Engineering an enterprise Sales and Marketing software

, Engineering an enterprise Sales and Marketing software

VSH solutions designed and developed an advanced SaaS-based product from scratch to provide a complete sales and marketing automation tool with a number of industry-first features.

Product Brief

Mailtag is an Enterprise Sales and Marketing Software which was initially developed as an email tracking solution and in a later phase was improved to be a cutting edge SaaS based automation product. The application allows users to track their email in real time and facilitates the sales and marketing process with a unique approach to reach out to its audience. Primary features of the product includes real time email tracking, link click tracking, email scheduling, automated follow-ups, real time notifications and analytics. The scope of this project included development of:

  • SaaS based Web Application
  • Browser Extension

Background

The client is a serial entrepreneur based in the United States and post exit from their successful venture, they came up with an idea to fill the void in the sales and marketing vertical with an innovative product. Client wanted to engineer an integrated SaaS product to manage and automate the comprehensive activities in the domain with industry-first features and processes. Client’s Technical team was looking for an organization with experience of working with international clientele and competency to develop end to end products in an economically viable way.

Contemplating VSH’s experience and technological competency, VSH was chosen to be the technology partner for Mailtag.

Our Solution

The project was initiated with the extensive market research to understand the pain points of the target audience and include functionalities to address those. Product architecture was developed from scratch to support the vast number of complex functionalities and projected continuous upgrades which proved to be the advantageous in the later phases of development

The development of the MAILTAG had three important attributes:

  • ScalabilityLarge products are developed to provide the stability and agility and sustain the hundreds of thousands of simultaneous requests every day. It is not easy to revamp them or they are not meant to be revamped every now and then but the evolving nature of the Mailtag required adroitness to customize and scale the product as per the requirements.
  • High AvailabilityConsidering the projected user base across the globe, it was critical to have zero downtime for maintenance or version upgrades. VSH’s unique continuous deployment methodology which aids one click automatic deployment ensured that this requirement is met without any hindrance.
  • High PerformanceBeing the consumer facing product, it was expected to have large number of users and potential surge in the users post commencement of the marketing activities. So the application was developed to accommodate maximum number of users at the same time while optimizing the server usage.

Development

In order to check the viability of the product functionalities and align the improvements with user surveys, the product was developed in three different Versions:

one

Version One (V1)

Based on the market research in the initial phase, only the core features of the product were developed in the version one. Post the deployment of the V1, MAILTAG managed to onboard around 7,000 users.

two

Version Two (V2)

Based on the user surveys of and feedback received from V1 users, new features were added in V2 along with changes in the designs to improve the user experience.

Improvements in the V2 include:

  • Addition of new features like email scheduling and auto follow-ups to reinforce the existing features
  • From a user point of view, bottlenecks were identified in the designs and workflows and considered various factors like color, font, look and feel, a number of activities to be performed etc. to improve the overall usability of
    the product
  • Development of tools to aid the marketing efforts and implement the user retention policy by adding the coupon system and ability to provide custom plans around features and their pricing
  • In order to reduce the cart abandoning, development of a separate system to retarget such users and provide them with offers relevant to their usage
3

Version Three (V3)

Developments in the V2 resulted into more than 20,000 users but we came across many performance issues due to addition of heavy functionalities.

V3 development includes:

  • Patching of all the bugs and performance issues on a regular basis
  • Development of minor features in order to increase the value propositions by improving the usability and optimizing user onboarding
  • Based on the user data and behavior patterns of more than 20,000 users, the MAILTAG management decided to do some strategic changes in the business model. In the beginning, there were two versions of the product: Free version and Paid Version. As a part of this strategic decision, the free version of this product was discontinued and all the free version users were migrated to a free trial of paid version for two weeks. New users were also given direct access to this version to understand the scope and potential of the product.
  • Along with these major changes, there were continuous improvements on UI and features front to offer the best possible experience to MAILTAG users

The development of the MAILTAG propels it ahead of any of its counterparts and fulfills the objective of its founders to provide the futuristic solution in Sales and Marketing domain.

Infrastructure

Considering the various infrastructure management factors, MAILTAG was deployed on the AWS environment. Some of the characteristics of this environment include

Auto scalability

Auto-scaling configuration to manage the server load with respect to the surge in the users

Capacity Planning

Scale up and scale down the servers based on the requirement patterns to optimize the infrastructure costs

Performance Monitoring

Performance monitoring is a part of VSH’s deployment methodology. Each and every build deployment is audited for any spikes in the usage of RAM, Database or CPU followed by corrective actions if required

Database Auto scaling

VSH leveraged AWS Aurora for auto-scaling of the database as per the usage requirement without the need of any manual interference

Technology Architecture

mailtag structure

Technology Stack

, Engineering an enterprise Sales and Marketing software
PHP
, Engineering an enterprise Sales and Marketing software
JAVASCRIPT
, Engineering an enterprise Sales and Marketing software
PYTHON
, Engineering an enterprise Sales and Marketing software
POSTGRES
, Engineering an enterprise Sales and Marketing software
HTML 5
css
CSS 3
, Engineering an enterprise Sales and Marketing software
JQUERY
bootstrap
BOOTSTRAP

Tools

gmail
GMAIL
stripe
STRIPE
SES
AMAZON SES
firebase
FIREBASE
MailChimp
MAILCHIMP
analytics
GOOGLE ANALYTICS
slack
SLACK
jira
JIRA
SMARTLOOK
FACEBOOK PIXEL
facebookPixel
SMARTLOOK
intercom
INTERCOM
growsumo
GROWSUMO

Team Composition

3 Web Developers

Account Owner

UI Developer

Test Engineer

DevOps Engineer

Challenges

Due to the time difference of almost 11 hours, it was difficult to have real-time communication between the MAILTAG Stakeholders and the development team. To cater to this challenge, VSH management adjusted the working hours of the concerned team by a couple of hours and created a time overlap for efficient real-time communication.

Gmail is an underlying platform for the MAILTAG browser extension and during Version Three, all of a sudden Gmail UI was changed. VSH team reacted quickly to this and revamped the product to support old as well new UI of the Gmail. All of this was done in a period of 7 working days.

In addition to the major milestones of the project, there were continuous improvements in UI and product features which used to account for 2 to 3 daily deployments. Despite these, all the major milestones were completed on time
without any problem.

Learnings

Subtle improvements like button size, button colour, and user friendly UI etc. can have deep impact on improving the user experience

Tasks engagement and ownership of the resources are critical in project planning

Resources with consistent skillsets are key to increase the execution efficiency of the project

Application of lessons learned from the previous scenarios is important to manage challenges and mitigate the risks

It is very Important to have a risk mitigation plan for every aspect of the project for successful completion of the project without delays

Project Results

Consolidated growth was achieved in the acquisition of the users

Version One

Users
7000

Version Two

Users
20000

Version Three

Users
100000
  • Precise execution of the business strategies, advanced features, engaging UI has transformed MAILTAG to be most sophisticated tool in the Sales and Marketing vertical.
  • Reduced cart abandoning rate by 55%
  • More than 300% of revenue growth was achieved post the launch of latest third version of MAILTAG

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