JangoMailThe last couple of months or so were a veritable avalanche of negative news pertaining to spam and the various tricks employed by spammers such as image spam and PDF spam.

Today, we want to take a look at the other side of the equation — at the good guys. By this we mean companies that make their living by sending legitimate e-mails — where permission has been granted on behalf of their clients.

To this end, we conducted an e-mail interview with Mr. Ajay Goel, CEO of JangoMail, who graciously took time off to answer us. According to its Web site, JangoMail is a “Web-based e-mail broadcast and e-mail marketing system designed for business.”

We asked Mr. Goel some questions pertaining to spam, as well as about JangoMail itself. Below are the verbatim questions and responses, except where edited for clarity and readability.

I was browsing through the JangoMail Web site, and I must say that JangoMail appears to be jam-packed with features. What are the top three features of JangoMail, in your opinion?

The top three features of JangoMail are:

  1. Direct database connectivity to a desktop database such as Microsoft Access or Excel
  2. The Application Programming Interface (API) — an XML-based Web Service that allows programmers to integrate JangoMail functionality into their own software
  3. The ability to script dynamic content within the body of e-mail messages, allowing for extreme personalization based on a recipient’s demographic profile

I noticed a fair amount of focus pertaining to the deliverability of e-mails. What would you estimate to be the non-delivery rate due to spam filtering when using the old-school method of BCC’ing to a list?

It’s difficult to say. Spam filtering has evolved to the point where BCCing probably doesn’t increase the spamminess of e-mails so much. The most important factors in spam filtering today are e-mail authentication protocols (like SenderID and DomainKeys) and the reputation of the sending domain and IP address.

Therefore, I would say that BCCing probably doesn’t increase the spamminess of an e-mail campaign. It does, however, restrict the sender’s ability to personalize and track the success of e-mail campaigns since every recipient is receiving the exact same e-mail message.

Spam has always been an issue, almost as long as e-mail has existed. Do you have any personal opinion on that? Do you think it can be solved eventually?

I hope spam is solved eventually, because it’s a threat to our business, and it’s a threat to the use of e-mail as a productive business tool. If people get so sick of spam that they stop using e-mail, services like JangoMail lose value.

Could you tell us a bit more about the back-end infrastructure of JangoMail. How do you ensure the most robust architecture possible?

JangoMail is unique in that our sending infrastructure is distributed across eight (and counting) data centers across the United States.

This gives us access to large blocks of IPs, increases our delivery throughput and sending speed, and provides fault tolerance for our network such that if one sender or one data center goes down, messages can easily be re-routed elsewhere.

I see that an API/Web Service is available as well. Could you tell us what some of your customers have used them for?

Many of our customers have programmed their own Web applications or their own CRM applications, and the API allows them to integrate JangoMail within their applications.

It allows customers to duplicate the functionality of JangoMail within their own software, yet it provides a seamless experience to the user of the software.

Tell us more about the culture in JangoMail and your vision for the company.

The five full-time employees that make up JangoMail are young, vibrant, energetic, and located throughout the globe. Our employees are in Argentina, North Carolina, Ohio, and Illinois. We communicate with each other by phone, IM, and of course, e-mail.

Our goal is to continually add more features and services with the goal of servicing large-scale enterprise customers yet remain a small company.

The way to do that is to enhance JangoMail in such a way that all the features that a big company could want are present, but make them so easy to use that they never need to call in for support.

Does your company have a need to send out legitimate marketing e-mails? What tools do you currently use for e-mail marketing?