Vertical growth Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009
Finalist
Media, Entertainment and Communications

With years of business experience and coming off a stint as head of the direct marketing division for NBC Internet, Janine Popick decided it was time for a break.

Popick and her husband headed to Paris, where they had invested in an e-mail marketing company, and she went to work there for several months, putting her experience to use. And while there, she came up with the idea for VerticalResponse, an online marketing solution that would let anyone, regardless of technical expertise, to get up and running with e-mail marketing campaigns quickly.

She saw an opportunity to help small businesses by providing a one-stop shop for direct e-mail and print mail marketing solutions. Her business model for VerticalResponse serves smaller businesses that are often overlooked by large marketing companies that tend to favor corporations with high-dollar marketing budgets.

But it wasn’t easy to get the company off the ground. It was 2001, and venture capital was scarce. Finally, Popick approached friends and relatives to invest, and she put in a large chunk of her own money to move the company forward.

Popick, VerticalResponse’s CEO, has succeeded because her customer interface is simple to use, and the company has a flexible, two-pronged pricing model: pay-as-you-go, which is useful and affordable for businesses that don’t send e-mail marketing every month, and a monthly subscription model for those with higher volumes of e-mail.

In spite of the recession, VerticalResponse has continued to grow as small businesses struggle to stay in front of their customers to stay alive. And to make sure the company continues to move forward in a positive direction, she hires and retains the best possible team, spends on marketing and on driving users to test-drive the VerticalResponse product and provide feedback so that the company is servicing their exact needs, and drives her team to innovate with continual product integrations and upgrades.

How to reach: VerticalResponse, (415) 905-6880 or www.verticalresponse.com