Movable Ink is a technology that I’ve wanted to write about for 6 month’s time. The under the radar startup turns your email into a marketing platform that personalizes live content to the recipient’s location, current time and social context. It’s vision is to make emails as rich and realtime as the web.
For example, if you’ve ever received an email from me, you’ll notice a “DonorsChoose” insertion under my signature with the opportunity to donate to a charity and the amount the charity has raised so far. If you were to open the email at 9AM, you’d see a different amount versus opening up the email 3 hours later at noon. It’s likely you’d receive a different charity altogether, because the tactic is so successful (only 3% to go? I should donate!) that the already funded charities are swapped out for new ones in realtime.
The 1-year-old startup includes 5 employees working long days out of General Assembly in New York City, led by CEO Vivek Sharma, who’s been in the software game since ’98 and CTO, Michael Nutt, a former engineer at Gilt Groupe. It’s been called “a revolution in email marketing” because Movable Ink makes emails that are more relevant and create much better engagement. Customers include DonorsChoose, Daily Candy, GroupMe, Betterworks and Daily Secret. Nikolaos Kakavoulis, CEO of Daily Secret said, “We worked with Movable Ink to create a campaign for BMW/Mini that was so seemingly magical that the client named the result of their advertising product the Harry Potter effect”.
Today, Movable Ink announced it has secured $1.3 million in a round of financing led by Contour Ventures, with additional investment from Metamorphic Ventures, ff Ventures, and Kima Ventures. Email veterans Joshua Baer, Bob Pittman, Andy Russell, and Alan Laifer also joined this round of investment. Along with the funding, Movable Ink is launching a first of its kind App Platform for Email, allowing marketers to configure an App and add local maps, live inventory, countdown timers, social cues, and more into their email. The gallery of apps includes 5 apps, with more in the coming months.
The apps include: LiveTweets, which lets you add live tweets to your email by connecting to your Twitter account. LocalMaps, a geolocation feature that pulls up relevant maps information related to your content. e.g. Using this feature, a user in L.A. would receive different content than a user in New York City. A Countdown Timer is just what it sounds like, counting down anything you’d like in realtime. CreativeOptimizer autotests certain creative campaigns throughout the day and switches to the most successful one after its collected enough data. And lastly, Web Crop lets you take dynamic web pages and grab live content from them. Check out the image below:
Movable Ink is a free service that allows customers to use watermarked images. It offers a pay-as-you-go plan with true CPM to track content as it’s opened, which costs $3 per thousand views. Movable Ink is also in the business of making exclusive apps for its premium customers.
“It is rare to come across a platform that has the potential to transform a sector as large as email. We are excited to be working with the Movable Ink team to take email marketing to the next level.” said Matt Gorin, co-founder and Managing Partner of Contour Venture Partners.
The company plans to use the $1.3 million in capital to build out its platform and expand its growth across different verticals such as retail, publishing, travel, ticketing and events. “The web is a destination. Email is how we communicate. It’s time the email experience caught up with the richness of the web.” said CEO, Vivek Sharma.