If the enterprise marketing suite market continues to be contested between four or five big players, the small business space seems to be ever more hotly contested. In July, I wrote about Intellasphere, a marketing cloud which starts at $9.95 per month for one user and five profiles. More recently, I spoke with Nick Steeves, Chief Product Officer, and Todd Hauptman,Director of PR, at Wishpond. If there’s a marketing automation price war, their “free forever” proffer might win. After all, I don’t yet see a vendor paying businesses to use a product.
“We saw that there was a lot of potential for marketing automation, because there’s still only 10 percent of businesses using it,” said Steeves. That’s a frequently mentioned statistic and it’s interesting to speculate on the reasons. Steeves went on to say that it’s had even less impact small businesses, which is doubtless true. Products offered by companies like Marketo and Hubspot, he said, are too expensive for smaller businesses and require too much training.
It should be said that Wishpond isn’t attempting–yet–to offer a comprehensive suite of marketing automation tools. Its focus is lead generation, and associated strategies like the quick and easy creation of landing pages. It offers a range of templates and forms which can be customized by dragging and dropping text, images, videos. It’s a CSS-based approach, requiring no coding skill, and there’s A/B testing functionality.
Data generated by emails and webpages created within Wishpond is aggregated in a leads database, which gives a chronological view of activity by prospects. There’s no social listening solution: the intention is to provide integration with platforms like Hootsuite. It’s possible to use APIs to incorporate external data, like activity within apps. Salesforce integration, said Steeves, is coming soon.
The marketing automation element of Wishpond, represented by a workflow creation wizard. is described by Steeves as “the workhorse of the platform. It allows you to create workflows based on any information you have about your leads.” Users can schedule automated sending of assets to prospects, as well as internal emails to update sales team members on lead activity.
The big question, of course, is how Wishpond can offer these tools at these prices. In addition to the basic free package, pricing rises through intermediate stages, and tops out, according to Hauptman, at $5000 per month for one million leads and unlimited users. “We run a SaaS model,” he explained, “so we don’t have lots of offices, lots of employees, lots of sales people.” Established marketing automation products are still running, he said, on older, most costly systems. Wishpond is targeting a higher level than mom’n’pop, however. They’re trying to appeal to small but growing businesses with annual revenues between $100,000 and $1 million. So far, a big proportion of the customer base is marketing agencies.
Marketing tech which is afforable for small businesses, but can grow with them. This is a space we’re only just beginning to hear about.