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Online Social Marketplace, Listia Trades Poor Email Delivery for Increased Engagement and Conversion

"SendGrid is the most cost effective way to send transactional email even when compared to in-house servers and engineering resources."

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The Customer: Listia


Get rid of old stuff. Get new stuff for free!

Listia is an online auction site where you sell your unwanted things and bid on other people's stuff using credits instead of real money.

Listia has been featured in various media including ABC News, New York Daily News, TechCrunch, Family Circle Magazine, PC Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. Often dubbed as the social network for trading goods, Listia has grown into a wide community where users have interactive experiences with each other. To date, they have hosted over three million auctions and are becoming the largest marketplace for people to give and get free stuff.

The Challenge


As membership rose, email delivery, engagement and trades went down.

Listia relies on email to communicate with their users and for traders to communicate with each other. Because of the real-time nature of their business model, email is imperative to executing their value proposition and retaining customers. For example, emails are sent when members outbid one another, when friends join the network, for reminders and more. Soon, they started to receive complaints that their users weren’t receiving email and as a result, they experienced a lack of engagement among the community and interferences in users’ trades.

Due to the success of Listia’s business model, membership rose rapidly causing a 30% increase in the amount of email sent on a monthly basis. Blocks at Hotmail and Yahoo! plagued them and they were put on blacklists. Soon, they started to receive complaints from their users that they weren’t receiving email and as a result, experienced a lack of engagement among the community and interferences in their users’ trades.

In an attempt to solve their deliverability problem, they switched to authsmtp.com which helped with some technical issues, but they realized they needed internal expertise to troubleshoot and prevent deliverability problems before they happened on an ongoing basis. Plus they needed the metrics to assess their entire email program. Unfortunately, they did not have the time and resources to handle the complexity of email deliverability.

Solution


Infrastructure, data and deliverability expertise in one actionable platform.

Listia turned to SendGrid to solve their deliverability problems on three fronts – infrastructure, expertise and metrics. By implementing the SendGrid solution, they instantly gained access to a platform that was not only scalable to their growth, but whose infrastructure and tools inherently addressed deliverability health. Other tools they tried did not have this unique combination of solutions to serve as a one-stop shop for email delivery.

SendGrid’s dashboard allowed them to instantly see where their trouble spots were in an actionable way, but with 20% of their email being blocked, they needed to act quickly. To start, the SendGrid team helped Listia implement key email best practices to improve their delivery success rates.

First, Listia moved from a shared IP to a dedicated IP address. With a dedicated IP Listia could closely monitor their reputation and pinpoint issues with specific campaigns and ISPs more accurately.
Next, Listia implemented DKIM so that ISPs could more easily identify them as legitimate senders.
Lastly, Sendgrid whitelisted Listia at key ISPs to ensure delivery of their messages.
With detailed insights into their email campaigns from delivery to response, Listia now has the capabilities to experiment with their messages and actively respond to delivery issues with the help of the SendGrid’s team of deliverability experts before their email program is greatly impacted.

Results


Improved deliverability leads to increased engagement and online trades.

After implementing the SendGrid solution, Listia’s email deliverability improved by 25%. This increase in their email delivery rates led to increased engagement and conversion rates amongst their users. For instance, their signup verification emails increased by over 10%. Moreover, they saved considerable infrastructure costs after moving to a wholly outsourced solution making the business proposition extremely valuable to the company.

Client Feedback


Gee Chuang, Co-Founder & CEO

"SendGrid is the most cost effective way to send transactional email even when compared to in-house servers and engineering resources. Since implementing SendGrid we have seen a dramatic increase in our site traffic, email deliverability and response rates. We no longer think about servers and hardware or wonder if our emails are reaching our users. Instead, we’re focused on improving our community and increasing our online trades making SendGrid’s cost and value a winning solution for us."