Breakdown - A Gravity Forms Podcast

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our second standalone product, Gravity SMTP. After nearly 15 years since the release of Gravity Forms, the Rocket Genius team has been working hard to develop a plugin that will revolutionize the way WordPress users send emails from their websites.

Gravity SMTP is a standalone plugin that seamlessly integrates with popular email providers such as SendGrid, Mailgun, Postmark, and Brevo. Our goal is to ensure reliable email delivery for critical WordPress site notifications, including contact form submissions, lead gen forms, donation forms, and membership sign-ups.

Our team has built Gravity SMTP using cutting-edge development practices, such as a React-based admin interface, a component system for consistent design, and a new PHP architecture that allows for cleaner, more maintainable code. These advancements enable us to deliver a product that is both user-friendly and technologically advanced.

The launch of Gravity SMTP signifies a major milestone for our company. As our first ground-up product since the release of Gravity Forms, it showcases our dedication to innovation and our commitment to meeting the ever-changing needs of our valued customers.

We are excited to offer Gravity SMTP exclusively to our Gravity Forms Elite license holders during the launch phase. This decision reflects our appreciation for our most loyal and committed customers, and we believe it adds a layer of exclusivity and value to their investment in our products.

As we move forward, we can't wait to see how Gravity SMTP enhances email reliability and overall user experience for our customers' websites. We are dedicated to expanding our product suite and continuing to innovate within the WordPress space to better serve our users.

See it here:

What is Breakdown - A Gravity Forms Podcast?

Discover new WordPress opportunities through stories told using Gravity Forms. WordPress developers and agency owners rely on Gravity Forms to solve complex problems for their clients. Breakdown explores their stories to extract the most useful lessons for our listeners.

Join podcast host Matt Medeiros with special guest appearances from the team behind Gravity Forms to stay up to date on the next opportunity for Gravity Forms + WordPress. Whether it's a new Gravity Forms add-on or a new way to use our e-commerce features, Breakdown is the WordPress podcast you want to be subscribed to.

Hey, Gravity Formers,
it's Thursday, April 11th,

and we have exciting news.

For the first time since the launch
of Gravity Forms nearly 15 years

ago, the team at Rocket Genius is
excited to launch Gravity SMTP,

our second new stand alone product.

TLDR, while it's a stand alone
product, for our launch phase, it

will be available exclusively to our
Elite Gravity Forms license holders.

We have a lot of future plans and features
for Gravity SMTP, So stay tuned to this

podcast or our YouTube channel or our
newsletter or our website at gravityforms.

com for all future updates.

If this is your first time
hearing about Gravity SMTP, it's

a standalone plugin that takes
over the responsibility of sending

emails from your WordPress website.

Everything from username and password
reset emails to the important contact form

notifications from your Gravity Forms.

Simply put, if the email notifications
leaving your Gravity Forms are

important to you or your client's
business, think lead gen forms,

donation forms, membership sign ups,
etc., then Gravity SMTP is for you.

By integrating with third party
services like SendGrid, we connect

your WordPress website to all of the
benefits email sending providers deliver.

Then we bottle it up and give you a
bird's eye view right in your WordPress

dashboard, giving you one place to
set up your valuable forms and ensure

they're being delivered for free.

without fail.

Here's a few value ads.

Gravity SMTP provides integration with
popular email providers, including

SendGrid, Mailgun, Postmark, and Brevo,
support for custom SMTP and API based

services, detailed email tracking within
the WordPress dashboard, displaying

email status, send time, recipient
email address, plugin source, and more.

And lastly, easy toggling between
connected email services to select

the most suitable provider for
you and your WordPress website.

I grabbed some quick quotes and
interviews from folks on the team,

most notably Carl Hancock, our CEO.

Here's a quote from Carl.

We're thrilled to introduce Gravity SMTP
as our next standalone product, said Carl.

While it's currently available exclusively
to Gravity Forms Elite licensed

customers, Gravity SMTP was built from
the ground up as a separate product.

It's not an add on.

Our goal is to empower WordPress
users to send emails with confidence.

Improving their overall user
experience and engagement.

I also had the chance to chat with
the developers and marketers who are

truly bringing Gravity SMTP to life.

First, let's hear from Paul Kim, a
software engineer at Gravity Forms.

Paul: Hi, I'm Paul.

I'm a software engineer
with Gravity Forms.

Gravity SMTP is a plugin that allows
customers to send emails from their

WordPress website through integrations
such as SendGrid or FullSpark.

The way we've approached building
Gravity SMTP is different from how

we've approached Gravity Forms.

The first big difference is that
everything in the admin is a React app.

