Traqli takes winding path to success with “smart” email-marketing tool

traqli-screenEmail marketing campaigns may be an effective way to push out news about your business and products, but most people can get pretty annoyed when bombarded with useless messages. Kiev-based Traqli will not promise that everyone will be thrilled to be on the end of your email blast, but the company has taken an interesting path to developing a platform that has proven attractive to publishers seeking greater reader engagement for their marketing campaigns.

The service functions by allowing content publishers to add a few lines of code and then, ideally, increase reader engagement by providing them with content that is more relevant to them. It’s a “smart” platform, learning what the reader likes and then tailoring emails towards those preferences. One of the nice aspects in terms of pricing is that publishers pay based on how many emails they push out. It is free for many (for the first 30K emails) and then the price per email scales downward as the volume increases.

Sometimes you go into business with a clear idea of where you are headed and never waver from that course, but sometimes things just do not turn out as you intended. In the case of Traqli, the founding team launched Newzmate, an RSS aggregator, in summer 2013. They picked up an initial 1,500 users, but concluded that developing an RSS aggregator was simply not a sound business plan, due the difficulty of making it profitable and the large amount of competitors in the market. So, they decided to pivot. They were still committed to solving the issue of information overload, which led them to create a button (now under the ‘Traqli’ name) that publishers could place on their website, which would enable readers to follow particular stories and receive updates. But, after analyzing the behavior of 5 million readers, they decided that they were still not satisfied with the direction of the business and decided that the key issue was that plummeting revenue and companies have limited resources to throw at audience engagement. Thus, they opted to shift again and become an email marketing service. At what a decision it was, as the company now reaches an audience of 15 million, delivering more than 14 million emails monthly and increasing their revenue at a rate of 30% month-over-month.

Traqli is backed by $300K in external investment, which they obtained several weeks ago from Polish VC Xevin Investments and Dutch angel Bas Godska. That round followed the $70K that they picked up as a result of their participation in the acceleration program at Kiev-based Happy Farm. Following the latest injection of funding, the company reported that the money would allow them to further penetrate the American and European markets.

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