Please describe the story of DirectIQ: How did it all start, and how has it evolved so far?
Two decades ago, I was running a digital agency, and one of our enterprise clients was in need of a bulk email sending tool. At that time, there were no ESPs around, no Mailchimp or Klaviyo. And we had a good team of developers and designers. We developed DirectIQ as a side project, to offer our agency’s clients an email marketing tool. DirectIQ served as an enterprise software to many multinational companies in the EMEA region, before moving to the USA in 2012, and evolving to a SaaS targeting SMBs.
What distinguishes DirectIQ from its competitors?
DirectIQ was developed as an enterprise product, high performance software, detailed user interface and a stellar support team. When we decided to offer DirectIQ to small & medium businesses, it was an instant success, SMBs finding enterprise level software at a budget friendly pricing. Today, we are proud of our customer support level, even to a freemium user.
How has Covid-19 affected your business, customers, and industry?
We’ve shut down our New York office in 2017 and converted the company to a office-free, work from anywhere model. Our team is distributed all over the world, mostly the US and Europe. Therefore when the pandemic hit, we didn’t feel the impact of it in terms of the workforce. But of course the customer base changed a bit. We lost a lot of event organizers and hospitality companies, but in exchange, we gained a lot of e-commerce and online businesses. With more of the businesses moving to online due to pandemic, we’ve seen email usage, and traffic increased.
What are other challenges every email marketer must face nowadays?
What we observe often is, people complaining about spam filters, not reaching out to their recipients. But in our industry, delivering the email to the recipient server is only 30% of the process. The rest remains in our customers’ hands. Sending targeted emails to a recipient base who are expecting to hear from them is vital. List hygiene, domain authentication, clean and simple email designs, all key parts of a successful email marketing operation.
Can you share some tips to plan a Budget for a New Email Marketing Campaign?
Email was and is always a low-cost / high impact marketing tool. To run a successful email marketing campaign, all you need is to be honest with your email list, send them emails on a regular basis, and send them emails that they are interested in. As long as you keep engagement up, your emails will bring high ROI for sure. At DirectIQ, we offer hundreds of free email designs, and many important tools like A/B testing, Spam Doctor, Inbox Preview and social sharing, to run a successful email marketing campaign. And all of these come in one very affordable package.
How do you envision the future of email marketing?
Digital media love the hype, love using buzz words.. In the last 2 decades, we’ve heard many times that email is dying, and [insert name here] is the new king. And time and time, we’ve witnessed that didn’t happen. Email is the backbone of every operation. And email is evolving. We’re seeing more smart email marketing tools, automation is now the most important part of an email marketing operation. Sending automated, targeted, well timed emails increases engagement, and that increases ROI and therefore the success. We are working around the clock to add more integrations and more automation features, and we believe smarter emails are the future.