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Episode Info: Customer.io is a SaaS product that allows companies to create, manage, and send all of their messages between their apps & their customers. The software solves a common headache by providing a no-code-required solution for product teams — one in which you can pipe in events from platforms like Segment and then drag and drop automated email messages. Since their launch in 2012, Customer.io has grown rapidly — to 41 employees and more than 1200+ customers ranging from SaaS to lot and beyond! In our conversation with Colin Nederkoorn, the CEO & co-founder of Customer.io, we’ll cover the origin story and how he powered early growth through directly talking to customers. Then, we’ll dive into why word of mouth has been such a powerful growth method for their brand. Finally, our conversation dives into how Colin is approaching the development of paid & partner marketing, fundraising, brand, and remote culture. 0:00 — Introduction 3:25 — What is Customer.io? What’s the origin story behind the company? 4:46 — Email felt like the universal thing we could affect. We were email only for 3 out of the 6 years. 7:45 — Learning to describe your customers is important — we sell to product teams 8:30 — Who do people switch from? What’s the use case for a product team using customer.io? 9:25 — How did you get your first customers? 9:45 — We reached out to talk to and learn from future customers in forums and on Twitter 10:45 — Playing the long game is important. Early conversation with marketer at (Moz) became a sale 6 years later when that person was a CMO at another company. 11:22 — Launched in private beta in April 2012 with 5 companies paying us $10/month. Then opened as a public beta product about 4 months later. 12:05 — "People have their guard up when they think any conversation is going to lead to a sale at the end... If I was starting a company from scratch again, I’d start talking to people even if I had nothing to sell them” 13:05 — How are you acquiring customers today? 13:50 — The way Customer.io supports agency clients differently 15:00 — Customer.io’s entrance into paid marketing 16:18 — As a CEO, how do guide your CMO to approach entering the paid space? 19:30— What levers are you thinking about pulling when you are focused on growth? 20:30 — Branding and messaging is important. We’re in a crowded space. You really quickly want to give a customer value. 22:20 — “So much of what people consider conventional has never felt right to me and our company” 23:20 — Colin’s decision in having a fully distributed team 26:18 — Customer.io's untraditional approach to fundraising. “We view funding as a tool to get to the next stage of the business.” 28:40 — CEO to CEO, what’s the best thing you’ve done to develop yourself? 30:48 — Why we sleep 31:45 — The Salty Six This is an actionable episode — we hope you enjoy! Get ready to #ScaleOrDie... We're excited to...
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