Nexmo: Disrupting Mobile SMS Marketing
Recently I had the good fortune to sit down and speak with Tony Jamous, CEO of Nexmo, while we were attending the TechCrunch Disrupt conference. Moments of rest and conversation are hard to find at conferences like TC, but we had a brief yet very informative discussion about what they’re working on at Nexmo. What is Nexmo? …and what do they do? You may be asking yourself that question and it’s ok, they get that a lot. The intricacies of VoIP and telephony are lost on most people. I will start by explaining something that most people do not realize. The web is just one part of the internet, although it is the most visible part.
The internet is comprised of many protocols such as FTP, POP, Telnet, etc. and there are many methods by which to communicate. The protocol most people are familiar with is HTTP, Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, aka the web. These protocols are the backbone of our communications, but rarely do we actually stop to think about them. The legacy protocols of telephony like SIP, ISDN, etc. don’t necessarily play well with IP protocols of the web. This means that a binding layer of code is needed to glue phone and web to make things work. Nexmo is aware of this gap and has done a significant amount of work to close it for us.
Airbnb uses Nexmo to communicate with existing customers as well as potential ones. Nexmo’s service helps to create an anonymous bridge, then users can send out their message instantly. The ability for instant contact greatly reduces the amount of churn a website can experience, because most people are impatient. A typical iPhone user can cost $1 to $2 to acquire by traditional marketing methods. Via SMS the costs of acquisition drop to only about $0.05 per user!
“The quality of our network is so efficient that it can be tracked just like email. Mobile marketing via social invites with SMS is more effective. You can do it right.” said Jamous about Nexmo’s capabilities.
Nexmo differs from competitors in that their network extends to over 200 countries around the world. A global offering has infinite marketing possibilities for SaaS companies like Airbnb and countless others. Another thing Nexmo has done right is to get into the hearts and minds of the developers, first. A strong developer community is absolutely crucial to Nexmo’s success.
We look forward to seeing what they do next!