St. Petersburg-based digital marketing innovator ePush! pushed competitors aside and earned a spot on the 2014 Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest growing privately held companies.
ePush! eShare!, which produces and deploys highly targeted, highly trackable email campaigns, direct mail and retargeting programs, earned the 325-spot on the highly coveted list in the Business Products and Services Category.
“We should have been under advertising and marketing, but I’m not complaining,” said CEO Sean Marra in his downtown St. Petersburg office while his telesales team buzzed in the background and secured campaigns with franchised auto dealerships across the country, the largest segment of their business. “It’s a small thing when you think of what we’ve had to accomplish over the past five years to get to this point.”
Marra and partner Eric Miret launched ePush! eShare! in 2009 using a spare third-floor in the home of Marra’s brother-in-law. At first dedicated to on-demand printing and direct mail, the partners saw the future was on-line and in the in-box and thus began investigating how to successfully steer their company and dealership clients to digital advertising in a system that’s trackable and measured by actual sales, “not clicks and so-called leads that get re-sold a dozen times to dealers in the same market,” Miret said. “It was unheard of when we created the model. Our clients don’t pay us if the sales aren’t there. It’s our guarantee, and we live by it.”
Over the next two years, Marra and Miret researched and acquired data, deployment methodologies, web traffic metrics, and retargeting, and created the ePush campaign that produces no fewer than 30 conquest sales or the dealer receives a refund. (A conquest is a new customer, someone who hasn’t bought from the dealership in at least five years, or been serviced there in at least two years, or hasn’t even walked into the showroom in the past 60 days.)
“We failed our way to success until we perfected our data and deployment techniques, and were actually able to measure literally everything,” Miret said. “Now, we can even follow the prospect as he surfs other sites and specifically target the visitor in real time to convert or at least come back and give the dealership a second or third look.”
Of the several companies under their direct2print umbrella, the ePush! eShare! division, with 20 employees, grew 1,433 percent from 2011 through 2013, closing 2013 with $3.5-million in revenue.
“We’re expanding our core business while we launch new divisions and products,” Marra said. “BMP™, our Behavioral Marketing platform is wrapping up beta testing and is outperforming our projections, so we’re excited about that.”