Two of the most common types of business emails are direct marketing (which contain a promotional message, like “Blow-out Sale!”) and transactional (which are in response to a user action, like a forgotten password.) Vero is a startup that wants to cash in on the overlap between the two, which they call a “sweet spot” – and which according to Vero founder, Chris Hexton, can double the chances a given message will be opened.
In the world of ecommerce, whether a user reads an email is a significant factor. Hexton described even more sophisticated triggers in the service that take into account a user’s age, location or other properties in generating the “sweet spot” messages.
“We have a heavy focus on reporting actual conversions from emails and providing the tools for you to improve your targeting and personalisation to achieve maximum conversions,” he said.
A concrete example Hexton provided is called a “cart abandonment” email: If an online shopper adds an item to the cart, but leaves the site before finalizing the purchase, Vero can send them an email message a few days later with related products, a discount code, or another carrot aimed at getting them all the way to the checkout.
I asked Hexton whether he was worried that a more generalized online automation service, like If This Then That (ITTT, in that service’s acronym-happy lingo) could pose a threat if it incorporated more sophisticated email functionality. He said that, while it’s a possibility, there’s a formidable gap – at least between those two projects – between consumer and enterprise-oriented service that it would be tough to bridge. He’s confident Vero can succeed if it focuses at doing one thing well.
“IFTTT is definitely consumer focused right now and, although I’d imagine this may change in the future, the sorts of integrations you can do with IFTTT lend themselves to the consumer market,” he said. “Conversely, Vero is designed to allow online businesses to send and analyse powerful event-based emails.”
Vero, which is now based in Mountain View, got its start at Startmate, a Sydney-based incubator. At the moment, the company is not looking to raise further funds. The service is currently still invite-only.