Engagify grows five times in five years with Zoho
Anders Boulanger has had a passion for magic and entertainment his whole life. He started doing magic when he was five years old. By the time he was 12, he was performing at birthday parties. As he made his way through college, he paid for his degree in Physics with the money he was making performing magic. After graduating, he became a professional magician and began to cross-sell through brand-building magic at trade shows. Boulanger was also training booth staff on how to be more engaging, which led to his original company, Infotainers. Infotainers started off working client's booths at trade shows. In 2020, Boulanger converted Infotainers into Engagify. When this rebranding happened, Zoho was the key to a smooth transition.
As businesses become more tech-focused, Engagify believes that people skills are getting lost in the mix. This drove Boulanger to start helping others by enabling meaningful interactions. Engagify is dedicated to making teams, individuals, and events more engaging, especially when communicating remotely with each other and customers. While Engagify is a new initiative, Founder and CEO, Anders Boulanger, started using Zoho in October of 2014 when he was working as a magician and needed a way to keep track of his customers. Since then, they've grown to work with massive enterprises while growing their own team significantly.
Boulanger started off using Act! to keep track of his customers, but ran up against the limits of an on-premise solution. Using legacy software was cheap, but it meant Boulanger couldn't access his data when he wasn't at the computer. Since he was on the road a lot, the ability to work from anywhere was mission critical.
Boulanger went on to create a mind-map of the perfect CRM for his business, with enterprise-level automation and integration. As Boulanger searched for a solution that would suit his needs, his business coach pushed him to prioritize something scalable. This is how Boulanger landed on Zoho CRM. After seeing success with Zoho CRM, Boulanger expanded to CRM Plus and, eventually, to Zoho One.
Boulanger was an early adopter of Zoho One but started slow. He began using the applications he was familiar with, over time adopting new ones and plugging them into their processes in different ways. Zoho One improved visibility into his data, making it easier to tackle the complex issues a growing business can face. Boulanger doesn't see himself as analytical or detail-oriented but with the help of Zoho, he can be.
Unfortunately with the COVID-19 pandemic, Boulanger was forced to scale down staff and now has had to wear many hats to run Engagify. Thankfully, he says, "Zoho One has allowed me to run the whole company on my own." Much like other Zoho users, Boulanger began with Zoho CRM, which is still his most frequently used application. CRM allows Boulanger to streamline their customer pipeline and keep track of all important information so he can spend his energy creating lasting relationships with those customers. Boulanger and his team also use a custom module in CRM to track their upcoming shows and any open orders they have. This allows them to keep an eye on what needs to be fulfilled.
Even with virtual events, Boulanger has found CRM essential to get what he needs done in a day as he continues to automate even further. "Zoho CRM is constantly open and is the first tab to pop up when I log into my computer," he said.
Once he got going with CRM and other applications in Zoho One, it was easy for Boulanger to see what other software subscriptions he could get rid of. One of the first projects to tackle was leaving Quickbooks for Zoho Books. This allows him to continue to track his finances while automating his workflow further through Books' easy integrations with the rest of Zoho One. While Boulanger acknowledged that "getting on to a new accounting platform is always a little challenging," his bookkeeper rose to the challenge. Before long, she began to enjoy Zoho Books more than Quickbooks. Zoho Expense has become another essential application for Engagify, helping to make expenses easy for both Engagify and Boulanger's personal life.
The first step Boulanger took towards the rebrand was utilizing Zoho Mail to get new emails for the company. Since so much of email is automated, there was a lot of outdated brand information buried in templates and workflow rules. With Zoho Mail, Boulanger was able to switch out all of the old brand information easily and keep the emails flowing.
The next step was using Zoho SalesIQ to help differentiate and segment pipelines for comparison. SalesIQ allows users to increase their ROI and connect with real-time visitors on their websites. It has continued to have an positive impact on Engagify and has allowed Boulanger to have more insight into his customers. He is able to respond right away and see how his customers are engaging with his website.
Zoho Analytics then pulls information from all these tools and shows Boulanger exactly what numbers can be measured, and the sources he can bring in. "The forecasting tools put me miles ahead of other bigger businesses out there," he said. Analytics allows Engagify to "pull everything into one place, and it is all right there under one hood for an operating system." This is even more valuable on Fridays, when Boulanger and his business consultant meet and he can just pull up his dashboard on Analytics to visualize all the data they need, instead of jumping around to various applications trying to make sense of things.
Engagify has also been able to improve employee training with Zoho Survey, which allows users to send out free online surveys and questionnaires. Engagify sends out a survey to each company they work with to gauge a starting point for training. After the initial training, Boulanger then sends a follow-up survey to see how it helped. They're also heavily using Zoho Sign to help close deals faster.
Boulanger utilizes Zoho Campaigns and Zoho Social to streamline marketing efforts at Engagify. Zoho Campaigns is an email marketing software that gives users the tools they need to reach their audience. "Campaigns is my go-to for keeping leads nurtured and engaged," said Boulanger. Zoho Social saves Engagify time by helping manage and broadcast posts on social media. Engagify also benefits from multiple collaboration tools in Zoho One to communicate with his internal and external teams, including Cliq, Workdrive, and Writer.
According to Boulanger, "Before we moved to Zoho One, I felt as if I was operating my business in the dark. Now, with Zoho One, I've not only got all the lights on, but I'm able to see into the future with forecasts and rest easy knowing that my business is heading in the right direction."
Benefits and ROI
Through the years of using Zoho, Boulanger's business has grown five times their original size over a span of five years. He raised their revenue from around 200 thousand dollars to just under a million in revenue, which has been easily tracked through Zoho.
Boulanger believes that "moving to Zoho is a no brainer for businesses if they're trying to grow because of the low barrier to entry and immense value." Previously, Boulanger was barely able to track any metrics. Now, he can continuously track how Engagify grows. "Classically speaking, Zoho One allows me to see and participate in the trickle-down process, showing me exactly where the sticky points in the pipeline are," he said.
Zoho has allowed Boulanger to continue fostering existing relationships while pursuing new clients. He can stay up to date with his customers improving on his service by contextualizing their experiences. By looking at where each customer is in their sales cycle, when they were last in contact, which campaigns they have received, their lead score, etc., Boulanger is now able to individualize each customers' experience, improving on their relationship and truly understanding how they are engaging with Engagify.
"Zoho One brought Engagify out of the dark and into the light," Boulanger said. Now, he runs a learning pod with five other businesses who are using Zoho, helping them to achieve the same.
Boulanger plans to continue to grow his team, with hopes to double their revenue in the next three years. He also plans to continue expanding to other verticals, since Zoho has helped segment the different verticals they want to approach. Engagify's main focus still lies in the IT vertical but, "because of the services they receive now, Engagify can now sell to almost any vertical since they can dive into data," he said.
In the mean time, Engagify continues to explore Zoho One and all the functionality it has to offer. Boulanger has started using Zoho Marketing Automation to send newsletters and implement tracking codes, among other things. He is also looking into Zoho PageSense to measure metrics and get more insight on his customers on the Engagify website. Ultimately, Zoho One allows Engagify to continue growing their existing relationships with clients while fostering new ones. By becoming more aware of his own business practices and data, he's now able to use that knowledge both for the benefit of his customers and other businesses looking to thrive.