Martech Edge Interview with Dmytro Kudrenko, Founder and CEO, Stripo | Martech Edge | Best News on Marketing and Technology
Martech Edge Interview with Dmytro Kudrenko, Founder and CEO, Stripo

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Martech Edge Interview with Dmytro Kudrenko, Founder and CEO, Stripo


Published on 22nd Feb, 2024

Welcome, Dmitry! You have been involved in various entrepreneurial ventures throughout your career; what drives you to pursue new opportunities and challenges as a founder and CEO?

Thank you for the warm welcome! My journey from coder to entrepreneur was fueled by a desire to make a tangible impact. It all started with a realization—true innovation isn’t just about writing code; it’s about solving the challenges that people face every day.

What motivates me is the potential to drive change through technology. Take Stripo, for example. We wanted to make email marketing easier for everyone, especially those without coding skills. One of the most rewarding moments at Stripo was when a user shared how our platform transformed their business by saving time and enhancing their marketing strategy. This kind of feedback is a powerful reminder of why we do what we do.

For me, the drive comes from seeing the difference that our technology makes in people’s lives. Learning, adapting, and preparing for the future are what inspire me every day in this entrepreneurial journey.

How did you start Stripo? What was the initial idea behind establishing the company?

When we started Stripo, I had already been in email marketing for 10 years and saw a big problem. Email marketers often struggled to make HTML emails look good on different email clients and devices. Usually, you need to know how to code to do this, but many marketers didn’t have these skills. They had to spend time learning to code instead of doing their main marketing jobs, which was a real headache. They had two choices: ask for help from developers, which wasn’t always easy, or try to learn coding themselves.

At Stripo, we wanted to fix this. Our idea was to let marketers easily create great-looking HTML emails without having to know how to code. This would free them to focus more on their marketing plans and other important work. Our first slogan was all about this: “Build beautiful HTML emails fast without coding skills.”

Actually, many have tried to solve this problem, but I’ve noticed that they most quickly move on to higher-level tasks sending emails, analyzing, and personalizing—forgetting about the foundation they started with and never fully completing the task. We believe in doing one thing well, so we’ve chosen to focus solely on email creation and process optimization around it. For the past seven years, we’ve been dedicated to this and still see a roadmap full of improvements for years to come.

Stripo is a powerful tool that helps businesses create stunning and responsive emails in minutes. How does the Stripo Editor streamline the workflow of email design and development? How does embedding the plugin enhance the user experience and productivity?

It’s crucial to understand that creating emails isn’t just about crafting quality, professional HTML, or how it appears in Outlook and Gmail. What’s more important is what exactly in the email looks good. Stripo allows marketers to focus on the message, which involves many steps:

- Planning

- Coordination

- Design

- Copywriting (sometimes in multiple languages)

- Coding

- Deployment and integration

- Testing

- Analytics

At each step, various specialists are involved, spending time on coordination and revisions. Our initial priority was to find ways to minimize revisions throughout the testing and coordination process. At Stripo, we aimed to preserve the designer’s original vision in each iteration and maintain control over modifications. We strive to implement the principle of built-in quality. Whatever you do, it always works and adheres to the rules and standards.

While Stripo is an exceptional tool, it’s essential to recognize that it represents yet another tool for marketers. Hence, it was a priority for us to ensure one-click integration with as many systems as possible. We support integration with over 80 email service providers (ESPs) and various platforms, streamlining the workflow for marketers. This integration capability is a testament to our commitment to making email creation and deployment as seamless and efficient as possible, allowing marketers to focus more on strategy and less on technicalities.

From the outset, we designed our editor with the vision that it should be effortlessly usable by other vendors (ESPs, CDPs, etc.), enabling them to customize its functionality to meet their specific needs. If a user aims to enhance the quality and speed of email creation, we focus on facilitating one-click integration.

For vendors looking to elevate this experience for their customers, we ensure that minimal development is needed for integration. Just a couple lines of code, and our editor can be embedded within another product with the help of the plugin. The plugin is popular among software companies of all sizes, from small startups to big corporations. Essentially, it’s for any website, CRM, ESP, or other tools that need a modern, easy-to-use drag-and-drop email builder.

You have a strong passion for Lean principles and how they can improve email marketing. How have you implemented Lean principles in your work at Stripo, and what are the benefits for your customers?

For sure, I am a big fan of Lean principles. At Stripo, we’ve cultivated an environment where errors are seen as learning steps. The key is to eliminate the fear of failure among team members. When mistakes happen, we don’t blame anybody for them; instead, we learn from them, support each other, and move forward swiftly. Additionally, we regularly release updates and focus on continuous improvement, prioritizing what will bring the most benefit to our customers from our efforts. Take a look at our Release Notes, which we’ve been publishing for seven years. It shows how frequently and how much we do, as well as how much time we dedicate to fixing bugs.

