Most people regard e-mail as a standard tool, but Rocketseed sees a future beyond e-mail’s current banal white screens and plain text. Marty Lattman talks about correspondence, graphics, and living the spam-free life.
Most people regard e-mail as a standard communication tool, but Rockville-based Rocketseed sees a future beyond e-mail’s current banal white screens and plain text. President of North American operations, Marty Lattman talks about correspondence, graphics, and living the spam-free life.
How did Rocketseed get started?
A market development and research company called Latitude Blue was studying digital marketing, and they found that there was a solution that no one was providing. The idea was that with e-mail, there’s a whole marketing channel that’s not being utilized, that we should be getting more out of e-mail than just communicating with each other. So, the product concept was to add graphics to outgoing e-mail.
How do you differentiate these marketing e-mails from spam?
The e-mail list is completely opt-in, that’s a very important point. So, we’re not buying lists of names and sending e-mails out. The product is for people who know their customers, and who have customers that want to receive this kind of e-mail.
Beyond advertising, what benefit does the product present?
On our end, we can see who clicked through and that can be used from a sales perspective. For example, if we sent an e-mail notification to our customers about a new product, and we had the clickthrough in a graphic header, you can find out quickly who is interested in the information and who isn’t. There are multiple benefits here. The product is completely unique. When we talk to new clients they tend to be jaded at first, but when we tell them what we do they’re blown away.
What makes this product different than other e-mail marketing programs?
All of the other offerings that are out there are oriented around doing campaigns. They put together a customer e-mail list and you send out a blast for something like a mid-winter sale. But there has never been a solution for using graphics in everyday e-mail correspondence. With every e-mail you send, you’re reinforcing your brand and your message through the use of this graphic treatment and sheer repetition.
Are there uses for the product beyond marketing?
Definitely. Let’s say I’m a tech support guy, and you call up with a problem on your PC. I would then send you an e-mail telling you when it’s fixed, and included in that e-mail would be a graphic header that could drive you to a customer satisfaction survey. Now, suddenly a company has a way to compile internal CRM data.
What are some of the challenges that Rocketseed faces as a company?
First of all, in this economy, it’s tough to get people’s attention. Because of downsizing, and cost cutting, a lot of people are hesitant to take on a new project. But we’re finding that most people are willing to listen to the product’s benefits, and after they do, they usually become convinced. Secondly, the e-mail marketing space is fairly crowded. We’re trying to articulate how we’re different, and hopefully that will get us invited in more quickly.
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