BigContacts is a software company that was formed with a singular focus on developing affordable and easy-to-use Web-based customer relationship management (CRM) software for small businesses. Founder and CEO Bob Walton started BigContacts in 2006 after using several CRM systems and realizing that they were either too big or too small for most small businesses. He decided to create a CRM system that would cater mostly to smaller businesses that may be too big for their own customer management system, but not large enough for the major CRM solutions in the marketplace.
Before coming to VerticalResponse, BigContacts had three levels for sending emails, which it still currently offers as part of the BigContacts CRM platform. The first level is the ability to send one email at a time, which is ideal for personal, one- on-one interactions. The second level is a limited group email allowing up to 100 identical emails to be sent at a time. The third level is for automated, drip marketing-type email campaigns. The three levels together enables BigContacts users to form individual relationships, maintain a relationship with people as a group, and then market to their customers.
Although this approach worked, BigContacts soon saw a need to provide a more robust self-service email marketing tool to its customers, particularly for larger email marketing campaigns.
BigContacts wanted to partner with a company that 1) could integrate an email marketing functionality into its existing CRM platform, and 2) be able to report on email opens, clicks, bounces and unsubscribes while maintaining its own CRM software.
After learning about the VerticalResponse Email Partner program, BigContacts saw that it could integrate a small portion of the VerticalResponse API functionality with its own tools, and provide a “pay as you go” method that would be more cost- efficient for its small business users. It was a win-win.
The integration of VerticalResponse into its system solved BigContacts’ dilemma. It helped the company to be more competitive with other CRM providers, and filled a gap that makes it a more viable solution in the marketplace.
As a result of the integration, BigContacts is now able to offer a full-featured email solution, powered by VerticalResponse, to every customer as a paid service. Since the partnership, BigContacts customers using VerticalResponse have been growing 10 percent year over year, clearly demonstrating the effect that email marketing can have on helping small business succeed.