Postscript is an SMS advertising supplier for Shopify manufacturers. The corporate launched in 2018 and has since raised a whopping $106.2 million throughout 4 funding rounds, per Crunchbase. Alex Beller is Postscript’s president and one in every of three co-founders.
Postscript’s advertising platform is SMS-only and Shopify-only. To Beller, that interprets to “finest in school” efficiency.
In our latest dialog, he and I mentioned the corporate’s focus, regulatory compliance, and extra. Your complete audio of our dialogue is embedded under. The transcript is edited for size and readability.
Eric Bandholz: How was 2023 for Postscript?
Alex Beller: Postscript’s enterprise is a mirrored image of the Shopify ecosystem. We solely work with manufacturers constructed on Shopify, so we’ve felt quite a lot of what ecommerce manufacturers have felt this 12 months. We’ve seen progress by way of manufacturers adopting Postscript. It seems like 2023 is the 12 months we carved out our area of interest out there. It’s been difficult, however actually, as I mirror with my co-founders, yearly has been difficult. That half doesn’t change.
We’re an SMS supplier for manufacturers constructed on Shopify. We don’t work with every other platforms. We don’t do e-mail. We’re finest in school for SMS on Shopify
Our platform is constructed for manufacturers to attach SMS to order and conversion knowledge. That will get fed into Postscript from Shopify, and it’s anonymized. Roughly 12,000 manufacturers of various sizes use Postscript. That’s not almost all Shopify’s buyer base, but it surely’s a wonderful snapshot.
This 12 months, we’ve seen inconsistencies. On the one hand, headwinds definitely appeared current. We’ve seen extra manufacturers exit of enterprise than in prior years. We additionally noticed combination progress decelerate. The previous couple of years we’ve had excessive annual progress charges. This 12 months’s progress is smaller. Many retailers had been nearer to flat. Nonetheless, ecommerce didn’t fall off a cliff. It was a little bit of a retrenching.
Bandholz: In 2021, Florida handed a sweeping SMS compliance invoice. What are the legalities retailers ought to concentrate on?
Beller: There are lots of compliance guidelines within the SMS trade. One is governmental regulation that creates authorized danger for manufacturers. On the U.S. federal degree, it’s by the Phone Client Safety Act or TCPA.
The opposite is service regulation — T-Cellular and Verizon — to influence deliverability. Carriers may shut a cellphone quantity off if a model breaks their guidelines. These firms are protecting over their airwaves and rigid when coping with an enchantment from a small to medium-sized enterprise.
Then there’s the authorized regulation. Traditionally, TCPA ensured firms by no means texted anybody who didn’t explicitly decide in or had opted out. State laws have popped up over the previous couple of years, including new dangers. Florida is likely one of the leaders on this, together with Oklahoma.
A lot of the chance includes sending the messages and the next threshold for opt-ins. Our strategy is to improve our backend compliance so manufacturers don’t have to fret as a lot.
Sadly, the state laws have triggered a groundswell of lawsuits. We handle this in our product and have an in-house authorized effort to assist manufacturers in the event that they want it.
Bandholz: Discuss extra concerning the dangers to retailers.
Beller: Florida has longer quiet hours for subscribers within the state — from 8:00 p.m. to eight a.m. There’s additionally a restrict of three messages inside 24 hours for a selected marketing campaign or product. These state-level laws in Florida don’t exist on the federal degree. They apply to any model with operations in Florida. The penalties are significant — $500 to $1,500 per message per subscriber.
Sadly, there are plaintiffs who purchase deactivated and outdated numbers to obtain texts they didn’t join or are within the quiet hours. These plaintiffs accomplice with legislation corporations to certify it as a category motion. If profitable, they’ll run down everybody who obtained that textual content, drastically growing the penalty, which, once more, relies on each message and recipient.
Manufacturers have a number of prevention choices. Postscript received’t deploy messages through the quiet interval in Florida or elsewhere. We additionally advocate that manufacturers undertake phrases of service that embrace a category motion waiver, whereby subscribers agree to not take part. That will restrict legal responsibility to a single subscriber, the plaintiff, at $500 to $1,500.
Bandholz: Postscript is SMS solely. Do you propose to diversify?
Beller: It’s the early days for SMS, and we’re engaged on driving efficiency throughout the whole buyer journey. We concentrate on subscriber lifetime worth and record progress. There’s a lot alternative for my co-founders and me if we will differentiate our product from rivals. We could be devoted gamers.
Bandholz: The place can individuals discover you?
Beller: Our web site is Postscript.io. I’m on LinkedIn and @ringmybeller on X.