Arian Radmand is the CEO and President of IgnitePOST, a firm specializing in creating memorable customer experiences by sending personalized handwritten notes. These notes stand out amidst the digital clutter and leave a lasting impression on customers throughout their shopping journey. Arian is the driving force behind the company’s vision and product development.
Before his role at IgnitePOST, Arian served as CEO and President at TurnGram, a concierge service that delivers personal photos and artwork to your doorstep without a hassle. As an engineer passionate about entrepreneurship and new technology, he has a diverse skill set and a keen eye for innovation. He is also a board member at CoachUp.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [04:57] Arian Radmand talks about the genesis of IgnitePOST and what it does
- [08:25] The power of personalization and handwritten notes in fostering good relationships with customers
- [10:03] The evolution of IgnitePOST and its services
- [14:00] The process of working with IgnitePOST and a customer success story
- [17:22] Arian explains how IgnitePOST integrates with a business’s CRM
- [20:22] How people can use IgnitePOST in the enterprise sales space
- [23:46] Other creative ways to use handwritten notes and integrate QR codes
- [29:07] Arian shares his thoughts about bootstrapping and raising funds
- [33:31] How IgnitePOST acquired its first customers and pivoted to the e-commerce and nonprofit space
- [40:36] How are people using IgnitePOST for cold mailing?
- [42:28] Working with celebrity athletes and having a spokesperson
In this episode…
Are you trying to build a big, successful brand? How can you make it stand out in a crowded, highly competitive industry?
According to Arian Radmand, entrepreneurs must build and maintain relationships to establish customer loyalty. He believes they can do so by communicating with their prospects in the best way possible — personalizing their communication. Arian recommends leveraging the power of handwritten notes to break through the digital noise and create magic moments at mailboxes that leave lasting impressions and drive consumer action.
Join Dr. Jeremy Weisz in this episode of the Inspired Insider as he talks with Arian Radmand, CEO and President of IgnitePOST, about harnessing the power of handwritten notes. Arian explains how IgnitePOST helps people, the power of personalization and handwritten notes in fostering lasting customer relationships, how IgnitePOST integrates with a business’s CRM, and how it acquired its first customers and pivoted to the e-commerce and nonprofit space.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- The Gary Halbert Letter
- Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Retention by John Ruhlin
- Stephen Curry on Instagram
- The E Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
- The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
- “What Inspires Brian Kurtz, VP at Boardroom Inc.?” on Inspired Insider
- “Crafting Compelling Sales Copy with Paul Bigham Founder of Bigham Agency” on Inspired Insider
- “Behind the Scenes Real Truth about some of the Biggest Internet Launches with Big Jason Henderson” on Inspired Insider
- “Marketing Tips and Insights from Eugene Levin Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer at SEMrush” on Inspired Insider
- “The Value of Connections and Referrals With YOUR Referral Partner’s Founder, Devin Sizemore” on Top Business Leaders Show
- “Automation Solutions with Wade Foster Founder of Zapier” on Inspired Insider
- “[One Question] No Furniture, No Bed, No Nothing with Caleb O’Dowd of MultiChannelMarketing” on Inspired Insider
- “Losing Your Mentor & Miserable Internal Struggles with Sam Markowitz” on Inspired Insider
- “[Top Giver Series] The Art and Science of Gifting with John Ruhlin Author of Giftology” on Inspired Insider
- “A Business Built on Full Transparency with Roy Krebs Co-Founder of Natural Stacks” on Inspired Insider
- “[Sweet Process Series] How to Make Your Business the Next McDonalds of Your Industry with Michael E. Gerber” on Inspired Insider
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Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90x, Atari, Einstein Bagels, Mattel, Rx Bars, YPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk, and many more.
The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.
Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.
Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.
Insider Stories from Top Leaders & Entrepreneurs…
You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.
