When I first wrote about Sigstr in August I was gobsmacked by its simplified genius. Sigstr is a centralized software-as-a-service platform that helps marketers push content and campaigns to employee email signatures, driving brand consistency and real marketing results with analytics.

Why has it taken so long for someone to come up with this idea?

Sales and marketing pros are constantly looking for ways to retain and grow existing business relationships because it’s much easier (and cheaper) to sell to people you already do business with than to acquire new customers.

Despite the fact that 100 employees will, on average, send 1,000,000 emails a year from their Outlook or Gmail accounts, email providers and the digital marketing industry have failed to provide an easy and effective way to capitalize upon these personalized communications with pre-qualified and likely buyers. Until now.

Sigstr’s user-friendly software addresses pain points for marketers that have plagued email signatures for far too long.

Sigstr addresses three main pain points for marketers:

  1. Keeping email signatures consistent with brand standards: While some employees may be careful to curate the perfect message and will use the correct brand standards, it’s usually not ideal. There is always that one employee who uses a comic sans font with an inspirational quote.
  2. Saving time and hassle with email signatures: Updating employee signatures is notoriously time-consuming and unpredictable. No matter how many emails the brand manager or marketing director sends, usually only half of your employees see that email and follow the instructions.
  3. Promoting company initiatives with campaign banners: With that large volume of contact with prospects, customers, vendors, and others, companies have ample opportunity for exposure. Marketers can spread important company information like wildfire through the email signature. In turn, that information will continue to spread across other respective networks.

Sigstr is integrated with Microsoft Outlook and Google so marketers can push the platform to employees or have them run an easy one-time install. Then making changes to the entire enterprise’s email signatures can take place at the same time, by a single person, with just a few clicks. Sigstr includes a groups feature that allows different departments or geographic locations to display different email signature content.

Sigstr admin tools allow centralized control over branding, content, and information (BLUE DOT) as well as integrated banner advertisements (GREEN DOT).
Sigstr admin tools allow centralized control over branding, content, and information (BLUE DOT) as well as integrated banner advertisements (GREEN DOT).

The campaigns feature that displays and tracks an optimized banner ad inside each employee’s email signature was available when we last wrote about Sigstr. Now the platform also includes a centrally managed signatures tool to maintain consistent branding, manage contact information, and ensure compliance.

Dan Hanrahan

Dan HanrahanFounder & CEO

Founder Dan Hanrahan explained that the sweet spot for Sigstr’s customer acquisition is companies with more than 100 employees who are investing in marketing content and events. These marketing investments are intended to reach the same people employees email en masse, so the ROI of a $3-$5 per person cost crosses a serious hassle threshold for marketers with the complex manual process of updating email signatures.

“When we talk to marketers they really get it and the relatively low per-person cost of Sigstr compared to other digital channels is a no-brainer,” Hanrahan said.

But isn’t email dead … again?

I remember at least three times when visionaries declared email was dead or dying over the past 20 years. Whether it was spam, instant messaging or social media, email continued to grow and remain a critical communications channel despite the predictions.

Today it’s Slack and other collaboration tools that are supposedly going to kill email, but industry researchers still have traditional email growing by at least 26 percent by 2019 to 5.59 billion users (Radicati Group, 2015) — up more than one billion email users from today.

The wealth of research on the effectiveness of email marketing compared to other digital channels is difficult to narrow down to a single statistic, but studies have email 40x more effective than social media at acquiring new customers; marketers consistently rank email as their single-most-effective digital marketing tactic; and the ROI of email marketing is still almost double that of search advertising and better than any other direct marketing channel.

Rapid growth with a geographic community advantage

In just the six months since launching out of Beta, Sigstr has doubled in size with twice the staff and nearly 3x the customers. According Hanrahan, part of the company’s success is attributable to being located in Indianapolis — the place he calls “the defacto marketing technology capital of the world.”

“I personally came up through iGoDigital and ExactTarget with amazing mentors and connections to some of the brightest, most accomplished people in marketing tech,” Hanrahan said. “As a startup scaling fast, you need access to capital, customers and talent and it just so happens that many of the people we needed to help drive our growth are right here in Indy.”

As a High Alpha portfolio company, Sigstr benefits from the venture studio’s wealth of experience in enterprise cloud/SaaS companies. (High Alpha Managing Partner Scott Dorsey presided over Indiana’s largest ever tech acquisition of ExactTarget by Salesforce for $2.5 billion.) But the Indiana connections run deep with 85 percent of Sigstr’s $2 million total investment raised from tech savvy Indiana funders like Bill Godfrey, and software development talent that’s a ‘who’s who’ of recent high-growth successes.

Kevin Vanes

Kevin VanesVP of Sales

Sigstr recently announced that Kevin Vanes has joined the company as vice president of sales. Vanes was on his way to join a high-growth tech company in Seattle after 10 years with Angie’s List, where he innovated the home service industry giant’s “national to local” sales strategy.

Vanes was a critical hire following the most recent funding raise and Sigstr plans to continue to make strategic hires quickly as the company pursues 10x growth over the next couple of years.

Sigstr’s early successes and partnerships with digital marketing brands like SteelHouse, Raidious, Lesson.ly, Teradata and Sprout Social have certainly contributed to the company’s rapid growth. Of note, Sigstr will be one of just nine companies to be featured in SalesLoft’s new marketplace, the Sales Development Cloud.

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.