MarTech 360 Interview With Steffen Schebesta, CEO, North America, and VP, Corporate Development at Sendinblue
Hi Steffen, could you tell us about your journey in technology?
My journey in technology began more than a decade ago when I founded a company called Newsletter2Go in Germany. We created email software marketing as a service, grew the company to 70 employees, and became the German market leader. In 2019, Sendinblue acquired Newsletter2Go, and I transitioned to the role of CEO of North America. Now I oversee customer care, GTM strategies, and M&A activities from our Toronto office, and travel frequently to our customer experience team in Seattle.
What challenges did the Covid-19 pandemic pose for your team?
We already had a hybrid remote policy before COVID and our teams had flexible schedules, so it didn’t change that much for us. People worked from home or completely remote and were always available online to connect. Now we try to encourage our employees to come back to the office for 2-3 days per week, as long as our employees feel safe, which is a top priority for us. And we’re finding that a lot of our employees want to come back. They want to see their peers again and grab a coffee with somebody. Everyone has missed the human interaction and in-person camaraderie.
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What sets Sendinblue apart from the competition?
Sendinblue is an all-in-one digital marketing platform for small to medium-sized businesses that offers the most affordable, easy-to-use and scalable platform on the market. We empower businesses at all levels, and e-commerce sellers and agencies, to build stronger customer relationships through digital marketing campaigns, marketing automation and segmentation, chat/conversations, push notifications, transactional emails and personalization. And, our customer service is unparalleled. We offer support in six different languages, respond to all queries within the same day, and offer both email and phone support to our customers, regardless of their plan.
How has Sendinblue’s M&A activity strengthened the company’s offerings?
The four recent acquisitions meet the demand of our customers – very small businesses and small to medium-sized businesses that have limited resources but can capitalize on building and maintaining customer relationships with these new offerings. With the acquisitions of Chatra, Metrilo and Shopify’s top application for push notifications, PushOwl, customers will have the ability to amplify their e-commerce toolsuite, improve overall sales performance and customer experiences, thanks to automated chat notifications. With our most recent acquisition of MeetFox, a scheduling and video conferencing software company, Sendinblue customers will also be able to integrate this scheduling component through various channels, such as a website or app, to ultimately make it easier for businesses to schedule in-person or online appointments.
Does Sendinblue plan on expanding its offerings for marketers?
Absolutely – we will continue to expand our offerings for marketers this year, especially with one-on-one messaging on the rise. Marketers can already set up conversations with messenger platforms and a chatbox through Sendinblue and send targeted messages through SMS. This year, we’ll have even more to offer our customers and marketers will be able to analyze and monitor ROI of marketing performance.
How do you envisage email marketing evolving, in the years to come?
Email marketing will always be relevant but it will continue to evolve, specifically as marketing automation continues to advance and as new data privacy features continue to be integrated.
What three things that business owners can do to optimize their digital outreach?
- Ecommerce analytics integrations
- Deploying push notifications
- Marketing automation and segmentation
As a business leader, what metrics do you use to define success?
- (Net) retention rate
How do you see marketing automation impacting the traditional sales and marketing funnels?
We definitely see marketing automation improving the overall customer experience with purposeful and personalized content. Through automation, we expect to see higher conversion and engagement through intentional call to action from the customer’s history of interactions. Businesses will be able to implement automation workflows that will become an efficient use of resources that can save time and cost.
Could you name one person from the MarTech sector that you would like to see featured here?
Typeform CEO – Joaquim Lecha
Could you name the top five apps/platforms that you use for marketing?
Adwords, Chatra, PushOwl, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite
What advice would you give to someone who aspires to be a business leader?
Let your passion fuel your enthusiasm. There’s something special about building something from scratch and getting the word out. Passion is contagious and it sparks a fire in others around you. As you begin to grow, stay humble and listen to your employees. Feedback at all levels is key – both internally and externally, employees and customers alike. Perspectives may differ, but they’ll also reveal gaps that may have been missed. Creating a respectful environment leads to a happy and healthy workforce, and also spearheads innovation.
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