One startup can bring the birth of another.
Serial entrepreneur Matt Cimino certainly knows this to be true. After all, from running Exit Intelligence, a local startup focused on email capture for ecommerce companies, he’s brought forth two new ventures: automated chat company Ellie (which we previously featured in April, 2020) and now Raleigh-based Amped, a popup tool built for ecommerce that officially launched in late July.
One important way ecommerce sites can secure a purchase is by sending marketing materials to potential customers’ phones and emails. There’s a strong appeal in this strategy: instead of relying on Google, Facebook, Instagram or Tik Tok, ecommerce sites can control their messaging and build the relationship with potential customers themselves. In fact, Cimino said email and SMS marketing can contribute 20 to 30 percent of a company’s revenue.
But there’s one major problem: How do you get these customer contacts? Popups have long proven to be one of the best ways. But when it comes to popups, there’s a thin line between annoying and helpful.
The timing, design and branding of a popup are integral to whether a customer provides their information (and a key to their future wallet) or immediately closes the tab and turns away.
Cimino said at Exit Intel, clients consistently told them they didn’t have the right tools to build a successful popup. Enter Amped, which Cimino said is the solution to these problems.
“We decided ‘Alright, we just have to go, start from scratch, rebuild everything, do it the right way and create a product that is entirely self-service,” Cimino said.
Now, with just a few clicks, customers can customize Amped’s templates and drive stronger sales performance. Cimino said ecommerce companies can double or even triple their number of new subscribers, which can lead to thousands or hundreds of thousands more visitors a month.
“I think they’ve had to choose between one or the other—if they want it to be on brand and look good, or if they want to get the performance,” Cimino said. “But I think now they’re seeing they can get both.”
With the rise of ecommerce during the pandemic, Amped is situated well in the market. But at first, the industry was amid uncertainty, unable to predict where sales would go.
“At first, nobody knew what was going on,” Cimino said. “We were extremely concerned.”
But when everything shut down, Cimino said they actually started to see client analytics climb 100, 200, even 500 percent. However, as people started to get out of their houses more, ecommerce companies had to grapple with their ability to maintain customer growth. Owning the customer relationship through the types of popups that Amped develops was essential, Cimino said.
“The pandemic was huge,” Cimino said. “It opened everyone’s eyes to how important owned marketing is, and I think that that’s certainly here to stay. It just made people more keenly aware that they had to capitalize on those relationships with people that were coming to those sites.”
Now solidly in the customer acquisition stage, Cimino said Amped has validated its product and is focused on continued growth.
“It’s this constant optimization,” Cimino said. “Making a hypothesis, testing it, and then analyzing the results and improving from there.”
As they now have too many clients to keep up with, they are also looking to hire a client success manager to help maintain Amped’s level of service.
“Before problems even come up, we’re able to come to them and let them know what they need to improve or what they need to optimize,” Cimino said. “That also is a differentiator for us. We’re not just some tool that you can turn on. It’s really that we want to maintain that level of care and service for our clients where we can actually help them.”