Web Dev & Marketing for Glassware Company
- Web Development
- Less than $10,000
- Feb. - Apr. 2017
- Willing to Refer
"I was never wanting for more attention, especially given the affordable rates I was getting from them."
- Consumer Products
- Washington, District of Columbia
- 1-10 Employees
- Phone Interview
Element 502 built a website from scratch and had it ready before an important convention. They integrated videos, coupon codes, and an e-commerce component. They’re on a monthly retainer for several projects.
The new site received substantial traffic during the convention, thanks to the sign-up feature Element 502 did; they also tied in social media. Responsiveness, flexibility, and making technical concepts comprehensible are among their strengths. They should improve on sending bills on time, though.
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I am one of the founders and partners of Liquid Integrity LLC, which is a company that developed and manufactured a portable glass rinser called InstaRinse for use at festivals for craft beer, whiskey, spirits, and wine.
When alcohol beverage industries have festivals, especially outdoor festivals, you tend to never get your glass rinsed. What ends up happening over time, throughout the festival, is the residual liquid from each taste fills up in that glass and then affects the taste of the new wine or beer that you're putting into that same glass. The InstaRinse was created by a couple of beer geeks like myself for the express purpose of making sure that whatever liquid is being consumed is being consumed as the brewer, vintner, or distiller intended.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
What challenge were you trying to address with Element 502?
We had an existing site done on Wix, which was a very layman version just to get things up and running. When we knew that we were launching the product officially, we needed expert advice and assistance.
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.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
During the convention, we had a massive amount of hits. Over 6,000 people visited the convention, and we captured a lot of that with an option to sign up to receive information about us. A lot of people signed up via the website. The results have been outstanding.
I also saw something that I didn't expect, and it was on their recommendation that I did it. It was a link from the website to a Facebook boost we had done saying “Come visit us at booth 6161 at Craft Brewers Conference." They were able to put that out through Facebook and Twitter, specifically targeting a list of people who were looking for something like this. They got people coming by the booth saying, "We saw it on Twitter." That's something I wouldn't have done without their help.
How did Element 502 perform from a project management standpoint?
I'm a fan of what they’ve done, and the way they all put it together made a lot of sense. We did go back and forth which is one of the things I like a lot because we were not silent partners in the initial discussion. Even when I changed my mind after I asked for something, they did it without a problem.
I was very impressed with the responsiveness that I received. It's an ongoing process, which is why I have them now on a monthly retainer. I can shoot an email at 3 or 4 AM, which is when I got time to work on this. By 10 AM, Bill and his team have addressed it. The flexibility in which they operate and their responsiveness is a very impressive aspect of Element 502. They also hit deadlines every time.
What did you find most impressive about Element 502?
They did a very good job of making things easy to understand, especially for people who don’t know exactly how this stuff operates. With the other company that was up against Element 502, I felt like they had a “You don’t really understand this anyway, so just trust me” attitude. Bill was more able to relate concepts to me in a manner that made sense, which made me more comfortable.
It's a lot easier for them to want to do well for you when they don't think of you as a client number, but as a person who they actually connect with.
Are there any areas Element 502 could improve?
They don't bill me fast enough. Honestly, it’s the one thing they didn't follow through. At one point, I said, "You got to send me some bills. I haven't paid any,” and here I was, asking for a payment plan over time. They launched my site on April 8th, and I don't think I sent them my first payment until May 30th because I got the invoice the day before.
This could be a downside for some companies. If you don't have enough cash flow and you’re not paying attention, you don't realize that you have an outstanding bill until you get one. For me, it was fine, but I knew in the back of my mind that I have this allocation that has to be made and it’s been committed to. Outside of that, I don't have any complaints whatsoever about their team.
Service & Deliverables
On time / deadlines
Value / within estimates
"I’m only basing myself on the other 4 bids."
Willing to Refer5.0