A startup automated e-mail firm raises $6 million and changes its name

January 22, 2015 10:15 AM

When Beth Monda became vice president of marketing for e-commerce at BCBG Max Azria just over a year ago she found the e-commerce site for the retailer of designer women’s apparel had no automated way to send e-mail to a customer who abandoned a shopping cart or searched for a product and then left the site. She went searching for a technology provider to fill this gap and found a startup called TriggerMail.

Monda says it took two weeks to implement the TriggerMail system—which requires the addition of some JavaScript code to the retail site—and quickly saw results on the e-mails the retailer sent out in response to customer activity. “The open rate is four times greater than on a typical e-mail and the click-through rate is many, many times more than a typical marketing e-mail,” she says. “We see tremendous engagement and revenue.” She would not provide more detail.

Key benefits of the system, Monda says, is that she can program e-mails to be sent to the consumer immediately after the shopper leaves the site, and to feature in the e-mails either the product the shopper looked at, related items or new arrivals.

“If she was looking at a black, sparkly dress in her e-mail we may show her other black gowns, other sparkly dresses or beautiful shoes that would go with those dresses, and the earrings and handbags she would need to complete the look, as well as top-trending and top-selling items people have responded to,” Monda says.

While other systems can send e-mail in response to a customer action, such as abandoning a shopping cart, and include the item the shopper put into the cart, TriggerMail goes further because it can make use of all the information the web site has gathered about a shopper, such as what she searched for, the subcategories she selected and the price points she prefers, says Fayez Mohamood, CEO and co-founder of TriggerMail. The software uses that information to craft personalized messages. “We bring analytics and e-mail automation into one system,” he says.

The company is barely 20 months old, but it has signed up 50 clients representing more than 70 brands. And today it is announcing a new $6 million financing round and a new company name, Bluecore (learn about Bluecore

The reason for the rebranding is that the technology can do more than send e-mails triggered by consumer behavior, Mohamood says. A retailer can also use it to send e-mails to a segment of customers when the price drops on an items those shoppers favor, or when the retailer adds a new product they’re likely to want. “It can also be used in other channels, like ad retargeting,” Mohamood says.

Leading the Series A funding round announced today is First Mark Capital, whose founder and managing director Amish Jani is joining the board of Bluecore. “There is a fundamental shift happening, from software that simply informs to software that takes action,” Jani says. “Bluecore sits at the vanguard of this movement by analyzing complex user and product behavior in real time and intelligently triggering personalized communications based on this data.” In all, Bluecore has raised $7.2 million.

Among the retailers using the Bluecore technology are Blue Nile Inc., No. 78 in the 2014 Internet Retailer Top 500, (81), Oriental Trading Co. Inc. (93) and Express Inc. (96). BCBG Max Azria is No. 55 in the Second 500.

Bluecore has gone from five customers in January 2014 to over 50 by the end of the year, and from four employees last year to 30 today, Mohamood says.

He says Bluecore charges retailers a flat monthly fee based on online traffic, much as vendors of analytics technology do. He says client retailers typically pay between $1,000 and $30,000 per month.





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