Work hard, then work harder.
Then play hard, followed by playing even harder.
So, in an effort to abide by that motto, today the entire company took a field trip to see Iron Man 3 in IMAX 3D.
After all, from our days in school, everyone loves a good field trip.
Plus, it’s nice to get everyone hanging out in a setting outside the office.
Certainly our apologies go out to everyone else in the theater because being passionate work-a-holics meant that we were constantly pulling out our phone to check emails and make sure we didn’t miss anything. I know everyone tried their best to hide those bright iPhone screens.
Overall the movie was great…. I’ll withhold my detailed review and let the critics handle that. But, I will say it lived up to the hype.
Everyone’s fingers are a bit buttery from all the popcorn, so if you get a reply from someone and it’s filled with typos…. just blame Iron Man!
It’s always fun to be the first in the world to do something. I mean, the world is a big place, so being a pioneer in anything is tough these days.
So, we’re excited that Elite Email is the first email marketing service provider in the world to accept payment in bitcoins.
Bitcoins have been all over the news lately as their value has absolutely skyrocketed, mostly due to the financial crisis in Cyprus.
For those that don’t know what bitcoins are, it is an online digital currency that is independent of any government. Just like normal dollars or euros, you can use it to pay for products and services from vendors that accept it (now, including Elite Email). With bitcoins, you essentially have an online wallet that you can use to receive and send bitcoins, or fractions of bitcoins. The transfers are instantaneous, anonymous, and tie in really well with smartphones that can scan QR codes to make payment a snap.
Here is a great video that you can watch that summarizes things a bit more:
As a bit more random info, in March 2013, Bloomberg valued the entire “bitcoin currency” at over $600 million and now (as of a couple days ago) estimated the total value of bitcoins at over $2 billion.
There are currently 11 million bitcoins in circulation and about 25 new coins are produced every minute.
There is much debate about the future of bitcoins and the value they’ll hold. Some are calling it a temporary bubble that will burst at any moment, while others are saying this is what will power the economy of the future (to some degree).
While I have no clue how this will play out, there is one thing I know, and that is people all around the world are starting to use bitcoins more and more… and that includes our customers.
Since our goal is always to make things as easy as possible for our customers, I figure that includes giving them the payment method choices they desire.
We already accepted Visa, MasterCard and American Express in US dollars and Canadian dollars. But, now with bitcoins in the mix, it just gives our customers more options.
The value of a bitcoin is changing so rapidly these days so what we do is calculate a real-time exchange rate at the moment a customer wants to make a purchase. This way we know at that moment in time they are paying the correct “converted” amount. This was the most fair approach we could come up with.
This score places us among the top email marketing service providers evaluated by Website Planet, which is a serious honor.
On top of that, we greatly appreciate the time they spent really digging into our application because we can use that feedback to make things even better in the future. While we’re obviously all very happy with a 9.1, that does leave 0.9 points for improvement and we intend to capitalize on that!
Elite Email is excited to be attending DX3 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center.
Our CEO, Robert Burko, will be leading a session in the IAB Canada Spotlight Theatre at 3:10pm (March 6). The seminar is titled “Email Marketing Tactics to Achieve Your Goals” and it’s sure to leave you with lots of great insights.
If you’re planning on attending the event, be sure to visit us at booth 212. Just look for the guys with the most energy that have a passion for all things email!
Here is the quick one-line summary of the event:
DX3 is focused on digital marketing, digital advertising and digital retailing. It brings agencies, brands, publishers & retailers together for two days to network and do business.
Overall, we found that email volume this year spiked a tremendous amount with an impressive 16% jump.
That is huge when you compare it to the 7% increase we witnessed in 2012 over 2011.
We reached out to some customers after they scheduled their email on Feb. 14 to get their take on why their volume was higher this year.
Lots of people said they have been aggressively trying to grow their mailing list. And, while size does not always equal engagement, having a larger audience of people to reach out to can certainly help. People reported that they put their mailing list signup forms/buttons in higher profile locations on their website, as well as adding a signup form to their Facebook page.
Many offline organizations said that they have been training their staff better with regards to the value of obtaining a customer’s email address. This has led to a substantial increase in new opt-in contacts.
