The WP Minute+

I recently had an insightful discussion with Rytis Lauris, co-founder and CEO of the email marketing platform Omnisend, on the WP Minute+.
Even after nearly 10 years in business, Rytis described Omnisend as still being in "startup mode." He credits staying bootstrapped with helping maintain their agility to pivot based on customer feedback, rather than getting bogged down in bureaucracy like many older companies.
Omnisend is a Pillar Sponsor of the WP Minute. Part of the sponsorship agreement is to host an interview like this, in an effort to have a candid conversation about their company. 
We covered a wide range of topics relevant to any WordPress Professional, from competition to company culture to leveraging new technologies like AI. Here are 5 of my key takeaways from our conversation:
  1. Laser focus on a niche is critical - By specifically targeting ecommerce merchants early on, Omnisend set itself apart from more generic marketing platforms. Really understanding customer pain points lets you build solutions tailored to their needs.
  2. Community delivers long-term stability - Rytis believes platforms like WordPress have an advantage over solitary gatekeepers like Shopify thanks to open source's distributed model where no one entity controls the ecosystem.
  3. Go where the customers are - Though initially focused on Shopify, Omnisend expanded into WooCommerce after seeing impressive organic traction there. Value creation trumps personal preferences.
  4. Startup mindset stems from leadership - Maintaining ambition and efficiency despite company maturity comes from the top. Rytis still drives Omnisend's vision decade later.
  5. AI should enhance abilities, not replace jobs - Omnisend judiciously uses AI to help humans be more productive. But Rytis believes strategic thinking still requires human creativity and intuition.
Beyond the key insights, here are 5 reasons why you should tune into our conversation:
  1. We have 20+ years combined building digital companies so share informed perspectives on the industry.
  2. Gain insider knowledge of the WordPress vs Shopify ecosystems from someone operating within both.
  3. Learn how to scale your startup without sacrificing agility or customer centricity.
  4. Hear a thoughtful approach to leveraging promising innovations like AI without going overboard.
  5. Enjoy an insightful dialogue with the candid yet focused Rytis Lauris about business and personal growth.
I thoroughly enjoyed my talk with Rytis - his uniq
★ Support this podcast ★

What is The WP Minute+?

For long-form interviews, news, and commentary about the WordPress ecosystem. This is the companion show to The WP Minute, your favorite 5-minutes of WordPress news every week.

Matt: Hey, Ritus, welcome to the program.

Rytis: Hey Matt, thanks for inviting.

Matt: You are everywhere,
everywhere in the WordPress space,

everywhere in the podcast space.

Omni send coming into the
WordPress space recently.

a fantastic sponsor of the WP
minute sponsoring other media

outlets, my friends, colleagues, and
frenemies in the WordPress space.

So I appreciate that as a long
time, WordPress content creator.

We'll talk about that in a moment, but
man, there hasn't, there, there's not

a question you haven't answered yet.

I was going through, I
was listening to like.

Audio books that you, that you are a
guest, like I found like in the, in the

abstract corners of the web interviews
that you probably don't even remember

you've been on, that I listened to.

You've been everywhere, man.

Is podcasting like.

A mainstream thing for you to get
the word out for Omni send it.

Was that your idea or is your
team like, Hey, you gotta get

on a podcast and do this stuff.

Rytis: Yeah, Matt.

yeah.

I'm, I'm great.

I'm really thrilled that it seems for
you that, everywhere we as omniscient

everywhere, but, it's, like the
feeling we have as your motion or your

search, made this impression for you.

So kind of a feeling and,
and the metrics that we have.

So the brand awareness is, not And, and
then globally and in WordPress ecosystem

as well, and OmniCenter was focusing for
quite many years as we're not like new

company, we'll be celebrating 10 years
in the market this year already 2024.

but I mean, it's a startup path, so it
took us a few years, few initial years to

really understand our product market fit.

The, about the question is like
the podcast is the main strategy.

It's not, I would say it's
a supporting strategy.

So it's, it is, it is very important
for us, but still kind of vast

majority of our customers are coming.

Then we have a need for, for email
marketing, for marketing automation, SMS.

As for us, we, are not the
first in the customer journey.

The first in the customer
journey is a platform, WordPress.

In this case, mainly we work
with those who sell online.

So basically they, they choose
WordPress, they choose WooCommerce on

top, they choose agencies to develop,
they choose sometimes agencies to

help with their marketing activities.

Sometimes they do it on their own,
depending if it's a very small business

or maybe a bit It's a bit larger
business that we have internal marketing

teams and we do not outsource it.

and then the, in search for, for
the solution to help, to run their

marketing activities and mainly
OmniCent is for retention marketing.

So we have to have already some customers,
to send them emails to, you have to

have opt ins collected, et cetera,
SMS messages, push notifications.

So we are kind of, not top of a
funnel or top of a customer journey.

once the customer, the businesses
are creating their websites,

their online stores, et cetera.

So that's why the main channel
for us, then customers are

looking for the best solution.

So basically Googling, asking
charge a PT nowadays, et cetera.

What would you

Matt: You're taking all
my future questions.

That's

Rytis: We can, we can, we can
dig deeper into those questions.

Yeah.

But the, the podcasts and, and, and
like this public presence of, of

myself as a co founder and CEO of this
organization, it's, it's really like

supporting a function, I would say.

And some, some time ago, like, you
know, our marketing team, we raised

this issue for the marketing team that,
we have a lack of brand awareness.

And then we came with a plan that it is,

Matt: Yeah.

Rytis: we will sell you, you
know, you have to be present.

Matt: yeah, it's funny because there's
a lot, there's a lot of stuff I want

to unpack their number one, you know,
it's funny to me, not funny, but it's,

it's interesting to hear you because
I'm, I'm the same way, you know,

Hey, we've been in this space for
10 years, but we still feel startup.

Like most startups are like,
yeah, man, six months, one year.

And we're already thinking like
we're, we're something else, right?

Where this mega corp or we're
not thinking startup mode.

And there's like all these, like
middle management comes in all these

logistics, et cetera, et cetera.

But it's, it's great to hear you say we're
a decade in, we're still thinking startup.

Because generally you probably think
that because you're bootstrapped, right?

And you don't have sort of this
outside capital coming in and

it's a totally different mindset.

I think that's a mindset that a lot of
folks in the WordPress space, try it.

Like they're thinking, yeah, it's
only going to be a couple of years.

And then I'm out, right?

Like I'm out of this.

I'm no longer the startup mode.

No, this is something that when you're
not taking that outside capital,

you're living and breathing this stuff.

And probably every day you, like you said,
we're still trying to get our name out.

Like we want people to know about us.

And you've been hundreds of podcasts and
you're like, you still feel that way.

So I don't really have a direct
question there, but I, you know,

I applaud you for feeling like,
yeah, like I'm still out there.

I'm still working.

I'm still making this thing happen.

And a lot of people think it's just
going to go away after a couple of years.

It doesn't.

And even if you took money in, you'd
probably feel that you probably feel

the same way times 10, you know, of
that feeling of trying to perform,

Rytis: And, and, you know, I think
it's, it's like on top of that, what I

completely agree to everything you said.

And, and I think it's just like
a, your personal engagement,

which is very important.

It doesn't matter if you took a venture
or private equity funding can maybe later

stages, et cetera, or you're a bootstrap.

But basically how much of a
personal involvement do you have?

How much skin of the game
do you have in your company?

Yeah.

So, There are some startups, especially
like later stage that they have been,

sold, practically sold to, to like PEs
and there are professional CEOs that

being hired and not, not founders.

So they are, from my point of
view, they are a bit more relaxed

and then that's when the company
starts to become the corporation.

not by the best mean of it.

and yeah, a lot of bureaucracy,
a lot of middle management,

et cetera, comes into play.

and yeah, so I think it's still
kind of about the mindset.

It's very important to keep this mindset.

So, and two very important details
here are first is still ambition to

grow quite fast, the, to conquer.

other areas where you have
not been present, et cetera.

And the second is about, keeping you
as lean as possible and then very

efficient and very lean organization,
et cetera, and not building too much of

a hierarchy in the company, et cetera.

So I think it's, it's just,
and if you are lean enough.

that that means that you are fast
usually to make decisions, to make some

turnarounds if they are needed because
they are needed in any organization

and any business that you do.

Sometimes what you did like last year
could not work this year anymore,

and you have to, to, to, to make a
shift, you know, and, how, how fast

and how flexible and how adaptable
are you in, in those situations.

So I think that's, that's one of that's.

Those are other indications that you still
run and operate and think as a startup.

Doesn't matter of the
age, of organization,

Matt: do you remember back when
you were running your digital

agency and servicing customers?

When you were a younger entrepreneur,
do you remember the days or did

you ever have the days where you're
like, yeah, product sass software.

I need to be there.

I want to get there.

It's going to be this easy ride.

I can't wait to pick the color
Porsche that I'm going to purchase.

Like, do you remember those days
where you maybe thought it was

going to be instantaneous success
or everything would be great, but

not to put you in a bad position.

But like 10 years later, you're like, I'm
still here growing this business, man.

Like I thought it was going
to be done like six years ago.

Did you ever have that
thought back in the day?

Rytis: I still don't have
Porsche or Ferrari, so.

And you know, there was a funny
situation that, we kind of like

reviewed our pricing and for some of our
customers, it decreased a little bit.

And one, one, unhappy customer just
replied to our, announcement email

that, I, I wish you all your success.

CEO will buy a new Lambo for
this, so, so I did not do that.

but, but yeah, in general, in
general, of course it's, it's, Bill

Gates, once said, and I really love
quoting this, that, people usually

overestimate what they can achieve
in one year, but they underestimate

what they can achieve in 10 years.

so I think it's a really
applicable to any startup and

to OmniSend as well that, even.

We look back, like we, we use
OKRs as a planning methodology.

So each quarter we review it.

Sometimes we succeed, more often I would
say we fail with those plans, et cetera.

And then the numbers and
metrics are looking red.

But then you look back a little bit
retrospectively, like for 12 months,

months back at least or Three years, five
years, 10 years from 10 years perspective.

So like the achievements are just amazing.

And the journey you, you,
you made is, is amazing.

So, so back in the days, really
SARS was something that we were keen

on building because myself and my
co founder, we are from Lithuania.

And then the vast majority of
OmniSend is, team is based here.

We do have remote colleagues.

We do have 20, like five ish people in
the United States as a vast majority of

our customers are in the United States.

We do have in the UK and, and,
and remote colleagues, et cetera.

But, but still, so being
kind of like, from.

a country with a small market,
basically you had two options.

I've ended, this is running
a digital marketing agency.

It's, it's all about like
selling your, your hours.

And this is not scalable too much.

It's scalable to some
extent, but no, not too much.