Here are my recommendations on how to incorporate Lean strategies into email marketing:

  • Be ready to adapt your strategy. In the fast-paced business world, waiting for a complete strategy can lead to missed opportunities. It’s better to determine a general direction and take initial steps. Learning and adapting from ongoing data is key. For instance, a comprehensive email marketing strategy might become irrelevant by the time it’s finalized.
  • Embrace the MVP approach. Instead of fully developing an idea from the start, begin with a basic version. For instance, when dealing with abandoned shopping carts, you might be uncertain about the specific item left in the cart. In this case, send a general reminder about the incomplete purchase, along with a link to your site for completion. This simple action is more effective than no action at all.
  • Include experiments in mass mailings. Continual experimentation is crucial for success in mass email campaigns. Each mailing should be viewed as an opportunity to learn and test hypotheses about your audience.
  • Always focus on mistakes. In Lean methodology, defects are considered a form of waste. Addressing errors promptly is essential. For example, quickly fixing a broken link in an email trigger minimizes the negative impact. Even small overlooked errors can lead to significant issues.
  • Take a look at the ShuHaRi model, inspired by Japanese martial arts, which represents stages of learning and mastery that are applicable to the evolution of business communication.

The ShuHaRi model consists of three stages:

- Shu: Following established best practices

- Ha: Experimenting and adapting these practices

- Ri: Innovating and establishing new practices

In email marketing, this model helps to focus on appropriate metrics at each stage, evolving from implementation to experimentation and innovation.

During the Shu phase, email marketers should prioritize implementation depth over traditional metrics such as Open Rate or Click-Through Rate. The key is how well strategies are executed, as this impacts revenue the most while also considering the time invested. In the Ha stage, experimentation is crucial. You’ll challenge standard practices and seek alternatives by analyzing past campaigns. Once you have mastered the basics, in the final Ri stage, you transition from merely following guidelines to setting your own and fostering innovative development within your organization.

Additionally, our goal at Stripo is to refine processes to minimize waste and maximize resource use. We emphasize quality in everything we do, from the emails we craft to the overall customer experience. We strive to be a company where innovative ideas are not only generated but also brought to fruition, regardless of the challenges in resources, time, or people.

Your solution enables marketing teams, especially email marketers, to create personalized and engaging campaigns that resonate with their audiences. How does your solution achieve this goal, and what features make it stand out?

We have a wide range of features that make us stand out, including the following:

1. Modular email design: This lets you build email components once and use them in many campaigns. It speeds up email creation, keeps your brand consistent, simplifies edits, and reduces testing. Users can separate design from data for fully automated email production.

2. WYSIWYG Editor: This stands for “What You See Is What You Get.” It shows email content in the editor as it would appear in subscribers’ inboxes. Users can edit mobile and desktop versions differently to suit their needs.

3. We’re integrated with over 80 ESPs, including big names such as Mailchimp and HubSpot and clients such as Outlook and Gmail. Stripo enables easy email exporting to platforms without hassle.

4. We offer over 1,500 ready-to-use email templates suitable for various industries and events.

5. Interactive module generator: This new tool lets users create interactive games (such as wheels of fortune, scratch cards, and questionnaires) without coding. It provides an AMP version, an interactive HTML fallback, and a text fallback to cover all email clients.

6. Brand guidelines kit generator: Users can easily create a brand book from their templates to ensure consistency in all newsletters.

7. Stripo’s Email Translate service enables businesses to localize newsletters for global markets with over 100 languages. It offers direct integration with Google Translate for instant translations in the email editor. In addition, it is possible to download XLS and JSON files with translations made by professional translators.

8. Email client preview: Our tool allows previews across 90+ devices and major email clients.

Each feature aims to make email marketing easier for users. When we think of new features, we always consider how they will simplify email creation.

Stripo’s email template library offers a unique competitive advantage over other vendors in the market. What key features make the email template library different and stand out from the rest?

I would say that a template is a good starting point for creating your own design, but the routine of working with the same templates can quickly become monotonous.

We ensure that our templates are structured and equipped with a set of modules that allow for the rapid creation of new emails daily.

So, our strength lies not just in our template library but more so in our module library.

Additionally, we create processes to ensure that once brand design rules are established, they are difficult for other team members to deviate from in daily use.

How do you see the future of email marketing evolving, particularly in the context of Lean principles and faster delivery of value? What emerging trends and best practices should marketers be aware of?

The core value of Lean is continuous improvement. For marketers, this translates into one thing: test, test, and test again

To ensure that testing is worth more than its cost, we must optimize routine processes significantly. Part of this optimization is where we come in at Stripo.

Regarding trends, I believe most tasks will be delegated to machines, allowing marketers to focus not on sending emails but on the value they bring to communications. This should be the case now, but with technology being so diverse, much time is spent mastering it.

Stripo is open to new partnerships and collaborations. What key factors or criteria do you consider when choosing a potential partner that would create a mutually beneficial relationship?

We’re wholeheartedly diving into projects aimed at one main goal: making email communication better. This means helping marketers easily bring their ideas to life and ensuring that customers get exactly what they expect from vendors.

For example, right now, we’re proud to have over 80 integrations with different ESPs, and we’re always excited to team up with more to give our users even more options for sending their emails.

If we’re talking about teaming up for marketing efforts, it’s key that our future partners are on the same page as us about where email marketing is headed. Also, we really care about with whom we partner. They need to have a good name in the industry for being reliable, delivering top-notch quality, and playing fair and square. And let’s not forget about keeping data safe and private. Our partners need to take this as seriously as we do, with strong measures in place to keep everyone’s information secure.

Additionally, we consistently participate in educational programs, conferences, and similar events to support our mission of shaping the evolution of email marketing.