Email Blaster UK have just announced that their v3.0 software is going live on Sunday the 16th December. After many months in development at Email Blaster’s software labs in Silverstone, Northamptonshire, v3.0 offers a startling level of software complexity with a completely re-configured user interface that is a naturally logical and exceedingly simple to use, driving the powerful goodies under the hood. Email Blaster call it ‘simplexity’ – a combination of world beating software complexity with the simplest user interface system anywhere.
Over a few jars of the local brew (Whittlebury brewery, I recommend it), EB’s operations Director Chris answered some questions from your blog master.
V3.0 has been a long development programme and Email Blaster was already well established as a market leading email marketing system, so why did you need to do anything?
We operate in a competitive market and we never forget the old adage – we know you have a choice. So standing still is never an option. We don’t license our software from a third party, it’s all ours, all developed in-house by our software team. The way we keep ahead is, quite simply, to keep ahead. To keep adding more features, more templates, better drivability and now a completely new version.
But why a new system entirely, why not a few add-ons and updates?
A point is reached in the life of a product when it is better to introduce a completely new model rather than update the existing. It’s what the auto industry call a re-model as opposed to a mid-life update – a Mondeo not a Cortina Mk 5. We’ve retained all of the strength of EB at earlier versions but most of the user interface, campaign builder (cBuilder) and other features are completely new.
What were your objectives?
In the early days of software package definition, one of the team came up with the word SIMPLEXITY. Do a MS Word dictionary check on it and you will get the options simplicity or complexity and that defines our objective – simplicity with complexity, it is the keyword behind v3.0. To achieve the highest level of coding complexity, to provide enormous power to the user, yet with a ridiculously simple user interface. We prefer the phrase naturally logical. It means that the interface will look and feel natural and will behave logically– no surprises, no bewildering phraseology it simply does what it says.
Any new exciting features? I’m a gadget freak, I like things to play with as well as giving me more bang for my buck.
Where do I start? My own favourite goody is our brand new Geo-locate feature. Using this tool, the geographic location – anywhere in the world, of a click-link response can be graphically displayed. This is not just for interest; it is a powerful tool that provides feedback on the geographical distribution of recipients – where the customers are located. But of course our biggest v3.0 project was cBuilder. cBuilder is the campaign building engine that gives access to a huge library of templates as well as the options to write your own code or upload an existing template. All of our templates are fully bug tested on all generally accessible email readers – outlook, apple mail, Gmail, AOL, hotmail, yahoo etc.
But I’m proudest of the new user interface. All of our market testing has come back with similar comments – “so easy to use”, “it felt so intuitive”, even a computer illiterate like me could run it”. It is very difficult, requires a lot of skill, to achieve this level of user simplicity without compromising the complexity of the software. Simplexity is easy to say but extremely difficult to achieve.
So what’s next?
As I said, standing still is not an option. With all of the day-to-day pressures on our software engineering resources; setting on new servers, new IP’s, working with customers on special requirements, it’s always difficult to set time aside today to work on tomorrows objectives. But our strength as a UK email marketing company is that all our software is home grown. We own it and we don’t license it to anyone so this gives us an edge in the market. We can respond to market trends quickly as we’re not reliant on third party support. Also all of our servers and IP’s are wholly owned – not rented. And all of our email campaigns are sent from our UK based data centres. But we need to make these benefits work for us and that means renew, replace, revise – and continuously. V3.5 mid-life update – perhaps within a year. V4.0 – well that would be giving too much away.
An interview with Chris – Ops Director Email Blaster UK
12 December 2012