SendGrid Launches Threads, A Triggered Email Service For Marketers

SendGrid CEO Sameer Dohlakia said he thinks of the company’s new product, Threads by SendGrid, as “the anti-spam.”

Basically, Threads allows customers to set up automated emails that get sent based on user activity — so you could send an email whenever a customer views a specific web page, uses a specific feature or performs a certain action in your mobile app.

For someone like me, who doesn’t spend all that much time thinking about email delivery and email marketing, this might sound similar to what’s already offered by SendGrid and other companies.

However, Dholakia said that if you wanted to send these types of targeted emails with a normal marketing tool, you’d have to ask your developers to pull out a list of customers matching certain parameters, then create a custom campaign aimed specifically at those users. With Threads, you can set up rules and triggers without writing any code, so that those emails get sent automatically.

Dholakia also said that Threads is allowing SendGrid (which says it already delivers 20 billion emails each month) to create a product that’s aimed directly at marketers.

“It opens up a big swath of more marketing-centric emails that typically that have not flown through the SendGrid pipes,” he said.

As examples of how marketers might use Threads, he said they could create email campaigns targeted at users who start to sign-up but don’t complete the process, or who sign-up but don’t verify their email address, or whose credit card comes back as invalid. In each case, the marketer can create “all sorts of sophisticated workflows and sequences” delivering different messages based on a consumer’s behavior.

He even argued that this could result in more relevant emails for consumers (hence the “anti-spam” comment): “Anytime you put a powerful tool like this in the hands of marketers, they use their creativity to dream up lots of micro segments in terms of how they should be tailoring their messages based on some triggered behavior. They’re not broad-based, feels-like-spam emails.”