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Twilio, Vonage Embrace Email

While business users may shun email in favor of the more modern -- and instantly gratifying -- IM, SMS, or team collaboration session, many marketers continue to live and die by this mode of communications for customer outreach. Email’s importance as a marketing tool hasn’t gone unnoticed by cloud communications platform-as-as-service (CPaaS) providers, as we’ve seen in recent industry activity.
 
Twilio & SendGrid
We can trace the latest evidence of this trend back to October 2018, when Twilio announced its $2 billion purchase plan for SendGrid, an email API platform for customer engagement. As we reported at the time, Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson shared the company’s reasoning in a prepared statement reading: “Email is a vital communications channel for companies around the world, and so it was important to us to include this capability in our platform.”
 
Fast-forward nine months, and with SendGrid officially under Twilio’s ownership since February, Twilio this week bulked up the email capabilities available via its cloud communications platform. Specifically, the company this week introduced new automation and email testing features within Twilio SendGrid Marketing Campaigns.
 
Historically, SendGrid Marketing Campaigns have helped marketers optimize one-time and transactional messages. They’re able to personalize these sorts of messages, make them relevant, and deliver in a timely manner. Now they’ll be able to do much the same for recurring emails and order-specific “drip” campaigns, Twilio said.
 
Among other capabilities, the new automation will allow them to send messages based on customer behavior, speed the production of recurring emails, and deliver messages in real time. And, with the ability to track receipt, they’ll be to “improve resonance” and adjust delivery over time, the company added. In addition, marketers will have access to new Signup Forms for help in growing their contact bases and automate delivery of welcome messages.
 
By integrating email testing into SendGrid Marketing Campaigns, Twilio said it aims to ease the expense and cumbersomeness associated with the use of third-party tools. The testing capability includes inbox rendering and spam and link validation.
Twilio offers a free email campaign plan for up to 2,000 contacts and 6,000 email sends per month, as well as a basic plan starting at $15 per month and an advanced plan that starts at $60 per month.
 
Vonage & Sendinblue
While Twilio has taken the acquisition approach to serving the email communications needs of its enterprise customers, CPaaS competitor Vonage has gone the partnership route. Late last month the company announced that it has teamed with Sendinblue, a cloud-based email marketing and marketing automation provider, to deliver emails through Vonage’s Nexmo API platform. Per terms of the partnership, Nexmo is also now the exclusive SMS provider for Sendinblue.
 
Via its global cloud platform, Sendinblue sends 40 million emails daily and 5 million SMS messages daily, Vonage reported. Nexmo will be using this platform to allow businesses to send transactional messages, notifications, and email marketing campaigns.
 
The Nexmo and Sendinblue cloud platforms complement each other, “layering email into other channels within the same platform to provide a comprehensive toolkit for customer engagement,” Raul Castanon-Martinez, a senior analyst with 451 Research, said in a prepared statement. That’s important, he said, since “customer engagement in today’s hyper-connected world has expanded beyond voice, video and social to include marketing, sales, service and other domains.”

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