So kind of building a SaaS was always,
I mean, not always, but there was a

desire to build a potentially a SaaS.

So that seemed to be a bit
easier business or at least more

predictable as you do not have to.

to fight for the same customer
again and again and again.

I mean, yeah, of course you have
to, you have to always deliver the

value for our customers as we call
ourselves not bootstrap, but customer

funded organization, because this is
our customers who make a decision.

We don't have any long term contracts.

Yeah.

So this is our customer who
make a decision each month.

If they believe that Omniscient
will create value in the

coming months, month for them.

And that's why we pay us in advance for.

At least one month.

And, yeah, so sauce was kind of like,
compelling business idea and, and another

reason that you can build it globally.

And, that doesn't matter because
it's, it's, it's a product and

doesn't matter where you're based.

Doesn't matter how funny your accent is.

that's after all those like small things,
doesn't matter that much in comparison

to selling, let's say, human hours
and, and, and professional services.

but did we believe that it's
going to be a easy success?

I wouldn't say so.

And you know, look, it took us two
years to start earning something

Matt: yeah, yeah,

Rytis: after the product
launched to the first money.

The US two years and we saw
kind of a good reaction.

Customers are installing, but nobody's
willing to pay for our service.

Mm-Hmm.

Matt: I, I, I ran, just so you, for
your context, I ran a digital agent,

a WordPress agency, ran it with
my father for a decade, 10 years.

We started in 2000, end of
2007 ish into 2008 is when we

started the, the organization.

So anyway, I ran that for 10 years,
but I remember like just getting

into the WordPress space and being
like, Hey, this customer stuff, this

agency stuff, like you're one check
away from going bankrupt, right?

If project doesn't pay you,
they forget to pay you.

You're, you're just like waiting for this.

you know, this is early on
in, in my digital career.

And I saw word, I was
in the WordPress space.

We're building WordPress websites.

And I was like, plugins,
themes, this is the way to go.

I want to build this product
because surely this is easier

than, you know, picking a color
blue for somebody's website.

And they're just like going back and
forth like, I don't really like that.

Oh, we brought this to the board.

They don't like this color.

And it's just like, Oh God.

But early on, I was a super fan of Mixergy
and, and you were on the show in 2019.

You had stated that, you were doing
about 6 million ARR back then.

And I remember just being enamored
with the guests that Andrew was

bringing on being like, yeah, like
I want to build, I want to get into

the software space because this
does seem like the promised land.

but certainly not easy.

and I learned, and I learned
my lessons there, as well,

starting product companies.

Andrew said something, go ahead.

Yep.

Rytis: Yeah, but I think it's kind
of like to add to what you said, I

think is running an agency and maybe
some of the listeners who are running

agencies now maybe struggle with that
and then dreaming about or thinking

about, about like launching their own
products, plugins, themes, et cetera.

I think still running an agency is
a very, very good school and lessons

that you have to learn because
this is where you are actually.

being forced, probably that's the
right word, agency job force is used

to always reflect to customer's needs.

And of course, once you start building
like a plugin, so in our case, OmniSend

as a SaaS, et cetera, it's, it's,
it's a bit tricky that you should

not fulfill all, all of your customer
requests and all of your customer needs.

Because if you would, because you
have tens of thousands of maybe

hundreds of thousands of customers.

you cannot, fulfill all of their needs.

So you have to start group to start
building and to start understanding

what is actually behind it.

Of course, you get rid of
all this bullshit that you

mentioned about, Oh, okay.

Make my logo bigger.

There is that iconic video
about joke, make my logo bigger.

Oh yeah.

Just the, the, the, the,
the tone of the blue.

I don't like, yeah.

Completely agree.

I've been bad and bad and I believe
a lot of listeners, maybe in, in such

situations on, on the daily basis.

But, but in general, it really puts
customer centricity in, into your DNA,

Matt: Yeah.

Rytis: yeah.

So I think it's, it's a, it's a very
good, good, good, good lesson to,

to, to go through a very good school

Matt: So back in 2019, when you were
on the show with, with Andrew, at

Mixergy, he opens up with, guys,
this is a quote from the transcript.

I probably listened to this episode
too, back in the day, but he opens up

with, guys, how many freaking email
marketing companies are out there,

right, as his opening question.

And this is a testament there, like,
obviously MailChimp was back, was

out in 2019, it wasn't that long ago.

So, There was a lot of competition.

There still is a lot of competition.

Rytis: Mm-Hmm.

Matt: You said if we're, if we're
not building it for everyone, right?

Cause everyone would come to you and say,
I want this thing that MailChimp has.

I want this thing that I don't
know, another competitor might have.

And you're saying, no, we're focusing on
let's say e commerce connections only.

First thing I see when I log into
OmniSend is connect your store.

Immediately putting somebody into the
mode of, Oh, I need to, I probably

need to be selling something to get
the most value out of Omni send.

It's not, I want to start an email
newsletter for my soccer club or my

football club, as you may refer to
it as, it's not that it's something

specific, hyper specific for customers.

Did you know that right out of the gate?

Did you go specifically into e commerce?

How come you made that decision so early?

Rytis: Yeah.

So a few assumptions.

So, yeah.

So you're referring to, to Andrew
and Mixergy podcast, so you,

we were at, like 6 million ARR.

So currently we're a bit more than 51.

So we grew quite, quite some,

Matt: Considerably.

Rytis: Yeah, in that area.

And yeah, and I think it's kind of like
this customer centricity and the focus is,

is one of the things that helped us a lot.

And it's one of the first assumptions
when we started building the product, they

get like referring to those agency days.

So some of our customers
were selling online.

Among all the variety of customers
we're serving and we kind of identify

that there were two main assumptions
So first one is that those who sell

online we basically have entire customer
journey happening online That's why

you have more breadcrumbs You have more
touch points happening online with your

customer and this more data exchange is
happening That's why you can automate

More of your marketing activities, and
that's why your marketing messages could

be more relevant for your customers.

And this basically kind of like our
vision up until today is really to make

marketing relevant as organization as
a tool and Like sending more automated

emails or SMS messages or whatever push
notifications those free channels that

we support now With a very relevant
content is what really embodies our vision

and that's what makes us really happy
That's each year there are more and more

automated messages send in comparison
to bulk emails, and it really drives

more and more revenue for our customers.

So that was kind of first assumption
that digital those who sell online, we

have this, unfair advantage in comparison
to soccer clubs, as you mentioned.

And the second was second assumption
was that e commerce in general will

be growing because once we launched
the ones we launched the in the u.

s.

like Around 16 percent of all retail
was happening online on only 16%.

Now it's like 21, 20, like 4%.

It's something COVID accelerated a lot.

So it's, it's growing, but still it's kind
of one fourth or maybe one fifth of all.

entire retail.

So that's what did not change with
OmniSense since the very first day.

So, and again, I mean, sometimes
people ask, Oh, I like super

smart or are you lucky?

I think it's a mix of both.

I mean, not definitely

Matt: You're smart.

I've listened to a lot
of hours of you talking.

I

Rytis: great to be here
and then to talk with you.

Well, you have a lot of
this contextual questions.

So, So what I think it was like very
important that our assumptions could

could prove right or could prove wrong.

They proved to be right, which is great.

Yeah.

So basically as focusing in the niche and
those who's for like to focus product for

those who sell online, actually what made
us unique in comparison to male chimps of

the world, those generic email service or
marketing automation service providers.

So that's what kind of
defined as in the market.

And we basically focused to that.

to that specific market niche, which is
big enough and fast growing enough to

help us, grow as an organization as well.

yeah, so that was kind of like, and this
is the only thing that did not change

on since the very inception of OmniCent.

On the other hand, just to
add on it, the definition of e

commerce by itself is changing.

And if only like back in
10 years ago, there was.

90 percent of e commerce was
basically selling physical goods.

Now, just an example, like booking
a doctor appointment is e commerce.

It's the same online transaction
because entire, almost entire

customer journey happens online.

there is a discovery phase
that is happening online.

There is like social proof
collection phase, like the

reviews are very important.

the, the, the, the social proof
is very important, et cetera.

the booking of appointment happens online.

In many cases, many cases, payment
for the service happens online.

And instead of just delivering the parcel.

to you, or you going to the doctor, to the
barber, to, to the messageur, et cetera.

The only, this part is different.

And then after, after, after
service journey again gets online.

So you are being asked to leave a review.

How did you like it?

You are being reminded, maybe
it's time to, for you to visit

again, et cetera, et cetera.

So very recurring bookings are
happening online, recurring

payments that happen online.

So basically just definition
of what is online retail,

what is e commerce is, is, is.

Being brought in nowadays and,
OmniSend is adapting to this as

well, adapting to this as well.

yeah, so we are currently serving
in those who run online bookings,

who sell, digital goods online, etc.

It's not only physical, physical
stores and a lot of best practices.

They are very similar on
another in those cases.

Matt: want to frame a
pretty hefty question.

I'll try to articulate it
as best as I possibly can.

we look at social media.

We look at algorithms, filtering
out content, content being censored.

You know.

I think I and maybe a lot of
other marketers in the year,

well, we're in 2024, I almost
said 2023, but we're now in 2024.

People are still saying, hey,
the best line of defense for your

business is still going to be
owning your content on your website.

And owning an email list, because
hopefully with air quotes, when you want

to send someone an email, it's going,
you're going to get that customer versus

making a post on Facebook that you don't
boost or that you don't promote, right?

So you have a thousand fans on
your Facebook page, you make a

post, 80 of them see it, unless you
boost it, then 300 of them see it.

Now I see, and this is just my theory,
I'd love for you to unpack this if you

possibly can, that for you and OmniSend.

It might not be about.

How do we compete against
MailChimp feature to feature?

How do we compete against XYZ
competitor feature to feature?

This new thing in the
marketing space is good.

We should go after it.

I see email as my God, you've got
to deal with spam laws, governments.

Deliverability, and that is a very
powerful space, you know, I'm not in the

European market, but in the US market,
you think of like, you know, people going

to the government and, and, and, and
talking to Congress, you know, and you

into it, leveraging billions of dollars
to say, you know, we're the best place.

To deliver email, not these other
little competitors, and that is, that

is where I think your battle is fought.

Maybe not now, but maybe in the future.

What, what are your thoughts on
like competition and fitting into

governments and, and, and multicultural
systems that you have to span across?

Rytis: So probably, at least to what I
would digest from your question, there

are two, two, two different aspects here.

So one is like, again, social
media or other channels.

So once we start, and it's probably a very
illustrative example, once we launched

Omniscient, we were We're trying to
fundraise and we are looking, going, after

some VCs, et cetera, but like everybody
was looking at us like, what email?

Come on.

I felt like, you know, I was
pitching a leather shoes innovation.

