had the chance to sit down and chat with OPTIZMO’s co-founder and CEO, Khris Thayer. We discussed how the company started, what made them become the go-to solution for Fortune 500 companies looking for a solution to optimize the collection, storage, and distribution of customers data, and what they see in the future of email marketing and compliance.
What is OPTIZMO, and how does your mission differ from other companies in your niche?
is the recognized thought-leader in the email and online marketing space for email suppression list management, email campaign management, data management, and risk mitigation services relative to email compliance. With an expert staff in pursuit of unrivaled efficiency, innovative technology, and an insatiable desire to problem-solve, clients have the advantage of a customer-centric business model that not only enhances the way OPTIZMO clients do business but drives the company forward.
Perhaps the only truly independent suppression list management system
, OPTIZMO is entirely neutral and unaffiliated with any mailer, network, or other technology platforms. This allows the company to focus on delivering the most robust email compliance solutions available in the industry and make it available to every client, with no potential conflicts of interest.
How did it all start, and what challenges have you faced during the years?
OPTIZMO was founded in 2009. At the time, my friend Grant Fern and I had been working on a variety of ideas for businesses we could launch together. We saw a great opportunity in the email compliance and suppression list management industry to build a state-of-the-art SaaS platform that would empower Advertisers, Networks, Performance Agencies, and Email Marketers to more effectively manage the email opt-out and suppression list management process. From its inception, the company has been focused on delivering email compliance solutions through an automated software platform (SUPPRESS) that optimizes the collection, storage, and distribution of email suppression files.
When we launched the company, there was an established industry leader in the space. As the new kid on the block, we had to demonstrate to the market that our technology platform was superior to our more established competitors and that we were not only a nimble startup, but a company built for long-term success. While this was a daunting task, our small team (initially just Grant and myself) began building our reputation, one client and partner at a time. During the intervening years, we’ve continued to grow through challenges including tough economic times, a global pandemic, and a constantly shifting digital marketing industry.
Over the years, we slowly added team members and today, we have a dynamic global team with offices in the United States (Austin, TX, Charleston SC, Denver, CO), and Brisbane, Australia. The entire team is focused on providing customers with truly exceptional training and support, always putting the needs of the client first and foremost. This absolute dedication to customer support and success, when paired with our robust technology platform and solutions, is why many companies have been working with OPTIZMO since our inception, with new clients coming on board every month from the very beginning.
Today, OPTIZMO is the recognized industry leader in email and SMS suppression list management and the go-to solution for companies across every industry when looking for email and SMS compliance services.
Who are your typical clients and what problems do they have when they come to you?
Our clients range from Fortune 500 companies to startups and small businesses. What they all have in common is a need for the industry’s most powerful, but also easy-to-use, compliance solutions for email and SMS marketing.
A common challenge that OPTIZMO solves is the ability to collect and store opt-out requests from potentially hundreds of marketing partners and then distribute up-to-date suppression files to every partner.
This capability is required for marketing partners to remain compliant with email marketing regulations like The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.
And what makes them eventually choose you over your competitors?
OPTIZMO delivers a unique combination of the most powerful technology available to the market, paired with unmatched customer support and service. It is this combination that sets OPTIZMO apart from every other competitor. We have numerous clients and partners who have been with us since the beginning, 14 years ago. When a new client comes on board, we anticipate building a long-lasting partnership with them as we become their go-to resource for all their compliance needs.
It’s easy for a company to claim it has world-class customer support, but we deliver on our promise. We begin demonstrating this client-focused approach as soon as we start talking to a prospective client and then just keep it up, year after year after they join us as clients.
A common theme across all of our client testimonials is that we truly do deliver exceptional support by responding quickly to requests with transparency and the full benefit of our experienced team’s insights and we do it all in a friendly and approachable manner.
What strategies have been most effective to attract and retain customers?
We believe strongly that our amazing team gives us an incredible advantage when it comes to attracting new clients and then turning them into long-term partners. We have always focused on building a team of experienced, talented, motivated, and friendly people who our clients love to work with. This focus on relationship building has helped drive year-over-year company growth every year since our inception.
When you build a great team, and then consistently deliver the most user-friendly and powerful software to your clients, it naturally leads to success.
What platforms are you using to manage your daily tasks, and what do you like about each of them?
One of the unique aspects of our company is that our team is distributed across the United States and Australia. This allows us to provide around the clock client support and constantly work to drive the company forward. With team members working remotely across time zones, we depend on tools like Slack, Zoom, and Jira, among others, for easy communication and collaboration between individuals and across teams.
Slack and Jira have proven to be versatile and effective tools to help keep the team aligned on projects and goals, while maintaining easy communication and collaboration.
What books, newsletters, or other resources would you suggest to any aspiring online entrepreneur?
Fortunately, existing and future entrepreneurs have access to a vast collection of publications, books, networking groups, and other resources to help them on their journeys.
Start with some foundational books like Start With Why (Simon Sinek), Made to Stick (Chip and Dan Heath) and Extreme Ownership (Jocko Willink) and then branch out from there.
These days, I also highly recommend that every entrepreneur immerse themselves in the evolving capabilities of Artificial Intelligence. AI will soon impact, if not utterly disrupt, nearly every industry, and entrepreneurs who not only adapt to those changes, but learn to take advantage of them will be positioned for success. So, subscribe to newsletters and read articles about AI every day. Then, look for ways to leverage AI tools to make yourself and your business more efficient and effective.
What challenges and opportunities do you see in the future of your industry, and how do you plan to cope?
The digital marketing industry is constantly evolving. Just look at the impact AI has had in just a short time.
While email marketing is the grandfather of all digital marketing channels, it too has changed over the past 4+ decades, as user behavior has evolved across generations and technology has evolved to provide consumers with the ability to access the online world from anywhere.
Similarly, marketing and data privacy regulations continue to change to meet the needs and challenges of society. We’ve been a part of this evolution for the past 14 years and will continue to support our clients’ compliance needs as their businesses grow and adapt to this constantly changing environment.