If showing up is half the battle, Delivra is well on its way to winning a battalion of loyal new customers for its email marketing platform and strategic services.

Neil Berman

Neil BermanFounded Delivra with $600 and set out to improve email marketing.

Founded in Indianapolis in 1999 with about $600 and a mission to make email marketing faster, better and cheaper; Delivra recently invested about a million dollars developing its new software platform that helps small- to mid-sized organizations grow their businesses.

The new software includes a drag-and-drop user interface that this author uses daily. It’s powerful, easy-to-use, and it works. I can’t say that about every platform I’ve used. I’m not even sure I can say that about every platform I’ve used this week, let alone in recent years.

With new offices in Fort Wayne, Ind., Louisville, Ky., and Chicago, Delivra is primarily targeting businesses with five or fewer people in their marketing departments and $1 million to $50 million in sales for customer acquisition.

Neil Berman, Delivra’s soft-spoken founder, is very proud of his team’s achievements launching the new software, but he’s adamant that the strategic services are still paramount because that’s what marketers want more than anything else — someone who will be there to help make it all work and deliver results.

Delivra’s service and support team sets it apart from competitors that don’t have people working in-market.

“It seems like everybody says they have great service and support these days, but they don’t,” Berman said. “We met with a large e-commerce company in Greenwood last week and asked what the problem was with their current provider. What they told us was pretty common, really. They needed help understanding how to use their account analytics and what they got in response was a link to a white paper.”

Marketers simply don’t have enough time to read through a white paper when all they really want is to pick up the phone and get a direct answer to a direct question. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s most recent survey, 40 percent of marketers say lack of time is their biggest challenge in executing digital campaigns today.

The recession was really good to all manner of digital businesses because marketers were slashing costs and investing their smaller budgets into services like email marketing. Now that the recession is over, however, some providers are finding it hard to hold on to the gains they made when signing new customers was easier and less scrutinized.

Being able to show up, in person, or even just being accessible to customers with dedicated account management is working well for Delivra. The company’s client base grew almost 20 percent in 2015 and is forecast to grow 40 percent in 2016.

“All things being equal — they have software and we have software — we win because we can actually be there for customers,” Berman said. “We’re earning new business away from the big guys, really strong national brands that simply don’t have anybody working in our markets and they don’t plan to.”

Delivra's focus on service has helped the email marketing company win loyal customers and maintain steady growth.
Delivra’s focus on service has helped the email marketing company win loyal customers and maintain steady growth.

Delivra has a full-time in-house director of training and works with fellow Indy-based tech firm, Lesson.ly — the easy-to-use learning platform — to train every team member in every department to maintain the company’s intellectual capital and to ensure the highest degree of process and product knowledge.

Buy Local

Buy LocalWorking with other local tech companies is intentional.

Working with other local tech companies is intentional and part of the culture at Delivra.

The long list includes aforementioned Lesson.ly as well as InnovateMap, 250ok, TinderBox, E-gineering, Formstack, Design on Tap, and Kairos Zero. They even use local firm Dittoe PR for media relations.

Delivra’s growth trajectory is different from the exponential hockey-stick seen with many tech companies. Berman says he expects to be in 50 markets 20 years from now (faster would be okay), but that he has the discipline to keep the focus on quality service and to not try to double in size every year. It’s hard to maintain critical things like quality and company culture when you’re growing that fast.

The culture at Delivra started with its founder. Berman tried to build a business that was the kind of place he himself would enjoy going to-to work everyday. In 2010, the company went through the process of boiling down Berman’s esoteric ideal workplace into six cultural values that have defined the company ever since.

“It’s more than just something we printed out and slapped up on the wall,” says Berman. “Those values are part of our HR process now, and job candidates are hired against a cultural match.”

That, too. is working for them. Over the past five years, Delivra has entered the Best Places to Work in Indiana awards program five times and won the award five times.

Featured Company of the Week

In an effort to raise the visibility and accelerate the growth of Indiana tech companies, each week we will spotlight a growing company with a compelling story. In particular, we will spotlight scale-up companies that are rapidly emerging and could become our community’s future success stories. Visit this page to learn more the Tailwind program and see if your company qualifies.

The Tailwind program is supported by grants from the Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE) and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.