VerticalResponse Ushers In New Era

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company: VerticalResponse, San Francisco, CA
Company Description: VerticalResponse Inc., a subsidiary of Deluxe Corporation, provides a full suite of online marketing tools to help small businesses connect with their customers on email, social media, mobile and more. More than 1 million users worldwide have relied on the VerticalResponse platform to easily create, manage and analyze their own marketing campaigns, all from a single account.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Company of the Year - Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations

Nomination Title: VerticalResponse Ushers In New Era

Tell the story about what this nominated organization achieved since January 1 2013 (up to 525 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

For VerticalResponse, a self-service Internet platform that enables small businesses to create, send and get reporting on their email marketing campaigns, the work done throughout 2013 culminated in a huge win in 2014 – the launch of a new VerticalResponse.

In March 2014, after two years and countless iterations, we unveiled a brand-new VerticalResponse email marketing platform, completely rebuilt and re-engineered from the ground up using the latest development processes and best-in-class technology.

The new Internet product features an intuitive interface and several features for small businesses to easily share content and marketing promotions via not just email, but mobile and social media as well.

New features include a drag-and-drop email editor experience that makes it easy for anyone, regardless of technical expertise, to create a professional-looking email in minutes. We also launched a library of email templates that are fully responsive and designed to look great on PCs, tablets and smartphones alike. The ability to post content to Twitter or Facebook is directly integrated into the application as well.

Our logo, branding and website also received a complete overhaul at the same time. Our primary brand color changed from blue to a more vibrant, modern purple hue. New “voice and tone” guidelines ensure consistency across all communication points and marketing channels. Our new website features more art, less text, punchy headlines, slideshows and an animated explainer video.

The launch was a great success, generating nearly 14,000 new user sign-ups in the first month alone. The new product also was lauded in the press, with articles in USA Today, Small Business Trends, Small Business Computing and more.

While most of our resources went to building the new platform throughout 2013, we were still able to rack up some impressive accomplishments outside of product development last year. We were ranked once again on the Inc. 500|5000 list of fastest-growing companies, and took home three Stevie awards – two gold and one bronze – for Company of the Year.

We also announced several free Internet tools, built in-house, to help small businesses improve their marketing efforts. They include:

• Conversation Starter: With this Mad Libs-style tool, just plug in a few descriptive words and it will instantly generate an email-friendly subject line or a 140-characters-or-less Twitter tweet
• Button Builder: Create vibrant, customizable buttons that help make emails pop and drive reader engagement
• PageRank Checker: Quickly learn your website’s Google PageRank score (Google’s system of assessing a website’s influence by assigning it a score between zero and 10)

Our ProWebinar series, launched in March 2013, was a huge success as well. Designed as a weekly Internet event to connect industry leaders with small business owners to share practical, real-world tips and advice, it was free to the public and generated more than 3,500 registrations between March and August.

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Provide a brief (up to 125 words) biography about the leader of this nominated organization:

Janine Popick is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse. She won a Stevie Award for Entrepreneur of the Year every year from 2008 to 2011 and Executive of the Year in 2012, and was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist from 2006 to 2009. Janine also won the U.S. Small Business Administration award for Small Business Person of the Year and was named a Small Biz Influencer Champion by Small Biz Trends. Janine brings over 20 years of experience leading direct and Internet marketing programs for some of the biggest brands in technology and entertainment.