Postscript is bringing one-on-one human connection to e-commerce by way of our text inboxes.
Postscript CMO Mike Manheimer says that text messaging, when done correctly, has the potential to be “magical” for e-commerce companies. And yes, he used the word magical.
Manheimer says that not only can SMS messaging offer customers a better experience, it can also help the company build a trusting relationship with customers. Getting access to a customer’s SMS inbox is unbelievable, he says, because it’s access to one of the most personal parts of their life.
“To earn a long term relationship with a customer in their SMS inbox is the holy grail,” he says.
According to Manheimer, SMS messaging is the tool of the future.
“SMS will be the most important channel of the next decade for e-commerce,” he says. “People who do SMS marketing are going to win.”
Consumer expectations are changing radically, and COVID-19 only accelerated those changes. Manheimer notes that over 65% of e-commerce traffic is mobile traffic, so SMS meets customers where they already are. SMS communication has a 98% open rate.
Then there’s the Amazon effect, which is the idea that all e-commerce companies inevitably have to compete with the standards that Amazon lays down. Companies are competing with Amazon in a David and Goliath battle whether they realize it or not.
The only way to stand up to the e-commerce behemoth is to do the one thing it can’t do — build one-on-one human relationships that go both directions — from the company to the customer and the customer to the company.
Postscript was founded by brothers Colin and Adam Turner and their high school friend Alex Beller. Manheiser says the Turner brothers always had entrepreneurship in their blood and had started a few companies that failed. They were driven to find new solutions in growing markets, and they saw the potential for SMS messaging in e-commerce. The brothers partnered with longtime friend Alex Beller, and Adam Turner built an early version of the app in 2018. By the end of 2019, they were in the winter 2019 batch of Y Combinator.
In December 2019, the company had 14 employees and around 530 customers. Over the past 15 months, the company has grown to 61 employees with more than 5,300 customers.
How does it work?
Postscript refers to its product as a “conversational commerce platform” that does more than just send promotional and marketing texts. Postscript is different from other companies, says Manheimer, because it creates a conversation with the customer, which then can build long lasting loyalty. In fact, the company is against blasting customers with promotional texts.
“We are the only company that might tell their clients, ‘maybe you should send less texts,’” Manheimer says with a chuckle.
He notes that the bar is much higher for SMS communication than it is for email. There’s little risk if you send an email and a customer doesn’t look at it. But coming off as a real human is essential for successful SMS campaigns. Yet while the bar is much higher, meeting that bar is worth it, he says.
Right now, Postscript is focusing exclusively on Shopify companies. The platform integrates with other app partners in the Shopify ecosystem to solve specific problems and enable individualized workflows.
Manheimer boasts about an especially successful recent SMS campaign. Kinfield, a skincare company focused on sustainability, sent text messages to their customers asking what packaging they would prefer a new product to be shipped in. The customers who responded got the new product as part of a VIP promotion.
According to Manheimer, that campaign gave customers the opportunity to participate in the R&D process and see the fruits of their responses, which also likely strengthened the customer/company relationship.
Harnessing remote work
While the company has deep roots in Arizona (all three founders grew up here), Manheimer emphasizes that Postscript is a fully remote company and has been from the very beginning. Another company goal is to be the best remote organization in the world.
The only way to accomplish that goal, he says, is to — what else? — build relationships. The company’s leaders take pride in building relationships between coworkers by making time for them to talk about things other than the business.
Basically, it’s about wanting to “do cool shit with cool people,” says Manheimer. “We don’t want to lose the cool people part of it.”
Postscript just finished raising $35 million at the beginning of March for its Series B round. The company raised $4.5 million in December 2019 and skipped the Series A round partially because of the revenue they’ve been seeing.
The money will be used to continue to expand their growing company and mission.
Find Postscript on Gregslist Phoenix.