How We Reached 10,000 Monthly Active Senders

Illustration by Colombe Nicolas illustration of a milestone

Over 10,000 WordPress websites are now relying on MailPoet to send their emails. They either have small lists of a few hundred subscribers or they are larger senders with lists of 100,000 or more.

This milestone was reached thanks to a 50% increase in our user base in the last 12 months. Fun fact: forty percent of our email traffic is from free users.

We saw a lot of 🎉🎊🥳 emojis on our internal Slack. There’s cause for celebration since everyone’s effort at MailPoet got us collectively across the line. 

I say this without swagger: my colleagues are sharp, inclined to set the bar higher, tilted towards solid software design and prone to run the extra mile to help users. Kudos to them for reaching new heights!

Why are we growing quickly?

We added 50% more users to our sending plans in the last year, free and paid. The following efforts helped us achieve this milestone: 

  • Improve onboarding by eliminating friction
  • Give a more generous free plan 
  • Create features that stick
  • Educate users about list hygiene

Onboarding. We improved the first impressions our users might have in the first 15 minutes of getting their hands on our plugin. We’ve eliminated quite a few friction points in the process. Our Net Promoter Score is currently at 50 which makes us quite happy. Still a work in progress.

Better free plan. In June last year, we made our free plan more generous by allowing users to send up to 1,000 subscribers and get the Premium features for free. We did see a drop in revenues, but we’re banking on free users to spread the good word for us.

Features that stick. We released the “stop sending to your inactive subscribers” which is exclusive to MailPoet. Users end up having the best list hygiene practices without even lifting a finger.

Moreover, MailPoet can now send all your WordPress and WooCommerce emails. This means our users don’t need to install another WP SMTP plugin.

We made headway with WooCommerce features as well, like our own WooCommerce Email Template Customizer. This is still a work in progress. 

We’re always looking for feedback to help us prioritize. Add yours or go upvote an existing idea in our feedback board.

List hygiene. Since MailPoet sends a lot of emails, we deeply care about email best practices. We spend a lot of time preventing bad practices and educating on good practices. For example, did you know that your typical 1-year-old professional list will have 10 to 15% invalid addresses? It’s a terrible idea to send to such a poor list!

When things go wrong, we work with our users to fix the issues instead of kicking them out. 

What are the advantages of sending with MailPoet?

First and foremost, it’s just easy to set up: set up an account, get your key and activate.

We’ve also removed nagging authentication steps: sending with MailPoet does not require setting up SPF and DKIM for most users. We only require you to confirm that you are the actual owner of an email address to avoid phishing. 

When it comes to deliverability, our email service is close to 99% global deliverability rate thanks to our in-house deliverability managers. They are the gatekeepers against abuse and help our users reach the inbox every day. Curious to know more about them? Read Email Deliverability Manager: What’s This Lesser-Known Yet Crucial Job Role?

We built our email infrastructure for our own WordPress plugin specifically. This allows us to send your emails at great speed, without slowing down your website, and have zero email loss.

If you’re setting up sending from WordPress, MailPoet gives you an edge over third-party solutions such as Mailchimp, Amazon SES, and SendGrid.

Finally, we’re based in Europe. Our services are GDPR friendly. Our privacy policy is pretty clear, and we take it at heart.

Can you tell us more about your sending technology?

Sure! We built our own sending infrastructure in-house instead of white labeling Amazon SES, for example. 

This is quite an investment in both time and money. Why did we do that? Here are the main reasons:

  • We want to own the entire lifecycle of email. If there’s an issue, we know how to fix it ourselves.
  • This allows the sending of our free users’ emails at very little cost. 40% of our email traffic is from free users.
  • To send our users’ emails faster. MailPoet can send to a list of 50,000 in just one hour. That’s simply unmatched in WordPress.
  • We can scale our user base in a breeze. Our architecture was designed to handle a lot more than what we have today.
  • We want to provide a service with no downtime. Our services have been available nearly 100% for 3 consecutive years.
  • Our global deliverability is audited weekly by Postmastery, a European leader in email deliverability.

How does it work exactly? It’s pretty simple:

  1. Your WordPress website sends emails to MailPoet’s API
  2. MailPoet’s API decides what to do with your emails (anti-abuse systems)
  3. MailPoet’s API queues emails to our own Mail Transfer Agent (which is an SMTP if you like)
  4. The Mail Transfer Agent sends the emails
  5. MailPoet’s API listens for issues, like hard bounces or spam complaints

What’s next?

Between ourselves, we half-jokingly say that we’re in the security business. Why? Much of our efforts around our email infrastructure is spent on security. We are no different from email industry actors.

This month, our anti-abuse algorithm will get smarter. We want to get fewer false positives when seeking bad senders. We have a few more deliverability focused upgrades this year.

In regards to the plugin, we’re working to finalize our new signup form editor which is built with Gutenberg. Then, we’re going through a major design overhaul. Watch this space!

Got questions? Ask in the comments!