When we ask this question we always get a lot of people telling us that they have boosted their email marketing efforts as a result of scaling back on traditional paper-based advertising. To their customers they claim they are becoming more eco-friendly, but ultimately we know that email provides better engagement, vastly superior analytics and a much greater ROI.
When Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeastern United States, it left the town without power, phone and internet. There was no way for the town leadership to communicate to residents at all….well, except for Elite Email, of course!
With an intermittent internet connection, the town leadership was able to connect to their Elite Email account to send out important updates to residents and officials about what was going on. It really helped that Elite Email is cloud-based because even without accesses to their offices, all they needed was any computer with an internet connection and they were all set to send out their newsletter.
Here is the exact quote from Winsome Citarella, the Clerk Treasurer:
Elite Email was a life saver for our Village during this recent crisis. After Hurricane Sandy hit the Village of Brookville lost power, phone and internet services leaving us completely out of touch with our residents and officials. Since I was not able to access my usual software to communicate I was saved by my Elite Email account. I was able to access your site from where ever I was able to get internet however intermittently and was able to send out important notifications to the residents which was extremely helpful to all of us. So thanks for providing a great service.
We know the town residents really appreciated these timely and critical newsletters because we were forwarded replies like this:
“The residents of our village are indeed very fortunate to have you as our Mayor. The endless hours you spent in contact with LIPA, personally traveling every street in the village and relaying information to us was truly outstanding. We appreciate your daily updates and subsequent twice daily emails.”
“Thank you for the valuable update report.”
“Thank you very much for these updates. We are sincerely thankful for all of your hard work and all the Village has done. “
“Thank you so much for all your efforts – for the hours that went into planning and preparation, and for the excellent follow through. Your email communication has been invaluable and is much appreciated. The entire community is in your debt .”
“Hi – I love these emails! Thank you for the daily update. “
“You are a wonderful leader for all of us. Your emails are reassuring and help us to know that we are being well represented. “
“Just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work and keeping us informed.”
“Thank you for the frequent updates. Although the news is never great, it’s better than being kept “in the dark”, sorry about the bad pun! I really appreciate all that you guys are doing! “
WOW, are we glad to have helped make a difference in any way at all!
Remember, there are still many people in need, so please donate to the Red Cross.
At Elite Email one thing remains at the core of our company culture and that is giving back to the community.
We have been very fortunate with great success over many years, but we all know that there are those less fortunate. And, as such, I firmly believe it is important that whenever possible, however large or small, we all do our part to lend a helping hand.
One of the organizations we work with is Furniture Bank. This is a fantastic charity that has the following mission:
To transfer gently used furniture and household goods donated to us by individuals or corporations to people who have recently transitioned out of homelessness. We help turn an empty space into a true home with a kitchen table to enjoy meals, a comfortable space to share stories of the day and bug free beds for safe sweet dreams. In 2011, we helped 2,572 families or over 5,000 people including nearly 1,600 children.
Needless to say, this is certainly a mission all of us at Elite Email can get behind!
A couple weeks ago, Furniture Bank put on their Third Annual Chair Affair. This is a really neat event where prominent designers get to design a vibrant creative chair (40 in total) that then goes into a silent auction.
While I wasn’t personally able to attend the event, some people from our team did go and they said it was fantastic.
It was also fun because Elite Email was one of the sponsors so our logo was all over the place. So, in addition to feeling great about helping this good cause, we also got to enjoy seeing our name up in lights!
Last year at the Toronto Business Excellence Awards we won the “Under 30” award, which was a huge honor.
Since then the entire Elite Email team has been working hard to make things even better and better by building on our award-winning foundation.
So, it is amazing to be recognized as a nominee in the biggest category, “Entrepreneur of the Year”.
This is truly one of the biggest awards in one of the biggest economies in the world and we are absolutely elated to be a finalist.
I share in this exciting moment with not only our amazing team, but also all of our outstanding customers. It is our customers that are the driving force behind everything we do and we are completely fueled by their energy and passion for email marketing.
Here is the announcement that ran in The Globe And Mail newspaper: