The end of a calendar year can be a frenetic time for businesses. Most of us are rushing to make final deals, close out our books, and get all manner of necessary things done by December 31. But then, the winter holidays arrive with a time for celebration, family, and rest. After the mad rush, one thing I particularly appreciate about that moment of peace is the opportunity to reflect on the year that’s just ending and the new one that’s about to begin.

And what a fantastic journey 2016 was for SparkPost. We began the year brimming with optimism and great technology and ended as the world’s fastest-growing email delivery service. Today, our nearly 20,000 customers include developers, up-and-coming innovators, and the very largest enterprises—all of whom understand the value of high-performing, API-driven email delivery. Leading innovators like Workday, Snagajob, and Coursera joined this group this year. And for all of these companies, we’re now delivering many billions of messages per month.

The growth we achieved in 2016 also was good for our company financially. We earned record revenue and turned a profit for the year. I’ve always subscribed to the notion that treating customers well is the surest path to success. I am gratified that the trust our customers have given us affirms that we’re doing something right.

More precisely, perhaps I should say we’re doing two things right. Our technology makes the performance and scalability of our email delivery possible and sustainable. But our people make the difference in helping our customers truly be successful with email. Our focus in 2016, 2017, and beyond remains fixed on those two aspects of our business: developing features and performance that help our customers innovate and deliver email at scale—and providing the expertise and support they need to make the most of email.

That’s why we developed enhanced webhooks features to handle relaying of inbound email and SMS messages. It’s why we launched our Message Events API to increase our customers’ ability to query individual message disposition and engagement. It’s why we made it easy to implement SparkPost on additional cloud platforms including Microsoft Azure. It’s why we offer unified cross-channel email, mobile notifications, app deep linking, and SMS messaging for enterprise senders. And it’s why we accelerated the launch of functionality like subaccounts, expanded role accounts, easier management of suppression lists, and provisioning of IP addresses to help our self-service customers work more effectively.

Just as significantly, we made it really easy to do business with SparkPost. How easy? 100,000 free messages per month—something none of our competitors can offer—and flexible support plans that include expert advice from our Technical Account Managers and deliverability services teams.

Today, at the start of 2017, I can say that the SparkPost email delivery service is truly the most capable solution for delivering transactional email on the market, period. But we have no intention of stopping. In the coming year, you can expect us to take further advantage of the fact that we built SparkPost as a true cloud platform with elastic computing capabilities that allow us to offer the industry’s only guaranteed burst rate for enterprise senders. We will make our great solution for service providers even more flexible, with access to features like customer compliance monitoring tools and enhanced self-service options for subaccount provisioning, analytics, and more.

Throughout, we will keep our focus on making it easy for developers and enterprises alike to succeed with SparkPost. We know we will be even more active in the developer community—at events, in social media, and our really great Slack channel—providing helpful tools like our DKIM validator, and continuing to enhance our client libraries and documentation.

Now it’s January, and we’re all back to work. We gained so much in 2016 by listening to you and other members of our highly engaged user community. In 2017, we plan on doing a lot more of the same! I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you’d like to see from SparkPost in the coming year. Leave a comment below or reach out on Twitter, Slack, or even good old email.

On behalf of the entire team at SparkPost, I’d like to wish you a successful, prosperous, and happy new year. And please accept my heartfelt thank you for being part of our community and journey of growth over the past year.

—Phillip Merrick


red pill email guide review

Read What Red Pill Email Has to Say about SparkPost

A few weeks ago, I sat down with the analysts at Red Pill Email to give an in-depth tour of the SparkPost platform, and to share our point of view about the future of email marketing. It was a real treat to talk with Red Pill’s John Caldwell and Jeremy Grecco. They’re industry experts and veterans with years of experience across a broad swath of ESPs, MTAs, and other mailing infrastructures, and they have both the practical expertise and historical perspective to make quick sense of developments in this market. (You might be familiar with Red Pill Email’s well-regarded “Email Vendor & Functions Guide” annual benchmark report—if you’re not, do yourself a favor and check it out.) They’ve helped their customers navigate multichannel integration, the shift towards marketing clouds by large vendors, and the emergence of new technologies and solutions in an increasingly crowded MarTech landscape—while never losing sight of what makes email marketing work.

So, when we met, I wasn’t surprised when John and Jeremy quickly cut to the chase. They essentially asked me, “Why is SparkPost different? You have pretty demanding senders like Pinterest and Zillow as your customers. What’s the benefit you’re giving?” The Red Pill Email team immediately understood what I meant when I described the approach we take at SparkPost: the combination of real-time, API-driven message generation and analytics; the scalability, elasticity, and cost-effectiveness of our cloud infrastructure; and the operational and deliverability expertise that comes with years of handling email at scale for the world’s biggest senders.

I’m the first to admit that I’m a true believer in what we’re doing here at SparkPost. The lessons (sometimes hard-won) of my years in the industry tell me that we’re really on to something—and I can’t tell you how much respect I have for my colleagues and their deep understanding of this space. But I guess what I’m saying is, don’t take my word for it. Read what the team at Red Pill Email learned during their review of our platform.

In their review, Red Pill Email assesses SparkPost in several areas, including our tempting and campaign management features, developer-friendly API, deliverability services, analytics, and more.

Spoiler: it’s a positive review (and for that, I’m grateful). But, I do think that John and Jeremy’s perspective and insight—rooted in the rigors of actually running campaigns and managing major RFPs for large brands—is worth reading for yourself. I think it will be useful in helping you understand how SparkPost’s email delivery service fits into the broader email marketing space. It also will give a good introduction to our technical approach and our deliverability and operational expertise.

So, please do take a look at Red Pill Email’s review of SparkPost—and I’d love to hear what you think.