Despite Lockdowns, 2020 Turned Out to be Best Year for Webpower
After the first shock that COVID-19 brought last year, second part of 2020 turned out to be a record year for many digital companies. One of them is Webpower Adria, e-mail marketing specialist. Company's cofounder and CEO Jan de Jong, a Dutch living in Croatia, in an interview for ICT Business says that first lockdown came as great obstacle for business, while the second part of the year turned out to be much better than expected.
What was the business like in 2020 and what do you expect from 2021, given that the crisis has pushed online commerce, and thus communication via the newsletter?
The year 2020 was a very turbulent year. At first, at the beginning of the lock-down, many companies that had planned to start using Webpower postponed their decision, just as a result of big uncertainty. Soon after, a wave of new clients came our way. At the end, 2020 turned out to be our very best year ever, in which we have been able to double our client base. Today we are serving nearly 100 companies.
Which segments in Croatia and the region are growing the fastest?
It's really hard to say. We have seen new clients coming from all industries. Even in the tourism industry, which was obviously hit hard by Covid-19, we have gained a significant number of new clients. Email marketing has proven itself to be among most cost-efficient ways to communicate with your (potential) customers – offering high ROI. Most industries have seen a digital transformation, and that has resulted in Webpower getting new clients from a wide variety of different industries.
When we talk about your mailing system, what is it that makes it specific and different from the competition on the market?
Most of our clients used to work with MailChimp in the past, or similar solutions. Our clients switched to Webpower for different reasons. The fact that data of our clients is hosted within the European Union and the fact that both Webpower Adria as a company and Webpower as a SaaS are ISO 27001:2013 certified, gives our clients to comfort knowing that they can operate in compliance with GDPR. Our delivery-rate of newsletters is much higher than that of similar solutions (>99%), our pricing is competitive and last but not least, we offer local support from our HQ in Zagreb.
Webpower does not only offer a SaaS. We position ourselves as the leading email marketing experts in the region. When it comes to email marketing, we can offer you our SaaS, but also turn-key solutions including execution of email marketing campaigns on your behalf.
When we talk about mailing systems and newsletters, all this is done in the EU under the auspices of the GDPR, that is, care must be taken to protect personal data. How do you deal with that?
In order to be compliant with GDPR, European based Email Service Providers, like Webpower – simply have an advantage over the U.S. based competition. Data protection in the U.S. is simply not at the same level as it is within the European Union. Many companies, who understand the importance of data security choose to work with Webpower – as a locally based Email Service Provider, including banks, credit card processors, insurance companies, etc. We sign a Data Processing Agreement (DPA) with all our clients and in addition to that, our ISO 27001:2013 certification proves that our processes on how to deal with client data are well-defined and compliant with GDPR.
A few days ago, a decision was made in court in Munich, which actually shows that Mailchimp, one of the world's largest mailing and newsletter systems, is in fact illegal in the EU, including Croatia. What exactly happened and how do you comment on that?
MailChimp is our main competitor in Croatia and the rest of the region. We have claimed for some time now that MailChimp is operating in a rather gray area when it comes to GDPR. And the court in Munich goes even one step further by ruling its no longer a gray area but pitch black. All in all, with the proposition that Webpower Adria offers, including higher delivery-rate of newsletters, local support, great functionalities, competitive pricing and a GDPR compliant solution, its seems to me that what we offer to our clients really is a great alternative to MailChimp.