SparkPost & the SAD State of Cloud Email Services Today

Steve Dille
Nov. 12, 2014 by Steve Dille

I woke up feeling extra chipper today. Why am I so excited? Well today is the day that Message Systems officially launches our first cloud email service. And today is the day that all businesses that rely on email as their critical engagement channel with customers can finally get access to the very same email infrastructure that our customers, the most prestigious and demanding large volume email senders in the world (who collectively send 20% of the world’s email), use on a daily basis.   Today marks the democratization, so to speak, of high quality email infrastructure software and the beginning of the end for what we call the SAD (poor service, weak analytics and low deliverability) state of affairs in the mass cloud email infrastructure market.


How did the cloud email services market become SAD you may ask. The answer is simple. Lack of competition has led to low investment in a truly outstanding cloud email infrastructure service for companies of all sizes. Over the last 5 years, Message Systems has been busy investing in and building the best email software in the world, winning evaluations and converting large-scale senders (who can choose whatever software they please) onto our Momentum platform. Among this select group of senders Momentum is known to be the best on-premises email software available, and Message Systems people are trusted as the foremost email experts as well.   Even companies I have spoken with who don’t use Message Systems often admit that if they could have afforded it at the time, they would have chosen Momentum too.

My point is that Message Systems Momentum as an on-premise solution has really only been accessible to the large-scale senders, multiple of which send in excess of a billion messages a day, and to companies who have the staff, expertise and resources to afford the deluxe solution. Our investments have flowed to serve the email needs of high end ESPs (Epsilon, Yesmail who run multi-tenant operations on Momentum), marketing automation suppliers (Eloqua, Marketo), publishers (PBP, Agora), banks (JPM, AMEX, BofA) and large cloud companies (Groupon, LinkedIn, Facebook,, Twitter). Our software, because it was largely only available as an on-premises solution, was not very accessible to many smaller or medium-size senders. (Message Systems does have quite a few smaller customers too, but these companies usually see email as a core differentiating capability, and they have the in-house expertise and staff to run the systems.) So the players in the existing cloud email services market weren’t really competing on quality of service, it was more competing on price. The underlying problem, however, is that these other cloud email services are built on less capable software that never withstood the competition to be the best and win at the high end of the market.

So for Message Systems today, our entry into the cloud email infrastructure market opens up a large number of new customer prospects and a big market. And for end mailers, our entry into the cloud email market marks the beginning of new choices and competition in a market, which frankly hasn’t had much serious competition.   From talking with customers, our research has shown those using today’s crop of cloud email services feel a general lack of Service from their provider, an inability to understand and effectively adjust their email program through Analytics and just plain low Deliverability, which one email industry expert told us was actually less than 70% for one of the major cloud services across their customers.

This is about to change. Message Systems customers routinely get delivery rates in the high 90s because of the power of our Adaptive E-mail Network and software automation that allows senders to automatically comply with constantly changing ISP rules. We will be managing deliverability for our SparkPost customers as a part of the service. Our SparkPost service also contains real-time and accessible detailed data on email delivery made available via beautifully designed analytics working with an integrated data warehouse unlike anything you have seen from the other services… You will be able to drill down into the details of your email sending immediately, understand ISP issues with our bounce classification system and protect your brand. And last, you’ll get all of this from a company that serves and is trusted by the most demanding emailers in the world.

If you are a serious email sender, you owe it to your self to check out SparkPost. Now you too can have the same powerful email platform used by the best of the best in email on a pay-per-use basis at a price that is probably right around what you pay today for a lot less service, analytics and deliverability.


1 Comment

  • Sounds great Steve! We’re currently “on the grid”, but would love to get off. 😉 Just discovered our provider had a bug resulting in their service not trying anything but the highest priority MX server, resulting in non-delivery for misconfigured domains where the top priority server was stale, but lower priority servers were working. Defats the purpose of priority if you only try one server!

    If you’ve got an invite code we’d love to give it a spin.

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