Ideas and Validation May 11, 2020

Why are there so many email services and landing page services?

Hide Shidara @catsarebetter98

No disrespect intended, I'm genuinely curious about the email services and landing page services. There's a few very successful Indie Hackers running these companies and many more using these products. Why is the market so crowded? What does the customer demographic look like? My hypothesis is that it must be incredibly varied for there to be so many services.

  1. 3

    Why are there so many of them? Easy: they're SaaS with proven business models and high demand.

    Every business needs an email service. And every business that intends to make money is willing to pay for an email service that will help them do it.

    Personally, I hate landing page services--but that's just because I (1) value on-site SEO, and (2) can build my own. I know many businesses don't have these two things so a landing page service makes sense. And AFAIK, landing page services are one of the easiest SaaS businesses to build. Hard to gain market share (because of saturation) but easy to develop this kind of product.

  2. 3

    I am working in a similar space at https://nocodesheets.carrd.co - No code website builder using Google Sheets

    Some reasons why more and more people are opting for Landing page services

    People started realising where to spend money and where not to.

    -Time vs Money - if I am able to save a day of my work or if I am able to build a decent website in a day or so with a landing page builder - why not pay for it?
    Instead of hiring some one on upwork and explaining the color, patter, having a design before hand, mockup etc for landing page, its easy to directly do it yourself. Saves lot of energy.

    -Data rich sites (listing sites, job boards, information sites etc): - Its a tedious process to hook up data sources, align elements, make sure mobile responsiveness works, implement search, tags - whether you know coding or donot know coding - either ways , you are spending either time or money - Why not use a product like what I am building at https://nocodesheets.carrd.co at only $29/year and go to market even faster. Whether you spend time yourself or outsource it on upwork, you would be spending much more than $29 and adding another 2 months before you goto market.

    -Automation sites/tools : Then there are a bunch of tools like Zapier, Automations.io (not landing page builders but pretty much nocode solutions).

    This is all about why do people goto Landing page builder.

    Now, why are so many landing page builders. There are different personas in market.

    -Strong in tech : These people can build the websites by themselves in 1-2 days and are usually never ready to use website builders (on a side note, I have seen these people also using website builders these days to save time/energy and concentrate on much important things)

    -**People dont know tech and has got money to spend for a better QUALITY **: Some people don't know tech at all and are okay to spend good amount of money for a better quality. For example, https://www.landen.co is one of the landing page builders in this category. Versoly is another example https://versoly.com , built by another IHer @volkandkaya

    • People dont know tech and not willing to spend more money: There are people who don't know tech and usually dont like to spend much (to stay lean intentionally and be bootstrapped always). Carrd.co is a good option here.

    -People who really want a simple temporary landing page until their own page is ready: Another set of people who want a temporary page until their own product is ready. They dont want to spend time or energy on something that will be only there temporarily.

    -People needs to build complex things and has no tech knowledge : These people want to build some quick solutions like the one I am talking about like a data rich site with search functionality etc by themselves.

    Each landing page builder is catering to different kind of audience.

    Overall, in the recent times, there is a major shift in people mindset on their thinking with respect to time/money and that is why more and more landing page builders are coming up catering different kind of personas.

    I am not an expert in Email Services segment. Probably somebody else can answer that in similar lines.

    1. 1

      This is an awesome response, thank you 🙏

  3. 2

    Alright alright fine I'll do a landing page/email project

  4. 2

    This is a good question. Here are my thoughts on the email space specifically, as someone who built an ESP (Drip) in 2012 and sold it in 2016:

    1. The space is massive. Email is used by billions, and it's one of the few open protocols with this many users.

    2. The space is mature. Constant Contact was started in 1995. That's like a century ago in startup time. During that time there have been new innovations (AWeber, I believe, was the first to have sequences of emails, MailChimp the first to "nail" freemium as an ESP), and it's left plenty of time for software to feel old/crufty enough that new upstarts want to innovate and build a better UX, with lower costs (due to platforms like AWS).

    3. There are so many uses for email. Thus, building a niched down product only for ecommerce, or only for subscription ecommerce, or only for SaaS startups...all would have been unthinkable 20 years ago. But there are multiple tools in each of those niches today.

    4. It's lucrative. "Net negative churn" is no joke, as I saw first hand. If recurring revenue (SaaS) is the pinnacle of software pricing, net negative churn is the pinnacle of SaaS metrics. This is when your revenue grows each month without adding any new customers, through expansion revenue, and ESPs have that magic built in.

    I'm sure there are more, but those are a few thoughts from someone crazy enough to start an ESP when there were already hundreds back in 2012. Hope that's helpful.

    1. 1

      This is really informative, can I reach out to you with more questions?

  5. 2

    Email marketing, hosting, and website builders are huge markets for more than 10 years. Every year, there are new players competing in the market by leveraging new technology.

    One thing good for a crowded market is the need already exists. You just need to find a way to differentiate yourself from the others and market your service. There are many startups trying to create a blue ocean but turn out there is no market all.

    To thrive in crowded markets, you can find a niche that is ignored. Having said so, I am also finding my new idea to start.

    1. 1

      Yes, "blue ocean" sounds good in theory, but it's very unlikely that you've uncovered a niche/demand that everyone else has overlooked.

      If something doesn't exist for it, it's very likely that the demand just isn't there.

  6. 1

    The same reason why so many Todo Apps exist. Different customers have different needs and tastes. As already stated the market is huge.

  7. 1

    Marketing is such a huge field, there is room for anyone. I realized this when I saw some interesting very-niche startups that got acquired by big marketing companies.

    1. 1

      you have examples for those niche startups ?

      1. 1

        I don't have in my memory now but I was seeing them in Crunchbase.

  8. 1

    Pretty much every business is a potential customer of a email service. The market is huge.

  9. 1

    Because there’s a lot of demand and there’s space for everyone.

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