In the early days of their business, their home-built email solution served them well. As the business grew, managing email delivery turned into a painful, time-consuming task. Vet Tix needed an email service that could simplify their processes while making sure the millions of emails they send every day make it to the inbox fast and reliably—and they found Postmark. Here’s their story.
In a world where small acts of kindness can make a profound impact, Vet Tix embarked on a mission to make a difference in the lives of veterans, active military personnel, law enforcement officers, firemen, nurses, and loved ones of those who lost their lives serving their country. Co-founded about 15 years ago by Michael Focareto, Butch Hogan, and Edward Rausch, Vet Tix was born from a visionary idea inspired by the sight of empty seats at events like the Super Bowl. Rather than seats staying empty, what if they could be made available to those who selflessly serve their communities and country? What began as a hobby quickly evolved into one of the largest veteran organizations in the US. Vet Tix now distributes millions of tickets every year to the community—and email plays a crucial role along the way.
Whether it’s sports events, concerts, or performing arts—if you’re a Vet Tix member, you’ll receive a daily email about upcoming events in your area (along with instructions for how you can get the free tickets.) In the early days, Butch’s key priority was to get those emails delivered without having to pay for an external service:
When we started Vet Tix, every dollar we spent came out of our own pockets. Rather than paying for services, we wrote proprietary software to build as much as we could ourselves, often using open source software tools, so I set up our own email delivery systems using Postfix.
But as Vet Tix grew more and more popular, managing email communication and ensuring reliable email delivery became increasingly complex. Butch had to figure out how to manage feedback loops with all the different inbox providers. Whenever there were deliverability issues, he needed to trouble-shoot on his own—and since all reporting was home-built and data storage is expensive, he often didn’t have great visibility into what’s happening with Vet Tix’ emails. And then, there was the challenge of sending speed:
Our morning newsletter that’s going to more than a million subscribers would take 6 to 8 hours to get delivered. By the time the last folks received it, some of the tickets were already gone. It just wasn’t a great experience.
It became evident that they needed a professional email delivery solution. This need prompted their exploration of email service providers, and Postmark stood out.
I left our first exploratory call with the Postmark team with a great first impression, feeling like the team truly understood our challenges and our business—and the positive experience continued throughout every interaction with the team.
Vet Tix's onboarding journey with Postmark was seamless. Deliverability expert Anna Ward provided invaluable guidance throughout the transition. She led them through the warm-up process, keeping a vigilant eye for potential roadblocks. Transitioning a piece of infrastructure that’s so crucial to your business to a new provider can feel like a scary task, but Postmark’s hands-on support streamlined the process and minimized potential hurdles, ensuring a smooth transition.
Today, Vet Tix sends all of their email—that includes transactional email like password reset emails and bulk emails like their daily event notifications—with Postmark.
We now send about 100 Million emails a month with Postmark and we couldn’t be more happy with the experience.
When we asked Butch about what he likes the most about his new email setup, he pointed out a few key items:
Vet Tix can now deliver emails more swiftly, significantly reducing the time it took to get their morning emails into recipients' inboxes.
Postmark’s detailed email analytics and webhook abilities now make it easy to understand email performance and to gain insights into which emails resonated with their recipients, allowing Vet Tix to refine their email practices.
Managing email delivery got a whole lot easier. All those labor-intensive tasks like staying on top of feedback loops to ensure great deliverability are now taken care of by Postmark, too.
Postmark is an excellent product, run by a great team that knows a lot about email.
Thank you Butch and the Vet Tix team for trusting us with your emails. We're so proud to partner with a great organization and a team that's truly dedicated to making a difference to those who serve. And if you're a veteran or community hero (or know someone who is), you should check out Vet Tix. We'd love to send you some emails with free tickets!
If you are sending a high volume of emails, just like our friends at Vet Tix, and are looking for a delivery service you can count on, we’d love to talk to you about how Postmark could help. Reach out →