What was the scope of their involvement?
We engaged Element 502 for assistance in building, creating, and maintaining our own website, as well as assistance with social media such as Facebook.
We had the domain name; they scrapped the previous website and built the new one from scratch. It's a sales site with video, troubleshooting, do’s and don’ts, features, etc. It also has a backend e-commerce component that they put together. WordPress might have been the CMS they used to build the site.
I wanted to have various coupon codes associated with our sales. We do a lot of trade shows and festivals, so we give discount pricing if people refer to seeing us at a show. That's important for us because then we can track whether our marketing dollars, time, and resources are being spent intelligently. I asked Element 502 to create a way that I could do that, so I was given multiple coupon codes to promote at each one of the shows.
Also, we ship all over the world, so it can be challenging to get a shipping and handling price that is cost effective in case somebody wants everything shipped to Japan. Element 502 came up with a very good method for all domestic shipping. We did a flat-rate because our product is the same size as the flat-rate boxes. Internationally, they came up with a link that goes through an international site, and we can ship from there. I don't know if that's a unique feature for everyone, but it’s unique enough to me.
I dealt a lot with Bill Reynolds [Owner, Element 502], but he also had other members of his team reach out to me. I was never wanting for more attention, especially given the affordable rates I was getting from them.
How did you come to work with Element 502?
We were looking at 5 other design agencies that we took bids from. Element 502 came recommended by a former colleague of mine. Element 502 was the only one that wasn't local to us in Washington DC, but their price point and skill set were great. The previous work that they sent and their different case studies were very impressive.
I did phone interviews with 2 finalists. I got a really good feeling talking to Bill the first time on the phone. He seems to be the kind of person that you can work and grow with. I didn't want to start off with something that was going to eat up my cash flow, and he was able to give us a competitive price with a competitive payment plan.
How much have you invested with Element 502?
It was not expensive comparatively. Of the 5 bids, it was tied with the lowest. In all fairness, I told Bill what my budget was and he hit it. Two of the other competitors submitted their proposals before I had a chance to speak with them, so they didn't have the benefit of knowing what I was willing to spend.
What is the status of this engagement?
We were pretty proactive in knowing when we were going to launch our product because the Craft Brewers Convention is always the same week of April 10th til the 15th. We needed to have the website ready to roll before then for testing.
They were awarded the contract to work with us on February 28th, 2017. By March 20th, we had everything pretty much finished. We ran tests in early April in the backend, making sure that the credit card payment, email, and shipping functionalities we working. We went live on April 8th, 2 days in advance of the convention.
We're now on a monthly retainer with Element 502. They help me with everything from Facebook ads to MailChimp emails. When I first started working with them, I wanted a website and somebody that could help me grow. Now we're working on multiple projects together because of that growth.