Come on.

It's it's it's done deal.

It's like MailChimp, the rather
constant contact like giant company

back in the days already, et cetera.

but yeah, so email, proved to be
very resilient and proved to be the

most effective retention channel
for anyone who sells online.

So to our customer's experience, it's
kind of like 15 to 30, 35 percent of

their revenues coming through email.

so it's, and it's like Return on
investment is by far the best.

So by far the best.

So basically, yeah, and owning
this, some, some, there is kind of

circulating those sexy, terms like
first party data, zero party data.

Sometimes it's being called,
but basically it's owning the

relationship with your customers.

Yeah.

To what, to what you're right.

Because if you use like Facebook,
Instagram, Tik TOK, whatever, Amazon,

if you sell through Amazon, you do not
own relationship with your customers.

So I

Matt: and that's my, and that's the one
thing I just want to just interject.

That's the, that's the connection right
there is Facebook, Instagram, TikTok.

They go, Oh, you want
access to the customer?

You're going to, you're going to pay
us 30 percent tax on top of that.

And I see Gmail, AOL, Yahoo doing the
same thing to email Gmail, obviously

much more aggressively with like
auto filtering and their things.

And I see them going, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa.

All these people have email and they're
getting, and they're making money off it.

No, no, no, no.

We're going to need to
find a way to filter this.

And I, and I think this legacy
type of technology is very

difficult to do that too.

Try as hard as they might.

I think it's still very difficult.

Rytis: hmm agree, and I think it's kind
of like email addresses like similar

to a physical address Yeah, so when
however your Post company etc is be

like charging you for the service, etc
But it's still like this is what you

own and this is what you have all the
freedom to own and this is a free It's

very similar to WordPress Because this
is open source in general, because like

Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft, et cetera,
they are just inbox service providers.

They do not own the protocol by itself.

And this is the key difference to,
to, Facebook, to Google in general,

that because of the, private
protocols, they are closed ecosystems.

And then email as a protocol
is ecosystem is open.

Yeah.

There are dominating players, which
have, because we're just kind of like

similar to, to, to, to WordPress.

And, but it's easy again, it's still the,
the, the ownership, it belongs to the

people, to, to the owner of email address.

And.

I would say what is very important
to add here, and I don't see any, any

how those companies being able to,
to, to really monetize or to start

charging for, for using any email yet
with those filters, I would say, cause

like from our point of view, initially
when there was an in Europe, there was

this GDPR, which came into power when
20, 16, maybe ish on 2017, et cetera.

And then there was a Californian act,
similar to GDPR, which basically, okay,

it's, it's, it's only technically, like,
you know, applicable for California.

But basically if you, if you sell
statewide national nationwide, you in

the States, you have to comply with this.

so basically.

There was a little bit of, of scariness
here, because we thought, okay, maybe

it will make a negative impact, but
in opposite, I think that made a

positive impact because it forced
businesses to really follow the best

practices and follow the best rules.

And for, for services like ours,
there is a bit less fight to fight.

against the bad actors.

Because, you know, there are
really, really like criminals.

There are scammers, phishers, et
cetera, who try to steal the data.

They understand that we do, bad
things and they want to do that.

And this is the work we do.

And this is illegal and it's criminalized.

And there are good practices and
there is kind of a gray zone.

So there were a lot of companies
that would, okay, I mean, yeah, you

know, the holiday season is coming.

We have this list, which we acquired,
maybe not legal, et cetera, but okay.

I'll just do once.

Matt: no one will notice

Rytis: Yeah, no one noticed or maybe
at least I will get like a small fine,

you know, for first thing, et cetera.

So that's worth risking.

All those, all those regulations
by maybe implied like by the

governments, they just regulated this
and there were, there are way fewer.

People are businesses who
are in this gray zone.

So I think it's kind of in general that
that is a positive thing for, for the

consumer because they are less spam
because your inbox looks way better now.

And even kind of like the Gmail
you refer to, even though they have

this promotion tab, but that's okay.

If you send a promotional messages,
they end up in promotional tab and a

lot of people open promotional tabs.

and they read those emails
and they buy and that's okay.

And you know, and sometimes us marketers,
because we subscribe so much because of

a professional interest, we think that
everybody subscribes as crazy as we do.

But if you are a doctor, if you are
a pharma, If you're a policeman, you

don't subscribe to every newsletter, you
subscribe to the few, which you really

trust those brands, which you wait for
those emails to come in and you buy

from, from, from, from those emails.

So, you know, we should not, sometimes
if we're marketers, we should not

apply, our behavior to all of them.

Matt: because we ruin everything us
marketers, you know, we just we're

the ones that ruin it all When did you
make the when did you open your eyes?

To WordPress, Shopify for, for years,
if I again, go back, let's say pre COVID

Shopify was coming, you know, hit after
hit, I mean, platform was improving,

you know, back when Gutenberg was
first released, we had a mass exodus

of people who are like Gutenberg, not
for me, like developers and agencies

like Gutenberg, not for me, don't want
to be with WordPress through this ride.

I'm going to transition to Shopify.

I've have interviewed folks that
ran shop of super successful

Shopify agencies over the years.

And just do it, you know, hit after
hit doing amazing things, but at the

same time, WordPress huge juggernaut,
massive space, when did you turn your

attention to WordPress being so deeply
rooted in the Shopify space starting off?

Rytis: So, there were two, I would
say, maybe not the high moments.

That was a journey.

So we had the WooCommerce.

Yeah, specifically, not like
general WordPress, but WooCommerce

integrations, integration and
Magento integration back in the day.

So we launched nine integrations at
the very beginning of the company.

I'm sorry to two of them proved to
grow just way faster organically.

That was Shopify and big commerce,
which should probably the name you

do not hear too much nowadays about.

And at that time they were equal.

I had to have competition with Shopify.

They were equal by size by the customer
count, et cetera, like 10 years ago, but

then Shopify took off, really took off.

And to be honest, like for three
years, even maybe three pre COVID.

Yeah.

So we made a really good reference
to the, to the time, perspective.

So I would say, I really believe
Shopify is going to a global dominance

like natural monopoly because they
were successful as I said, they, they,

they really build a great product.

They managed to support, they build
a great ecosystem and, and, agencies,

developers like, plugins, SaaS
services that, that, enhance Shopify

core core functionality, et cetera.

but I think that's to where we already
touched about having this still startup

mentality or becoming a corporation.

So I think just Shopify became a
corporation and they start playing some

political games and and then even the
kind of in our space, there is a, I have a

preferred provider, which apparently, them
IPO ing showed that Shopify owns a quite

significant stake in the provider game.

So they kind of just threw in their
promise, they, they, they, they kind of

build their, from my point of view, they
build their ecosystem on the promise to

always be open and always be the best
and the most friendly for the ecosystem.

And for quite a while they were.

but then they start just playing
some political games, et cetera.

And again, this is still great
ecosystem to be, I, I don't blame them

too much, but, but, but yeah, now we
see, I don't believe that they are

going to global dominance anymore.

they will remain a big, provider.

For, for those run e commerce businesses,
but we see that we struggle a lot

outside, English speaking markets.

So us, UK, Australia, very important
markets for them, but they struggled to go

outside those markets for whatever reason.

I don't have a very clear
explanation and in opposite, and

it shows kind of all the trends.

Yeah.

There was an exodus you mentioned
from, from other platforms, including

WordPress, including WooCommerce,
to Shopify, but But, but what we

see now, it's stopped already.

And in opposite, we see that some
of the customers are getting back.

Some agencies are getting back, more and
more agencies are developing both now

for WordPress and Shopify, et cetera.

And it's for the customers to choose, or
maybe they just understood that, you know,

there is no one size fits all solution.

And in different cases, there are
sometimes WordPress is better,

sometimes Shopify is better, et cetera.

yeah, so that's kind of like.

The, the rational
calculation, that we made.

Yeah.

But there was a different, so some, some,
some years ago we kind of relaunched,

maybe three years ago, we relaunched
our WooCommerce integration without,

any major expectations for that.

And we just start seeing initial
like traction, quite good traction,

organic traction, not, not, not
accelerated, not stimulated without

any our go to market activities.

And, we saw that, like
customer lifetime value.

It's great.

Then basically we proved ourselves and our
customers, we can create value as much as

we do for, let's say, Shopify customers.

and this is the, the, the, I think
this is the, the most important thing

for any service provider, either
it's US SaaS or agency, et cetera,

or plugin maker or a designer.

So if you create enough
value for the customers.

If you do so, of course you will
find more customers, like, like

the ones that you already proved
yourself and your customers,

that you are a valuable solution.

So this is kind of the way we turn
to, to, to this tipping point.

But okay.

This is the fastest
growing ecosystem for us.

Organically.

We, we see that there is
a good retention rate.

Customers are happy, they leave
good reviews for us, they stay with

us for, for quite long, et cetera.

And of course we made a decision that, we
should invest more into this ecosystem.

And, and of course, you know,
the, in general, the playbook

is different than in Shopify.

So we just, we just learn here.

We're quite new here.

Matt: And I think it's going
to be like community is

hopefully part of that playbook.

Hold that thought for a second.

A friend of the show, Jordan Gall,
he had a company called Cart Hook,

which integrated into Shopify.

I don't know if you know him or

Rytis: Yeah, I know.

I

Matt: Yeah.

So, I mean, he said
publicly like, Yep, great.

Everything was great.

We're building.

We're making money.

We're making a lot of money.

And suddenly, Shopify Same kind
of scenario where it's like, Oh,

they're investing in either their own
solution or a competitor solution.

And before you know, it slowly creeps out.

Listen, I, there are, you know, there
are some parallels here to wordpress.

com and Shopify, or maybe automatic
globally, And WordPress, just

like we're seeing with Shopify.

I don't really trust any company that
is, using, let's say social capital.

You're getting free social capital.

Shopify is amazing.

They partner with me, they send me leads.

They they're, you know,
they're recommending my plugin,

on the Shopify ecosystem.

Oh, that's amazing.

Eventually that catches up
just like free products.

Catch up, right?

MailChimp.

Perfect example.

I don't know.

You had like 10, 000 emails you
could send for free back in the day.

Now it's like a hundred, right?

Whatever it is that they,

Rytis: Look, so the same with us.

Yeah.

We have free plan for the small customers.

Yeah.

But at some point, if you grow
successfully, you start paying.

So that's true.

Exactly.

Matt: you know, they, they,
they need to make money.

And what we're all seeing in the
WordPress space is, well, wordpress.

com has jetpack jetpack
has all these features.

It's doing all these things.

It's doing email newsletters, doing stats.

It's doing video.

It's a compelling product, but at the same
time, my, all of my friends and colleagues

are building these same solutions.

I work for gravity forms.

We make forms.

Jetpack has forms.

Jetpack has a lot of features that a lot
of us have, but I think in the open source

world It's harder to pull the rug out
from from the community It's happening

slowly in some weird areas But I don't
think it'll ever be like the Shopify or

you know into it buying MailChimp And
it's like oh god, you know where that's

gonna go, you know, once they buy it.

We're all screwed And you know, I think
with the power of open sources is what

makes this a little bit more stable,
as rocky as it can feel sometimes.

Rytis: Agree.

Agree.

And this is again, like relatively
being relatively new to the ecosystem.

So kind of, this is our initial
impression that there is no, no one

person, making all the decisions.

Yeah.

And of course, like Automatic and Matt,
he, he's a great leader and of course

he, he owns the credit for, for, for
launching WordPress back in the days.

but, but yeah, it's not that,
you know, he can make like, Hmm.

single person decision and everybody
has is being forced to follow and there

is a way more challenging for the bad
decisions coming from the community.

And it's, it's, it's way more distributed.

So it's not that you kind
of like, you know, make a.

Evil agreement, with
someone and, and that's it.

And that's how you squeeze every, every
competition out of, out of the, out

of the market, out of the community.

So I think it's, it's
really, really powerful.

Of course, to what, what we see.

If, if that's okay to share this
impression that, and that's being

kind of publicly, it's, it's, it's,
it's, it's being talked, during the

events, et cetera, that, attracting
of new developers, and, younger

generation developers, I think it's,
it's, it's, crucially important for

WordPress ecosystem to, to do that.

there is like the average, age.

of attendees in WordPress event
and Shopify event is, is high,

which is again, a lot of maturity.

and, and, coming with that, but
at the same time, the balance, I

think it's very important as well.

And then tracking the younger
generation is, is very important

as well for the ecosystem.

Matt: Where is the
younger generation going?

Do you have an idea?

Rytis: so do it yourself mainly.

Yeah.

Wix, Squarespace, I believe, or Shopify.

Matt: just as end users
or as like developers?

Rytis: Apple, I think both
because it's, it's, it's easier.

It's easier.

Yeah.

So it's, it's basically no code.

Oh, at least you can start with no code.

And then, then, then you start and
you, you stick and maybe you, you, you

improve your capabilities, your skills
as a developer, et cetera, but, but you

stay within the ecosystem you started.

So I think it's very important.

And this is kind of a philosophy that
we have at Omnicent as well, that.

in the initial level has to be very
easy to start, and it's one of a

kind of fundamental principles of our
product building that the learning

curve has to be very, very flat.

and then, and then, then you start.

So you started.

getting results very fast.

There are a lot of prebuilt presets,
prebuilt designs, et cetera, et cetera.

Just, you know, a few clicks and you
have up and running platform and you

start, in our case, start earning money
from email marketing, SMS marketing.

and this is the proof
that, okay, this is for me.

I can do it easily.

And then there is a second layer in,
at least in our product thinking that,

okay, this is an advanced settings.

If you want.

You can end up, you can take the
blank canvas and you start from there.

Build your own automations, build your
own logic, build your own templates, etc.

According to your, you
know, brand book, whatever.

And the third layer is, in our case,
we, we, we call it like, you know, API.

layer that you can customize as much
as you want and all the flexibility

is there, but then you need like
developers, you need like specific

skills and then capabilities to,
to make the most out of a product.

So, so yeah, so I think like, you
know, some kind of similar logic.

Applying to, to WordPress could,
could be very, very, and I think

like, you know, Gutenberg and all
the recent improvements is heading,

getting towards that direction.

Because like Wix and Squarespace,
we have the first layer.

It's very easy to start, but
can you really make something

more, complicated or complex?

Not that much.

Matt: Yeah.

Rytis: so, but again.

you know, the, the, the, the,
the beginners start there.

So that's, I think the biggest
challenge for WordPress.

Matt: WordPress had it, the luxury of,
if I could say that, of when it first

came on the scene and really improved
was a time on the internet where.

I mean, there weren't, there wasn't
a million YouTube tutorials, right?

There weren't all these folks writing
and showing you how to do WordPress.

So you had to.

Like crack open WordPress like I did and
kind of learn HTML CSS PHP a little bit of

JavaScript how The lamp stack worked right
with hosting Linux Apache mysql PHP How do

these things all function to get a website
up and running where the kids these days?

All they're gonna have to do is talk to
AI and just be like hey I want a login

system with a, with a shopping cart, and
then they, they'll connect up to you.

so, you know, they, they have
it a lot easier, these days.

So, yeah, I mean, I agree.

It's a super challenging time to,
to bring in some fresh, some fresh

perspective and some fresh folks into
the space because it's detriment to,

the, you know, the success of WordPress.

Real, real

Rytis: success.

Yeah.

Matt: long-term success.

Yeah.

Speaking of A.

I.

real quick, hot topic,
everyone's talking about A.

I., everyone's doing A.

I.

What do you have, do you have anything
AI, are you looking at AI, or is it like,

hey, let's just wait for this thing to,
to settle in, because my god, we saw

how fragile OpenAI is, or ChatGPT and
that whole, Sam Altman, non profit slash

executive team structure, the whole
thing almost collapsed in literally a

weekend, what are your thoughts, AI,
future of, of that, integrating it

to the product and, and its promise?

Rytis: in recent lawsuits
by some major media

Matt: New York, yeah, New York Times,

Rytis: Neon Terranx, etc, yeah.

So, that's just, you know, they
proved that it's just one to one.

Okay, like 100 words to 99 words,
exactly the same text, what was

written by a professional writer.

So, Yeah, we do have, and we do have,
embedded AI solutions with PhenomenaSense,

so just like few, few, few dimensions, so
the, the, subject line generator, yeah?

So you, you, you compose an email and
usually it's a kind of a creative,

cause you have to be sure, you have to
emphasize the most important things and,

you know, just AI suggests you five.

you can regenerate and you basically
pick, you change something and I think

this is a, this is kind of illustrates
how we think about the AI solution

that it has to do the dinky job
and it has to be assistant for you.

So I, I'm a little bit of
skeptic, that AI replaces.

Human intelligence, H I, but I
think it really helps us to, to

shorten the time to do the same job.

And so, you know, if you're a creative
writer, sometimes you in a good mood

and you can come up with 10 versions,
et cetera, be very fresh, et cetera.

Sometimes you're just tired and,
ah, it takes you so much time to,

and you need some, you need some,
you know, you know, to, to, to

Matt: a little bit of

Rytis: the spark.

Yeah, this is, yeah, this is a good,
maybe just to catch on something.

And I've read some time ago,
articles about some of good

artists, that the painters.

So they have, they have assistants who
sometimes we just ask assistant to start

painting because they are out of the mood
and they have no inspiration at that time.

And the assistant starts
to paint something and then

the artist has the spark.

Okay, I will complete this.

And this is my.

still artwork.

So I think this is what AI does.

And just an example.

Yeah.

So subject line generated
or, inline editing.

Yeah.

So when you write a copy, there
is a, a, AI, AI generator.

So you just basically with an
omniscient, you just drive the context.

Okay.

I would like to promote,
promote this, Mac.

Yeah, I have some water here.

Let's, let's, let's promote the Mac.

Okay.

I want to promote this gray
Mac, because it's very fresh.

It's keeps water fresh for, for
many hours, et cetera, et cetera.

And AI comes with a proper,
good, good style text, et cetera.

we tried, we tried a solution
that we, that, entire email

is being generated by AI.

Okay.

people were not adopting that too much.

and then we changed to this
just a paragraph editing or

paragraph composing with AI.

It's being way better adopted in
comparison to the full, because it's

still kind of me as a marketer who
makes a decision what I want to promote,

unless you do full automated marketing.

and, and yes, and, again.

The assistance is needed.

This assistance is well accepted
and really welcomed opposite to just

replacement of a full replacement,
replacement of a, of a human intelligence.

So this is how we, we think about AI,
that it's a really great assistant.

And of course, we are trying to embed it
in as much as possible just to do the.

The, this donkey job where sometimes, you
know, you cannot personalize, like for

1000 customers, for 100, 000 customers
to write a really, really personal email.

AI could do that, but again, it's
you who has to make a decision.

What exactly?

Okay.

Not exactly, but what direction?

What tone and voice, what, what you
want to promote, et cetera, what

you want to invite your customers
to do, either purchase immediately

or maybe help them with a product
they purchased already in the past.

Or maybe just, you know, provide some,
some help, some assistance, et cetera.

So yeah, so that's how we think about AI.

Matt: Omni send dot com.

You can start for free.

Fantastic sponsor of the show.

Rita's.

Thank you so much for connecting, with
my brand and my fellow, colleagues

brands to help support the WordPress
community, help support content like

this showing up on yet another podcast.

I, I think I asked you some questions
that I haven't heard you answer yet today.

So, I hope, I hope the listener
got some value from it.

Free plan.

16 a month, 59 per month, the best
person for this platform right now

you'd say is folks who are integrating
with e commerce with WooCommerce.

I do have some, I don't know,
behind the scenes look because

I do work at Gravity Forms.

We've been working with your team to,
connect, OmniSend to Gravity Forms

without the need for WooCommerce
because you can sell stuff with Gravity

Forms, you can sell stuff with other
things on, on WordPress, of course.

so anyone who's making that
transaction This is the type

of customer that should be

Rytis: Correct.

Correct.

And we are currently working and it will
be launched till the end of, Q1, 2024.

So if you're listening us after
this, so we will, we will have,

just generic WordPress integration
and plugin for anyone who any

transactions online and send them
and does it, either gravity forms or

some LMS systems, et cetera, using
WordPress so we can utilize OmniSend.

Matt: Best place to connect, OmniSend.

com.

You want to send anyone, someone,
anywhere else that you spend

Rytis: So OmniSend.

com is the best.

So you can either request for a demo
and talk to our, account executive.

So you can just, you know, sign up.

Have an account and explore on your
own and there are a lot of videos and

even though if you are not Maybe if you
are happy with your current solution

We have a great resource center.

So I'm going to send just only
send resources on send block.

So there are a lot of written
content video content lessons

advices How how to better run your
email marketing SMS marketing?

Web push notification,
notifications and marketing.

So it doesn't matter
if you use OmniCenter.

No, we, we do have a lot of resources
for you to, to be a better, marketer.

And by the way, our website, our
blog is running on WordPress.

Matt: Fantastic.

Fantastic stuff.

Rita's.

Thanks so much again
for hanging out today.

Let me just pull this over.

Hey, Ritus, welcome to the program.

Rytis: Hey Matt, thanks for inviting.

Matt: You are everywhere, uh,
everywhere in the WordPress space,

everywhere in the podcast space.

