Watch Nova Labs launch on stage here.
This interview with Nova Labs founders Bryan Pirtle (left) and William Dinkel (right) was conducted by the Job Portraits team during the LAUNCH Festival.
Give us your elevator pitch. What are you doing?
William: Sales people spend five hours a day personalizing emails. We're doing that for them so they can focus on what they do best, which is selling.
Can you give a little bit of detail on how it works?
William: We create marketing material that's bespoke for the specific individual you're targeting. We pull public information about the person, including demographic information, facts about their background, and indicators of their personality and interests. We also know what specifically resonates with the person because we have a huge dataset of all the different people we've seen, and how they’ve reacted to different pieces of content in the past. From all this, we build emails that speak to your prospects as individuals.
How did you guys decide on this problem? Is this something you have a background in?
William: Yeah, I’ve worked in sales and marketing for four years. I started the first sales and marketing team at CloudFlare. That was pretty much blue ocean — I was just told to sell stuff and do it effectively, so I did a lot of experiments during that time. Personalization was one of the experiments, and it turned out to have a huge impact on response rates and engagement. It was really special.
Why us? Bryan and I, we actually met in undergrad in Boston. I was at Harvard Business School, he was at MIT, and we started kicking ideas around and working on this, and just doing a lot of experiments with technology. We started to see similar magic to what happened at CloudFlare, but we were able to do it almost all programmatically.
We put up a landing page a few months back and there’s been a huge response. We got on the phone with people and they’re like, “Is this real? Build this product and I will buy it. I will give it to my whole organization. We are drowning in email.”
Tell me a little bit about the experience of being at LAUNCH Festival.
Bryan: LAUNCH Festival has been off the hook. The people we've been able to meet are amazing, and then we had the opportunity to get up on stage, too. It’s been a crucible and we’ve really been forced to refine our story. That's been a great process.
Bryan: Build. Execute. Talk to customers. Bring in beta customers.
We need to show the world it's not all talk. If we can even close one quarter of our beta customers, which we think we can, we already have a pretty good sized business, so we're very excited to do that.
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