Thursday, April 1, 2010

VerticalResponse and David Mercer Consulting

Google Apps and VerticalResponse Email Marketing Helps David Mercer Consulting To Offer Enhanced Collaboration and Infrastructure To Mobile Workers.

“Making the most effective use of your IT dollar has always been important - but now more than ever, efficient operation of your business is a critical factor for success in this economic environment. Both Google Apps and VerticalResponse email marketing allow me to increase collaboration and management, while also decreasing operating costs for my business.” – David Mercer, Google Apps Authorized Reseller

David Mercer Consulting, Inc. is a consulting company focused on small-to-medium-businesses, specializing in managed services such as Google Apps, Internet Telephony, managed backup, hosting, email marketing, and support services. David Mercer Consulting (DMC) has been in business since 1992, and has been building websites almost since they came into general use. DMC is platform and service agnostic, offering a best-of-breed approach to their client's needs. DMC primarily serves clients in the Northern California area primarily as IT consultants—from a one person company to mid-sized businesses.

When the business started in 1992, David Mercer Consulting was focused on building and selling personal computers. When market conditions changed, he shifted his focus to recommending and installing computers built by major companies, as well as the growing networking market.

In recent years, with the advent of widely available and affordable high speed Internet, DMC observed the growing number of ‘virtual offices.’ When researching these virtual offices, the company recognized the pain they faced when trying to manage their home networks or repair them when there was a problem. “We understood that it’s inconvenient for those who run mobile and home offices to unplug and remove their computers to bring them in for repairs, and realized that our niche was to go to clients’ work spaces to deploy new collaboration, VoIP and email technologies—instead of asking the clients to come to us,” said David Mercer, President and CEO of David Mercer Consulting.

In order to operate a mobile consulting business that could go directly to clients, David Mercer acknowledged he needed to deploy hosted collaboration, VoIP and email solutions in his own business. He began analyzing which solutions he would recommend to clients, as they were the same solutions he himself would use. The primary requirement was that no software would be required to manage the solutions.

In 2005, after a thorough review of available products, David Mercer chose VerticalResponse (, a Google Apps Marketplace vendor, as the sole email marketing provider for his clients. He chose VerticalResponse based on the ease of use, customer service and focus on tracking and reporting on email performance through their Google Analytics integration. Since 2005, when clients have a need for email marketing, David Mercer sets up their VerticalResponse account and provides a tutorial on the Google Analytics reporting tools. He then creates email templates for them based on the look and feel of their website, to ensure a consistent brand across their website and email marketing. After seeing the success his clients had with VerticalResponse email marketing, David Mercer also adopted the product for his own email needs. “I not only recommend VerticalResponse to clients, I also use it for my own communications with clients—I’m both a user and advocate for VerticalResponse.”

When evaluating providers for his office needs in 2007, David Mercer selected the Google Apps suite of products. Google Apps was an effective way to use hosted services for business critical applications such as the calendar, documents, websites, chat, and video. By deploying this solution, David Mercer also avoided expensive equipment, servers, or software licenses. David Mercer Consulting was one of 50 companies worldwide to participate in the Google Apps Reseller pilot program. “I have been using VerticalResponse for my email marketing before Google Apps came onto the market, and I now recommend that my clients use both solutions to assist their small businesses,” said David Mercer.

Today, David Mercer Consulting has successfully transitioned some 50 companies and organizations to Google Apps. “With Google Apps your company can effectively collaborate amongst yourselves and others, for very little cost - $50/user/year for the premium service - far cheaper than conventional server based systems, and even other hosted services,” said Mercer.

Approximately 80 to 90 percent of David Mercer’s clients already use VerticalResponse as their email marketing solution provider, and this same set is also using Google Apps. In March 2010, VerticalResponse for Google Apps was introduced on the Google Apps Marketplace™, Google's recently launched online storefront for Google Apps™ products and services. VerticalResponse for Google Apps is a self-service marketing application that enables small businesses to create, send and track professional email campaigns without any prior technical expertise.

With VerticalResponse for Google Apps, David Mercer’s clients can send newsletters, product updates and promotions to their existing contacts and monitor post-launch reporting in real-time. From start to finish, small business users have complete control over the campaign creation process and can choose from a variety of design options including thousands of pre-built email templates or a customizable HTML editor. With VerticalResponse for Google Apps, clients can easily build new mailing lists by importing contacts from their Google Apps account as well as loading external data files of existing customers or clients.

With the seamless integration offered through VerticalResponse for Google Apps, these clients will see huge gains in productivity and overall ease of use. “In the future, I see the integration between Google Apps and VerticalResponse continuing to benefit my clients. With web-based technologies, the more integrated the better. Being able to package an integrated solution will be a huge value-add, especially in the current economic climate. Many clients are now using technologies in a way they never would have considered before,” said David Mercer.

David Mercer does not do any advertising. All of his clients come from referrals -- satisfied customers telling their friends and associates about the company. As David Mercer Consulting is focused on building long-term business relationships, and deploying robust collaboration and email marketing technologies, he continues to see sales increases despite the economic downturn.