I like to do obviously
research of, of, on my guests.

I know probably, I know that's
a broad statement to make, but

I'm fairly comfortable with about
80 percent of the guests I have.

I've known them or seen
them around for years.

Omni send coming into the
WordPress space recently.

Um, a fantastic sponsor of the
WP minute sponsoring other media

outlets, my friends, colleagues, and
frenemies in the WordPress space.

So I appreciate that as a long
time, uh, WordPress content creator.

We'll talk about that in a moment, but
man, there hasn't, there, there's not

a question you haven't answered yet.

I was going through, I
was listening to like.

Audio books that you, that you are a
guest, like I found like in the, in the

abstract corners of the web interviews
that you probably don't even remember

you've been on, uh, that I listened to.

You've been everywhere, man.

Is podcasting like.

A mainstream thing for you to get
the word out for Omni send it.

Was that your idea or is your
team like, Hey, you gotta get

on a podcast and do this stuff.

Rytis: Yeah, Matt.

Uh, yeah.

Uh, I'm, I'm great.

I'm really thrilled that it seems for
you that, um, everywhere we as omniscient

everywhere, but, uh, it's, uh, like the
feeling we have as your motion or your

search, uh, made this impression for you.

So kind of a feeling and,
and the metrics that we have.

So the brand awareness is, uh,
not And, and then globally and in

WordPress ecosystem as well, and
OmniCenter was focusing for quite many

years as we're not like new company,
we'll be celebrating 10 years in

the market this year already 2024.

Uh, but I mean, it's a startup path, so it
took us a few years, few initial years to

really understand our product market fit.

The, uh, about the question is like
the podcast is the main strategy.

It's not, I would say it's
a supporting strategy.

So it's, it is, it is very important
for us, but still kind of vast

majority of our customers are coming.

Then we have a need for, uh, for email
marketing, for marketing automation, SMS.

As for us, we, uh, are not the
first in the customer journey.

The first in the customer
journey is a platform, WordPress.

In this case, mainly we work
with those who sell online.

So basically they, they choose
WordPress, they choose WooCommerce on

top, they choose agencies to develop,
they choose sometimes agencies to

help with their marketing activities.

Sometimes they do it on their own,
depending if it's a very small business

or maybe a bit It's a bit larger
business that we have internal marketing

teams and we do not outsource it.

Uh, and then the, uh, in search for,
for the solution to help, uh, to run

their marketing activities and mainly
OmniCent is for retention marketing.

So we have to have already some customers,
uh, to send them emails to, you have

to have opt ins collected, et cetera,
SMS messages, push notifications.

So we are kind of, uh, not top of a
funnel or top of a customer journey.

Um, once the customer, the businesses
are creating their websites,

their online stores, et cetera.

So that's why the main channel
for us, uh, uh, then customers

are looking for the best solution.

So basically Googling, uh, asking
charge a PT nowadays, et cetera.

What would you

Matt: You're taking all
my future questions.

That's

Rytis: We can, we can, we can
dig deeper into those questions.

Yeah.

But the, the podcasts and, and, and
like this public presence of, uh, of

myself as a co founder and CEO of this
organization, it's, it's really like

supporting a function, I would say.

And some, some time ago, like, you
know, our marketing team, we raised

this issue for the marketing team that,
uh, we have a lack of brand awareness.

And then we came with a plan that it is,

Matt: Yeah.

Rytis: we will sell you, you
know, you have to be present.

Matt: yeah, it's funny because there's
a lot, uh, there's a lot of stuff I

want to unpack their number one, you
know, it's funny to me, not funny,

but it's, it's interesting to hear you
because I'm, I'm the same way, uh, you

know, Hey, we've been in this space for
10 years, but we still feel startup.

Like most startups are like,
yeah, man, six months, one year.

And we're already thinking like
we're, we're something else, right?

Where this mega corp or we're
not thinking startup mode.

And there's like all these, uh, like
middle management comes in all these

logistics, et cetera, et cetera.

But it's, it's great to hear you say we're
a decade in, we're still thinking startup.

Because generally you probably think
that because you're bootstrapped, right?

And you don't have sort of this
outside capital coming in and

it's a totally different mindset.

I think that's a mindset that a lot of
folks in the WordPress space, uh, try it.

Like they're thinking, yeah, it's
only going to be a couple of years.

And then I'm out, right?

Like I'm out of this.

I'm no longer the startup mode.

No, this is something that when you're
not taking that outside capital,

you're living and breathing this stuff.

And probably every day you, like you said,
we're still trying to get our name out.

Like we want people to know about us.

And you've been hundreds of podcasts and
you're like, you still feel that way.

So I don't really have a direct
question there, but I, you know,

I applaud you for feeling like,
yeah, like I'm still out there.

I'm still working.

I'm still making this thing happen.

And a lot of people think it's just
going to go away after a couple of years.

It doesn't.

And even if you took money in, you'd
probably feel that you probably feel

the same way times 10, uh, you know,
of that feeling of trying to perform,

Rytis: And, and, you know, I think
it's, it's like on top of that, what I

completely agree to everything you said.

And, uh, and I think it's just
like a, your personal engagement,

which is very important.

It doesn't matter if you took a venture
or private equity funding can maybe later

stages, et cetera, or you're a bootstrap.

But basically how much of a
personal involvement do you have?

How much skin of the game
do you have in your company?

Yeah.

So, uh, uh, There are some startups,
especially like later stage that they have

been, uh, sold, practically sold to, to
like PEs and there are professional CEOs

that being hired and not, not founders.

So they are, uh, from my point of
view, they are a bit more relaxed

and then that's when the company
starts to become the corporation.

Uh, not by the best mean of it.

Uh, and yeah, a lot of bureaucracy,
a lot of middle management,

et cetera, comes into play.

Um, and yeah, so I think it's
still kind of about the mindset.

It's very important to keep this mindset.

So, and two very important details
here are first is still ambition to

grow quite fast, the, to conquer.

Uh, other areas where you have
not been present, et cetera.

And the second is about, uh, keeping
you as lean as possible and then very

efficient and very lean organization,
et cetera, and not building too much of

a hierarchy in the company, et cetera.

So I think it's, it's just,
and if you are lean enough.

that that means that you are fast
usually to make decisions, to make some

turnarounds if they are needed because
they are needed in any organization

and any business that you do.

Sometimes what you did like last year
could not work this year anymore,

uh, and you have to, to, to, to make
a shift, you know, and, uh, how, how

fast and how flexible and how adaptable
are you in, in those situations.

So I think that's, that's one of that's.

Those are other indications that you still
run and operate and think as a startup.

Doesn't matter of the
age, uh, of organization,

Matt: do you remember back when
you were running your digital

agency and servicing customers?

When you were a younger entrepreneur,
uh, do you remember the days or did

you ever have the days where you're
like, yeah, product sass software.

I need to be there.

I want to get there.

It's going to be this easy ride.

I can't wait to pick the color
Porsche that I'm going to purchase.

Like, do you remember those days
where you maybe thought it was

going to be instantaneous success
or everything would be great, but

not to put you in a bad position.

But like 10 years later, you're like, I'm
still here growing this business, man.

Like I thought it was going
to be done like six years ago.

Did you ever have that
thought back in the day?

Rytis: I still don't have
Porsche or Ferrari, so.

And you know, there was a funny
situation that, uh, um, we kind of like

reviewed our pricing and for some of our
customers, it decreased a little bit.

And one, one, uh, unhappy customer just
replied to our, um, announcement email

that, uh, I, I wish you all your success.

CEO will buy a new Lambo for
this, so, so I did not do that.

Uh, but, but yeah, in general, in
general, um, of course it's, it's, Bill

Gates, uh, once said, and I really love
quoting this, that, uh, people usually

overestimate what they can achieve
in one year, but they underestimate

what they can achieve in 10 years.

Uh, so I think it's a really
applicable to any startup and to

OmniSend as well that, uh, even.

We look back, like we, we use
OKRs as a planning methodology.

So each quarter we review it.

Sometimes we succeed, more often I would
say we fail with those plans, et cetera.

And then the numbers and
metrics are looking red.

But then you look back a little bit
retrospectively, like for 12 months,

months back at least or Three years, five
years, 10 years from 10 years perspective.

So like the achievements are just amazing.

And the journey you, you,
you made is, is amazing.

So, so back in the days, really
SARS was something that we were keen

on building because myself and my
co founder, we are from Lithuania.

And then the vast majority of
OmniSend is, uh, team is based here.

We do have remote colleagues.

We do have 20, like five ish people in
the United States as a vast majority of

our customers are in the United States.

We do have in the UK and, and,
and remote colleagues, et cetera.

But, um, but still, so being
kind of like, uh, from.

a country with a small market,
uh, basically you had two options.

I've ended, this is running
a digital marketing agency.

It's, it's all about like
selling your, your hours.

And this is not scalable too much.

It's scalable to some
extent, but no, not too much.

So kind of building a SaaS was always,
uh, I mean, not always, but there was

a desire to build a potentially a SaaS.

So that seemed to be a bit
easier business or at least more

predictable as you do not have to.

to fight for the same customer
again and again and again.

I mean, yeah, of course you have
to, you have to always deliver the

value for our customers as we call
ourselves not bootstrap, but customer

funded organization, because this is
our customers who make a decision.

We don't have any long term contracts.

Yeah.

So this is our customer who
make a decision each month.

If they believe that Omniscient
will create value in the

coming months, month for them.

And that's why we pay us in advance for.

At least one month.

And, uh, yeah, so sauce was kind of
like, uh, uh, compelling business

idea and, uh, and another reason
that you can build it globally.

And, uh, that doesn't matter because
it's, it's, it's a product and

doesn't matter where you're based.

Doesn't matter how funny your accent is.

Uh, that's after all those like
small things, uh, doesn't matter

that much in comparison to selling,
let's say, uh, human hours and,

and, and professional services.

Uh, but did we believe that
it's going to be a easy success?

I wouldn't say so.

And you know, look, it took us two
years to start earning something

Matt: yeah, yeah,

Rytis: after the product
launched to the first money.

The US two years and we saw
kind of a good reaction.

Customers are installing, but nobody's
willing to pay for our service.

Mm-Hmm.

Matt: I, I, I ran, just so you, for
your context, I ran a digital agent,

a WordPress agency, ran it with
my father for a decade, 10 years.

We started in 2000, end of
2007 ish into 2008 is when we

started the, the organization.

Um.

So anyway, I ran that for 10 years,
but I remember like just getting

into the WordPress space and being
like, Hey, this customer stuff, this

agency stuff, like you're one check
away from going bankrupt, right?

If project doesn't pay you,
they forget to pay you.

You're, you're just like waiting for this.

