Software February 24, 2021

Making Marketing More Human: Our Investment in Emotive

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Today, seventy-one percent of US consumers are frustrated that their shopping experiences feel impersonal. As a result, consumers are looking for new and meaningful ways to engage with merchants in the places they spend their time such as social media and, increasingly, via text messages. Interest in text is staggering—seventy-nine percent of consumers want to engage with merchants on the channel—so it’s no surprise that more than half of US merchants plan to increase their investment here over the next few years.

That said, simply reaching out to a customer via text is not enough to create a meaningful relationship. Texting is a much more personal channel than email and consumers want to have true conversations with their favorite merchants, just as they do with their favorite people. Accordingly, merchants are looking for new ways to drive human-like conversations with their customers.

Emotive’s Solution

Emotive solves this problem by enabling e-commerce merchants like Parade and Beardbrand to quickly build opt-in lists and engage in two-way text message conversations with their customers at scale, all while maintaining compliance with federal regulations. For example, if a customer abandons their cart, a merchant can configure Emotive so that the customer will receive a text message offering a discount to increase the likelihood of purchase. If the customer has more questions about the products, they can reply and continue to converse with the merchant, all via a single text thread.

Emotive leverages natural language processing to automate most responses to customers while routing others to Emotive’s “humans in the loop” – a dedicated team that quickly and accurately responds to customers on a merchant’s behalf. Many merchants don’t have the resources to hire an online sales staff, so Emotive’s own team becomes a vital resource for managing relationships and ensuring that end-customers enjoy the personal touch of a genuine conversation.

Emotive’s focus on two-way conversations differentiates it from competitors and delivers superior value for merchants. Text marketing already delivers higher ROI than email because of shifting consumer preferences and higher message open rates, but two-way conversations through Emotive push that edge even further and convert more than 5x better than one-way marketing blasts. As proof of the value that Emotive can deliver, the company provides merchants a 5x ROI guarantee, which it has achieved for virtually all merchants in its history. Much more importantly though, Emotive gives merchants a cost-effective way to develop meaningful relationships with their customers. This has the potential to deliver uncapped value over the long-term in the form of referrals, greater brand awareness, and higher customer lifetime value.

Stripes Invests in Emotive’s $50M Series B Financing

Since first meeting CEO Brian Zatulove in mid-2020, we’ve been incredibly impressed by his tenacity, product vision, and ability to execute. We noticed the same qualities in co-founder Zach Wise and the other members of the Emotive team, giving us the conviction that Emotive is well on its way to building an exceptional product, culture, and company that will emerge as a leader in the fast-growing text marketing space and pioneer a new movement around conversational engagement.

As investors in both software tools and consumer brands, we have a deep appreciation for platforms like Emotive that are forging the next generation of digital experiences, something we’ve seen in portfolio companies FullStory, Sift, and GlobalWebIndex. Through our consumer brands like On Running and Reformation, we’ve watched as mobile commerce has grown 31% annually to account for $323B in sales and 40% of all e-commerce revenue in the US. We are excited to back a Company built on text, an inherently better channel than email for serving the increasingly mobile-first e-commerce customer. We fundamentally believe that conversational experiences will become an important touchpoint between merchants and consumers in the US and Europe, as we’ve seen in Asia, and Emotive’s solution is foundational in enabling these personalized interactions at scale.

We’re incredibly excited to partner with Brian, Zach, and the entire Emotive team as they strive to make every aspect of marketing more human, and we look forward to supporting them on the journey ahead.

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