“The first thing any new CEO or director of marketing should do is create a survey of relevant questions and eliminate the assumptions they might have.”
Most communication is now digital—email, chat, social media and cloud file sharing, just to name a few platforms. But in spite of all the digital channels, physical mail still persists, consuming an inordinate amount of energy and resources for businesses. Earth Class Mail, a company out of San Antonio, has solved this problem, bringing “snail mail” into the digital age by scanning, sorting and delivering digital documents.
Earth Class Mail provides businesses with off-site physical addresses to receive mail that is then digitized and uploaded to a secure portal. Companies can then easily activate on critical items. Earth Class Mail empowers businesses to electronically share mail, deposit checks, pay invoices and more, all with the click of a button.
Recently Earth Class Mail hired a new CEO, Jess Garza, along with completely refreshing their leadership team. These changes resulted in a management staff entirely new to the product and, in turn, one that only had assumptions of how customers were using their product.
“Marketing Earth Class Mail depends on understanding how customers are actually using our product. We need to align how we think they’re using it with the reality,” said Director of Marketing Matthew Goldman.
“We were a new leadership team getting ready to make huge decisions about the future of the company, but none of us had ever interacted with a significant part of our user base.”– MATTHEW GOLDMANDIRECTOR OF MARKETING
“We were a new leadership team getting ready to make huge decisions about the future of the company, but none of us had ever interacted with a significant part of our user base.”
Earth Class Mail initially worked with Qualaroo to target a specific group of customers in New York to get answers to two main questions:
The team surveyed all customers with a New York City address. This segment was represented the ideal users Earth Class Mail wanted to target. The findings in New York would then be applied to large cities across the country.
“We were a new leadership team getting ready to make huge decisions about the future of the company, but none of us had ever interacted with a significant part of our user base,” Goldman said, adding, “The New York survey was a validation of our ideas. We didn’t want to go out and make assumptions and guesses—we wanted data.”
The results were informative, to say the least. The initial survey received a 90% response rate from their New York customers. From the data, the new leadership team was able to gain powerful insights about their customer base in the Big Apple.
A total of 70% of respondents were businesses, which validated Earth Class Mail’s assumption that individual users were in the minority. This information helped narrow down which buyer personas they would tailor marketing efforts to.
Earth Class Mail also discovered that speed was the most important part of the product—for many businesses using the platform, critical mail needed to be digitized and delivered in a timely manner. With this information, the leadership team was able to confidently make a difficult decision to invest in the latest scanning technology nationwide in an effort to improve speed and efficiency.
The results of the New York City survey have informed decisions about the day-to-day operations not only of the NYC location but of every Earth Class Mail processing center across the country.
“It’s amazing what you can uncover by listening and getting data from people who are using your product,” said Goldman.
Utilizing a tool like Qualaroo to gather that user feedback allowed this new leadership team to move quickly without being reckless.
Once the power of consumer insights had been uncovered, the company leaned even further into listening to their customers.
“Seeing that 90% response rate and realizing we had a really engaged customer base led us to explore what else we could do with Qualaroo to gain strategic insights,” Goldman said.
After analyzing bounce and exit rates, Earth Class Mail implemented a short survey on their pricing page in order to uncover why people were leaving their site. The survey revealed that almost 70% of visitors left the pricing page because the cost was too high.
The Earth Class Mail team saw two interpretations for this data. The first was that some of the respondents were individuals and found the plan cost prohibitive. This would mean that some of Earth Class Mail’s targeting was still pulling in singular consumers instead of businesses.
But the other possibility was that some of the businesses were seasonal, requiring assistance with digitizing their physical mail for only a portion of the year. While a yearly commitment was too expensive and unnecessary for their use case, these companies were prime prospects for a custom plan.
“Being able to get contact information in a survey question allowed us to integrate that response with our CRM,” Goldman offered. “This then instantly created a lead for our sales team, who could reach out to the prospect to develop a plan that fit their needs.”
And Earth Class Mail saw the fruits of gathering this information—to date, the company has converted 6% of contacts generated by this survey, creating a valuable sales pipeline that didn’t exist before.
Nimble companies are able to move swiftly and adapt as their users’ needs change. This is possible only when a leadership team is willing to listen and learn from their user base. Although Earth Class Mail’s leadership team has just come on board, they have been able to use customer insights to: