Archive for the ‘LoopFuse’ Category

What’s in Your Wallet?

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

We re-launched the website a little while back with some new whizbang graphics, product details, case studies, etc.  The web team did an amazing job (thank you!), but what I am particularly pleased with is the return of our pricing page.

Having been in the software business for the last 15 years, I’ve always been amazed at how few of the “enterprise” software companies provide pricing on their websites.  Instead, you were forced to call a commissioned salesperson who would reveal only the price for a specific configuration you specify (as if their pricing structure were a matter of national security) which included a “one-time only discount” that expires at the end of this month!  Feels more like a trip to a used-car lot than a serious business solicitation.  This pricing model at one of my former employers was casually referred to as the Capital One model because the price you were quoted was based on the popular Capital One tagline “What’s in YOUR wallet?”

Why are some companies nervous about sharing their pricing information publicly?  Because knowledge is power when it comes to price negotiation.  The more someone knows about the prices paid by other similar (and dissimilar) customers, the chance of them overpaying drops dramatically. Some companies show highly inflated list prices, but with the full knowlege that due to deep discounting none of their customers will never pay full price (think used-car dealerships).  These practices are left over from the days when information hiding was helpful in extracting every possible penny from a customer.  However, the advent of communities, the social graph, and technologies such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook have enabled prospects to quickly and easily connect with existing customers of any vendor.

So why do companies still use these ethically challenged tactics?  The same reason that pawn shops and payday lenders still exist.  To exploit an imbalance of power or knowledge with the customer for financial gain.  So much time, effort, and money is wasted in corporate America today as a result of this game.  Demand more from your vendors.  Demand fair, transparent, public pricing, starting with your marketing automation provider.  Too much to ask?  We think not.

Click here to tweet about this article.

We’re Hiring: 3 Customer Support Specialists

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

LoopFuse is looking to add 3 Customer Support Specialists to its growing ranks of happy team members. Positions are to be at our home office in Atlanta, GA.

… and without me yammering on about how awesome it is to work here ;-) , I give you the blurb straight from our HR Dept….

Job Description
Customer Support Specialist

Summary :
Provides technical assistance and training to customers by performing the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Provide client support and technical issue resolution via E-Mail,  and phone.
  • Provide training to clients in the use of the LoopFuse OneView system and its integration with client websites and CRM systems.
  • Obtain general understanding of Marketing Automation, EMail marketing, Lead Nurturing, CRM software, and operations related to company offered services.
  • Manage the customer on-boarding process.
  • Interact with customers and the community via the LoopFuse Community Portal.

The Ideal candidate will also possess the following skills:

  • Able to work independently and efficiently to meet deadlines.
  • Able to promptly answer support related email, phone calls and other electronic communications.
  • Self motivated, detail-oriented and organized.
  • Experience with E-Mail marketing systems and E-Mail desktop clients.
  • Proficient with administration.
  • Proficient in Internet related applications such as E-Mail clients and Web Browsers.
  • Excellent communication (oral and written), interpersonal, organizational, and presentation skills.

Education and/or Experience :
Four year certificate from college or technical school; or three to six months related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Language Skills :
Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations. Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.

Reasoning Ability :
Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of situations. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.

Work Environment :

Work hard. Play hard. (Ok, so I added that part in. Don’t tell HR) ;-)

Please send resumes and cover letters to [email protected]

What is LoopFuse?

Monday, August 17th, 2009

I was recently asked to describe ‘What is LoopFuse’ for a the ReachForce B2B Lead blog and I thought that some of our readers might enjoy it as well so I’ve cross-posted it here.

Sophistication Made Simple

LoopFuse was founded on the principle that marketing automation should be powerful yet simple. In fact, it was the founders’ experience of implementing a marketing automation system at JBoss that led directly to the creation of LoopFuse OneView. Some marketing automation vendors achieve power and flexibility, but at the expense of usability. Others have a fantastic user interface, but a shallow feature-set. LoopFuse OneView strikes the delicate balance between sophistication and simplicity by hiding complexity with integrated contextual help, intuitive defaults, and wizard-driven configuration.

In addition to making LoopFuse OneView easy to implement and easy to use, we also make it easy to buy. Our complete pricing list is publicly available from our website so that our prospects know exactly how much LoopFuse will cost before engaging our sales team. (Refreshing, isn’t it?) Even better, there are absolutely no hidden fees. No setup fees. No support fees. No per-user fees. No API fees. You can even pay by credit card. Try LoopFuse OneView with zero risk by signing up for a fully functional free trial on our website. Your account is immediately provisioned without ever speaking to a LoopFuse salesperson.

Lead Management

Target, track, capture, score, segment, nurture, route, convert, close, and analyze your leads in a single tool that tightly integrates with your CRM. Start with anonymous web activity collection that provides the basis for web analytics such as most popular pages, best referrers, search terms, and most active companies (via IP address). Collect registration data and convert anonymous visitors into identified prospects. Continuously evaluate the quality of each prospect according to his/her profile and behavior and route qualified prospects to the CRM. Nurture unqualified prospects by providing a contstant drip of highly relevant and timely information (via email) to engage the prospect until they are ready to buy. Arm the salesperson with all of the relevent information necessary to close the deal. Finally, analyze the effectiveness of each lead source to determine the best use of your marketing dollars.

Sales Enablement

LoopFuse will automatically create new leads/contacts/tasks in the CRM based on the LeadFlow you define. Existing leads/contacts in the CRM are continuously updated with information such as lead score updates, new registration form data, email campaign activity, and latest web activity. Within 1-2 clicks the salesperson has access to every piece of data ever collected about a prospect, including the prospect’s company & location (even if prospect left it blank), and all of the activity (anonymous included) associated with the prospect’s company. The prospect data is further enriched with one-click access to the prospect’s LinkedIn profile as well as data about the company from Hoovers, Jigsaw, ZoomInfo, and Google. By adding a prospect to their watchlist, a salesperson can be immediately notified when the prospect visits the website. Calling a prospect while they are browsing your site ensures that you have their full attention.

Performance & Scalability

While much of our early success was concentrated within open-source companies, LoopFuse continues to add customers from traditional software companies, SAAS providers, media companies, etc. One of the advantages of having so many open-source customers early on was that it required us to build a highly scalable infrastructure to manage the millions of transactions (page views, emails, registrations, etc.) per day that result from our customers offering free software. This continues to be a strategic advantage for LoopFuse as we can easily scale to accmodate customers of any size.

Why LoopFuse?

  • Basic setup in less than 1 hour via configuration wizard
  • Unlimited database size at no extra charge!
  • Free trial to prove the value before you purchase
  • Because it works

Congratulations to Zimbra

Friday, May 29th, 2009

I would like to congratulate Zimbra, the popular e-mail and collaboration company (and a division of Yahoo!). Since they started using Loopfuse OneView, Zimbra has increased its Sales and Marketing efficiency by 50% – special thanks to Greg  Armanini and John Robb of Zimbra for collaborating with us on the case study.

With over 41 million paid mailboxes worldwide, there is no doubt that Zimbra is redefining the email and collaboration space.  Achieving such web business success requires the right strategy coupled with the right partners to make it happen – especially with over 200,000 unique web visits a week to its homepage,

While Zimbra initially chose Eloqua for marketing automation, they subsequently replaced them with LoopFuse OneView, which is easier for the Zimbra team to use and it tightly integrates with, its CRM partner.

According to Greg, Zimbra is using LoopFuse’s demand generation, email marketing and lead scoring capabilities to keep the Zimbra sales team focused on “the most likely prospects in order to function efficiently and profitably.” I look forward to following Zimbra’s continued success.

LoopFuse with LinkedIn Integration

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

A few weeks ago, we released our OneView v3.17. Although originally marked as a “Beta” feature for this release, our LinkedIn integration has received extremely wide-spread adoption by sales people using the service. Clearly, the ability to quickly identify contacts you may have in common, leads to a more personal sales approach.

In keeping with our ease-of-use goals, I’ll walk through a typical process, that within 2 clicks of the mouse, will have you viewing all of the people you have in common with this particular prospect…

Of course, it all begins with a lead that our Marketing team either captured from a web-form or may have purchased and imported in to the LoopFuse system.

Here we see a portion of the Lead Dashboard within the system that describes our lead, in detail.

Click to Enlarge

Now, we simply click on the button labeled “LinkedIn Information”, and are instantly transported to the appropriate results on the LinkedIn website…

Click to Enlarge

Did I say two clicks? Ok, so it’s really just one click, but you get the point… One-click shopping for leads. ;-)


Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Since our founding in 2007 as the pioneer in marketing and sales automation, we’ve seen rapid adoption of our On-Demand (SaaS) platform across both large and small organizations. Two years later, we mark a significant point in our history, having secured a Series-A round from True Ventures, led by John Burke, and the addition of our new CEO, Sean Dwyer,  to our ranks.