Jeremy Weisz 0:22
Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, founder of inspiredinsider.com, where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders, today’s no different. I’ve Arian Radmand of IgnitePOST. And all right, I always like to mention other episodes, people should check out of the podcast, and we were chatting and since IgnitePOST you to check it out. I geek out on direct response, marketing, copywriting, and relationships. Those two things are really the foundation of how I’ve made relationships and built a business and everything else. And this is kind of the fundamental premise behind IgnitePOST. This is what they do. So I’ll explain a little bit about what they do. But some other episodes they kind of relate to this is Brian Kurtz. He’s one of the top direct response leaders that I know I consider him a friend and mentor. And we did a couple of episodes on the podcast on him. He helped us build up $150 million company in publishing and direct response in newsletters, so check those episodes out. I also had Paul Bigham on the podcast and Paul, I met him through Brian actually through one of his Titan events. And he’s the largest non-Jewish contributor to the State of Israel. He’s raised over a billion dollars for the State of Israel, through direct mail, actually. And on the digital front, big Jason Henderson, one of the most experienced email marketers online, he’s created just some of the email marketing strategy behind some of the biggest product launches and companies so you can check that episode out as well and more on inspiredinsider.com. And we also featured Devin Sizemore on the top business leaders show and Arian, you know Devin, how do you know Devin?
Arian Radmand 2:11
I do. Yeah, so I got connected through a friend of a friend but I joined his community and actually haven’t gone into the roundtables. He has this community of kind of like-minded business leaders who are all trying to support each other and hold each other accountable and kind of grow together. So that’s been really super effective. So that’s how I know you, Devin. And then obviously, he connected us, so just kind of speak to the merit of his work.
Jeremy Weisz 2:35
Big shout out. Devin, thank you check out Devin Sizemore what he’s doing. And this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships. And how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast, we’re an easy button for a company to launch and run a podcast. We do the strategy the accountability with you and all the full execution and production behind the scenes. Arian, we kind of call ourselves the magic elves that work behind the scenes to make it look easy for the host. Push everything out everywhere, which we’ll do for this episode as well. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, definitely you should, for me, the number one thing in my life is relationships, I’m always looking for ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way to profile the people in companies that I most admire and share what they’re working on with the world. So check out Rise25. If you’ve thought about podcasting, we have lots of free resources to on inspiredinsider.com. So without further ado, I want to introduce Arian Radmand. He’s CEO of IgnitePOST. And they’re a service that helps brands create magic moments for their customers. And how do they do that? They use real pen and ink, handwritten notes, those things that come in the mail, right, like we’re used to this digital world. And there’s nothing like a nice handwritten note to give that magic touch. And that’s what they do at scale, they’ve served brands like First Republic, SEMrush, which I’ve had some of the people, Eugene on from SEMrush, check that episode out Sotheby’s and many, many more. His background is actually in software engineering. And he spent the last 10 years building a number of businesses from the ground up. And prior to ignitePOST, Arianna was co-founder and CTO at CoachUp. I’ve actually used CoachUp before. And it’s one of the nation’s leading sports coaching companies with over 15,000 coaches nationwide, maybe more by now, and NBA Champion Stephen Curry. It was the lead spokesperson for that. So, Arian, thanks for joining me.
Arian Radmand 4:44
Hey, thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to dive in and talk more.
Jeremy Weisz 4:47
Yeah, talk a little bit I want to get to how’d you get Stephen Curry as a but we’ll get to there, talk a little bit about IgnitePOST and what you do.
Arian Radmand 4:57
Yeah, so I think you hit the nail on the head there. So essentially at IgnitePOST, what we do is our goal, our mission is to help brands create magic moments for their customers using real pen and ink handwritten notes. But the way that we go about it is pretty unique. So we have software that enables customers to kind of plug right into either their marketing automation software CRM system to trigger very perfectly timed handwritten notes. And then on the hardware side, we actually have a fleet of handwriting robots that hold real, thick ballpoint pens to give warmth to each note, so that we can operate at scale. And so this kind of combination of triggering something that is perfectly timed, that’s very personalized, is really that kind of combination that we see that really drives results and drives people to action.
Jeremy Weisz 5:44
I want to get a little granular and we will like CRM integration, people listening or a lot of times, CEOs, founders, and we’ll get into how it works with the CRM integration and how they can use it. But it seems so random. How did you come up with this idea?
