Interview with Scott Pielsticker (ContactMonkey)
ContactMonkey is an e-mail tracking service.
I interviewed Scott Pielsticker, ContactMonkey founder to find out more. This is the two hundred and twenty seventh in a series of DW startup interviews. Big thank you to Scott!
How would you describe ContactMonkey in under 50 words?
ContactMonkey is smart email tracking for Outlook, Gmail and Salesforce.com. We track your one-to-one emails to give you valuable insight on your hottest leads and prospects.
Why did you decide to launch ContactMonkey in 2011?
I was frustrated with sending emails every day to my leads and prospects without knowing what happened to those emails. Were they opened? How many times? Where? Who seems most interested in buying my services? As I couldn’t find answers to these questions I decided to solve the problem myself!
How did you go about finding your team, Aaron Vegh and Alex Smith?
I found Aaron through an exhaustive search using all channels available to me including job boards and recommendations of friends. Alex was introduced to me by a mutual friend.
How long did it take to put together the initial version of ContactMonkey?
It took us 4 months to put together the initial MVP.
What was technically the most challenging part of developing ContactMonkey?
Dealing with edge cases! The most difficult part of the process was dealing with edge cases after the initial product was built.
The technology works through placing an image in outgoing emails, often these images are blocked unless specifically allowed by the user. How much of a barrier has this been?
This has been a relatively small barrier. We developed a best practice for our customers to include a remotely-linked image of their logo in their signature. This motivated recipients to display images as they are naturally curious of what the image is in their signature.
We also implemented link-tracking. If a recipient clicks a hyperlink in the email, no matter what it is, we can tell our customers with 100% accuracy and reliability that the link was clicked. This also tells a great story to our customers. Not only did the recipient open my email, but they clicked the link to my online promotion.
You received around $800K in funding. Had you any previous experience raising funding?
Yes. I had raised venture capital for my last company Blueback in London, UK. We eventually sold that company to a leader in our space, and that company was eventually sold to the private equity house The Carlyle Group.
Who do you see as your target audience? How are you reaching them?
Our primary target audience is B2B salespeople who use Salesforce.com. We are reaching them by embedding ourselves in the Salesforce ecosystem including the Salesforce.com AppExchange.
You recently released a service allowing your clients to scan a code to retrieve contact information. Do you have any other features in the pipeline?
Lots! Our dashboard is gong live shortly. 3 big new features are being released too but we’re keeping those under wraps for the time being.
Have you got the feedback and growth you expected since launching in 2011?
We’re now growing at 50%/month so we’re delighted with our growth so far!
Do you have much competition? What is the biggest hurdle you have faced or are still facing?
There is not much competition in our space right now which is very exciting. The market is so new and large that several of us can co-exist very nicely.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
We are growing at 50%/month. Our biggest driver our growth is our users recommending our service which means they love it and can’t live without it.
What advice would you offer to any soon to be startup founders out there?
Passion & Perseverance. Be passionate about what you do and never give up!
Can you convince the reader to start using ContactMonkey in under 50 words?
Wonder if your email was read and your links were clicked today? ContactMonkey tracks your daily sales emails.
Finished reading? Check out ContactMonkey!