Um, you know, this is early
on in, in my digital career.

And I saw word, I was
in the WordPress space.

We're building WordPress websites.

And I was like, plugins,
themes, this is the way to go.

I want to build this product
because surely this is easier

than, you know, picking a color
blue for somebody's website.

And they're just like going back and
forth like, I don't really like that.

Oh, we brought this to the board.

They don't like this color.

And it's just like, Oh God.

Um.

But early on, I was a super fan of Mixergy
and, and you were on the show in 2019.

You had stated that, uh, you were
doing about 6 million ARR back then.

And I remember just being enamored
with the guests that Andrew was

bringing on being like, yeah, like
I want to build, I want to get into

the software space because this
does seem like the promised land.

Um, but certainly not easy.

Uh, and I learned, and I learned
my lessons there, uh, as well,

starting product companies.

Andrew said something, go ahead.

Yep.

Rytis: Yeah, but I think it's kind
of like to add to what you said, I

think is running an agency and maybe
some of the listeners who are running

agencies now maybe struggle with that
and then dreaming about or thinking

about, about like launching their own
products, plugins, themes, et cetera.

I think still running an agency is
a very, very good school and lessons

that you have to learn because
this is where you are actually.

Uh, being forced, probably that's the
right word, agency job force is used

to always reflect to customer's needs.

And of course, once you start building
like a plugin, so in our case, OmniSend

as a SaaS, et cetera, it's, it's,
it's a bit tricky that you should

not fulfill all, all of your customer
requests and all of your customer needs.

Because if you would, because you
have tens of thousands of maybe

hundreds of thousands of customers.

Uh, you cannot, uh,
fulfill all of their needs.

So you have to start group to start
building and to start understanding

what is actually behind it.

Of course, you get rid of
all this bullshit that you

mentioned about, Oh, okay.

Make my logo bigger.

There is that iconic video
about joke, make my logo bigger.

Oh yeah.

Just the, the, the, the,
the tone of the blue.

I don't like, yeah.

Completely agree.

I've been bad and bad and I believe
a lot of listeners, uh, maybe in, in

such situations on, on the daily basis.

But, but in general, it really puts
customer centricity in, into your DNA,

Matt: Yeah.

Rytis: uh, yeah.

So I think it's, it's a, it's a very
good, good, good, good lesson to,

to, to go through a very good school

Matt: So back in 2019, when you were
on the show with, with Andrew, uh,

at Mixergy, he opens up with, guys,
this is a quote from the transcript.

I probably listened to this episode
too, uh, back in the day, but he

opens up with, guys, how many freaking
email marketing companies are out

there, right, as his opening question.

And this is a testament there, like,
obviously MailChimp was back, was

out in 2019, it wasn't that long ago.

So, um, There was a lot of competition.

There still is a lot of competition.

Rytis: Mm-Hmm.

Matt: You said if we're, if we're
not building it for everyone, right?

Cause everyone would come to you and say,
I want this thing that MailChimp has.

I want this thing that I don't know,
uh, another competitor might have.

And you're saying, no, we're focusing on
let's say e commerce connections only.

First thing I see when I log into
OmniSend is connect your store.

Immediately putting somebody into the
mode of, Oh, I need to, I probably

need to be selling something to get
the most value out of Omni send.

It's not, I want to start an email
newsletter for my soccer club or my

football club, as you may refer to it
as, um, it's not that it's something

specific, hyper specific for customers.

Did you know that right out of the gate?

Did you go specifically into e commerce?

How come you made that decision so early?

Rytis: Yeah.

So a few assumptions.

So, yeah.

So you're referring to, to Andrew
and Mixergy podcast, so you, we

were at, uh, like 6 million ARR.

So currently we're a bit more than 51.

So we grew quite, uh, quite some,

Matt: Considerably.

Rytis: Yeah, in that area.

And yeah, and I think it's kind of like
this customer centricity and the focus is,

is one of the things that helped us a lot.

And it's one of the first assumptions
when we started building the product, they

get like referring to those agency days.

So some of our customers
were selling online.

Among all the variety of customers
we're serving and we kind of identify

that there were two main assumptions
So first one is that those who sell

online we basically have entire customer
journey happening online That's why

you have more breadcrumbs You have more
touch points happening online with your

customer and this more data exchange is
happening That's why you can automate

More of your marketing activities, and
that's why your marketing messages could

be more relevant for your customers.

And this basically kind of like our
vision up until today is really to make

marketing relevant as organization as
a tool and Like sending more automated

emails or SMS messages or whatever push
notifications those free channels that we

support now With a very relevant content
is what really embodies our vision and

that's what makes us really happy That's
each year there are more and more Uh,

automated messages send in comparison
to bulk emails, and it really drives

more and more revenue for our customers.

So that was kind of first assumption that
digital those who sell online, we have

this, uh, unfair advantage in comparison
to soccer clubs, as you mentioned.

And the second was second assumption
was that e commerce in general will

be growing because once we launched
the ones we launched the in the u.

s.

Uh, like Around 16 percent of all
retail was happening online on only 16%.

Now it's like 21, 20, like 4%.

It's something COVID accelerated a lot.

So it's, it's growing, but still it's kind
of one fourth or maybe one fifth of all.

entire retail.

So that's what did not change with
OmniSense since the very first day.

So, uh, and again, I mean,
sometimes people ask, Oh, I like

super smart or are you lucky?

I think it's a mix of both.

I mean, not definitely

Matt: You're smart.

I've listened to a lot
of hours of you talking.

I

Rytis: great to be here
and then to talk with you.

Well, you have a lot of
this contextual questions.

So, uh, So what I think it was like very
important that our assumptions could

could prove right or could prove wrong.

They proved to be right, which is great.

Yeah.

So basically as focusing in the niche and
those who's for like to focus product for

those who sell online, actually what made
us unique in comparison to male chimps of

the world, those generic email service or
marketing automation service providers.

So that's what kind of
defined as in the market.

And we basically focused to that.

Uh, to that specific market niche,
which is big enough and fast

growing enough to help us, uh,
grow as an organization as well.

Um, yeah, so that was kind of like, and
this is the only thing that did not change

on since the very inception of OmniCent.

On the other hand, just to
add on it, the definition of e

commerce by itself is changing.

And if only like back in
10 years ago, there was.

90 percent of e commerce was
basically selling physical goods.

Now, uh, just an example, uh, like booking
a doctor appointment is e commerce.

It's the same online transaction
because entire, almost entire

customer journey happens online.

Uh, there is a discovery phase
that is happening online.

There is like social proof
collection phase, like the

reviews are very important.

Uh, the, the, the, the social
proof is very important, et cetera.

Uh, the booking of
appointment happens online.

In many cases, uh, many cases, payment
for the service happens online.

And instead of just delivering the parcel.

to you, or you going to the
doctor, to the barber, uh, to,

to the messageur, et cetera.

The only, this part is different.

And then after, after, after
service journey again gets online.

So you are being asked to leave a review.

How did you like it?

You are being reminded, maybe
it's time to, for you to visit

again, et cetera, et cetera.

So very recurring bookings are
happening online, recurring

payments that happen online.

So basically just definition
of what is online retail,

what is e commerce is, is, is.

Being brought in nowadays and, uh,
OmniSend is adapting to this as

well, adapting to this as well.

Uh, yeah, so we are currently serving
in those who run online bookings, who

sell, uh, digital goods online, etc.

It's not only physical, physical
stores and a lot of best practices.

They are very similar on
another in those cases.

Matt: want to frame a
pretty hefty question.

I'll try to articulate it
as best as I possibly can.

Um, we look at social media.

We look at algorithms, filtering
out content, content being censored.

You know.

I think I and maybe a lot of
other marketers in the year,

well, we're in 2024, I almost
said 2023, but we're now in 2024.

People are still saying, hey,
the best line of defense for your

business is still going to be
owning your content on your website.

And owning an email list, because
hopefully with air quotes, when you want

to send someone an email, it's going,
you're going to get that customer versus

making a post on Facebook that you don't
boost or that you don't promote, right?

So you have a thousand fans on
your Facebook page, you make a

post, 80 of them see it, unless you
boost it, then 300 of them see it.

Now I see, and this is just my theory,
I'd love for you to unpack this if you

possibly can, that for you and OmniSend.

It might not be about.

How do we compete against
MailChimp feature to feature?

How do we compete against XYZ
competitor feature to feature?

This new thing in the
marketing space is good.

We should go after it.

I see email as my God, you've got
to deal with spam laws, governments.

Deliverability, and that is a very
powerful space, you know, I'm not in the

European market, but in the US market,
you think of like, uh, you know, people

going to the government and, and, and,
and talking to Congress, you know, and you

into it, leveraging billions of dollars
to say, you know, we're the best place.

To deliver email, not these other
little competitors, and that is, that

is where I think your battle is fought.

Maybe not now, but maybe in the future.

What, what are your thoughts on
like competition and fitting into

governments and, and, and multicultural
systems that you have to span across?

Rytis: So probably, at least to what I
would digest from your question, there

are two, two, two different aspects here.

So one is like, again, social
media or other channels.

So once we start, and it's probably
a very illustrative example, once

we launched Omniscient, we were
We're trying to fundraise and we

are looking, going, uh, after some
VCs, et cetera, but like everybody

was looking at us like, what email?

Come on.

I felt like, you know, I was
pitching a leather shoes innovation.

Come on.

It's it's it's done deal.

It's like MailChimp, the rather
constant contact like giant company

back in the days already, et cetera.

Um, but yeah, so email, uh, proved
to be very resilient and proved

to be the most effective retention
channel for anyone who sells online.

So to our customer's experience, it's
kind of like 15 to 30, 35 percent of

their revenues coming through email.

Uh, so it's, and it's like Return
on investment is by far the best.

So by far the best.

So basically, yeah, uh, and owning
this, some, some, there is kind of

circulating those sexy, uh, terms like
first party data, zero party data.

Sometimes it's being called,
but basically it's owning the

relationship with your customers.

Yeah.

To what, to what you're right.

Because if you use like Facebook,
Instagram, Tik TOK, whatever, Amazon,

if you sell through Amazon, you do not
own relationship with your customers.

So I

Matt: and that's my, and that's the one
thing I just want to just interject.

That's the, that's the connection right
there is Facebook, Instagram, TikTok.

They go, Oh, you want
access to the customer?

You're going to, you're going to pay
us 30 percent tax on top of that.

And I see Gmail, AOL, Yahoo doing the
same thing to email Gmail, obviously

much more aggressively with like
auto filtering and their things.

And I see them going, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa.

All these people have email and they're
getting, and they're making money off it.

No, no, no, no.

We're going to need to
find a way to filter this.

And I, and I think this legacy
type of technology is very

difficult to do that too.