Arian Radmand 6:02
Yeah, so really, it’s kind of a result of the current environment that we live in, right? So we took a look at what’s going on. And right now, we live in a digital age, we’ve never been inundated more with digital communication, right? Whether it’s digital ads, emails, SMS, push notifications, on literally every device that we own. So what we did at IgnitePOST is we basically sat down and said to ourselves, you know, if I’m a brand, and I’m really trying to build a big brand, what is it that’s going to separate my brand from anyone else. And really, what it comes down to is the ability to build and maintain relationships and kind of establish that loyalty with your customers. That’s how you build a big brand. But because of this kind of sea of noise that we see, with digital communication, we said if we’re trying to project decade or so into the future, what is it? What kind of tools are brands going to really need to set themselves apart and develop that deeper relationship. And so, as human beings, that’s one thing that people always forget is, human beings learn by interacting with their environment and touching things. And we’re tactile beings. This whole digital age, digital world is very new to us, if you look at the evolution of us as humans, and so that’s kind of really why we settled on all right, well, what we really need to do to help brands build and establish deeper relationships with customers is enable them to actually send something tactile to folks. And then there was nothing kind of more personalized, that we could think of that would develop that relationship deeper than an actual pen to note. And so we were coming up with our solution. That’s really why we decided to do exactly what we did. And why we settled on, you know, it’s not just mail and direct mail, we went in specifically to have a nice pen and a handwritten note, to kind of deepen that relationship and deepen that connection. And so that was kind of the genesis and the big idea that kind of fit into our mission of just helping brands create those deeper relationships and magic moments for their customers.
Jeremy Weisz 8:05
I mean, it seems obvious now after the fact. But back when you were first starting, right, because you’ve had two other companies? Can you take me back to that room? And I don’t know who you were ideating with? And what were you thinking about than when you were just thinking of what’s the next thing you’re gonna build?
Arian Radmand 8:24
Yeah, well, so I guess the most common thread for in my life has been this kind of threat of personalization. So even in my last business, right, so Coach up, basically, we are connecting coaches and athletes, for one on one training. And the reason why we did that, because our thesis was, the way you actually get better is by one on one individualized training, right? And so the whole idea is, how do we bring that at scale to, you know, to coaches and athletes everywhere? And so this is almost kind of an evolution of something like that, right? Where the whole idea is, all right, if I’m a brand and I want to build a big, big brand, how do I develop that one on one relationship and communication at scale. And so that’s kind of the common thread that probably fed into the genesis of IgnitePOST, but it’s that whole idea of personalization that focusing one on one and developing that back-and-forth communication and that relationship, and doing it on an ongoing basis over either a training profile or kind of your lifetime of training, or whether it’s a customer journey. There’s a lot of dynamics that are very similar between the two. So I think that kind of fed into the genesis of the idea behind ignite post.
Jeremy Weisz 9:41
Talk about the evolution of the service and company. Where do you get started first, because obviously, we’re talking about, there’s a lot of probably custom software. I mean, this is your expertise, but there’s also a lot of hardware and robots too. So where did you first start or when you were starting the company?
Arian Radmand 10:03
Yeah, well, so my background is in software. So that’s where we started, right. So I always like to say that we’re a software company at its core. And that’s really the strength of everything. But my spin on it is a little bit unique, even though my background is in software engineering, everything that we’ve done has been designed to be very easy to use by someone that doesn’t have a software background. So, when we talk and, we can get into like, the integrations and how everything works, you know, in a bit. But that’s kind of really where we started, we said, all right, who’s really going to be using this service? And how are they going to operate. And what we found is, for the most part, we’re working with, you know, marketing professionals, sales professionals, folks that don’t have a deep technical background. So that’s actually where we started. And we said, the number one thing that we’re going to need is the ability for someone to actually use this service that doesn’t have a tech background. So we didn’t want to make it highly technical, so that you needed to understand, how to use API’s and how to integrate with, you know, various components. So that’s kind of the big key. And actually, that’s true to this day. So we always like to say, if you want to get up and running with IgnitePOST, you can do so with no development, no developers required, it’s very easy to use for marketers just take and plug into their existing systems, and be off and running. So that’s really where we started first. And then everything was kind of built around that thesis of how do we make just make this super easy? And how do we abstract away all of the heavy lifting and work. So we wanted it to be as easy as possible, number one, and then number two, to make it scalable, we want it to be something that folks could just plug in kind of setup once and then kind of let it go and let the system kind of work for them.
