As a company that represents the majority of email service providers in our industry, our biggest thrill is to see our ESP network thrive. We strive to understand our clients. To do so, we must appreciate the undulating terrain these ESPs experience and to bear witness to their successes and challenges. We have found that giving a voice to our ESP network, especially around issues with development and customization, drives consistency and dependability.
In that spirit, over the next several months, we’ll continue to serve our ESP network by giving them a voice on our content platform. Every month, we’ll feature an email service provider from our network. We’ll provide insights into their own roadmaps, developments, and keys to growth and scalability. Below is our first installment in this series, featuring ESP Gold Lasso. Since its inception in 2002, Gold Lasso has prospered using a marketing philosophy reliant on word of mouth. Over time, they have begun to make strides in our industry with subscriber monetization, becoming a marquee ESP. Below is my interview with the CEO of Gold Lasso, Mr. Elie Ashery.
[P25]: What are Gold Lasso’s specific goals over the next 12-24 months?[GL]: All analysts are in agreement that digital advertising will continue to grow for multiple years to come. However, email continues to lag behind other digital advertising mediums. Reasons for this vary from consumer sentiment toward commercial email to the inherent personalization of the medium. It’s simply been a tough nut to crack for publishers that want to balance subscriber experience with monetization. Gold Lasso has been working with a number of publishing partners to perfect email monetization and to extract the latent value that an email address holds. As such, we are in the process of gradually rolling out our monetization programs. This includes intense development for media and publishing as we strive to become the standard for this in the email industry.
[P25]: How will the new board enable you to reach those goals?[GL]: The advisory board we recently put together is an eclectic group of talent and perspectives to help us better understand and serve the media and publishing industry. This group includes Joe Payne, former CEO of Eloqua and marketing veteran; Neil Patel, CEO of The Daily Caller, one of the fastest growing media companies; Ari Jacoby, CEO of Solve Media, which creates a better user experience for advertisers; and Mitch Arnowitz, managing director of Tuvel Communications, an agency specializing in niche marketing for B2B publishers. Collectively, this board provides immense and unique value for the types of programs Gold Lasso is offering.
[P25]: Gold Lasso sends about 600M emails out per month. Do you see that number scaling?[GL:] Gold Lasso currently sends between 600M and 1B email transmissions per month. We expect this to scale significantly over the next 24 months as we recruit publishers to our mLoop (monetization loop – see attached PDF) program. This program allows for publishers to license our proprietary email SaaS, at no charge, in addition to earning revenue from new and unique advertising units. This is a true win-win for publishers and Gold Lasso as publishers are able to turn a traditional cost center into an instant profit center while sharing their email ad revenue with us.
[P25]: What is the breadth or structure of your client base? B2B, B2C, or both?[GL]: Gold Lasso has about a 50/50 split between B2B and B2C clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies and large agencies to smaller, higher-than-average email volume senders. Over the last couple of years, we have been seeing a cross-adaptation of B2B and B2C email marketing methodologies that will eventually result in just one standard set. Therefore, we have focused our development on the best practices for creating a quality subscriber experience. This is also a reason why we are focusing on the publishing and media industry. In order to survive, this group has been adapting to technological changes very quickly, whereas marketing departments in other industries are just waking up to the fact that they, too, are publishing companies and need to act like them.
[P25]: Are you looking for additional funding to scale more rapidly?[GL:] Gold Lasso was founded with a $5 investment (story in entrepreneur magazine: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/195800) and all growth has been completely organic. We only raised a small amount of angel funding during the recession to ensure our longevity during that turbulent time. As entrepreneurs, we are always open to talking about funding; however, it’s never been our focus. Most entrepreneurs spend the majority of their time fundraising instead of growing a business. We’re confident we can always create value being in the email business.
Here is a link to Gold Lasso’s Email Monetization program for publishers. Gold Lasso’s growth over the past couple of years has been significant. For a VC looking to enter the digital messaging landscape (which has been very hot over the last few years), I wouldn’t overlook Gold Lasso as a potential partner. Their core group is ethically sound, and with the superstar board they recently convened, the sky is the limit for Gold Lasso.
If you’d like to be featured in an upcoming post, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.