Try as hard as they might.

I think it's still very difficult.

Um,

Rytis: hmm agree, and I think it's kind
of like email addresses like similar

to a physical address Yeah, so when
however your Post company etc is be like

charging you for the service, etc But
it's still like this is what you own and

this is what you have all the freedom
to own and this is a free It's very

similar to WordPress Because this is open
source in general, because like Gmail,

Yahoo, uh, Microsoft, uh, et cetera,
they are just inbox service providers.

They do not own the protocol by itself.

And this is the key difference to, to,
Facebook, uh, to Google in general,

that because of the, uh, private
protocols, they are closed ecosystems.

And then email as a protocol
is ecosystem is open.

Yeah.

There are dominating players, which
have, because we're just kind of like

similar to, to, to, to WordPress.

And, but it's easy again, it's
still the, the, the ownership,

it belongs to the people, um, to,
to the owner of email address.

And.

I would say what is very important to add
here, and I don't see any, any how those

companies being able to, to, to really
monetize or to start charging for, for

using any email yet with those filters,
I would say, cause like from our point

of view, initially when there was an
in Europe, there was this GDPR, which

came into power when 20, um, uh, uh, uh,
uh, 16, maybe ish on 2017, et cetera.

And then there was a Californian act, uh,
similar to GDPR, which basically, okay,

it's, it's, it's only technically, um, uh,
like, you know, applicable for California.

But basically if you, if you sell
statewide national nationwide, you in

the States, you have to comply with this.

Uh, so basically.

There was a little bit of, of scariness
here, uh, because we thought, okay,

maybe it will make a negative impact,
but in opposite, I think that made

a positive impact because it forced
businesses to really follow the best

practices and follow the best rules.

And for, for services like ours,
there is a bit less fight to fight.

against the bad actors.

Because, you know, there are
really, really like criminals.

There are scammers, phishers, et
cetera, who try to steal the data.

They understand that we do, um, uh,
bad things and they want to do that.

And this is the work we do.

And this is illegal and it's criminalized.

And there are good practices and
there is kind of a gray zone.

So there were a lot of companies
that would, okay, I mean, yeah, you

know, the holiday season is coming.

We have this list, which we acquired,
maybe not legal, et cetera, but okay.

I'll just do once.

Matt: no one will notice

Rytis: Yeah, no one noticed or maybe
at least I will get like a small fine,

you know, for first thing, et cetera.

So that's worth risking.

All those, all those regulations
by maybe implied like by the

governments, they just regulated this
and there were, there are way fewer.

People are businesses who
are in this gray zone.

So I think it's kind of in general that
that is a positive thing for, uh, for

the consumer because they are less spam
because your inbox looks way better now.

And even kind of like the Gmail
you refer to, even though they have

this promotion tab, but that's okay.

If you send a promotional messages,
they end up in promotional tab and a

lot of people open promotional tabs.

and they read those emails
and they buy and that's okay.

And you know, and sometimes us marketers,
because we subscribe so much because of

a professional interest, we think that
everybody subscribes as crazy as we do.

But if you are a doctor, if you are
a pharma, If you're a policeman, you

don't subscribe to every newsletter, you
subscribe to the few, which you really

trust those brands, which you wait for
those emails to come in and you buy

from, from, from, from those emails.

So, you know, we should not, sometimes
if we're marketers, we should not

apply, uh, our behavior to all of them.

Matt: because we ruin everything us
marketers, you know, we just we're

the ones that ruin it all When did you
make the when did you open your eyes?

To WordPress, Shopify for, for years, if
I again, go back, uh, let's say pre COVID

Shopify was coming, you know, hit after
hit, I mean, uh, platform was improving,

uh, you know, back when Gutenberg was
first released, we had a mass exodus

of people who are like Gutenberg, not
for me, like developers and agencies

like Gutenberg, not for me, don't want
to be with WordPress through this ride.

Uh, I'm going to transition to Shopify.

I've have interviewed folks that
ran shop of super successful

Shopify agencies over the years.

And just do it, you know, hit after
hit doing amazing things, but at the

same time, WordPress huge juggernaut,
massive space, when did you turn your

attention to WordPress being so deeply
rooted in the Shopify space starting off?

Rytis: So, uh, there were two, I
would say, maybe not the high moments.

That was a journey.

So we had the WooCommerce.

Yeah, specifically, not like
general WordPress, but WooCommerce

integrations, integration and
Magento integration back in the day.

So we launched nine integrations at
the very beginning of the company.

I'm sorry to two of them proved to
grow just way faster organically.

That was Shopify and big commerce,
which should probably the name you

do not hear too much nowadays about.

And at that time they were equal.

I had to have competition with Shopify.

They were equal by size by the customer
count, et cetera, like 10 years ago, but

then Shopify took off, really took off.

And to be honest, like for three
years, even maybe three pre COVID.

Yeah.

So we made a really good reference
to the, to the time, uh, perspective.

So I would say, I really believe
Shopify is going to a global dominance

like natural monopoly because they
were successful as I said, they, they,

they really build a great product.

They managed to support, they
build a great ecosystem and, and,

uh, uh, agencies, developers like,
uh, plugins, SaaS services that,

that, uh, enhance Shopify core
core functionality, et cetera.

Uh, but I think that's to where we already
touched about having this still startup

mentality or becoming a corporation.

So I think just Shopify became a
corporation and they start playing

some political games and uh, and then
even the kind of in our space, there

is a, I have a preferred provider,
uh, which apparently, uh, them IPO

ing showed that Shopify owns a quite
significant stake in the provider game.

So they kind of just threw in their
promise, they, they, they, they kind of

build their, from my point of view, they
build their ecosystem on the promise to

always be open and always be the best
and the most friendly for the ecosystem.

And for quite a while they were.

Uh, but then they start just playing
some political games, et cetera.

And again, uh, this is still great
ecosystem to be, uh, I, I don't blame

them too much, but, uh, but, uh, but yeah,
now we see, I don't believe that they

are going to global dominance anymore.

Uh, they will remain a big, uh, provider.

For, for those run e commerce businesses,
but we see that we struggle a lot

outside, uh, English speaking markets.

So us, UK, Australia, very important
markets for them, but they struggled to go

outside those markets for whatever reason.

I don't have a very clear explanation
and in opposite, uh, and it

shows kind of all the trends.

Yeah.

There was an exodus you mentioned
from, from other platforms, including

WordPress, including WooCommerce,
uh, to Shopify, but But, uh, but what

we see now, it's stopped already.

And in opposite, we see that some
of the customers are getting back.

Some agencies are getting back, more and
more agencies are developing both now

for WordPress and Shopify, et cetera.

And it's for the customers to choose, or
maybe they just understood that, you know,

there is no one size fits all solution.

And in different cases, there are
sometimes WordPress is better,

sometimes Shopify is better, et cetera.

Um, yeah, so that's kind of like.

The, the rational
calculation, uh, that we made.

Yeah.

But there was a different, uh,
so some, some, some years ago we

kind of relaunched, maybe three
years ago, we relaunched our

WooCommerce integration without,
uh, any major expectations for that.

And we just start seeing initial
like traction, quite good traction,

organic traction, not, not, not
accelerated, not stimulated without

any our go to market activities.

And, uh, we saw that, uh,
like customer lifetime value.

It's great.

Then basically we proved ourselves and our
customers, we can create value as much as

we do for, let's say, Shopify customers.

Uh, and this is the, the, the, I
think this is the, the most important

thing for any service provider,
either it's US SaaS or agency, et

cetera, or plugin maker or a designer.

So if you create enough
value for the customers.

If you do so, of course you will
find more customers, like, like

the ones that you already proved
yourself and your customers,

that you are a valuable solution.

So this is kind of the way we turn
to, to, to this tipping point.

But okay.

This is the fastest
growing ecosystem for us.

Organically.

We, we see that there is
a good retention rate.

Customers are happy, they leave
good reviews for us, they stay with

us for, for quite long, et cetera.

And of course we made a decision that, uh,
we should invest more into this ecosystem.

And, uh, and of course, you know,
uh, the, in general, the playbook

is different than in Shopify.

So we just, uh, we just learn here.

We're quite new here.

Matt: And I think it's going
to be like community is

hopefully part of that playbook.

Hold that thought for a second.

A friend of the show, Jordan Gall,
he had a company called Cart Hook,

which integrated into Shopify.

I don't know if you know him or

Rytis: Yeah, I know.

I

Matt: Yeah.

So, I mean, he said
publicly like, Yep, great.

Everything was great.

We're building.

We're making money.

We're making a lot of money.

And suddenly, Shopify Same kind
of scenario where it's like, Oh,

they're investing in either their own
solution or a competitor solution.

And before you know, it slowly creeps out.

Listen, I, there are, you know, there
are some parallels here to wordpress.

com and Shopify, or maybe automatic
globally, uh, And WordPress, just

like we're seeing with Shopify.

I don't really trust any company that
is, uh, using, let's say social capital.

You're getting free social capital.

Shopify is amazing.

They partner with me, they send me leads.

They they're, you know, they're
recommending my plugin, uh,

on the Shopify ecosystem.

Oh, that's amazing.

Eventually that catches up
just like free products.

Catch up, right?

Uh, MailChimp.

Perfect example.

I don't know.

You had like 10, 000 emails you
could send for free back in the day.

Now it's like a hundred, right?

Whatever it is that they,

Rytis: Look, so the same with us.

Yeah.

We have free plan for the small customers.

Yeah.

But at some point, if you grow
successfully, you start paying.

So that's true.

Exactly.

Matt: you know, they, they,
they need to make money.

And what we're all seeing in the
WordPress space is, well, wordpress.

com has jetpack jetpack
has all these features.

It's doing all these things.

It's doing email newsletters, doing stats.

It's doing video.

It's a compelling product, but at the same
time, my, all of my friends and colleagues

are building these same solutions.

I work for gravity forms.

We make forms.

Uh, Jetpack has forms.

Jetpack has a lot of features that a lot
of us have, but I think in the open source

world It's harder to pull the rug out
from from the community It's happening

slowly in some weird areas But I don't
think it'll ever be like the Shopify or

you know into it buying MailChimp And
it's like oh god, you know where that's

gonna go, you know, once they buy it.

We're all screwed And you know, I think
with the power of open sources is what

makes this a little bit more stable,
as rocky as it can feel sometimes.

Rytis: Agree.

Agree.

And this is again, like relatively
being relatively new to the ecosystem.

So kind of, this is our initial
impression that there is no, no one

person, uh, making all the decisions.

Yeah.

And of course, like Automatic and Matt,
he, he's a great leader and of course

he, he owns the credit for, for, for
launching WordPress back in the days.

Uh, but, but yeah, it's not that,
you know, he can make like, um, Hmm.

