Congratulations to SmartMail on its sale to Deutsche Post!
Smartmail was a non-asset based transportation company backed by private equity firm Great Hill Partners. SmartMail’s founders built a strong business by capitalizing on a little-known U.S. Postal Service initiative called the “workshare” program, which encourages partnerships with private logistics companies.
As a workshare partner, SmartMail consolidated large volumes of mail from its customers (other businesses) and transported them to local USPS facilities for final delivery by postal carriers. In exchange, SmartMail received large postage discounts—savings the company passed on to its customers and used to enhance its services. This success attracted some growth capital and a more focused sales and marketing effort, which is where SPINE came in.
During the five years we worked with SmartMail, the company grew nearly 10-fold. We began by developing simple sales tools like a capabilities brochure and website. As SmartMail’s marketing needs evolved, we became its agency of record—at one point handling all internal and external marketing and communications. This included such diverse disciplines and deliverables as public relations, direct mail campaigns, advertising, trade show graphics, sales support, and internal HR communications.
Through these efforts, SmartMail established a strong brand and became the leader in a niche market. Matt Vettel of Great Hill Partners said Deutsche Post paid a premium for the company due to the strength of the brand that we created. We always hear about ROI; this was a case of ROCI—return on creative investment.