How the Inflection Panel Helped Me Improve My Business
By Lisa Jones
I’m the founder and chief executive officer of EyeMail, Inc., a marketing communications company that generates audio and video within email communications. By embedding a video that’s 60 seconds or less inside an email, we help organizations break through the everyday email clutter to ensure their message is heard or watched. Because it’s more likely people will click to learn about your services or respond to a call to action, it gives us and our clients a competitive edge.
EyeMail was founded in 2012 and has grown steadily; our clients include Delta Airlines, Porsche North America, Major League Baseball, The Billion Dollar Roundtable and The Coca-Cola Company. But, like all growing companies, we faced some key obstacles to future growth, and I wanted to speak openly with a group of CEOs to get some sound advice and how to move forward.
I was introduced to CEO Netweavers in 2018 to help me find possible solutions for several issues, including:
• How to scale EyeMail’s operation and growth
• Locating technical expertise to continue to advance the EyeMail technology
• How to best structure and position company in advance of a potential acquisition;
• Finding the right strategic business agreements
CEO Netweavers is a unique organization consisting of current and former chief executive officers and others C suite leaders that lends their expertise to a wide variety of companies at an inflection point in their growth. At no charge, I met multiple times with the group’s Inflection Point (IP) panel, headed by Michael Blake. The group, made up of experts in technology, operations, finance and other functions, provided several recommendations which have helped my company make some important strides.
First, they recommended that I rethink my business model. From its founding days, I had considered EyeMail as an email services solution company, designed to bring email to life. But the panel helped think in broader terms and I came to the understanding that I’m really in the communications business. As a result, I expanded the business by refining the business model and adding some new product lines.
Here’s a good example. Shortly after the first IP meeting, EyeMail was working with a large advertising agency in Austin, Texas.
After refining my business model, I presented a comprehensive package of video communications that addressed several needs for one client, including a series of campaigns that features company leaders speaking to employees one-on-one. Prior to execution of this concept, the agency lacked metrics about open rates and viewership by employees. The new videos worked, with 70 percent of employees clicking on the videos.
Next, the IP Panel helped me better understand my pricing model methodology. One of the recommendations was to create a tiered pricing plan. Instead of charging based on the number of email addresses that received an EyeMail, we took a broader view. Our pricing model now includes a charge for the number of videos we need to encode and the length of a particular campaign.
Next, we starting charging for our professional services. If we needed to launch a campaign, we charge a managed services fee. It provided a gateway for us to offer more services and how to best service and charge the client.
Finally, the panel helped me understand that my business had entered a new phase. While EyeMail has won many awards and been recognized as a leader among women-owned and diverse businesses, those awards often didn’t lead to any new business. The panel recommended that I needed a strategic plan to close more deals and move the business forward. That was a critical “a ha” moment for me.
Since that time, my company has signed new contracts with Porsche North America and the city of Atlanta; has deals in the works with several Fortune 500 companies and now offers custom package deals instead of pilot or proof of concept engagements.
Because of the IP panel’s recommendations, EyeMail now has a strategic plan, is on track to significantly increase its revenues while diversifying our business model. If you are an emerging company facing growing pains and need help from an executive group of leaders looking to “pay it forward,” I recommend making a call to CEO Netweavers.