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Candid Discussion of a Bootstrapper’s Journey Through Failures to Success: Robly CEO Adam Robinson (Part 7)

Posted on Sunday, Aug 18th 2019

Sramana Mitra: You’re obviously list-building for email marketing on behalf of these aggressive marketeers. Does this mean that this list can also be used to market through MailChimp or Eloqua?

Adam Robinson: This is my vision right now. What we’re doing right now is, we’re updating all of our marketing pages to communicate this message that we’re a mid-market ESP. Our differentiator is this Robly ID technology.

No one else is singing that tune. The big players can’t because they’re in this self-regulating organization. It’s a fantastic feature to differentiate ourselves. No one’s ever heard of the technology before. It’s awesome. We were originally going to use it to try to get people to switch to our ESP and that’s it. That’s not that great of a product because 80% of people won’t switch to your ESP.

We’re also creating a super simple web app called You install it on your site. We have API integrations with 25 different ESPs and then it just pumping the email into that ESP.

Sramana Mitra: Very interesting. You have a much higher leveraged business if you go across many different marketing providers. 

Adam Robinson: I’ve watched so many of these guys who have gotten the initial takeoff in this digital marketing world. My view is, even if we pay huge affiliate commissions to try to get off the ground running, it’s going to be such an unbelievable tool for Robly because we’ll know every ESP that every person that uses it. We can send these hyper-targeted sales messaging.

Sramana Mitra: But you also need a product that can compete with those other products. The problem with all this is, you get used to your email marketing service provider. Ours is Zoho. Gratuitously shifting is not a prospect that we would consider unless there is a reason for it.

Adam Robinson: Right, exactly.

Sramana Mitra: I’m very glad that it’s coming together, and you’re finding ways of differentiating. Part of the game that I’m sure you’ve experienced is that you just have to try different things. You need staying power, and then you need to experiment constantly.

Adam Robinson: That’s exactly right. I love this remote thing. I think I would sacrifice growth and a big exit. I know our employees are super happy. I just love working in a very quiet environment every day.

Sramana Mitra: Me too. We’re operating as a virtual company. How many people do you have?

Adam Robinson: We’re up to 15 full-time and 10 contractors.

Sramana Mitra: All virtual?

Adam Robinson: Yes.

Sramana Mitra: We’re doing exactly the same. It’s just scalable and calm model. I like the calmness of it. I like the low-maintenance nature of it.

Adam Robinson: I do too.

Sramana Mitra: Great. Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 7 in the series : Candid Discussion of a Bootstrapper’s Journey Through Failures to Success: Robly CEO Adam Robinson
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