Interviews

MarTech Interview with Phil Portman, Founder and CEO at Textdrip

Learn how to prioritize a user-friendly interface that ensures accessibility for businesses of all sizes and technical expertise.
Phil Portman

Phil, please let us know the idea behind the inception of Textdrip and what obstacles you face.
At Textdrip, we saw a common trend in CRMs—email took the spotlight, leaving SMS as an afterthought. We observed that while website visitors often entered email drip campaigns upon form submissions, the dismal 10% open rate of emails paled in comparison to SMS’s staggering 98% open rate. Applying the 80/20 rule, where focusing on the vital 20% generates 80% results, we recognized the potential for significantly better outcomes with text messaging. Hence, we centered Textdrip on SMS, placing it at the core and designing everything around it.

When visitors seek information on your website, they’re automatically enrolled in a Textdrip campaign. Our foundation rests on using the most effective communication for optimal response rates. This focus has fueled substantial growth for our users, translating into financial gains, improved customer engagement, and enhanced response rates. An example I often cite is the disparity between unread emails and texts on your phone. Most individuals have a flood of unread emails but minimal unread texts—showcasing the immediacy and effectiveness of text messages, the very principle Textdrip is built upon.

When Textdrip was in development, we coincided with the rollout of the 10 DLC compliance. One of our primary challenges was ensuring a smooth onboarding process for businesses, particularly in navigating the complexities of 10 DLC compliance. We aimed to streamline this process, making it as seamless as possible for our users. The obstacle we faced revolved around assisting businesses in understanding and meeting the various requirements necessary for registration. Simplifying and guiding them through these compliance requisites posed a significant challenge that we actively worked to overcome.

How has Textdrip’s innovative automation technology changed the landscape of SMS marketing?
I believe technology and automation should seamlessly enhance user experiences, staying behind the scenes like a well-oiled machine. Similar to the early days of crypto, where excitement existed but understanding was lacking, I see technology, automation, and AI in the same light—it should elevate without being obtrusive.

At Textdrip, our automation tools work silently in the background, not only sending campaigns at optimal times but also ensuring compliance with carrier regulations for superior deliverability rates. We employ automation to aid in message formulation through SpinText and AI, always with the user’s experience in mind. Our goal is to provide the highest response rates, impeccable deliverability, and top-tier messaging through a user-centric approach.

By adopting this customer-centric model and leveraging backend automation, we’ve fine-tuned the experience, enabling outreach to a wider customer base while keeping them engaged. We understand the significance of multiple touchpoints in a buying journey. Through drip messaging, we ensure consistent follow-ups, increasing the likelihood of higher closure rates and better engagement. This strategy of sustained engagement is the very essence of why drip engagement proves so effective.

Can you share examples of how businesses have benefited from your analytics tools in refining their SMS marketing strategies?
At Textdrip, we understand the nuances that make SMS marketing effective. Certain times of the day yield better results, and specific phrases garner higher response rates, yet there’s also the challenge of networks blocking certain keywords. To empower our customers, we offer upfront data insights. We guide them on what messaging strategies work best and what to avoid, including optimal timings for maximum impact.
Beyond just data analytics, we go the extra mile by providing live demo training sessions. These sessions help our users craft messages effectively and educate them on the dos and don’ts. Our real-time data analytics serve as a crucial tool for our customers, ensuring their messages reach the intended recipients and generate the desired outcomes. It’s about enabling them to navigate the intricacies of SMS marketing with precision and confidence.

Salesmark Global

What key features enable Textdrip’s seamless integration with other marketing tools, and how does this benefit businesses?
Seamless integration has been a core focus since day one. We began by incorporating the top CRMs and expanding further based on user requests via our Chrome extension. This approach ensured an effortless integration process. Additionally, we’ve provided a fully open API for direct integrations and have been a part of the Zapier ecosystem, offering a multitude of integration possibilities.

