Once again, I’m glad to share an interview with one of our most successful clients; I’m talking to Josh Wright, COO and Co-founder at Blitzen. Not only is Blitzen a customer of ours, they’re also a business partner. Blitzen deals with lead nurturing and helping customers grow their business using a set of smart automation tools as well as their field expertise – used together, they always work wonders.

To start, can you tell us more about Blitzen, what the company does and what you do at Blitzen?

Absolutely. I’m Josh Wright, one of the co-founders and COO of Blitzen. I head up the sales and operations work, a lot of partnership work too. Our office is based in Kitchener/Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

And what Blitzen does – it’s really focused on helping small and mid-size businesses take control over their leads.

So, when you think about all these different ways to engage people on your website, for example, with different forms or surveys, quizzes, contests, we’ll help you build those lead capture mechanisms and embed them right on your website as leads are coming through, or save an imported leads lists into Blitzen.

We’re actually going to help you centralize those contacts, we’ll do some data nurturing and profile enrichment so that you can know more about them, know their social links, job titles, locations, company info (size of business), all that kind of stuff.

All those customer or contact profiles within Blitzen can be segmented, scored and then sent to different tools.

One of our newest integrations is with Reply; the idea is to setup different target profile leads or customers and crowding the information from different segments to different campaigns in Reply. It really helps from the automation perspective and helps to make sure you get different leads from different profiled people in different ways through Reply.

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So, you use automation a lot. That’s great. And can you tell us what are the industries and verticals are you targeting in Blitzen?

Sure. We are targeting small and medium-size businesses and their marketing teams in particular; we target the head of marketing or champion within the team that’s looking to straight-mind their day-to-day processes.

When I say small and medium-sized businesses, we usually prefer companies under 250 employees. We work with some larger customers as they come our way as well (companies like Shopify and BMW in Toronto). As for bigger businesses, we love working with them but our message is really focused on SMBs.

In terms of verticals that we work with, we see a lot of uptake in the Real Estate and construction industries; we see B2B software technology companies, SaaS, etc.

We even see people that run events because there is so much different data collection needed for different segments. People in education as well because they love surveys; they love having more and more information to work with.

Ok. Thank you very much for the detailed answer. You also mentioned that you help companies to get the best leads. Do you also help them build ideal customer profiles and have their buyer personas set up? If yes, what’s the best way, from your point of view?

Looking at the people that convert from your website or your sales process is a great way to start looking at what your profiles are. It’s different for every business; it’s always going to be changing since you’re learning more and more about those people as you have more data.

Josh Wright

We usually work with our customers to make sure they’re getting the most out of Blitzen. So, we’re figuring out the best play and different ideas on how to segment your audience, how to capture your leads, what are the rules for scoring (maybe a little bit of an exploration around what important scoring rules should be in place so you get the best-qualified leads), etc.

We also provide some help in templating for our forms and getting these forms into replies. That’s a really interesting feature for us for sure, and integration works well with it.

That’s great. How have you worked without automation before? If yes, how has the implementation of automation processes in your workflow improved your results?

I think something is always in the back of your mind if you’re not working with a tool like this. Is all the information in the right campaign? There is a lot of manual data entry and that can be a challenge for sure.

I’ve certainly worked without automation before we had Blitzen built; all we were doing was working a CRM and tools like MailChimp. It worked fine, but it was “Oh, did I do all that?” or, “Did I make sure all the right data in the right place?”.

I think, even if you’re the smallest business, building these segments of customers out and speaking to them in a more personalized way is key; you may speak to a Director that works in Finance differently than startup tech entrepreneur.

Having the ability to automatically segment your audience into different groups and making sure that your email campaigns are tailored a bit towards different people using different language, and talking about different features that might interest them is really important.

That really made a huge impact in terms of, not only keeping people engaged but leading to newly converted sales as well.

Great. Thank you. What are your future plans in terms of Blitzen helping its clients? Do you have any specific strategies you would like to choose and try within the automation technologies stack?

There are a lot of different features that we are looking to build; there are some interesting concepts around integrated marketing, for example. We’re looking at building an integration with Twilio which would allow you to add contacts to different text campaigns in combination with email campaigns. So, multichannel marketing could be very interesting.

There’s an interesting company that we are speaking with about sending postcards and direct mail through an API connection; that’s an interesting concept for us.

If you collect the leads, of course, your email campaign starts right away, but in seven days you follow up with a physical piece of mail; there are different benefits to having an integrated campaign like this.

Right now, we’ll track the lead source to help you monitor that success. So, with your Facebook and other free marketing efforts, getting more monitoring and reporting — I think, that’s also very interesting.

We now integrate with a lot of different CRMs like Salesforce, Pipedrive, Zoho, SalesforceIQ, etc. But, finding different CRM integrations that are being requested by the customers and leads we talk to is always interesting for us.

Right now, we help you to monitor the opens and clicks on your different email campaigns in Reply, or whatever you are using, for whatever strategy you are using.

Getting into more automatic follow-ups and suggested next steps is also very important for the SMB. Analysing your contacts and finding a segment that you may not know existed, and automatically creating a new segment, would be quite an interesting thing for us too.

Great. Thank you. I was also wondering about the integrations. Do you happen to use any Zapier integrations with your technologies stack?

That’s definitely something that we’re interested in doing in the future. The Zapier product is great for getting the tools from one place to another. We also have our own native integration which gives you a little bit more intelligence around when things can be sent to different tools.

When you answer the survey question, when you are in the software space, use that answer to route the data to a software campaign — in Reply, for example.

With our integration with Salesforce, you can integrate with any custom object; you can map data to all kinds of different places, which can be harder to do in Zapier.

But for our open API strategy down the road, when we put out all the documentation, the Zapier side of things would be a really interesting improvement for us.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your integration with Reply? We would like to share this with our customers.

Absolutely. At the base, if you’re looking to get form or survey information and contact data in different Reply campaigns, you can collect those through our forms or import spreadsheets so all that data gets enriched or segmented based on what you’ve set up in Blitzen or scored; those segmenting or scoring rules can be pushed automatically to a certain campaign in Reply.

What you end up with is a way to build a sublist of your leads (automatically or coming through your website); as they come in, they are sent directly to a Reply campaign which takes off the emails. We also help you at the open and click data stage.

In a case where you reach 400 points, because your contacts have been really engaged with a Reply campaign, you can trigger that to send data to Salesforce, or any other CRM, for your sales team to pick it up.

There are lots of different things you can do to capture the way you want your leads to flow, and Reply is a really, really cool integration.

Great. Thank you very much for your time, Josh and thanks for your answers. And have a nice weekend.

Thanks, I really appreciate you taking the time and making a good experience. It was awesome.