I’ve tried a lot of things, had a lot of jobs, and one thing has remained constant through it all, I love seeing people grow. My highs have always come when I see someone take hold of an opportunity and make something of it. And when I see people missing opportunities it always gets me thinking about how I might be able to help.
When I was at Trek I had the job of trying to get information out to over 2,000 independent retailers. These retailers wanted the information I had, in fact, they relied on some of it to run their businesses.
So, I sent emails. I painstakingly wrote, edited, and proofed an email every week. And… IT. WAS. BEAUTIFUL. Well written (if I do say so myself), great flow, pretty pictures, it had it all. And if the retailers that relied on this information actually opened it and read it there was a ton of opportunity there!
And yet, when I sent the weekly email I got, at best, a 30% open rate. Not bad if I was trying to catch the attention of the fickle consumer, but these were people that needed this information! In fact, when they somehow missed it they would get mad at me for not getting the information to them! It was frustrating, to say the least.
And then I’d get a text from one of the owners that had missed the message and they’d ask me why they didn’t know about the thing that I’d just sent an email about! Very patiently, I’d say, “Did you read the email I sent you?” And the retail owner would say, “I don’t have time for emails… why don’t you call me, or text me, or DM me, or Slack me, or… ” You get it.
After going through this more times than I’d like to admit, I had my “a-ha moment”. There are dozens of ways to communicate with humans. If I could just find a tool that would allow me to ask people where they wanted their messages, then simply write the message once, click send and have it magically appear where everyone wanted it… oh man.. That would be something!
Why was I trying to force them to use tools they didn’t want to use?
The quick answer is that another way didn’t really exist, at least not that I could find, and I looked! When I left Trek and started consulting I found other businesses were having the same problem. And even though some of them had cobbled together different solutions to attempt to get the job done, there still wasn’t a good solution for it.
So we built Wisyl.
It’s taken us a while to get it where we are now and man, how things have changed! I mean, we expected things to change as we built Wisyl, both in the product and in our lives, but none of us could have dreamed up all that has been going on in 2020 so far! Change is hard, and the changes we’ve had to face this year are unprecedented. But if I take some time to really look at it, having a communication tool that makes it easy for both the sender and the recipient to get important information quickly and efficiently… well, that seems more important now than ever.
Whether it’s business to business or business to consumer, it’s always been important for businesses to effectively communicate information to people that need it. Now more than ever it’s important to understand that when you send a business message, you’re sending it to a human, not a business. A person that has a lot going on, that has a preference for where they want to get their information, a person that needs the information being delivered but may have other important things on their mind. It’s time to respect the humans receiving your messages by asking them where and when they want your information.
Wisyl is built on the idea that great communication creates opportunity. And what you see today is just the beginning. Our goal here at Wisyl is to get every one of your messages read. Whether you’re a little league coach making sure parents know what field the game is on, or a multinational company reminding your employees why it’s important to wear a mask, the message is important because the human receiving it is important! I’m getting all worked up…
Wisyl is about more than just getting your messages read. It’s about making your communication better. It’s about creating opportunities. It’s about treating the people receiving your message like the human they are. We’ve got big plans for the little tool that we’ve put together over the last year on nights and weekends. We’ve got big ideas about meeting people where they are. We’ve got big dreams about creating opportunity out of great communication. We may be a scrappy start-up now, but we’re starting something big.