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Erik Severinghaus, SimpleRelevance: DMN 2014 40 Under 40 Award winner

Erik Severinghaus
Founder & CEO, SimpleRelevance

Winning ways:  The simple truth behind Severinghaus’s success is that he was an email service provider who felt he wasn’t providing enough service. It spurred him to develop a technology that enables email marketers to combine their own customer data with third-party data on a single platform to personalize their emails. The innovation won his startup, SimpleRelevance, election to TechStars Chicago 2013, giving it entrée to several national enterprises. One of those firms, Gannett, has seen a 7% increase in click-through rates and 16% higher revenue per delivered email since engaging SimpleRelevance to personalize content for its daily deal site.

Defining moment:  Raising the first round of institutional capital for SimpleRelevance. “At that point, I moved from a guy with an idea to a professional entrepreneur with all the risks and opportunities that go along with it. Getting investment from many of Chicago’s best-regarded venture capitalists served as validation of our team and idea.”

Words to live by: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood.” –Theodore Roosevelt

Head swivel:  “The proliferation of technology companies that claim to personalize digital marketing led me to realize that we need to be more specific in how we define SimpleRelevance, making it clear that we’re unique because of our artificial-learning capabilities.”

Good advice: “Learn the fundamentals of statistical analysis and computer programming because the future of marketing is all about data analysis.” 

First job: “My first real software job was helping a couple of friends build an email service provider called iContact. It gave me capital, a network, and knowledge that I continue to use daily.”

On your nightstand: Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore. “Moore is my guilty pleasure for mindless, hilarious reading to de-stress.”

Favorite app:  Charlie. “It helps me make sure I’m prepared and have the proper context for any meeting I’m about to walk into.”

Click or tap here to read the stories behind the successes of the other Direct Marketing News 2014 40 Under 40 winners. 

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