A Special Thanks

I won’t take this funding announcement to blog about how wonderful we are, drink our own kool-aid, and pat ourselves on the back, as some would expect. I will however, take this opportunity to thank the group of people that enabled us to get where we are today… our customers. Our customers have maintained a steady and unwavering belief in LoopFuse, the company and the vision from day-one. It is with their support, that we have not only reached this point in our history, but with their input and suggestions, have built the most innovative software they use every day to generate millions of dollars in sales. To our customers, allow me to say that everyone at LoopFuse thanks you for helping us build the strong partnership that exists today.


Through a rather serpentine twist of fate and coincidences, we were introduced to the partners at True Ventures (Thanks, Dave!). I can honestly say that they are the perfect partner for LoopFuse, with a perfect alignment of vision, goals, growth philosophies, and the importance of a solid team of dedicated A Players. I’ve met a lot of VCs in my career… these guys are truly different and an excellent partner complementing the LoopFuse executive team. We are extremely fortunate to have such a talented group of people working with us, along with our new admiral at the helm, Sean Dwyer; who loved using the product so much, he decided to run the company.

When Tom and I started this company, we were two guys (and a rather angry pit-bull) with an idea and a dream to revolutionize how online business is conducted. We’ve always maintained a belief that the success of the company and its customers is an inevitability. Even though the industry peddles the mirage of marketing automation, we actually deliver re$ult$, and believe that the influence this industry can have on business is much larger and broader than where we are today. Follow us, and you will see.

To Marketo and their overpriced Toy for Marketing Tots™, and Eloqua, with their Techological Torture Device™, I say, Get some coffee and try to stay awake. If it was bad for you when it was two guys (and a dog), it’s going to be an utter nightmare now.

Blocking registration spam – a better alternative to CAPTCHA

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

If you have a web site with registration forms you have probably been spammed by a bot (or will in the near future). Most people think of spambots as rogue programs that run on the internet harvesting email address from web sites to then later spam via email (i.e. “Get your diploma today” emails). While this still occurs on a regular basis, there is an increasing trend of forum spam which can pollute your lead capture data.

Many web sites deploy CAPTCHA tests within their web site form registrations to protect against spambots. However, what most people don’t know is that most of the spambot software used today, such as the popular XRumer, can defeat CAPTCHA.

It is a little surprising that software programs can get past CAPTCHA seeing how it is difficult for most humans to respond correctly to them. However, with the wide availability of OCR packages, it is probably easier for computers to now figure out CAPTCHAs than it is for humans. If you don’t believe me, just take quick look at the demonstration pages for PWNTCHA and Gimpy and you will see how accurate computers can be at guessing the correct responses for CAPTCHA on the web.

The good news is a better alternative to CAPTCHA is easy. Just add an additional form field with a simple logic question. For example, 4 + 5 = ? or Is fire hot or cold?. The answer to type in the form field is easy for humans, but much more difficult for spambots. Obviously the answer given will need to be verified on your server before accepting the rest of the information posted, but this is typically trivial to add if you are already doing data verification. Generally simple arithmetic questions are best since math is universal and won’t have to worry about language barriers to word problems.

Hopefully this tip will help those of you already facing problems with large amounts of bad data polluting your registration data from spambots. For those of you who don’t face this problem, this tip might well prevent you from ever having to.

We hire. They fire.

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

These are interesting times for the U.S. and World economy, to say the least… housing market collapse, stock market volatility, growing unemployment, and talk about spreading the wealth. ;-) It’s enough to negatively affect the purchasing and hiring plans of even the most well-funded of businesses. And against the back-drop of the economic chaos, I’ll publicly boast, We’re growing Fast!

Over 2008,  we have seen our employee ranks increase by 30% and demand for our marketing automation suite has never been higher. It is evident that during times of economic uncertainty, now more than ever, marketers are hungry for a low-cost, high-return, and easy-to-use product in the marketing automation space. So the build-out continues with key hires in executive positions and game-changing product innovations in 2009.

With that, I introduce our newest addition to the executive ranks at LoopFuse…

We Hire

We are proud to welcome Frank Merenda to our ranks, as our new VP of Engineering. Frank joins us from Red Hat, where he created the JBoss Customer Support Portal and became the development team lead for enterprise support at Red Hat. Frank brings over twenty years of IT experience to LoopFuse. Frank will be responsible for continuing execution and build-out of our core product, LoopFuse OneView.

They Fire.

Now I’m not one to kick a competitor when he’s down, (Oh, who am I kidding, of course I am!), but unfortunately, this period of economic malaise hasn’t been good to everyone in our space. Having to slash its headcount by 20%, it seems like Eloqua’s feeling the payne. In a market that’s changing fast with lower-cost and easier-to-use products, I’d say the reign of terror over customers may be drawing to a close.

