Fast Fashion Retailer Tobi’s Rapid Switch to SparkPost

For Tobi, an fast-moving online fashion boutique serving customers in more than 150 countries, email has grown to become the most effective means of engaging with customers and the most important source of revenue-generating visits to their web site.

Although the company’s technical operations team considers email to be as mission-critical as any among their systems, they also recognize that email is a particularly resource-intensive infrastructure, and that burden of managing system performance, throughput, and deliverability would require significant operational investment.

By relying upon an outside email delivery service, Tobi’s technology architects have been able to focus on the strategic objective of building out their own product roadmap, and the operations team has been able to hone in on the online retail experience and fulfillment systems that generate strategic advantage for the company.

However, regular service level disruptions at their incumbent email service provider upended the team’s ability to deliver new, strategic initiatives. Tobi’s operations staff suddenly faced the daunting need to migrate to a new provider. Recognizing the opportunity to implement a long-term solution with a reliable partner, they weighed the competition and chose SparkPost.

They chose SparkPost because the service’s technical flexibility and outstanding performance exceeded their operational requirements—and because the deep expertise and focus of SparkPost’s customer success team lent confidence to this mission-critical service migration.

“I was impressed with SparkPost’s technical capabilities and performance. But it was the deep knowledge and customer focus of their implementation team that really made our successful transition possible.”

Kenneth Chan
CEO & Founder

Business Requirements

  • Work against a two-week countdown to go live
  • Provide business continuity for existing email marketing programs
  • Preserve key planned initiatives and development schedules
  • Provide support for future initiatives
  • Expert deliverability services and support
  • Proven implementation process

Functional Requirements

  • Flexible integration options, including SMTP or API
  • Segregation of transactional and marketing message streams to separate IP address spaces
  • Rapid scaling of IP reputation and delivery volumes to production levels
  • Dynamic message throttling
  • Burst rates of up to 2 million messages per hour
  • Real-time analytics

Customer Focus and Email Expertise

SparkPost’s customer success team team helped Tobi implement SparkPost as a complete replacement to their legacy email service provider. Work started immediately to identify and understand business requirements such as audience segmentation, technical requirements such as development environment and template translation, and operational requirements such as performance, throughput, and monitoring. Together, these factors informed the decision to implement SparkPost.

These requirements, combined with the best practices and expertise of the SparkPost implementation team, led to a concrete migration plan. Tobi translated their API calls from the incumbent provider to SparkPost in a short sprint, and IP warm-up began immediately. Because the SparkPost platform automatically handled traffic shaping and queuing logic, Tobi was able to establish a positive sending reputation with their new IP addresses and to ramp up message volume aggressively with no deterioration of business-critical deliverability rates. Throughout, the SparkPost deliverability and services team ran quality assurance and were on call to ensure the success of Tobi’s team’s efforts.

Flexible Infrastructure and Rapid Service Delivery

SparkPost’s flexible email API and implementation expertise made it possible to achieve technical parity with the existing infrastructure in a matter of days. Moreover, SparkPost’s decade-long experience with high-performance email delivery—and its leverage of the scalable and elastic Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure—reduced risk and gave Tobi confidence in the team and technology behind SparkPost.

In fact, the flexibility and rapid provisioning that the AWS cloud enables is a critical part of why SparkPost can deliver the performance fast-moving companies like Tobi require. Whether it’s quickly ramping new message streams for Tobi or scaling for peak volumes, AWS allows SparkPost to focus on delivering customer value—no purchase orders, no waiting for servers to be shipped and then racked. Spinning up EC2 and other capacity on demand and leveraging Availability Zones allows SparkPost’s team to focus squarely on delivering high-value service, not managing basic infrastructure.

It’s all in support of delivering email to the inbox, on time. And for Tobi, the total time from initial contact through sales cycle and into full implementation and production: 11 days.