Audience Closes $10M Series A Funding Round, Leverages Robots to Send Handwritten Notes as Digital Marketing Gets Personalized | News
MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jun 28, 2022–
Audience, a robot-powered outbound marketing platform, today announced the closing of $10 million in Series A funding led by Next Coast Ventures. The growth capital empowers audience to fast-track its platform to become the leading personal direct mail marketing choice for businesses and professionals.
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Personalized handwritten notes written by a robot (Photo: Business Wire)
The funding round brings the total raised to $12.8 million since its founding in 2019. The Miami-headquartered startup had initially raised a pre-seed round in July 2021. The capital from this round will help Audience better serve its existing customers with integrated customer relationship management (CRM) functionality, a more robust user platform across new verticals and new robot optimizations and app abilities with unique add-ons unavailable elsewhere.
Audience allows businesses and individuals to reimagine these campaigns by abandoning email altogether and creating an innovative platform that sends personalized messages to better generate leads and boost return on marketing investment by up to 380%. In addition to the enhanced platform features, implementing a larger fleet of handwriting robots means a faster order-to-mail process, which is already done within one business day.
“Audience combines robotic handwritten notes with a powerful targeting database and digital-marketing follow-up,” said Jesse Stein, CEO and founder of Audience. “This unique combination helps companies close more deals, form deeper bonds with prospects and customers and remove friction from the follow-up process.”
Combining Personalization with Automation to Boost ROI and Lead Generation
Important notes from clients and business prospects are often obscured by countless daily messages sent to digital and physical mailboxes. Breaking through to prospects in meaningful and authentic ways has posed challenges for direct mailing campaigns.
Audience robots write letters at scale with consistent penmanship and work with unique software to measure ROI, keep track of notes sent, configure campaigns and automatically personalize each note. With pre-built templates and unlimited personalization, Audience creates an experience for recipients that garners a 90% read rate and six times the response of standard direct mail.
Agents from the largest real estate companies in the United States, including Keller Williams, Sotheby’s and Douglas Elliman, use Audience to engage prospects, close deals and retain customers.
“I am blown away by the results from using Audience. So far, I’ve run two campaigns that have completely transformed my business,” said Jacqueline Marks of Douglas Elliman. “I love the attention to detail each campaign specifies, which allows me to build and cultivate my network, find pocket listings and establish myself as an expert agent along the coast of South Florida.”
The company also is gaining traction in the insurance industry, where brokers and agents often compete for the same clients and need a better solution than email, cold-calling and social media.
“Audience does all the heavy lifting — printing our stationary on demand, populating notes with text templates and custom variables such as first name, writing the note, including an insert or gift, stamping, sending, tracking,” said Mike Bodack, president of York International. “It takes a thorn in my side and turns it into something I don’t even think about.”
Investor Perspective on $10M Series A Funding Round
“Audience represents the evolution of the digital marketing landscape toward hyper-personalized customer engagement, and we couldn’t be happier to partner with them,” said Thomas Ball, co-founder and managing partner of Next Coast Ventures. “The combination of an incredible team, robotic hardware and easy-to-use software made the investment in Audience incredibly attractive.”
Audience is a Miami-headquartered outbound marketing company that helps grow businesses with robotic handwritten notes with automated email and LinkedIn follow-up to each recipient. It provides businesses with an opportunity to break through to prospects, drive conversions, increase retention and deliver a personal, one-on-one experience. A turnkey solution of lead generation, text templates, front-of-note graphics, an app for sending one-off notes, QR labels with real-time tracking and a dedicated account manager allow businesses to see results in their direct mailing campaigns and to build more trusted relationships with prospects and customers. To learn more about Audience’s direct mailing solutions, visit https://www.audience.co/.
About Next Coast Ventures
Next Coast Ventures is an Austin-based venture capital firm that partners with bold entrepreneurs building innovative companies in big markets. It provides early-stage capital to high-growth startups in “Next Coast” markets, using macro trends and themes to guide its investment strategy. Next Coast provides its growing group of portfolio companies with hands-on help, Company Building Playbooks, a robust Expert Network, and the founders’ own experiences as entrepreneurs and operators. Next Coast ETA, founded in 2020, invests in the best and the brightest future CEOs, helping them find, run and grow a business to outsized returns in the lower to middle market. Learn more at nextcoastventures.com.
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