Friday, September 23, 2011

Start-Up Watch COD: SimplyCast is the PaaS Solution for Multi-Channel Marketing

Now here’s something you don’t see every day. A start-up based in Nova Scotia that has attracted attention and customers from around the world.
That company is SimplyCast, and what they offer is a Platform-as-a-Service solution for multichannel marketing management. So what is that in English? It’s a single system for managing, monitoring, and analyzing consumer communication efforts across multiple points of contact.
With SimplyCast, you can create, deploy, and analyze communications in the following formats:
  • Emails
  • Surveys
  • Faxes
  • Autoresponder Messages
  • SMS
  • Link Tracking
  • More
To make it easier to create marketing communications, SimplyCast uses a wizards-based toolset that enables the user to drag and drop elements into their messages and forms. Very WYSIWYG, which makes it easy to use the platform even if you are a bit of a web novice. Additionally, SimplyCast offers more than 1000 templates to get you started  - many companies find that editable templates make all communications look more professional.
For message deployment, the platform enables you to manage and segment lists, and their expertise in email coupled with close ISP relationships ensures a high delivery rate. The platform also integrates with SalesForce, Drupal, and other legacy systems prospects and clients may already be using.
Further, SimplyCast offers a solid set of real-time metrics through which to monitor, evaluate, and report results of efforts. While I have only seen demos of the offering, and have not actually used it myself, it appears that their web based reports are easy to use. Additionally, the platform offers simple export and download features for those looking to develop Excel, PowerPoint, and other types of reporting documents and presentations.
A platform like this is best suited for small to medium sized businesses, and they offer a variety of pricing plans to cover the waterfront in terms of offerings. You can:
  • Use it for Free: SimplyCast allows users with less than 1000 contacts per month to use its platform for free to deliver an unlimited number of communications.
  • Credit Based Pricing: You can pay by the delivered message with pricing beginning at $5. In this plan you bank a number of credits and use them on an as needed basis depending upon your contacts schedule.
  • Contact Based Pricing: Those sending lots of messages to the same list can purchase plans based upon the number of contacts or records rather than the number of delivered messages. Pricing begins at $13.
  • PAYG: In this plan your credits do not expire, so it is set up for infrequent mailers.
What I find most significant about this platform is the idea that it is enabling small to medium sized businesses to take a much more holistic view of contacting consumers. It often takes too long for technology to filter through all business levels. The flexibility in enabling multiple contact points makes it easy for companies to truly reflect consumer preferences in their contact plans. And to adjust those plans as consumer preferences change.

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