Interview: hot startup Movable Ink about live email content

Movable Ink Logo real-time email contentRecently the New York-based company Movable Ink has been getting a lot of press: rightfully so imho because they have awesome technology that enables people to stream live email content. Whether it’s location, time-based, supply-based or realtime content: they can deliver it through their services. A location based example can be found here.
I got in touch with Vivek Sharma, one of the founders of the company and did an email interview. Below are the questions and Vivek’s answers:
Remy: Is the Countdown Timer service timezone-compatible? Is it possible to adjust timed deals in terms of availability in the meantime (for instance, one hour left for a deal but all are sold, so the timer ‘jumps’)?
Vivek: We support different timezones. When you create your countdown timer there is a select box that lets you choose the timezone. +0000 is GMT (Greenwich Mean time in London for example). -0500 would be New York City.
Remy: Does the Creative Optimization take into account a minimum sample group size, or any size? What factors for the ‘winner’ are taken into account?
Vivek: You can specify the size of the campaign and your open rate. From there you can move a slider to indicate how many impressions should be served before a winner is selected. 10-20% of the list size is what most people set it at. Winner is chosen by the creative that received the most clicks.
Remy: Your new technology called Streaming Server can stream content into email directly without installing anything client-side: is it necessary for customers using Streaming Server to install anything, or have their ESP make changes to email programs?

Vivek Sharma

Vivek: No software has to be downloaded by an email recipient or the ESP to get this to work. We’ll simply pass you an embed code (an image tag) that you drop into your HTML and streaming will just work.
Remy: How does the Private Sale Site work? Is it connected to an e-commerce / e-shop system used by the customer, or does it have its own process-flow from click to sale to report?
Vivek: It uses a number of Web Crop apps to capture the content from live HTML pages.
Remy: Does the technology Movable Ink offers in the emails detect a user agent (mobile or non-mobile, for instance) of the email client and adjust content accordingly?
Vivek: Yes, we can detect user agent and will be launching a Device Targeting app in December. It will do just what you are describing.
Remy: Have you been looking to work with Hotmail’s Active Views, or do you want to deliver this completely independent of email hosts, solely working with your customers?
Vivek: We want to build a technology that works across all email clients (webmail, desktop, and mobile). Hotmail Active Views is limited to just that user base and requires marketers to code their campaigns specifically for that. Mobile email usage is greatly increasing and thats an area where Hotmail can’t really play.
Remy: In the future, are live polls, live user reviews and such an option to stream to email? For instance to shoppers or event attendees?
Vivek: You could do all those today if you have a dynamic web page serving that type of content via AJAX. We’ll look at building specific apps to solve specific problems if the market demands it. For example Local Maps and Countdown Timer both came out of things our customers wanted to do.
Remy: On gelocation: any talks with Foursquare, Facebook Places or Google Offers/Lattitude to do combined deals or geolocation <> specials offers on those platforms?
Vivek: We are definitely thinking about access to location and checkin data like the ones you mention above. The important thing is that the use cases have to be killer ones for us to focus on building those Apps.
In closing, Vivek adds:

The two big benefits we deliver are:
1.) Shorten build time for very dynamic content. Many companies already have this information in a CRM system or database. They are delivering this dynamic content on the web. We let them real-time email enable that content in a very easy way so they don’t have to recreate their database on their email delivery platform.
2.) Content is rendered on email open and greatly increases relevance. It also shortens the conversion funnel by pushing this type of content into emails. Our customers are greatly increasing the performance of their email marketing by using this service.
We’re excited to see companies do really innovative things on Movable Ink.

I’d like to thank Vivek for his time, and wish him and Movable Ink all the best!
Find the company website here.

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