We've been building a component system
for the past year or so now, and it's been

a very fun and interesting experience.

This has allowed us to build
features quickly and maintain

a consistent design throughout.

So the speed at which we can
build things is faster and the

admin experience is also smoother.

The other aspect which may not be so
apparent to users is that we've built the

PHP side using a different architecture.

Aaron has been hard at work building a
tools package for Gravity Forms, which

allows us to extend useful features such
as auto updating, license management,

and other very useful frameworks.

This keeps the PHP code clean
and maintainable, allowing us

to manage the plugin easier.

Since this was a new product, we had the
fortune of being able to architect and

build this plugin the way we wanted it to.

Other than the React app and architecture
differences I've mentioned earlier,

the other new coding technique we've
employed is the communication between

the back end and the front end.

We are able to pass configurations from
PHP to the front end, which the React

app is able to consume and run with.

When any actions are performed,
it sends an AJAX request to

the backend, which handles the
data and sends a response back.

This allows us to handle user interactions
without refreshing the page, presenting

a much smoother user experience.

This was the first stand alone product
for Gravity, But I can say that having

good architecture and structure to how we
build the product can go a very long way.

Because we had a clear path forward and a
well thought out design system, building

the plugin was smooth and quite fun.

This allows us to be able to easily
maintain this product for a long time

and also build out new features quickly.

I'm excited for the next
product we will build.

There were definitely some lessons
we learned along the way and I'm

sure we'll be able to apply the
learnings to our next project.

Thanks for hanging out today, Paul, and
giving us a behind the scenes look at the

development practices for Gravity SMTP.

Next, I sat down with Travis
Tautz, our Director of Marketing,

who is orchestrating the branding
and launch of our new product.

Travis: Thank you, Matt.

Super, super excited to be here, man.

matt_1_04-05-2024_123600: We
have a fun event happening.

We, if those who are listening
already know this gravity SMTP is here

and I wanted to get your thoughts.

I obviously I'm going around the company,
talking to people who are developing

it, people who are marketing it.

you do a lot with our branding.

This is an exciting time.

For Rocket Genius, for Gravity Forms.

This is our first ground
up build of a new product.

Excited, nervous, or yeah,

Travis: I think a bit of both.

I mean, to be honest, like it's,
it's both exciting and a little

anxiety inducing, and really just
from the, the, the perspective.

Of where we've been and where we want
to go and where we plan to get to over

the next five years or so, you know, I
mean, I think, as you mentioned, yeah,

a lot of my focus is on branding and
Brandon brand positioning and marketing.

And I think what's exciting
about something like this is.

It's simply that I, I believe
it's an opportunity to kind of

strengthen and redefine, our brand's
position in the WordPress market.


And not only of course, Gravity Forms
and where we've been, but also SMTP.

you know, and honestly like highlighting.

our organization's commitment to,
leading edge software and solutions,

super customer centric, dev practices
and building new things with new

technologies, you know, gravity
forms has been around for 15 years

and there's a lot of technical.

debt, so to say, when it comes to what
was built and how we continue to evolve

it and with SMTP, it's really like
the ability to approach, solving a new

problem in a new and innovative way
using, you know, the latest technology

and solutions, to address, at least
in our opinion, current market needs.

both for the WordPress space as well
as for, for our customers specifically.

matt_1_04-05-2024_123600: I won't reveal
some of our partnership plans and like

what we're doing behind, deep behind the
scenes, but through our last couple of

months, Adam and I being public with,
the beta versions, the alpha version, the

beta versions of SMTP talking with our
beta group, by the way, gravity forms.

com slash beta, if you want to
join the beta group, on Facebook.

So you can see the stuff.

come to fruition before anybody else.

A lot of folks say, well, do
we need another SMTP service?

why another SMTP plugin
in the WordPress space?

largely because our customers are using
other third party plugins and services

to send form entries and notifications.

So when our, you know, lovely
customers come to us with an

issue with another plugin, this
is like one of those natural fit.

Even if you're sitting there going.

Another SMTP service.

Yes, another SMTP service.

Now we're going to unlock some
future things in the future.

It is a standalone product, which means
that in the future, you're not going

to necessarily need to have gravity
forms to have, rocket genius software

in your wordpress website, but it just
makes sense from a support ecosystem

standpoint to have a product inside
Gravity Forms that we can support

Travis: It just makes sense.

As you said, I mean, yes, there's other
SMTP solutions in the WordPress space.

Why not utilize the same tool set provided
from that provider, us in this case with

Gravity Forms, to do the rest of the job?

And that, to be honest, just made
a lot of sense for us, right?

