Digital marketing services company Signpost is so confident that its cloud service can help small businesses with building their book of business that the CEO, Stuart Wall, said it offers a refund to company's that don't find at least five new qualified prospects each month. "We guarantee five [leads]," Wall said, during a recent interview to discuss his company's growth over the past year.
New York-based Signpost is specifically focused on marketing automation for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), helping them create or optimize profiles across "dozens' of Web site or mobile apps that people use to research products and services. As of November 2013, the service was used by approximately 10,000 SMBs across the United States. That same month, it snagged $10 million in Series B funding from a group including OpenView Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Scout Ventures and individual investor Jack Herrick. That brings the total raised by the company so far to more than $15 million.
"SMB owners know that online and mobile platforms influence most of their new and existing customers," said Dev Ittycheria, managing director with OpenView Venture, commenting on his firm's investment. "But these same businesses find it nearly impossible to manage dozens of complicated, confusing platforms effectively. Signpost stands out with the unique ability to empower SMBs to leverage cloud-based marketing automation technology, previously only accessible to much larger corporations."
Signpost focuses on automating and improving three specific processes:
- Presence - The service provides a dashboard (image above) that allows SMBs to update or refine their profiles for oodles of different social networks, e-commerce marketplaces and search engines, including Google+, Facebook, Yahoo!, Amazon, Bing, Yelp!, eBay and Mapquest.
- Conversion - By tracking and capturing information for one of every five visitors, Signpost seeks to help SMBs convert more of their leads into paying customers.
- Remarketing (the newest feature) - The service leverages user data to create the sorts of messages for social media and email that would appeal to different demographics. A new visitor, for example, might receive a "welcome" note, while someone who has visited but hasn't bought all that often, might receive a special incentive; "loyal" customers (as defined by the business) could receive an entirely different promotion. The company reports at the average SMB sees double-digit repeat business from Signpost-created remarketing campaigns.
You won't find pricing information on Signpost's Web site, but it usually involves a three-month commitment, Wall said. (I've seen references on the Web placing that fee at $375 per quarter, although likely it depends on the results that an SMB is attempting to drive.) Given that Signpost itself has a monthly churn of just 3 percent of its customers, it must be doing something right.