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March 29, 2017

Lob + Tidewater

Lob was started as a gamble that the way software was written would evolve. An AWS pedigree gave us a clear view of the death of the monolithic development model. Commercial software development has become both ubiquitous and collaborative through microservices, and we knew where our niche was. We wanted to be the infrastructure provider of the API future.

Since we provide the building blocks for software, the most exciting part is empowering customers to bring their own visions to life. We wondered what those who used our bricks would build. That's why we've had a lot of fun watching Tidewater go to work, blazing an entirely new trail with our APIs: direct mail marketing acquisition.

How Tidewater is Bringing Marksmanship Back to B2B

Chris Sell, Tidewater's CEO, worked in marketing for Google AdWords. His job as a marketer boiled down to one question. How do you find Google's next million SMB customers? He realized how difficult it is for marketers to target the right small businesses. So, he set out with the Tidewater team to build a business audience platform for marketers.

Tidewater gathers over 60 business data sources marketers need to target acquisition campaigns across any channel. The platform is focused on helping marketers target businesses based on specific events that make it more likely for them to become customers. Marketers can target over 50 audiences including new business owners, businesses with a new website, and businesses that are hiring. They then simply deploy via the channel they want to speak to the businesses in such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Direct Mail.

With Tidewater’s platform marketers can get very specific about the businesses they target. For example, a marketer selling website creation services can find new businesses that don’t have a website. Or marketers trying to find small businesses to buy advertising can find small businesses that have an active, mobile optimized website, and do email marketing.

Tidewater offers granular custom criteria, like finding small businesses in Chicago with mobile-optimized websites.[/caption]

Often, the windows Tidewater flags to marketers are not open very long. Deploying to audiences in quick-trigger electronic communications like Facebook Ads poses no issue. But if Tidewater's customers wanted to leverage direct mail with the same precision, the clock would become an adversary.

Building with Lob

Lob’s more widely popular use cases currently center around transactional and direct mail, rooted in operations. For instance, health insurers and financial institutions need to send bills that arrive on time and protect customer data. Lob’s print and mail APIs provide an infrastructure that allows for quick and reliable delivery.

While marketing acquisition was a new concept for Lob, Chris saw the potential to adapt that same infrastructure to get direct mail out quickly based on the triggers Tidewater was finding for businesses.

The status quo today in direct mail acquisition goes something like this: marketers have to pull a list from a vendor, wait a month while finalizing creative and the printing process, then drop collateral in the mailstream (untracked) until it arrives up to 60 days after the process began.

For Tidewater, now that they’ve partnered with Lob, that process takes a week. Once templates are setup and fine-tuned, the mail piece is sent immediately and automatically whenever a trigger hits.

We sell speed, and Tidewater knows that speed converts. Now marketers can define their triggers and choose their data sets just like they can with Facebook and LinkedIn Ads.

Learn More

With Tidewater leveraging the Lob platform, a technology retailer postcard can land in the mailbox of a business so recently incorporated that it hasn't bought computers. Learn more about how Tidewater is redefining precision in business marketing here.

We've enjoyed seeing Tidewater use our tools for marketing acquisition, because we're learning about the possibilities of our platform as fast as they are. Providing the building blocks of an API future means that our customers' only limit is their imagination. Learn more about how we're modernizing direct mail here.

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