I am honored to introduce Glyder, a new and valuable tool for small businesses of every flavor. While the marketing landscape continues to change, there are few currently as important as mobile marketing. Prior to starting Glyder, co-founders Alan Wells and Glenn Allen provided design and marketing services to the small business market. Their field experience led them to the evolution of Glyder, the small business marketing solution on the go. Mobile marketing is the newest, fastest and easiest way to reach customers – let’s meet the founders behind Glyder and see why it is a necessity for every marketing plan.
1. Why was Glyder created?
The majority of the businesses we spoke to couldn’t afford the professional design or marketing services we offered. And if they could, it was very inefficient to create custom campaigns and resources for every individual business. We also found that the time required to interact with a design or marketing professional was a barrier to independent business owners. They need to do things on their own time without depending on someone else. After meeting hundreds of business owners and seeing the same issues over and over again, it became clear that small businesses need a better way to communicate with their customers – that’s why we built Glyder.
2. Who is behind the making of Glyder?
Co-founder & CEO Alan Wells heads design and product development, along with CTO Eddie Ayling who leads our team of 5 talented software engineers. Co-founder Glenn Allen and Director of Social Media Blake Jamieson develop the product content and social marketing strategies.
3. Why is mobile marketing important?
When most people say “mobile marketing” they’re referring to text message marketing. At Glyder we think about it in a much broader context – with the mass adoption among small businesses of both social media (90% are on Facebook and 70% are on Twitter) and smartphones (85% penetration with small business owners in US), there is no better time to provide small business owners with an effective communication tool they can use anytime or anywhere.
Today, small businesses can’t afford to ignore online marketing – their customers are on social networks and mobile devices, and reaching customers on these platforms is critical. Glyder enables business owners to quickly create and send effective marketing messages across multiple platforms. Because Glyder is a smartphone app and doesn’t require a computer, business owners can send create and send messages from a device they have in their pocket during the brief moments between appointments or customers at the counter.
4. Who is creating the marketing materials on Glyder?
We designed Glyder to allow businesses to create their own Glyder design from within the product itself. Today, Glyder users can choose from a number of styles, colors, fonts and layouts to create a design that fits their brand. Unlike traditional design services, Glyder styles can be used for free or for low fees between $1-5. In the near future, businesses will also be able to purchase custom content from independent marketers and designers via Glyder. It will make acquiring professionally designed materials as simple as buying a book on a Kindle.
5. Did the business model for Glyder face a lot of opposition in its development?
Building new technology is never an easy path. Most startup teams struggle to find good engineering talent. The Glyder tech team came together quickly due to previous relationships from past projects. This allowed us to have the talent we needed to overcome the many engineering challenges that occur when building something as robust and complex as the Glyder application and distribution platform.
The technology we built means that our users don’t have to deal with the complexity of creating and sharing content on 5 or more different platforms – we take care of it in one easy step.
6. Is it hard to be a startup in the current economic environment?
One of the reasons Glyder was created was to help small businesses combat the current economic environment. They are skeptical and want to see the value demonstrated before paying, but if the benefit is there, they are willing to spend the money.
With our freemium and micro-transaction pricing model, Glyder appeals to a wide range of sole proprietors, small business owners, startups on a budget and independent sales professionals who want to leverage their existing contacts and engage their customers.
As a startup with a freemium business model, raising capital becomes necessary to reach the scale required for a profitable, sustainable business. Raising money for a freemium revenue model comes down to the ability to show business metrics that show both value to users and a path to profitability. Glyder has this challenge and we will be raising capital as we grow and reach critical milestones.
7. What social networks does Glyder connect with?
Glyder can post messages to Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest and send messages to iPhone address book contacts via email and text message. Glyder can also send messages to MailChimp lists and can automatically generates Apple Passbook passes for any message.
8. Does Glyder provide analytics to measure its impact?
The Glyder content distribution platform tracks reach and engagement metrics for Facebook, Twitter, email, text messages and MailChimp lists. We’re working on a metrics dashboard that will give businesses deeper insights into their audience, this feature will be available in the app by the end of the year.
9. How expensive is it to have a text message based service?
With the advancement of telephony platforms like Twilio, SMS based marketing is now extremely cost effective. Glyder allows users to post for free to their social networks and to email addresses they already have in their smartphone, and charges a $3/month for users that want to take advantage of the SMS distribution feature. Other premium distribution options such as sending messages to MailChimp lists are also available for a small monthly fee.
10. How many styles and templates does the free version include?
We currently have 5 templates available for free inside Glyder. Templates are professionally written campaigns that allow the user to quickly customize a message without needing to create content on their own from scratch.
Glyder comes with 6 different visual styles. The style is the professional visual design that defines the look and feel of the Glyder message. Two of the styles are offered in 5 different color combinations, giving 14 styles total.
Additional templates and styles are being created and added. We are actively soliciting feedback from users and will continue to expand our template and style libraries based on the needs of our customers. Custom-created templates and styles will be offered beginning in the first quarter of 2013.
11. What kind of feedback has Glyder received from the beta?
Feedback from early Glyder users has been overwhelmingly positive. We knew our customers would want to add their business logo to Glyder messages, and we have that on our list for next release. Adding additional platforms like Constant Contact and Salesforce are also in demand, and we’d like to integrate more deeply with Pinterest once they have an API available. New users are surprised at how fast and easy it is to create and send a Glyder.
The #1 request from non-users is that they’d like us to build an Android app!
12. Is Glyder proactive about user feedback?
Absolutely, Glyder is very serious about user feedback. We built Glyder based on the feedback we received during our alpha phase of development, where we manually completed each step in the Glyder process. Since Glyder services a wide variety of businesses and they often have different needs, feedback from customers will help us develop the types of templates and styles that will provide the most value to small businesses.
13. When will Glyder be available in the iTunes App Store?
Glyder is in private beta (request access at www.glyder.co) and will be available in the App Store in mid-November.”
14. Why is Glyder only available for iPhone?
Given our small team and the need to validate that we’re building the right feature set for our customers, focusing on one platform helps us build the highest quality product possible. We will continue to build Glyder strictly for iPhone/iPad for the near future.
We do have plans to build both an Android and Web application, but neither is currently on our short term development roadmap.
15. What future updates or features can users look forward to seeing?
Glyder will be adding a metrics dashboard, new templates, expanded styles and additional platforms on a consistent basis moving forward. The largest update will come when we add the ability for users to create Glyder templates and styles for other users and receive payment for such activity. This will service both sides of our user base – designers and marketers can show their skills and and those that want to benefit from a largerhelp it grow their business.
16. In summation, what is the main purpose behind Glyder?
Small businesses need a better way to create & share effective content with their customers. Glyder provides content creation, professional design and one touch distribution from an easy to use iPhone app, enabling businesses to stay top of mind with their prospects and customers.
Glyder is an incredibly pliable application that makes marketing simple for the business owner on the go. To stalk Glyder like you should, find them at www.glyder.co, playing on Facebook or kickin’ it on Twitter.
A special thanks to Alan, Glenn and Blake for giving me their time – I can’t wait to watch Glyder explode on the market!