Looking ahead, our forthcoming automation studio, set to launch in Q1, will revolutionize integration capabilities. It’s designed to facilitate thousands of integrations with just a few clicks, simplifying the process significantly. Our goal remains clear: we aim to make integration as easy as possible in a landscape filled with various services and platforms. This emphasis on connectivity—via the automation studio, API, and Chrome extension will be instrumental in propelling us forward, ensuring a seamless experience for our users across diverse third-party platforms.

How do you prioritize a user-friendly interface, ensuring accessibility for businesses of all sizes and technical expertise?
Absolutely, in the tech realm, managing customer feedback and feature requests is a delicate balancing act. We’re inundated with customer desires for additional features, but incorporating everything would result in a platform that’s overwhelming and challenging to navigate. So, our primary focus remains on user experience. I’ve witnessed platforms that resemble complex onions, layer upon layer, rendering them practically unusable for the average person.

To ensure we’re on the right track, we’ve integrated customer feedback and beta testing into our product release cycle. Before any live launch, we initiate a beta release to gather insights and feedback from our customers. Preceding that, our in-house quality assurance team meticulously evaluates the usability of each function. Then, our beta team further examines it before any broad release occurs.

Throughout this journey, our key checkpoints are usability, intuitiveness, and coherence. We closely monitor customer feedback loops to understand if the features align with their needs and are user-friendly. Even our demo process acts as a feedback source, helping us spot any hang-ups or lack of intuitiveness.

Relying solely on engineers could lead to features that, while technically sound, might not resonate with our user base. Hence, our emphasis lies in maintaining a robust feedback loop. It’s about being customer-centric, ensuring that what we release aligns with their needs, is intuitive, and seamlessly delivers on what we’ve envisioned. Ultimately, it’s about making sure our product not only meets expectations but exceeds them in the hands of our users.

Could you highlight specific instances where Textdrip has made a significant impact on customer engagement, conversion rates, or overall marketing performance?
Our customers’ experiences truly speak volumes. Just perusing our reviews, it’s clear—we’ve garnered numerous five-star ratings from customers who’ve witnessed remarkable engagement spikes on our platform. Many of these individuals are seasoned marketers entrenched in the old-school ClickFunnels email marketing mindset. Email marketing has been the go-to for ages, but transitioning these veterans to text messaging is eye-opening.

The difference in results is often staggering. Those accustomed to email marketing and hesitant to shift are taken aback by the heightened response rates and engagement. We’ve seen small agencies transform into sizable companies, solely attributable to leveraging our platform. The growth stories are compelling, a testament to the substantial outcomes our platform delivers.

Now, we don’t specifically track sales on our platform, as our focus is on communication, ensuring high deliverability and response rates. Our metric for success centers around response rates because, fundamentally, we’re a communication platform. While CRMs might track sales internally, our focus remains on the impact our communication tools have on our customers’ businesses.

When it comes to sales results, we rely on customer feedback, word of mouth, and reviews scattered across the internet. These anecdotes and testimonials are our indicators of success—testimonies that our platform has fundamentally transformed businesses for the better. It’s about the tangible results and the tangible growth of our customer’s experience that truly validate the effectiveness of our platform.

In what ways does Textdrip empower businesses to create personalized and targeted SMS campaigns?
At Textdrip, we pride ourselves on providing unrestricted access to essential messaging tools. Unlike many other platforms that limit keywords or charge separately for utilizing merge fields like first names, addresses, or phone numbers, we offer complete freedom. We don’t impose restrictions or additional charges for incorporating these elements into your messaging.

We encourage personalization because it’s not just about boosting response rates but also about ensuring deliverability. Varying your messages across networks is crucial to avoid being flagged as spam by cell phone carriers. That’s why individualizing and personalizing messages is pivotal—it enhances both response rates and message delivery.

We’re committed to empowering our users by offering all the resources they need to personalize messages. Whether it’s through different merge fields, storing customer information, notes, or pipelines, we facilitate it all. Moreover, we provide AI tools internally to assist in crafting messages in various ways. This means there are no restrictions when it comes to personalizing messages or setting up auto-response keywords—we provide the flexibility you need to optimize your messaging strategy.