Maybe you've been a long time customer,
maybe you're new to Gravity Forms.

to us, it made sense to create
something that's built on the

same easy to use user interface,

It's based on what
WordPress is doing, right?

That's been our core focus since 2.

5 is how do we take what WordPress
is doing and make our UI, feel like

WordPress easy to use easy to, to, to
find what you need to find within that UI.

And, and it.

And it just makes sense.

So when we think about, you know,
another SMTP solution, yes, but not

within our ecosystem, not within,
within gravity forms, specific

specifically in the gravity ecosystem.

So by facilitating, a lot of that
and utilizing a lot of our UI that

we built with gravity forms, it just
makes it easy for our customers, right?

That, that we've had have come to us
with these concerns, as you, as you've

And it allows us to, to provide that
enhanced, solution and performance for

them when it comes to sending emails.

matt_1_04-05-2024_123600: Gravity SMTP
has been in the works for a while.

It's easy to build air quotes as
the engineering team listening

to this is throwing their phones.

It's easy to slot in a new product
to extend what gravity forms does.

But you know, it's not easy building
off of a brand that's been around for

15 years, bringing in a new logo, new
typeset, maybe thinking about a You know,

colors in a different way and how that is.

Do you remember when you first
started sketching out the first

ideas for the gravity SMTP logo?

How many iterations did you go through?

What was the first questions
you asked yourself?


Travis: it's a difficult and
exciting challenge, right?

Because we're in the midst
of it at the moment, right?

We, last year, acquired gravity.


You know, so, so it is part of our,
our brand plan is to essentially

migrate and move into gravity.

com and then in the near future.

And with that comes the
expansion of our product suite.

and with that expansion comes
thinking about not only, you know,

what gravity forms looks like today.

But what it will look like in the future
and not only from a UI standpoint, but

just the brand standpoint, and then
the additional new products, of course,

in, in 2022, we acquired, gravity flow.

And that was a part of like trying
to think about how that would

look and appear within our, within
our brand and, and marketing.

and now we have SMTP and we're
on a path to essentially.

create a suite of solutions that allow
us and our customers, more, tools that

they can rely on, that are built within
the same UI and family of, of usability.

and, and of course, yeah, how we, how we
see that look and feel within the brand.

lots of iterations.

I will say, I mean, a lot of this
actually originated within, a lot of the

work that the product team was doing.

And, and as you know, with, with Adam
Pickering kind of dreaming up where

we wanted to go with some of this
tooling and, and then kind of has

evolved into what you see today, and
we'll continue to evolve into what

you see on, you know, in
the, in the hopefully near future.

So yeah, lots of, lots of work there and
lots of work to, continue building upon.

matt_1_04-05-2024_123600: Our customers
favorite products from the Gravity Forms

ecosystem is not software, in fact.

Don't tell our executive team.

It's our t shirts at WordCamps.

So does that mean we're going
to see some amazing Gravity SMTP

t shirts coming to WordCamps?

Travis: Oh man, that's a great idea.

I hadn't thought about it.

I had just thought about grantees.

yes, it is a thing, right?

We, we pride ourselves in always,
producing and creating some really

great swag for, for our customers
and, and people that have been

fans of our brand for a long time.

And that's just kind of something that
we, we have fun with, to be honest.

And, yeah, I mean, please join us
at the next WordCamps this year.

Obviously we'll be at WordCamp EU and
very likely WordCamp US and, and likely

maybe a couple in between or, or, later
in the year, but come visit us, of course,

grab one of the softest shirts you'll
have in your closet and, and, maybe it'll

be some SMTP, logos on there as well.

think we should do one per

visitor, and you have to choose.

Gravity Forms or Gravity SMTP?

Which t shirt are you going to take?

Gravity SMTP, first version is going
to be a collector's, collector's item.

It's going to

Travis: That's true.

matt_1_04-05-2024_123600: the first one.

And maybe we should run a limited version.

Little gold thread in it, like real gold.

It's worth something.

Travis: yeah, that's a great idea.

Yeah, that'll be a
limited edition for sure.

matt_1_04-05-2024_123600: Travis
Toss, thanks for hanging out today.

Travis: Thank you, man

That's it for today's episode.

If you're a Gravity Forms Elite
license holder, today's the day to

install and configure Gravity SMTP.

With your WordPress website, or
maybe it's time to upgrade to the

elite experience while getting all
of the extra benefits and add ons.

If you look around the industry,
it's quite a value for both products.

Check out GravitySMTP at GravityForms.

com, or if you have any questions,
shoot me an email, Matt at GravityForms.