Nearly forty years ago, Jermaine Griggs' grandmother won a piano on the television show "The Price is Right".
For hours, Jermaine would sit at that piano and teach himself to play his favorite songs purely by ear, without using sheet music. He began playing for his church and throughout the community, and people took note. When word got about the "child genius" who had taught himself to play beautiful music, parents wanted their children to learn the same way.
Eventually, friends and neighbors began asking Jermaine to teach them his method. Jermaine saw a business opportunity, and at the age of 17, used his $70 salary from church that week to register a domain name and begin selling musical lessons over the Internet.
Once orders started trickling in, the chaos began. Customer orders would be printed and faxed to fulfillment. In Jermaine's estimation, 50% of those orders were wrong. Jermaine recalls, "It was just chaotic."
On top of the manual fulfillment process, Jermaine's e-commerce system and email system didn't communicate with one another. Jermaine was spending a lot of his time doing repetitive tasks and fixing incorrect orders. And without a central CRM for client records, he couldn't hold his sales team accountable for missed opportunities.
For a company that was helping its customers replace physical sheet music with digital learning, Hear and Play was lagging behind in its own digital strategy.
"I thought that was just the tradeoff of business," says Jermaine. He had assumed that it was only the largest companies—the Amazons and Microsofts of the world—that had the infrastructure to automate the end-to-end customer experience and streamlining operations. That's why he was surprised to discover what sales and marketing automation could do for a company his size.
Infusionsoft changed all that. With a single piece of software, Jermaine could keep tabs on his sales team, automatically send personal messages to customers, and streamline his fulfillment process.
"I have everything I need virtually in one place," Jermaine explains. He uses the Infusionsoft platform to unify the various sales, marketing, and fulfillment tasks that he had been executing manually in years past. He has also found ways to communicate with customers on a more personal basis—sending emails, text messages, automated campaigns, and even birthday wishes, all based on their individual behavior and attributes. Jermaine notes that "Hear and Play has excelled in being able to touch people at different points and times based on what they do."
Since implementing Infusionsoft in 2009, Hear and Play has doubled net profit and annual sales. It has also been able to scale relationships with tens of thousands of customers.
As for Jermaine, it has allowed him to pursue his passion in a saner, more manageable way than he ever thought possible. Thanks to Jermaine's marketing savvy and the Infusionsoft platform, he has reduced his workload by 60%. Now that his business is fully automated and he can work from anywhere, Jermaine jokes that "pajamas are the clothing of choice" when it comes to his professional wardrobe.
"That's the power of Infusionsoft," Jermain reflects. "It's second to none."
Infusionsoft is now Keap. That’s weird to write, but it’s also exciting.
In 2001, trying to get Infusionsoft off the ground, there were many times when I wanted to quit. I’ll never forget my wife, after two years of struggling to survive, hugging me and saying, “Keep going.”
Over the last two years, we’ve talked with thousands of small business owners to get a deeper understanding of their unique challenges in today’s market. We learned that it’s harder than ever to succeed in small business. Customers expect more. On-demand is the rule. There’s no shortage of platforms on which to complain. A failed job or two can be damaging to your business.
Keap is our signal to the world—and to ourselves—that it’s time to make it easier to succeed. We’re on a mission to simplify growth for millions of small businesses. Our new name is a nod to the tenacity of the small business owner and encompasses everything we know to be true when it comes to success: keep going, keep serving, keep growing.
Along with a new name, we’ve expanded to two products. Keap, our newest product, is smart client management software that helps service businesses progress leads to satisfied clients. Infusionsoft by Keap is powerful CRM and sales and marketing automation software for advanced business needs.
Both are designed to make it easier than ever for more small businesses to get organized so they can deliver great service and close more business.
To your success,
CEO + Co-Founder