Startups Q&A With AWeber, The Company Behind The First Email Autoresponder By Abhilash Thakur Posted on 2 weeks ago Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr 20 years ago, Tom Kulzer was working part-time selling modems while attending college. Though successful, he found himself spending precious hours following up with potential clients. He knew there had to be a better way. This is what led Kulzer to design his own automation system and found AWeber, the first ever email autoresponder. We spoke to the team at AWeber to learn more about how they’re staying relevant in an increasingly competitive industry and also to talk about their latest 24/7 customer service update. Could you tell us about your background and the story behind AWeber? Tom Kulzer is the CEO and founder of AWeber, a leading small business email marketing software, where he is actively involved in the company’s strategic direction, growth and evolution. Over the company’s 20-year history, Tom has nurtured it from a small start-up to a robust organization serving over 100,000 customers, all without public or venture funding. Before Tom founded AWeber, he was working part-time selling modems while attending college. He was spending a lot of time following up with potential clients, so he built a system to automate his email follow-up. He eventually quit that job to focus on school, but other salespeople wanted his system. So, in 1998, Tom decided to start AWeber, the first-ever autoresponder on the market. He ran the business on his own for a few years until he hired his first team member (AWeber now has roughly 120 team members). AWeber grew steadily over the past 20 years, primarily through word of mouth in the online marketing world. Today, AWeber is one of leading email marketing and automation providers, supporting more than 100,000 businesses, entrepreneurs and online creators worldwide. How did you build AWeber’s customer base? Much of AWeber’s growth over the last 20 years has come from serving customer needs. That has led to immense organic growth through word of mouth. Happy customers tell their friends. Having invented the first email autoresponder, we quickly became the go-to for online marketers. How does AWeber separate itself from competitors? While we have different strengths depending on the competitor you look at, generally speaking what sets AWeber apart is: Our award-winning customer support (now available 24/7) Affordable, all-in-one pricing that includes access to all of our features (no add-ons or upgrades) Our 20-year experience and knowledge of the email marketing industry (that’s why we have some of the best deliverability in the market) Could you tell us about your recent announcement? (24/7 Customer Support) We recently announced the addition of 24/7 customer support, giving our customers real-time access to our award-winning support team. In a time when many software companies are scaling back support and doing away from real, personal connections, we are instead investing more in supporting our customers. Our goal is to create true and lasting partnerships with our customers. And we’re committed to pushing the standard for service higher in the future. Around-the-clock support will allow our customers to experience even faster response times and solutions to their questions, beyond our already rapid response times, so they can get unstuck and move their business forward. Whether you’re up late, crafting the perfect email, or awake at the break of dawn, building your next big campaign, we want to be there for our customers when they need us, regardless of where they live in the world. AWeber customers can access 24/7 live chat and email support for help with their account, including getting started, custom template design, setting up advanced tagging and automations, migrating from another provider, connecting to one of our 300+ app integrations, and more. Do you have any advice for other startups looking to stay relevant in increasingly competitive times? Listen to customers. Solve problems, don’t just add features. Do things that others believe won’t scale. If you’re not doing something people call “crazy”, you’re probably being average and should expect average results. Take care of your team. Create an environment where your team can thrive. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. What are your plans for the future of AWeber? We plan to continue innovating in the area of email marketing and automation, including more advanced tagging, automations and segmentation. We will also continue listening to our customers and building a product that helps them achieve success. Our customers’ needs are evolving, and we are evolving with them to help them continue to grow and be successful. Is there anything else you’d like to share? While we’re extremely passionate about building a product that will help small businesses succeed, we’re equally as passionate about providing highly valuable education. If you’re interested in learning more about email marketing and automation, AWeber offers a really robust collection of educational resources, including an award-winning blog, numerous courses on list-building, email copywriting, marketing automation and more, helpful how to videos, live and on-demand webinars, and more. Go to https://blog.aweber.com to learn more.