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Building a dynamic email ecosystem: SparkToro's story

Curating a tech stack allows for flexible, sustainable growth.

Understanding your audience as a business is paramount to product planning and marketing efforts, but identifying where those people are - let alone what they talk about - feels like looking for a needle in a haystack. Larger companies hire agencies to do the hard work for them - interview customers, conduct focus groups, coordinate analyst efforts - and all of that comes at a hefty price. Whether the budget is tight, or time is short, SparkToro aims to connect businesses with their target personas and the channels they engage in.

Challenge - finding the right solution for scale

When SparkToro started in 2018, they knew their tech stack had to be cost-effective, easy to integrate, and scalable for healthy growth. Email added an extra layer of complexity. On one hand, they needed a highly technical solution that ticked all the boxes, but on the other, their Marketing Architect needed a space to build out campaigns to help grow the business.

Casey Henry, SparkTaro's Chief Technology Officer, built a shortlist of products and services he'd used at larger enterprise companies that stuck out to him as a developer. If the technology worked at an enterprise scale but offered something for growing businesses, that would be the ideal fit.

However, bundling all the technical and marketing requirements together skyrocketed the price at more marketing-focused providers. The price point didn't meet their needs as a start-up, so Casey had to be creative and think outside of a one-size-fits-all bundle.

Solution - splitting traffic

To meet in the middle, SparkToro decided that the best solution for their business was to split their traffic between their marketing and transactional emails. Their Marketing Architect selected an out-of­ the-box solution that allowed them to create automated workflows and campaigns that adapted on the fly. At the same time, Casey moved forward in building out their transactional email workstreams with Mailgun. A free plan allowed him to get inside the platform and start building API calls ahead of time.

This gave SparkToro time to select a paid plan that fit their budget without breaking the bank before they were ready to invest.

Besides just the typical sending, Casey constructed a sophisticated system for handling engagement and suppression data to integrate with the application.

Through webhooks, Casey could ensure that a SparkToro customer could opt out of certain emails while still receiving others, all while retaining that data internally for strategic adjustments to both the transactional and marketing workstreams.

In doing so, Casey and the SparkToro team have been able to manage their email volumes dynamically.

When certain campaigns aren't performing up to par or just aren't sustainable, they remove them from the email flow to help save money and maintain their sender reputation.

Future forward

SparkToro's growth, above all else, is sustainable in the long term. As they gain more customers over time, so will their email program and their usage of it.

Regardless, Mailgun will continue to support SparkTaro's infrastructure with the reliability and scale they've come to appreciate over the years.

SparkToro logo

"When we look at deliverability on our end - Mailgun is the first line of defense if anything goes wrong."

Casey Henry

Casey Henry

Chief Technology Officer, SparkToro

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