What was the scope of their involvement?
We’ve done four websites with ePageCity, with the main one being redone in 2020. In each instance, they had us find our five favorite websites on the internet, and prepare to talk about what we liked and disliked about them. We’d initially brainstorm internally and without ePageCity, and then come up with a lot of input from key people in our small marketing department.
I’d gather everyone’s input, and we’d try to come up with a good definition of what we were looking for. Once we all settled on an agreement and had samples, we’d sit down with ePageCity.
Before that, I’d copy URLs, make screenshots, and go over what we liked and didn’t like. We could be looking at a website that costs between $25,000–$100,000 to make but we were really looking for key elements we wanted on our new site.
Once we gave those details to ePageCity, our hope was that they’d find a solution within our budget. We’d have a free-for-all in terms of brainstorming and talking about what we were looking for. ePageCity would listen carefully to what we wanted and then come back with their own wireframes and solutions.
As for functionality, our goal was to automate all of our platform’s processes. If someone wanted to attend one of our conferences or trainings, they’d call in and have their information taken down. I wanted to automate this process so that people could find the registrations they wanted by using an intuitive template. They could either search for conferences by month or select a particular class to see all the different dates and locations for it.
We also wanted to offer software uploads and downloads to customers paying for support. It was vital to improve the process tremendously, given that it was convoluted in the past. Customers would contact our support team, and then the team would send them a link to an FTP site where they could download their software.
That used to be done one-on-one, tying up the support team's time; it’s another piece of our website that became fully automated. A customer would come to our website, enter their username and password, and arrive at a page where they could download the software themselves.
From the non-traditional roles of our website — software downloads, training registrations, and billing — it was clear we needed to add those functions to the typical roles of a website which include generating leads and optimizing traffic. We know that roughly 80% of people who want something will go to a website first, and begin their searches through search engines.
That was also on the top of our list for our diverse products — to make sure we were zeroing in on the most favorable keywords for people looking for us. This would allow us to pop up desirably on the first page for any search for our products.
What is the team composition?
They have a sales staff, and the people I’ve worked with have changed over the years. I’ve worked with an SEO person, content management person, and technical people on the more complicated things. Also, I’ve worked with one of their developers to figure out a way to identify all customers in our CRM and make sure we could look up a customer who was trying to register then determine whether they wanted support help or not.
I’ve worked with Kate (Content Coordinator) for things dealing with content management. I also worked with Diana (Digital Marketing Manager) on SEO. We’d meet monthly to go over the previous month’s statistics and see what needed to be improved. Alex (Chief Strategist) is the main project person, he’s the one making a lot of the process move forward. I work with everyone else on an as-needed basis.
How did you come to work with ePageCity?
I googled different companies and sent out bids to a few in the area. We just hit it off with ePageCity from the start. More specifically, I wanted to work with a company that was located within a half hour’s travel time so I could meet people face-to-face. Having said that, I think I’ve gone there 4–5 times over the course of our engagement. There hasn’t been a big need for me to visit them.
Technically, there’s never been a need for me to go there, outside of due diligence at the very beginning. A lot of people would want to go and visit a provider that they were getting ready to spend tens of thousands of dollars with, in order to see what their organization looked like. I’ve done that and taken a few of the CEOs I’ve worked with there as well. This allows them to see that ePageCity isn’t a make-believe company and that they have an office and full staff.
How much have you invested with them?
We spent around $60,000 on the latest project.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with ePageCity about 6–7 years ago. The latest project began in 2019, but I delayed it significantly. We acquired a company before the project really got going, and it took several months for us to determine whether we could legally promote their product. I believe we started in September or October 2019, and the websites went live in April 2020.