In today's episode, we talk to the founder of AWeber, the company that invented what we now know as autoresponder emails.
Tom Kulzer founded AWeber back in 1998 and has since bootstrapped the company from a side hustle into a team of 100 employees and more than 120,000 users worldwide.
In this conversation, we discuss the invention of email autoresponders, poking holes in your beliefs, and never accepting what is presented to you as the best solution to a problem.
Highlights from Tom Kulzer's interview
- [8:00] The first version of AWeber (and what email marketing was like in 1998)
- [13:38] How Tom Kulzer thinks about competition (in his market)
- [15:45] Why solving your customer's problem is more important than adding features
- [24:25] Tom explains how he “gets run over” by his company (but keeps bouncing back)
- [39:35] The HACK
Much of AWeber's impressive growth can be attributed to their six core values that have become the foundation of everything they do. These core values are:
1. Create remarkable experiences.
Anyone can say they're remarkable. But how many companies will, say, knock your socks off with awesome email marketing… and then send you a new pair of socks in the mail?
2. Execute with passion.
There's a lot that goes into creating remarkable experiences. Once they commit to a project that enables them better help customers, their team is quick to plan and execute with passion.
3. Foster respect and cooperation.
AWeber has created and nourished a culture of respect and cooperation. It doesn't come from policy, it comes from treating people like people — the way everyone should be treated. Teams openly collaborate to solve problems and work together to make sure their service is the best it can be.
4. Listen to what people say about us. Invite feedback.
Throughout AWeber, every team has their own way of incorporating customer feedback on a daily basis — and that helps the entire team to decide what feature, marketing channel, or product to focus on next.
They believe that every team member's opinion matters and they encourage everyone to share feedback and listen to suggestions from one another.
5. Learn. Educate. Innovate.
Being the company who invented autoresponder emails, AWeber knows all about innovation and they aim to keep it at the forefront of their thinking.
Constant education is a big part of that. They encourage team members to keep learning by attending events and conferences or continuing formal education in their field.
6. Don't take ourselves too seriously. Have fun!
As serious as AWeber is about helping people succeed with using email, they strongly believe it's all about loving what you do, and having fun while doing it.
Now, let's hack…
Resources and links from the interview
- Email marketing for small businesses and entrepreneurs: Aweber
- Leadership organization for chief executives: Young Presidents Organization
- Tom Kulzer's personal blog and contact
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions: Every day, over 500 million professionals engage with content on LinkedIn, and chances are, your future customers are among them!
To redeem a free $100 LinkedIn ad credit, go to LinkedIn.com/HACK.