How I Created an AI-Based
Platform For Outreach Campaigns
Hi! Who are you and what business did you start?
I’m Karl T. Sarin and I launched postbag.co in May 2020. Postbag.co improves your outreach with an AI-based platform that helps you create sought-after content, find relevant people, and request links effectively.
May 2020 was just a public release date. I started working on the actual product back in 2018 and was facing problems that Postbag solves 15 years ago – back in 2006.
What is your personal story and how did you come up with the idea?
Well, I’m both a computer scientist and data scientist having studied across two countries and worked across four.
Being a curious kid always trying to do something of my own, and being exposed to many cultures throughout my career, I noticed two common problems people face when they start something new.
The first problem is – How do you find influential people that care about products like yours? And this is the exact problem postbag.co solves in its current shape and form.
The second problem is – How do you get these people to like your product? And this is the part for which we’ll release a solution later this month. It will be in the form of an online course. A course that will be based on years of psychological and marketing research and will help Postbag users get better response rates from influencers.
What challenges did you face when creating your product/service?
Being a techie myself, with expertise in Big Data, AI. Search Technologies, and SEO, I must admit I didn’t face challenges that are too hard as I could do a lot of it myself. If I have to name it, the hardest part was the soft skills – or the lack of it.
I think that entrepreneurship can be fun if done right. But obviously, most STEM schools don’t even cover the basics of it. And sometimes, basics are all we need. Luckily enough, there’s loads of information nowadays to pick up for free. That’s exactly what I did.
Who is your target market?
The target market is search engine marketers, working for either a brand or for a client, who are looking to get high-quality natural backlinks for some online content. The types of backlinks that Postbag helps get have a purpose of promoting the target content organically. They are NOT just for the purpose of improving search engine rankings. Even though, that comes for free later as well 🙂
How do you market your business and which approaches have been the most successful?
So far it was word of mouth, cold calling, and social platforms. However, we will start advertising now when we add the learning part to the Postbag puzzle in May 2021. We just wanted to have a full working solution to offer end-to-end before we start our ad campaigns.
Since you launched, what has worked in not only attracting but retaining customers?
What really helps is that Postbag is mostly a self-serve SaaS. There’s no high touch sales really. To me, this model works great.
But in order for it to work, you do need to have a good and working product, an intuitive interface, and extensive documentation. And you need to deliver value fast.
What kind of culture exists in your company, and how did you establish it?
The company is rather small, so the culture is yet to be built. We are thinking something along the lines of employees come first, great work/life balance, and innovation that propels the future.
What software, services or tools do you use within your business?
We have built a custom internal system to handle the whole business. We said it was better simple and integrated, than comprehensive and hard to integrate. The only things we outsource are accounting and CRM.
What are the most important lessons have you learned on your business journey?
The most important lesson for me is that you never get it right on the first go. You learn while you fail, not while you succeed. And that’s why failures should be embraced. Because they teach you something new. You may not see it now, but most likely will in the future.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
For me, the favourite aspect is being able to innovate. To innovate, what I want, how I want, and when I want. Being able to chase opportunities when I see them, not when someone approves them. And if wealth comes along the way, that would be a good side-effect.
What is your LEAST favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Having to deal with all the things not related to the core of the business.
What books, podcasts or other resources have inspired and influenced your business journey?
Where do you see your business 2-3 years from now?
In 2-3 years I see Postbag as a profitable company serving a lot more customers. Revenue is definitely predicted to grow and number of employees as well.
But what’s more important to me is that I see Postbag becoming the go-to solution in its niche. Something that really helps people, in saving both their time and money and cheers them up. That’s the reason I’m in it for the long haul. Not the money, not the size.