Um, single person decision and everybody
has is being forced to follow and there

is a way more challenging for the bad
decisions coming from the community.

And it's, it's, it's way more distributed.

So it's not that you kind
of like, you know, make a.

Evil agreement, uh, with
someone and, and that's it.

And that's how you squeeze every, every
competition out of, uh, out of the, out

of the market, out of the community.

So I think it's, it's
really, really powerful.

Of course, to what, uh, what we see.

If, if that's okay to share this
impression that, and that's being kind

of publicly, it's, it's, it's, it's,
uh, it's being talked, um, during the

events, et cetera, that, uh, attracting
of new developers, uh, and, uh, younger

generation developers, I think it's,
it's, it's, uh, crucially important

for WordPress ecosystem to, to do that.

Uh, there is like the average, uh, age.

of attendees in WordPress event
and Shopify event is, is high,

which is again, a lot of maturity.

Um, and, and, uh, coming with that,
but at the same time, the balance,

I think it's very important as well.

And then tracking the younger
generation is, is very important

as well for the ecosystem.

Matt: Where is the
younger generation going?

Do you have an idea?

Rytis: Um, so do it yourself mainly.

Yeah.

Wix, Squarespace, I believe, or Shopify.

Uh,

Matt: just as end users
or as like developers?

Rytis: Apple, I think both
because it's, it's, it's easier.

It's easier.

Yeah.

So it's, it's basically no code.

Oh, at least you can start with no code.

And then, then, uh, then you start and
you, you stick and maybe you, you, you

improve your capabilities, your skills
as a developer, et cetera, but, but you

stay within the ecosystem you started.

So I think it's very important.

And this is kind of a philosophy that
we have at Omnicent as well, uh, that.

Uh, in the initial level has to be
very easy to start, and it's one of

a kind of fundamental principles of
our product building that the learning

curve has to be very, very flat.

Uh, and then, and then, then you start.

So you started.

getting results very fast.

There are a lot of prebuilt presets,
prebuilt designs, et cetera, et cetera.

Just, you know, a few clicks and you
have up and running platform and you

start, in our case, start earning money
from email marketing, SMS marketing.

Uh, and this is the proof
that, okay, this is for me.

I can do it easily.

And then there is a second layer in,
at least in our product thinking that,

okay, this is an advanced settings.

If you want.

You can end up, you can take the
blank canvas and you start from there.

Build your own automations, build your
own logic, build your own templates, etc.

According to your, you
know, brand book, whatever.

And the third layer is, in our case,
we, we, we call it like, you know, API.

layer that you can customize as much
as you want and all the flexibility

is there, but then you need like
developers, you need like specific

skills and then capabilities to,
to make the most out of a product.

So, so yeah, so I think like, you
know, some kind of similar logic.

Applying to, to WordPress could,
could be very, very, and I think

like, you know, Gutenberg and all
the recent improvements is heading,

getting towards that direction.

Because like Wix and Squarespace,
we have the first layer.

It's very easy to start, but
can you really make something

more, um, complicated or complex?

Not that much.

Matt: Yeah.

Rytis: Uh, so, but again.

Uh, you know, the, the, the,
the, the beginners start there.

So that's, I think the biggest
challenge for WordPress.

Matt: WordPress had it, the luxury of,
if I could say that, of when it first

came on the scene and really improved
was a time on the internet where.

I mean, there weren't, there wasn't
a million YouTube tutorials, right?

There weren't all these folks writing
and showing you how to do WordPress.

So you had to.

Like crack open WordPress like I did and
kind of learn HTML CSS PHP a little bit of

JavaScript how The lamp stack worked right
with hosting Linux Apache mysql PHP How do

these things all function to get a website
up and running where the kids these days?

All they're gonna have to do is talk to
AI and just be like hey I want a login

system with a, with a shopping cart, and
then they, they'll connect up to you.

Um, so, you know, they, they have
it a lot easier, uh, these days.

So, yeah, I mean, I agree.

It's a super challenging time to, to
bring in some fresh, um, uh, some fresh

perspective and some fresh folks into the
space because it's detriment to, uh, uh,

the, you know, the success of WordPress.

Real, real

Rytis: success.

Yeah.

Matt: long-term success.

Yeah.

Um.

Speaking of A.

I.

real quick, hot topic,
everyone's talking about A.

I., everyone's doing A.

I.

What do you have, do you have anything
AI, are you looking at AI, or is it like,

hey, let's just wait for this thing to,
to settle in, because my god, we saw how

fragile OpenAI is, uh, or ChatGPT and that
whole, uh, Sam Altman, uh, uh, non profit

slash executive team structure, uh, the
whole thing almost collapsed in literally

a weekend, um, what are your thoughts,
AI, future of, of that, integrating it

to the product and, and its promise?

Rytis: in recent lawsuits
by some major media

Matt: New York, uh, yeah, New York Times,

Rytis: Neon Terranx, etc, yeah.

So, uh, that's just, you know, they
proved that it's just one to one.

Okay, like 100 words to 99 words,
exactly the same text, uh, what was

written by a professional writer.

So, um.

Yeah, we do have, and we do have,
uh, embedded AI solutions with

PhenomenaSense, so just like few,
few, few dimensions, so the, uh, the,

um, subject line generator, yeah?

So you, you, you compose an email and
usually it's a kind of a creative,

cause you have to be sure, you have to
emphasize the most important things and,

you know, just AI suggests you five.

Uh, you can regenerate and you
basically pick, you change something

and I think this is a, this is kind of
illustrates how we think about the AI

solution that it has to do the dinky
job and it has to be assistant for you.

So I, I'm a little bit of
skeptic, uh, that AI replaces.

Human intelligence, H I, but I
think it really helps us to, to

shorten the time to do the same job.

And so, you know, if you're a creative
writer, sometimes you in a good mood

and you can come up with 10 versions,
et cetera, be very fresh, et cetera.

Sometimes you're just tired and,
ah, it takes you so much time to,

and you need some, you need some,
you know, you know, to, to, to

Matt: a little bit of

Rytis: the spark.

Yeah, this is, yeah, this is a good,
maybe just to catch on something.

And I've read some time ago,
articles about some of good

artists, that the painters.

So they have, uh, they have assistants who
sometimes we just ask assistant to start

painting because they are out of the mood
and they have no inspiration at that time.

And the assistant starts
to paint something and then

the artist has the spark.

Okay, I will complete this.

And this is my.

still artwork.

So I think this is what AI does.

And just an example.

Yeah.

So subject line generated
or, uh, inline editing.

Yeah.

So when you write a copy, there
is a, a, AI, AI generator.

So you just basically with an
omniscient, you just drive the context.

Okay.

I would like to promote,
promote this, uh, uh, Mac.

Yeah, I have some water here.

Let's, let's, let's promote the Mac.

Okay.

I want to promote this gray Mac,
uh, because it's very fresh.

It's keeps water fresh for, for
many hours, et cetera, et cetera.

And AI comes with a proper,
good, good style text, et cetera.

Uh, we tried, we tried a solution
that we, uh, that, uh, entire

email is being generated by AI.

Okay.

Uh, people were not
adopting that too much.

Uh, and then we changed to this
just a paragraph editing or

paragraph composing with AI.

It's being way better adopted in
comparison to the full, because it's

still kind of me as a marketer who
makes a decision what I want to promote,

unless you do full automated marketing.

Uh, and, uh, and yes, and, uh, again.

The assistance is needed.

This assistance is well accepted
and really welcomed opposite to just

replacement of a full replacement,
replacement of a, of a human intelligence.

So this is how we, we think about AI,
that it's a really great assistant.

And of course, we are trying to embed it
in as much as possible just to do the.

The, this donkey job where sometimes, uh,
you know, you cannot personalize, uh, like

for 1000 customers, for 100, 000 customers
to write a really, really personal email.

Uh, AI could do that, but again,
it's you who has to make a decision.

What exactly?

Okay.

Not exactly, but what direction?

What tone and voice, what, what you
want to promote, uh, et cetera, what

you want to invite your customers
to do, either purchase immediately

or maybe help them with a product
they purchased already in the past.

Or maybe just, uh, you know,
uh, provide some, some help,

some assistance, et cetera.

So yeah, so that's how we think about AI.

Matt: Omni send dot com.

You can start for free.

Fantastic sponsor of the show.

Rita's.

Thank you so much for connecting, uh, with
my brand and my fellow, uh, colleagues

brands to help support the WordPress
community, help support content like

this showing up on yet another podcast.

Um, I, I think I asked you some questions
that I haven't heard you answer yet today.

So, uh, I hope, uh, I hope the
listener got some value from it.

Free plan.

16 a month, 59 per month, the best
person for this platform right now

you'd say is folks who are integrating
with e commerce with WooCommerce.

I do have some, I don't know, uh,
behind the scenes look because

I do work at Gravity Forms.

We've been working with your team to,
uh, connect, uh, OmniSend to Gravity

Forms without the need for WooCommerce
because you can sell stuff with Gravity

Forms, you can sell stuff with other
things on, on WordPress, of course.

Um, so anyone who's making
that transaction This is the

type of customer that should be

Rytis: Correct.

Correct.

And we are currently working and it will
be launched till the end of, uh, Q1, 2024.

So if you're listening us after this,
so we will, we will have, uh, just

generic WordPress integration and
plugin for anyone who any transactions

online and send them and does it,
uh, either gravity forms or some

LMS systems, et cetera, uh, using
WordPress so we can utilize OmniSend.

Matt: Best place to connect, OmniSend.

com.

You want to send anyone, someone,
anywhere else that you spend

Rytis: So OmniSend.

com is the best.

So you can either request for a demo
and talk to our, uh, account executive.

So you can just, you know, sign up.

Have an account and explore on your
own and there are a lot of videos and

even though if you are not Maybe if you
are happy with your current solution

We have a great resource center.

So I'm going to send just only
send resources on send block.

So there are a lot of written
content video content lessons

advices How how to better run your
email marketing SMS marketing?

Web push notification,
notifications and marketing.

So it doesn't matter
if you use OmniCenter.

No, we, we do have a lot of resources
for you to, to be a better, uh, marketer.

And by the way, our website, our
blog is running on WordPress.

Matt: Fantastic.

Fantastic stuff.

Rita's.

Thanks so much again
for hanging out today.

You're the only CEO I know that is
actually building in public without

saying you're building in public.

So fantastic.

Fantastic.

I was going to say, like, I'm
looking as I'm researching, I'm

like, this guy's building in public.

He's not using the
hashtag building public.

He's not promoting an ebook.

He's not promoting a master class.

Who is this guy?

He's deep in the product
building Omni send.

Check out Omni send dot com.

Thanks for listening, everybody.

Rytis: Thanks.