Having raised $13.2 million across a recent Series A round, a startup called Lavender may introduce a new and more effective way to approach email marketing.
Lavender integrates with email providers to deliver AI-driven context on sales prospects, then suggests ways that a user can optimize their messages to get a reply.
“By combining deep learning on email data with communication and behavioral psychology, Lavender’s AI writing assistant identifies and implements ways to increase reply rates,” Lavender co-founder William Ballance told TechCrunch.
“In today’s climate, teams have to do more with less,” Ballance added. While layoffs continue to shrink sales teams in the tech world, Lavender hopes teams will use its platform to fill the gaps.
Lavender’s system incorporates a sales email coach, a “personalization assistant,” and an email intelligence and coaching portal.
Marketing teams are provided with research material on their subject, including news, funding stats, job listings, events, tweets, and more on specific clients. Lavender then uses the research and a text-generator to automatically draft emails.
According to TechCrunch, as an email is written, Lavender scores its success rate in real-time, suggesting improvements as it goes.
Ballance says Lavender does not “replace” email marketing teams but “works alongside them,” helping managers see the success of specific email templates and related metrics like open rates, reply rates and writing time.
Lavender is also able to detect “at-risk” reps who need additional support to meet goals -- a potentially controversial feature that Ballance thinks is necessary when sales are at stake.
“Sales teams have become too focused on optimizing for efficiency and automation,” he said, adding that forced optimization has left buyers feeling overlooked. Overall, with Lavender, Ballance wants to deliver personalized emails faster.
Lavender’s customer base currently includes 11,000 sellers at organizations including Twilio, Segment, Sendoso, Sharebite and Clari.
Although email has been around for decades, many marketers still believe it remains a worthwhile strategy.
In 2022, nearly two out of three marketers used email marketing to reach audiences organically, 81% of small businesses relied on emails as their primary customer acquisition channel, and the average expected ROI from email marketing was $40 dollars to every dollar spent.
In addition, Statista predicts that email users across the globe will increase by 300 million by 2025, making up over half the world population (4.6 billion).
Lavender’s Series A round was led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from Signia Venture Partners and a seed round led by Signia with contributions from CapitalX, Position Ventures and various angel investors.