Dennis Kelly is the CEO of Postalytics, a fast-growing direct mail automation software company that helps marketers do more in less time. Postalytics syncs your existing CRM to your direct mail campaigns and integrates as a digital marketing channel by offering an all-in-one solution to create, print, mail, and track personalized direct mail postcards and letters.
Postalytics is Dennis’ sixth startup, and he has been involved in starting and growing early-stage technology ventures for over 30 years. Dennis started in retail sales but now spends his time building products, running data centers, and serving as CEO of angel and venture-backed startups. He typically oversees product development, sales, marketing, finance, and HR.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- How Postalytics started and the value of direct mail automation
- The invigorating effect of entrepreneurship and having your “own thing”
- Dennis Kelly shares previous entrepreneurial endeavors and the lessons he learned along the way
- Dennis talks about the mindset it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur
- Dennis reflects on those who mentored him and the lessons he learned from his parents while growing up
- Dennis discusses the valuable lessons he has learned about raising capital
In this episode…
Being a serial entrepreneur is a lifelong journey. Continually developing products and businesses yields valuable lessons you can apply to your next endeavor. But what does it take to be successful?
With a thirst for startups, Dennis Kelly has a long history of entrepreneurial pursuits from which he has drawn many lessons. To be a successful entrepreneur, you must be willing to work hard and pick yourself back up when things don’t work out. Dennis suggests perseverance, never giving up on catching your break, and surrounding yourself with partners who contribute to your success is the way to reach your entrepreneurial goals.
In this episode of the Top Business Leaders Show, Chad Franzen joins Dennis Kelly, the CEO of Postalytics, to chat with Dennis about the invaluable lessons he’s learned throughout his involvement in six different startups. He talks about how having great partners to help you succeed, the importance of never giving up, and the value of having great mentors helped him become a successful entrepreneur.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Chad Franzen on LinkedIn
- Email the team at Rise25: [email protected]
- Dennis Kelly on LinkedIn | Twitter
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Chad Franzen 0:20
Chad Franzen here Co-host of the Top Business Leaders Show where we feature CEOs, entrepreneurs and top leaders in the business world. This episode is brought to you by Rise25. We help B2B businesses reach their dream relationships and connect with more clients referrals and strategic partnerships and get ROI through dunk for you podcast. If you have a B2B business and want to build great relationships, there is no better way to do it than to profile the people and companies you admire on your podcast. To learn more, go to Rise25.com or email us at [email protected]
Dennis Kelly is CEO of Postalytics, a fast growing direct mail automation software company. Postalalytics helps marketers do more in less time with streamline production, integration into marketing tech stack and real time direct mail campaign analytics. Postalytics is Dennis’s sixth startup, he has been involved in starting and growing early stage technology ventures for over 30 years. Hey, Dennis, thanks so much for joining me today. How are you?
Dennis Kelly 1:17
I’m doing great, Chad. Thanks so much for having me.
Chad Franzen 1:20
Hey, yeah, I appreciate your time. Tell me about more about Postalytics and what you guys do.
Dennis Kelly 1:26
So Postalytics is a it’s a software startup with it’s a cloud based system that enables marketers to essentially create an account, drag and drop, direct mail templates for postcards and letters, pull in data from their CRM or marketing automation tool, in order to send direct mail pieces out, and then schedule campaigns and be done. So there’s a software tool that really deals with all of the complexity of direct mail production, with the the tracking and analytics associated with sending out any type of marketing campaign, and then it helps marketers utilize the data they already have in their CRM, marketing, automation tools, just leveraging in a different channel.
Chad Franzen 2:21
Is there a kind of a story that goes behind like that behind how you came up with the idea ?
Dennis Kelly 2:27
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So several years ago, I was connected with reconnected with a brilliant software architect who I’d worked with and a couple of other startups. He’d actually moved right near me. And so he reached out and we got together and, you know, folks like this are always they’ve got something going on, but they’ve got something else in their head, right, that they’re, these engineers are always tinkering and coming up with some, you know, new, great thing. And so, you know, he had a business where, you know, he was doing consulting, work, you know, different projects, and he had a, a product that he wanted to roll out to this audience. And so, he decided to put together a little postcard campaign to complement the emails that he was sending. And, and he did that, and, and then he realized, you know, what, I want to draw a line from the postcard, let the same way I do for my email, you know, so I want them to respond and sign up for something. And, and there was no easy way for him to make that happen in a postcard, and, and to track who responded to that postcard. Instead, so he was developing some software in the side just for his own purpose. And then realize, you know, what, I’m not the only person who has this problem. And, and so he started building some software. And he showed it to me, and this was back in 2013. And we thought, you know, there’s this massive investment going on in the marketing tech world. But the direct mail market, postal mail, is, has been largely ignored by the venture capital community in the tech world. But it’s still this huge business. So you know, there’s got to be a way that we can attack this and kind of modernize the way that direct mail marketing is being done. And so our initial thought was, hey, let’s take this software that that he’d started adding more things to it, and then we’ll roll it out. We’ll, we’ll start selling to the people that are, you know, kind of the incumbents in the direct mail world. And so we were selling to Print Service Providers, agencies, big brands that have big direct mail departments. And, you know, it was going, okay. But, you know, when you’ve been in a startup in the startup world for a long time, you can kind of feel when sales are kind of a slog, and, you know, the business just doesn’t seem like it’s, it’s going easily, everything seemed to be difficult. So, you know, after a couple of years, trying a few things, we took a step back and said, alright, you know, something’s wrong here. You know, we think we have a good product but these people just don’t seem to want to buy this stuff. So, about the same time we had some new leads come in from businesses that were saying, “Hey, guys, we just invested in Salesforce, we do a lot of direct mail. Why can’t I make Salesforce drive the direct mail, the way that Salesforce drives my email, and we use Salesforce for the center of all of our other marketing.” Same thing happened HubSpot customers came in saying, asking kind of the same question. And we thought, you know, what, there’s a whole lot more of those people out there that are, you know, investing in tech in their businesses, and would probably want to do direct mail if it was easy and painless, and kind of looked and acted and felt like their email marketing. And so we were able to take what we had done with that first product, reposition it to come out as Postalytics at the end of 2017. And in that, that pivot has really been the thing that has allowed us to take off.[continue to next page]