Sigstr Launches Relationship Intelligence Platform for Corporate E-mail

Sigstr, the Indianapolis-based startup focused on surfacing the marketing potential of corporate e-mail, today announced its new relationship marketing platform called Sigstr Pulse.

The platform uses artificial intelligence and algorithms to map and track the  various, intersecting professional networks belonging to corporate employees to find out who has the best relationships with their customers. Sigstr CEO Bryan Wade says that his corporate customers are starting to understand that their employees’ “real-life relationships” can drive better engagement with customers and prospects.

Sigstr collects this data via its original product: software that turns corporate e-mail signatures into a marketing channel, where staff can reinforce branding strategies and create tailored sales pitches, stoking engagement and awareness of events, product updates, job openings, and other internal communications.

“It’s an expansion of our existing vision,” Wade explains. “We were already unlocking the value of e-mail signatures. Our customers were asking for more, and this was a great way to build a new product with a new way of looking at existing data.”

Sigstr Pulse takes that analysis a step further by allowing employers to oversee e-mail interactions between their sales staff and prospective customers, review which sales reps have growing relationships with customers,  and measure the effectiveness of marketing strategies. With Sigstr Pulse, employers can track and score the strength of customer relationships with their sales staff by analyzing e-mail and calendar patterns as well as data from customer relationship management software. The new platform also allows employees to find colleagues who have strong relationships with potential customers so they can  request a warm introduction.

“The majority of businesses don’t leverage corporate e-mail for marketing purposes,” Wade notes. He points to a major platform for making professional connections, LinkedIn, as a place where employee relationship data is inaccessible to employers. “LinkedIn owns its data—a company can’t even access its employees’ profiles on LinkedIn because LinkedIn owns them. With corporate e-mail, the corporation owns the data, but people aren’t taking advantage of it.”

Sigstr also released findings today from research it conducted with Heinz Marketing on the importance of one-on-one relationships in sales. The research showed that less than 14 percent of marketers are satisfied with the level of information they have on account-based marketing contacts and leads, and only 30 percent of companies use their existing networks to mine professional relationships for guidance on future strategy.

The report also found that 87 percent of respondents from high-performing companies said authentic relationships were critical to their business success, but only 30 percent felt confident in their ability to develop authentic relationships at scale.

“We did a first-party survey of hundreds of businesses, and when marketers were asked how they track their top relationships, nobody had a good answer,” Wade says. “The top takeaway was, there’s no systematic way to score and measure e-mail relationships.” That revelation was partly what inspired the creation of Sigstr Pulse, he says.

Another big research finding? Sales and marketing staff, who used to coordinate with a single buyer for each customer, now must contend with decision-making committees.

“You can’t just have one relationship with the customer account,” Wade says. “We integrate into e-mail and keep track of all the messages going back and forth. We don’t track what’s in the body of the e-mail or attachments, we track the metadata—things like who’s e-mailing who and how long it takes to get a response. Our algorithms produce a strength-of-relationship score organized by account, location, and contacts.”

Wade says the 54-person company plans to release more new products over time. “More and more businesses are moving to account-based marketing, and Sigstr is the ultimate account-based marketing tool,” he adds.

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