Dropcam believes "you should be able to drop in on anything, be it your child, your pet, or your house, from anywhere." Which is why the San Francisco startup made a slick little camera that records HD footage that can be watched from anywhere—including mobile devices—and saved to the cloud.
But as Dropcam Marketing Manager David Corea quickly learned, not everyone is ready to drop three digits on a camera without a little convincing. Which is where the company’s MailChimp list comes in. Dropcam does quite a bit of segmenting, and has used autoresponders to turn potential customers into actual ones. "We’ve learned a significant amount from the experimentation we’ve been able to do with MailChimp," David says. "Email is an effective marketing channel and a great way to help people learn about our product, ultimately converting them into users of it."
We asked David to elaborate on the ways Dropcam…
…reduces irrelevance by segmenting:
"We had an app update that was a really big deal for people on iPhones. I was able to pull out all the folks from our user base that use iOS in some fashion and alert them to this app update they’d been waiting for. It was the easiest thing to do thanks to the ability to pull out specific interests and segment on that. So everyone who’s an iPhone user is in the iOS email segment. We didn’t have to upset any Android users by telling everyone to check out the update."
…gets free, positive publicity from its biggest fans:
"Whenever we deal with someone who’s had a really great experience and they contact our support team and share a testimonial or a great story, we keep that address in a specific list. We segment those folks because we want to be able to reach out to them in the future and ask for product reviews on the internet. We’ll send an email to those folks and ask them to review us on Amazon or in the Google Merchant Center. We know we can expect great reviews from these people. It’s always great to know who our evangelizers are, and MailChimp makes it so easy."
…and educates and converts prospective buyers with autoresponders:
"What I realized was that not everyone wants to buy a $149 gadget right off the bat, but they’re willing to learn more about it. Email is a really, really strong platform for us in driving sales and awareness in general. Our email list is our main method of communication to all of our user base. We find that most folks react best to email. So, when people would reach the landing page [set up with Unbounce, augmented with Ad Words], we didn’t ask them to buy a camera. We wanted them to learn more. So we put an email signup on the page, and the autoresponders would take care of nurturing the lead for us. We wouldn’t have to do any follow-ups. One hundred percent of the people who signed up converted after three autoresponders. It was mind blowing. A hundred percent of the people who signed up for information from us converted. It was the email that was really doing the job."