Jeremy Weisz 11:48
But then you need robots. Right, and we’ll talk about the robots for a second.
Arian Radmand 11:54
Yeah, so we have robots that hold real big ballpoint pens and will write out handwritten notes. It’s, like I said, we did the software, we actually worked with a hardware manufacturer to build that for us. So that was something that we grabbed and kind of work with them in order to fit our needs. So essentially, our article was to figure out what would give us the most human-like, penmanship out there. And so we went to a bunch of different vendors, did a bunch of research to figure out, what kind of robotics are out there, what kind of technology exists and basically analyzed a bunch of them, and then decided to pick the manufacturer that we went with. And so on our side, what we do is, like I said, we’ve kind of built this nice software layer to almost go end to end. So from plugging into an existing CRM system or E-commerce platform, we made that super easy to kind of create and set up automated flows. And then on our end, we actually built a lot of software internally, to help our fulfillment and operations team fulfill everything in a efficient like manner. So there’s a lot of kind of custom software that we built behind the scenes that is really designed to do all the heavy lifting for us, right, there’s still a little bit of human work in there. But for the most part, we’ve tried to abstract as much of the human work out of it as we possibly can.
Jeremy Weisz 13:28
There’s a lot of logistics involved. So I mean, so much from the software side to now we have physical products to then mailing out these physical products. So walk me through how it works. So a company, I was looking at, let’s just say, True, okay, energy drink. I don’t know if that’s a good example. But where it plugs in, when we could just walk through an example of it connects with this CRM, but there’s other CRMs out there. And then what happens after that?
Arian Radmand 14:00
Yeah, that’s a great example. So the great example, in the e-commerce space, right, super, super big space for us. The really cool thing about e-commerce is that we’re now at this point where we’re trying to connect both the online and offline experience. And so that’s kind of really what they use this for. And the whole idea was, if I’m a brand and I just live online, how do I keep that customer journey going and get the experience of maybe having a physical retail store that somebody can actually, like, have an experience at without actually having that physical brick and mortar store. So with something like True, we basically set up some post-purchase flows, that was designed to store people along their customer journey. So as an example, when somebody made their first purchase, if they purchased a variety pack, that was an opportunity for the brand to reach out to the customer. And one check in to see how they’re doing, but two an e-commerce. everything these days lives and dies based on reviews, right? That’s what everybody’s trying to do. When I go to make a decision about a particular product that I want to use, what’s the first thing you do is you go and you see what other people have said about it. So that’s kind of the first core thing that they did is they said, okay, I want to build our reviews. So whenever somebody made a purchase, we would follow up with a nice handwritten note that looks something like this, said, hey, thank you so much for your order, it would mean the world for our team, if you could, you know, take two minutes and leave us a quick review. Thanks so much. And it actually came from the founder. And so something like that was super impactful, we’d like to say, injecting these moments of surprise and delight along the customer journey is really what drives people to action. So that’s one example. That’s kind of a fun example, the most common thing we see, the interesting thing is that there’s a couple of different layers to that. And actually, what we saw, particularly with this brand, is there were a couple examples of times where somebody made a purchase. And then there was one situation where someone actually had the incorrect flavor shipped to them. So they purchased one flavor, and they got the other flavor sent to them. And so because of this note, and actually posted this in an email back to the founder, instead of that being kind of like a negative situation of hey, you didn’t ship me what I ordered, it actually turned into a positive situation, because the response they got was something like, hey, by the way, just want to let you know, I ordered this flavor, you sent me the wrong one. By the way, I got your handwritten note. Thank you so much for reaching out to me, I’m gonna go and I’ll leave you a review. And by the way, you know, can you just send me the correct flavor, so it kind of mitigated this.