Aleksey Danchenko is the COO and co-founder of „eSputnik“ – a multichannel marketing automation system for B2C. eSputnik helps brands around the world build effective communication with their customers in different channels – email, SMS, web push, and mob push. Founded in 2012, eSputnik has become a regional leader in the direct marketing field. Aleksey is with us today and will give us the chance to ask him some questions about his company and daily work.
Aleksey, it’s a great pleasure to have you here today! Let’s start with our „Fill in the blank“ questions. Here they come…
I wouldn’t get through the day without… ☕️
… morning coffee. I know I’m not original but a cup of hot coffee is a kind of signal that the working day has started and I have some (a lot) job to do.
Also, I’ve become addicted to our morning team meetings. COVID-19 made us work from home, and I believe there is no need to explain there are times when you struggle to get yourself together. Our morning daily routine, however, is what helps me stay focused and business-oriented. And apart from working plans, we also share stories, jokes, and little personal moments that help make it through these challenging times.
As a kid, I always wanted to become… 👶
… a spaceman, as probably many other kids around the world. But unlike the majority of them, I kind of made my dream come true if you look at the name and concept of our company.
The person I would like to change jobs with for one day… 🔄
… is probably Elon Musk. Space, multi-tasking, complicated projects, peculiar manner of public speeches, occasional strange tweets, constant no sleep… Looks like we have much in common and I’d like to see how he handles it.
I love when people say my company… 🎉
… sucks. It makes me say “Hold my beer, folks” and prove them wrong. Also, criticism never lets you forget the world is constantly changing and you need to do your best to keep the pace.
The best business trip I’ve ever got the chance to go on took me to… ✈️
… Carmel, California. One year ago, in late October, my co-founder Dmytry and I participated in the huge email conference that hosted presenters from the world’s largest companies like Google, Oracle, Mailchimp, Pinterest, Sparkpost, etc. We had a workshop on AMP4email – a dynamic email technology that is going to revolutionize the old good email. It was challenging, but everything went amazingly well. Not only was it a very beautiful place but also an opportunity to share our findings with the recognized industry leaders such as Jon Harmer, Neil Patel, John Thies, Heather Goff, and many others. Damn, I want to get back there!
Thanks a lot for these honest responses! Now let’s dive into business: You’re the co-founder and COO of eSputnik, a B2C marketing automation system. Could you tell us what your company does, exactly? What are the main services you offer? 💻
eSputnik helps brands around the world build effective communication with their customers in different channels – email, SMS, web push, and mob push. We help automate their marketing routine by providing solutions for all types of customer management – contact base collection and segmentation, data management, personalized communication, behavioral tracking, advanced analytics. And the best part is that you can do it all within one platform.
That is indeed a big benefit! Tell us Aleksey: eSputnik is a really interesting and unusual company name for a marketing automation system. Where does the name come from and what does it have to do with the services you offer? 🚀
One of the questions I’ve been asked most often. Well, our name has many stories behind it. First, eSputnik is short for email sputnik. As you may know, sputnik is a name for satellites sent to space by the former Soviet Union. And similarly to how they used to send sputniks all over space, we send messages from our clients all over the world.
Second, apart from the space terminology, sputnik has one more meaning that is a friend or companion. So we accompany our clients through their marketing efforts.
And third, the first three letters of eSputnik – that are ESP – stand for email service provider that is actually who we are. Not bad for one little word, isn’t it.
What’s more, I believe eSputnik stands against other email platforms, many of which sound similar to me.
Wow, I wasn’t expecting that much thought behind it! You and your co-founder Dmitry started eSputnik back in 2012. Since then the company has become a regional leader in the direct marketing field. How did you manage to achieve this? 🤝
There is no short answer to this question. We worked a lot, failed a lot, succeeded next to a lot. We‘d put much effort into building our team and keep on investing in our specialists knowing they’re our main asset.
We learned the best from our predecessors and competitors and tried to avoid the worst. We treat our clients with respect and honesty and never forget that it’s them who pay our bills. Although sounding cool and prestigious, the title of a “regional leader” means not much to us. Like 8 years ago, I wake up every morning with a single thought “God, we have so much to do.”
You’re literally reaching for the moon, right? 😉 What are the main challenges that businesses turning to eSputnik are struggling with? 🤔
Proper data collection and management. Very often, clients have much customer data but don’t know what to do with it and how to use it most effectively. We help them build acquisition and retention strategies and run lead-generating interaction, using content personalization, advanced segmentation, and AI.
I see! As the COO and co-founder, what is your daily work about, exactly? 🕖
All the boring stuff mainly. Planning, strategies, goal setting, analytics, finances, GA reports, meetings with investors and partners, discussion of new products, meetings with developers, and sales team.
I’m curious to learn how it all started. What was it like to found a business in Ukraine? Were there any particular challenges and benefits you and your co-founder experienced? 🇺🇦
I think Ukraine is a great place for entrepreneurs. The country is rich in human resources. You can get the best developers and other professionals involved in your project in very favorable conditions. The only downside is that you cannot rely on the local market only if you want your business to constantly grow. To be successful, you need to aim for international markets from the very beginning. And it’s harder to do when you and your team are outside these markets.
eSputnik has been on the market for 8 years now. We’re all in the middle of the COVID-19 and many businesses had to adapt to the current situation. Did you experience this as well? What changes did you make? 👨💻
COVID-19 made many businesses go online and switch to digital communication. And since we offer solutions for marketing automation, the beginning of the lockdown generated us much interest from e-commerce and offline retailers. Businesses either wanted to grow their interaction with customers or migrated from different platforms seeking optimal offers. We realized that many of them were facing hard times and so reduced prices and offered free services to businesses that suffered the most (hotels, transportation, entertainment).
As for our own operation, the 2020 lockdown isn’t the first crisis we faced. So we confronted it with the ready emergency plan and followed it step by step. Of course, there was a lot of uncertainty, anxiety, and fears, but our team passed this resilience test.
Aleksey, my final question: If you had 3 wishes for 2021. What would they be? 💭
I wish you all stay positive, love your business, and remain focused on your dreams, despite any pandemics. Then, with a bit of luck, the new unicorn may be born! 🦄
Thanks a lot, Aleksey! All the best to you and your company! 👋
This interview belongs to #mailbutlerstories. For the whole Mailbutler team our clients are at the center of everything we do. This is why we love getting to know our Mailbutler users, their daily work, and the challenges they face.
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