Q&A: Senndo CEO Manish Vij

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Senndo, a free e-mail marketing service touted by its founders as the first of its kind, launched October 11 after two months of beta testing. Manish Vij, founder and CEO of Senndo, a division of Anconia, spoke to Direct Marketing News' Shahnaz Mahmud about offering a free ESP service to grow the market.

Direct Marketing News: Why did you create this service?
Manish Vij: We see it as a huge business opportunity. We started out in e-mail marketing software, and we started looking at doing a Web service. We found that no one in the industry has really exploited the “freemium” angle yet.

DMN: What's your background in the space?
Vij
: We have e-mail marketing software, Anconia RocketSales, which we have offered for eight years online. But we wanted to solve the deliverability problem for our customers as well. We decided on our Web strategy as a freemium strategy because we believe we will attract more users.

DMN: What do you hope to achieve with Senndo?
Vij
: E-mail service providers are doing very well financially…Industry-wide, the paid user base is less than 1 million. But there are 30 million small businesses in the US according to the Small Business Administration, and around 24 million individuals running sole proprietorships. There are a small number of businesses using ESPs where the pricing can get quite steep; sites can be slow and hard to use, and templates aren't up to par. With Senndo, we're offering a service that's simple, fast, pretty and free for 90% of users. We think this model will radically expand the market.

DMN: Who do you see as your competitors?
Vij: We are focusing on small business consumers, so we see ESPs like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp and iContact as our main competitors. Having said that, we are not looking so much to convert existing customers. We're looking to grow the market, so to tap into the consumer base that isn't using an ESP today. We think it's a much larger market.

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