due to a recent round of funding, are ready to take their product to the next level. The Dovetail team of engineers, designers and growth hackers then assist the client in building out a product and engineering practice, allowing the client to focus on sales, marketing and growing their business. 

All this uniqueness aside, Dovetail holds some traditional priorities when it comes to taking on new projects. Like most agencies, a key focus for them is keeping project costs manageable, as it is their goal to create a product practice that is built to last the test of time. This means that the decision to “build or integrate” is a key part of the strategy at Dovetail, and finding integration partners that can scale with their clients is absolutely key. The stakes are extremely high for Dovetail, because the team actually invests in their clients, and these shares are shared across everyone in the Dovetail team. In this way, they have a vested interest in the future success of their clients.

We chatted with Nick Frandsen, co-founder and managing partner at Dovetail, about how Mailgun’s email sending platform is a key integration in their agency’s toolkit, helping them rapidly scale their client’s businesses.

Dovetail strikes gold with Mailgun 

In 2016, Dovetail was searching for an email platform for their own agency website. They were looking to set up a default toolset of best-in-breed tools that they could use both for their own products and that would form a strong foundation for client projects. A toolset that they and their clients could rely on to scale as they expanded internationally.

 Therefore, their requirements for an email provider were simply:

  1. Reliability

  2. Scalability 

  3. Extensibility that can support growth (ex. dedicated IPs, good customer service)

They made the choice to try Mailgun knowing it was very easy to integrate with Ruby on Rails, their development language of choice at the time. After experiencing the platform first hand, they found that Mailgun hit all of their requirements. The Mailgun platform scaled well to the demand of their growing agency, and they leveraged Dedicated IPs and the Mailgun Tech Support Team to see fantastic results when it came to email engagement. This experience encouraged them to use the Mailgun platform for client projects as well. Today, Dovetail frequently uses Mailgun for transactional email for client projects.

On the importance of email deliverability, Frandsen says, “When we start a new project, we first focus on nailing down the metrics that are truly important before we start to build. Email helps us understand conversions and user flows so we can demonstrate to our clients how we can further increase conversions and retention rates.”

As Dovetail matured, they began to use other languages and take on more challenging clients, and Mailgun has worked well every step of the way. What they appreciate about Mailgun is that the platform is easy to use and that it can grow with their clients. Due to the nature of their projects, they’re often tasked with growing a product’s user base from thousands to hundreds of thousands. If they choose an infrastructure vendor who cannot scale to serve that growth, it would cause a huge growing pain and severely hamstring the project. Mailgun’s platform gives the Dovetail team valuable peace of mind in that regard: it is a solution that they can rely on for the long-term.  “The biggest compliment I can give is that with Mailgun, we don’t have to think about email,” says Frandsen. “Mailgun is pretty damn easy, it works and it’s affordable. It allows us to focus on business goals. Mailgun works when our client is really small and it scales to fit them when they become really large.” 

15 Billion and counting

Mailgun provides an essential, foundational layer to most of Dovetail’s projects. When it comes to starting a new project for a client,  Frandsen says, “We start with Mailgun because it’s the easiest and it always works.” The Mailgun API is powerful and adaptable meaning they can use it with any new venture. The reliability of Mailgun’s platform means they can build an email practice that is truly “set it and forget it”. The peace of mind the Dovetail team gains from knowing that Mailgun has their back gives them the confidence to push the envelope for their clients, catapulting these ventures to great success. 

And, the results speak for themselves. The products built by the Dovetail team are used by millions of people every day. They have built and backed ventures that have been invested in by Google, Blackbird, Qantas and other top-tier VC firms. Recently, they were able to scale a financial technology company from a 30-person start-up with a local presence to a 15-billion dollar company known worldwide in just 3 years. Mailgun is proud to provide an engine of growth to the best and the brightest agencies, such as Dovetail. 

Last updated on July 30, 2020

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