Newsletter2Go founders Steffen Schebesta and Christoph Beuck

Moving Email Marketing Forward — a Berlin Startup’s Story

Ian Roderick
Feb 22, 2016 · 4 min read

Later this spring, Newsletter2Go will release the biggest product relaunch in our history. Already one of Germany’s top providers of email marketing software, we’re now aiming at international markets: the rest of Europe, the UK, and even the United States.

How’d we get this far? Well, the Newsletter2Go story is actually a pretty classic Berlin startup story – one that begins with a small, dedicated team with a strong vision. Berlin has been a great springboard for us, and we’re excited to share our story with the community during this relaunch.

The Idea

Our two founders, Steffen Schebesta and Christoph Beuck, have known each other since they were teenage classmates. They both ended up studying programming at TU Berlin. During their studies, they worked a number of side projects as freelance IT consultants. One of these projects was making a desktop-based email marketing software for a client here in Berlin. It wasn’t a big project, but immediately after they finished, they thought, “we could do this better.”

For one thing, the desktop software was severely limiting. Why not create cloud-based software? And for another, Christoph and Steffen thought that an international-minded firm based in Berlin would have big advantages relative to competitors: lower costs, multiple languages, Berlin’s excellent startup infrastructure, and fresh ideas.

The Founding

The pair began tinkering around in their spare time, and quickly realized that email marketing software just doesn’t make sense as a desktop-based platform. It’s got to be location-independent, e.g. cloud-based.

After Steffen and Christoph graduated from TU, they decided to make this side project their full-time passion. Newsletter2Go GmbH was founded in 2011. For the first 18 months or so, it was the two of them working in a room in Charlottenburg, along with a few part-time developers. During this time, Christoph and Steffen kept active in the Berlin startup scene, attending events, listening to speeches, and meeting and greeting other founders.

It took around 18 months, but by the beginning of 2013 the business was starting to take off. Having been financed through the first year and a half by an angel seed round, they were able to begin operating entirely from earned revenue in 2013. They also rounded out the team by bringing in Max Modl as a shareholder and CMO.

Newsletter2Go’s home: the Charlottenburg Innovation Center in West Berlin.

Moving Email Marketing Forward

What was behind the push for change in email marketing? Basically, our goal at Newsletter2Go is to move email marketing forward by putting the email recipient at the center of our focus. We want to empower our customers to send emails that people will love.

We believed this could be done by creating innovative technology that allows people to send more relevant email campaigns. Relevant emails are more likely to be opened and clicked, which also makes them more likely to generate attention, leads, and sales.

Increasing relevance consists of three basic pillars: collecting the right data about your contacts, turning that data into really cool emails, and using automation to get the right emails sent to the right people at the right time.

Sounds easy, but it takes some work. Ideally it would be possible for every business to send completely individualized emails to all of its customers. We’re not there yet, but that’s where we’re heading: emails that contain differentiated content, products, or information.

We think that our competitors, both here in Europe and in North America, have let their focus drift from what’s really important. That’s given us an option to be innovative, and being based in Berlin has also enabled us to be extremely efficient and really make a value-based offer to our customers.

Newsletter2Go is a Berlin Startup Story

We’re proud to call Berlin home. In fact, our story wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else. Our founders went to TU together, and connected there with a number of people they’d work with in the years to come at Newsletter2Go.

The startup infrastructure in Berlin is excellent. We’ve been in the CHIC, a state-sponsored building for tech firms — since the very beginning. There are tons of events where we’re regularly meeting and exchanging ideas with inspiring Berliners.

And, perhaps most importantly, our international team just wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else. Where else in Germany — or in Europe, for that matter — could we have found people from Canada, the USA, Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Poland?

We’re proud Berliners, and are eager to share our story. We’re also always looking to connect with fellow startups, entrepreneurs, and tech companies. Give us a shout!

Silicon Allee

Curated essays from Berlin’s start-up scene.

Ian Roderick

Written by

Silicon Allee

Curated essays from Berlin’s start-up scene.

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