Reply to ricardo108

To try and get at the heart of your question, here's some context about the business behind all of this:

First example:

We are pretty comparable to an expensive SaaS called Ongage.

I say expensive because although their lowest tier on their pricing page is technically $399/mo, I've never spoken to anyone who ends up spending less than $2500/mo with them, that's the lowest number I've ever heard of which was just from one person, usually it's something like $4000.

Ongage has lots of upsells locks and limitations on everything and anything you can think of down to the number of database fields you can have, to be able to use more than one SMTP connection you instantly go from $399 to $949.

Our first pilot customers for this self-hosted product were people using Ongage who were spending something like $40,000+ a year with Ongage who could do the same thing with our product for a $399 or $999 lifetime software license.

If you are good at sales and customer acquisition, that's the difference between what our product costs and what you can earn from it with just one customer.

Second example:

This is about a customer who was using an ESP whose name I decided to edit out of this post.

A few years ago I heard the CEO of this ESP say their average customer spends six figures a year with them, just to give you some context for the customer sizes they deal with here.

This customer was spending less than 3k/mo at around $1/CPM so this is probably considered "a small customer" by this ESP's standards.

The ESP was treating this customer pretty badly.

The customer was on an awful IP pool with no attention being paid to their delivery at all.

For example, it seemed like every other campaign they sent, almost all of their yahoo/aol would bounce despite these domains being a very large % of their list. There were generally a lot of obvious problems in their account you could see right away as soon as you logged in.

The customer understood "my email ROI has dropped in half" but they didn't understand why. They weren't the type of marketer who digs through reporting and analytics, all they know is that they used to send their email campaigns and get good results and now they don't anymore. When they talk to their ESP about this, they're told everything is fine on the ESP side of things, they must be doing something wrong as a sender.

The customer switched from going direct to the ESP to a reseller / agency of the exact same ESP they were already using but receiving poor service from.

The agency has their own IP pool and backend management with the ESP, so the customer gets the same UI they've been using for 7 years, but now they get concierge service and put on an IP pool with better delivery that people are actually paying attention to.

After going through a 3 week long sale process with the agency, this customer ended up paying $2700 just to get in the door with them.

At this type of ESP, the agency reselling the ESP might be paying a CPM anywhere in the range of 25 cents to 80 cents depending on the size of their commitment/contract, then the agency charges the customer a CPM anywhere from 80 cents to $1.25 due to the concierge attention and attempts being made by the agency to guarantee some level of delivery quality.

"Doing sales" is also a big factor here or maybe the biggest factor, I'm sure the agency makes various questionable claims about the things the agency can do differently than going direct to the ESP, bottom line is the agency just convinces you to buy them instead of buying something else.

During the same month this customer was making this transition, they also bought a $399 lifetime license, connected it to a new SparkPost account where they prepaid for a .50 cent CPM plan, and started sending their 120 day openers and clickers from their original ESP account on their platform. SparkPosts delivery is great especially when you win the IP pool lottery with them, so their open rate/CTR was off the charts compared to the bad IP pool they were on at their original ESP.

If they had come to me first before the other agency, and I was running an agency instead of a software company, I could have brokered the 50 cent SparkPost CPM to them myself for 90 cents which would be cheaper than they were paying for the original ESP account with the bad delivery, except now their delivery would be exceptional, for less money, and they would have no idea this was just a self-hosted software platform with a SparkPost account running on a $20 dedicated VPS at digital ocean.

If I were the agency in that scenario, their account size would be $1000-$1500 profit per month, instead of a one time profit of $399 which is the cost of the lowest tier license outside of AppSumo that they purchased.

To your other question on support, we have no idea if you're asking us for yourself or for your customer, however if a bunch of support tickets came in from the same person that all seemed like they didn't want to do the research to learn the software for themselves to field their own customers questions, we would probably point out to them that this was unreasonable.

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