ADOTAS – “Email marketing has become kind of a taboo form, but for the reasons we are trying to tackle,” comments Dave Scott, CEO of self-serve lead generation and targeted email marketing platform Marketfish.
The irritation with email marketing is not just from consumers whose inboxes are flooded with various deals, offers and requests, but also advertisers driven half-mad by the frustrating manual process of assembling quality email lists.
Scott would know, having previously served as vice president of marketing at PeopleSoft and Intermec Technology. “I’ve been on the buy side… and I’ve generated millions of leads. I know all too well you have go through a lot of bad email lists to find a good one. It’s not surprising to go through a million names and find 20% of the emails are bad. Email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective marketing tools — we hate the process but we love the results.”
The goal of Marketfish is to automate this mind-numbing and time-consuming process by offering real-time data hygiene for email lists. The company has established a “Clean Data Dream Team” through partnering with LeadSpend to integrate its email validation technology and impressionwise for its online messaging analytics.
Before marketers launch their targeted email campaigns, targeted via Marketfish’s segmentation system, the company gives the lists a good real-time scrubbing using more than 60 filters (Scott says the average email marketer uses three to five) ensuring a larger proportion of advertisers’ target audiences receive the intended emails. Now Marketfish is witnessing 95%-99% delivery rates through using LeadSpend’s tech to remove invalid emails and impressionwise’s to kick out non-permissioned addresses and spam traps.
Not only do Marketfish’s data hygiene tools cull lists of bad emails, they also remove poor-performing ones. In addition, Marketfish offers split A/B testing to assist marketers in their targeting efforts.
Currently Marketfish offers 350 clients access to more than 200 million email records posted by 40 marketing list owners for rental — that’s right, these lists aren’t for sale (and the owners have no interest in selling, Scott points out). In turn, marketers don’t have to buy entire lists but instead can rent targeted segments based on 250 demographic categories organized through Marketfish’s 98 filters.
“We’re just a tech company,” Scott says. “We establish communication between advertisers and list-owners.”
When the company was founded in 2008 and then launched in January 2010, Scott thought enterprise companies would be most interested in the list-rental technology. Indeed, enterprise operations make up two-thirds of Marketfish’s clients, but the tool has really caught fire with online marketing agency, with half of Marketfish’s revenue coming from that segment. In addition, half of Marketfish’s clients come back for repeat business. As a result, Scott is moving across country to open a New York office and court even more agency business.
Sure to help in that quest is a $4.5 million Series A round led by Rustic Canyon Partners and Javelin Venture Partners this May, which built on $3 million previously garnered from angel investors.
Marketfish proudly boasts that its practices are in line with the Federal Trade Commission’s CAN SPAM rules, but the company has taken extra measures to highlight data privacy, including appointing David Fowler chief privacy officer. In addition, Scott says Marketfish will be entering new privacy territory through a host of upcoming privacy partnerships.