Crumbling old companies aside, the state of the marketing automation space looks extremely bright. I believe the next few years will be pivotal, in separating winners from losers, and only those with superior products, designed to solve marketing and sales solutions during a market downturn will survive. But hey, what do I know? ;-)

Making friends with the sales team

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

I continually hear from marketers how difficult it is work with their sales team. This is an issue that exists in most organizations and is something I have talked about in the past (see more on the “silo effect”). So I wanted to provide some advice on how help build those bridges…

First off, sales people care about selling… If you are not helping them sell, you are not helping them. This is a simple statement, but important to understand. So in that vein, here are some ways that you can help the sales team using a Marketing Automation solution:

1. Make that first contact for them – create a lead nurturing program that will automatically send out an introductory e-mail on their behalf after a lead has registered on your web site (i.e. for a trial, download, etc.). These are basically boiler plate e-mails anyhow, so can send an e-mail with personalization for the lead’s information (i.e. Hello Bob) as well as including the sales person’s direct e-mail address, phone number, etc. in the e-mail header and the e-mail signature (this way if the lead replies, is going directly to their sales person).

2. Give them the info where they want it – sales people live in the CRM. They do not want to log into multiple systems to get information and often won’t. So you need to make sure your Marketing Automation solution pushes all the leads’ activity (i.e. email opens, form registrations, web activity, etc.) into the CRM.

3. Tell them what a lead is doing, when they are doing it – sometimes making a sale comes down to timing. Being able to catch an elusive lead while they are at their desk is often difficult, so having a Marketing Automation solution that sends out an e-mail to the sales person when their lead is on your web site or opens your e-mail will give them the advantage.

There are plenty of other things that can be done with a Marketing Automation solution that will make your sales team happy, such as the basics of qualifying leads before sending to the CRM and automatically nurturing the leads that are not yet qualified, but that is for another post (maybe even a book).

OSBC 2008 Review

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Having just returned from San Francisco and reading many of the blogs/press on this year’s OSBC, I felt it was a good time to present an unfiltered and honest review (opinion?) of OSBC 2008:

  • Great Topics with Great Panels – the show gets better every year. Unfortunately, I missed some of the all-star panels (Mickos, ShuttleWorth, Roberts), but every single panel I attended was full of audience participation, and interesting/educated panelists.
  • Good news: Less attorney-blabber. I refuse to attend their panels for fear I’ll be billed $500/hr. to listen to them. This is the mundane sort of task that I already pay our own attorneys for.
  • It sure is damn nice to look over a crowded conference hall and be able to see that a large and growing percentage of the marketers in the room are existing LoopFuse customers.
  • It sure is damn nice to look over a crowded conference hall and be able to see that a shrinking percentage of the marketers in the room are existing Eloqua customers. (They’re easy to find… just look for the marketers that are broke and pissed off.)
  • As usual, Matt Asay’s keynote has a perfect blend of interesting and inspirational.
  • I wasn’t around for any of the other keynotes. I would’ve liked to have heard Red Hat’s Whitehurst. As for listening to the HP keynote, I paid my dues while at JBoss… ’nuff said.
  • Rob Bearden and Larry Augustin were among my favorite sessions. Perhaps the fact they plugged LoopFuse may have had something to do with it. ;-)
  • My panel was a solid mix of talent. Sitting next to Ian from Alfresco was an experience. Keeping on topic was a futile effort.
  • RingSide Networks launched at the show. I’m still not sure what my ex-Jbossians created, but Bob Bickel is involved and David Skok invested, so it must be good?

Roy’s shout-outs:

  • Matt Asay, thanks for spending a whole of 30 seconds with the Loopies.
  • Chris Harrick (SugarCRM) – Stand-up and incredibly knowledgeable guy. I think we got off on the wrong foot, but thats how I roll.
  • Raven Zachary (451 Group) – thanks for moderating and sharing hair-styling tips, but you’re still wrong on MySQL, Zimbra, and JBoss. ;-)
  • Dave Rosenberg (MuleSource) & Bill Karpovich (Zenoss) : These guys are dangerous in the same room together – Statler & Waldorf.
  • I finally met Javier Soltero (CEO, Hyperic) – He’s probably our #1 fan, one of our most active users, and great at offering unfiltered startup advice. He may also be close to being a bigger smart-ass than I – we’re neck and neck.
  • Mark Hinkle (Zenoss) – Good to finally meet him in person. Thanks for the blog.
  • The Hypericans – These guys are the official San Francisco welcoming committee. Always a good time.
  • Myself (LoopFuse) – I’m proud that I managed to sit through a whole session without insulting anyone in the room (that I know of). This CEO thing is changing me. I refuse to play golf…