How does your data-driven approach contribute to businesses achieving higher returns on investment in their SMS marketing efforts?
Our approach at Textdrip is rooted in a data-driven strategy geared toward delivering the highest possible results in terms of both deliverability and response rates. While many companies prioritize various data points like close rates or additional sales, we understand the significance of all these factors. However, our primary focus is on ensuring that your communication reaches its intended recipient and prompts a response.

Our emphasis starts with delivering your messages effectively. We take pride in having the highest deliverability rates among messaging platforms. This is a result of our comprehensive approach, combining front-end training and meticulous back-end mechanics to guarantee message delivery. The second critical aspect for us is response rates. Achieving the highest response rates ensures that your engagement leads to successful closures, deals, or progress through your pipeline.

These are the core metrics we center our efforts on as a company. It’s why users of Textdrip for SMS marketing witness such remarkable success. We firmly believe that by focusing on these aspects, ensuring your messages reach their destination effectively, and eliciting robust responses, we’re playing our part in maximizing your messaging success. While we can’t assist with your pricing models or sales pitches, we’re dedicated to ensuring that your messaging strategy is optimally facilitated through our platform.

What feedback have you received regarding the accessibility and usability of Textdrip’s interface from businesses?
At Textdrip, our commitment to customer satisfaction goes beyond just providing demos for platform training. It’s an integral part of our daily routine to engage with our customers, not just for training purposes, but also to actively seek their feedback in real-time. These sessions serve as invaluable opportunities for us to understand any uncertainties or queries our customers might have while navigating the platform.
The feedback we receive during these demos is invaluable. If a customer encounters a confusing area or has questions during the initial training phase, it’s not a one-time fix for us. Instead, it’s a continuous process. We gather this feedback and swiftly communicate it back to our developers. This ensures that we’re constantly refining and improving our platform based on the real-time experiences and suggestions of our users.

Every new customer that comes onboard participates in these daily demos, and we actively encourage and welcome their feedback. This iterative process allows us to iron out any rough spots, clarify uncertainties, and ultimately enhance the usability of our platform. It’s a fundamental aspect of our company ethos—to listen, adapt, and ensure that our platform evolves in direct response to our customers’ needs and experiences.

How does Textdrip plan to continue supporting businesses in leveraging SMS marketing as a strategic tool for sustainable growth?
At Textdrip, we’re driven by a relentless pursuit of progress. We don’t rest on our laurels or settle for the success and growth we’ve achieved. Instead, we’re always seeking ways to elevate our business, and AI stands at the forefront of our future endeavors.

Internally developed AI tools, exclusively owned and crafted by Textdrip, are shaping our roadmap. These tools, meticulously built from the ground up, are designed to comprehend customer intent, gauging their interest levels. This AI innovation is a pivotal element in our commitment to enhancing our customers’ experiences.

Our foundational principle of seamless integrations continues to drive our automation studio, fostering thousands of integrations with various platforms. This dedication to integration is intrinsic to our platform’s core, ensuring our users can seamlessly connect with any platform they choose.

Furthermore, our primary focus remains on deliverability—the heart of Textdrip. Staying abreast of industry news, compliance standards, and industry knowledge is crucial to ensure our messages reach their intended recipients effectively. We’re committed to upholding the highest standards in SMS marketing, positioning ourselves as leaders in the field.

These components—AI advancements, integrations, and unwavering commitment to deliverability and compliance—are the pillars we’re steadfastly concentrating on. Our aim is not just to enable our customers to communicate effectively or market to their leads but to empower them to surpass their competition within their respective industries. It’s all about continuously evolving and providing our users with the tools they need to stay ahead in their competitive landscapes.

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Phil Portman, Founder and CEO at Textdrip

Philip Portman is the Founder/CEO of Textdrip, a business texting platform for e-commerce and retail, hotel and hospitality, Insurance, real estate, and healthcare. He has created several startups from the ground up like; landlineremover.com, argosautomation.com, and recruitdrip.com. He is a leading expert in SMS marketing and automation in digital marketing. LinkedIn.
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