According to marketing research, the total estimated count of business and consumer emails sent and received in 2017 was 269 billion per day – a number that is continuing to grow, as email remains one of the preferred tools of communication. But how do we know a message has its desired impact?
That’s the question that started the development of Bananatag, says Corey Wagner, CEO of the tech company that now works with over 70 of the Fortune 500 companies and has 500 customers around the world.
Mr. Wagner became interested in investigating the impact of emails when he worked for his father’s company. “Were people getting the emails? Were they opening them? Reading them? Watching the videos?” he wondered. “In sales calls, customers were asking for information. We would do follow-up calls, but we had no idea whether or not they had watched or read what we had sent.”
He had the idea to embed emails with surveys to generate feedback from recipients. “What we got back was incredible data,” he says. “We learned that people weren’t replying anymore because they were getting hundreds of emails a day, but now we could gauge interest in a new way.
“[With] the number of emails I get in a day, I don’t read half of them,” says Mr. Wagner. “Being able to track and measure, so you can send emails to the right groups at the right frequency, is important for getting actual engagement with your email.”
Although Bananatag started as a sales tool, clients soon alerted Mr. Wagner that it was equally useful for “tracking internal communications,” he says. “The information gives companies metrics and insights around what works and what doesn’t, and what employees are actually interested in.”
Mr. Wagner considers discovering the internal communications angle a “game-changer.” He says, “We were helping leadership teams communicate with their employees, drive culture, create awareness. These are things that we got really excited about.”
The effectiveness of the software, which had been designed to address a specific issue, inspired Mr. Wagner to turn the solution into a business. He launched Bananatag in August of 2012 with two other co-founders. As demand continued to grow, they quit their day jobs and started hiring people in 2014.
In response to the challenge of accommodating fast-paced growth by scaling up, Bananatag partnered with Accelerate Okanagan, a leading business accelerator for tech companies. “Working with our mentor gave us the opportunity to focus on forecasting accuracy,” says Mr. Wagner. “We created a system to help us figure out what we needed to look for and what steps needed to be in place.”
Today, Bananatag projects that its team will be at well over 100 people by the end of the year. “We are planning three years into the future and realizing, ‘Wow, we actually have a business that could be a billion-dollar company,’” says Mr. Wagner. “Concentrating on what we need to grow has helped us see what we could do, and that’s really cool.”
Sponsor content feature produced by Randall Anthony Communications. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved in its creation.