Matt Larner (30)
- Head office
Marketing and communications
Launched from founder Matt Larner’s garage in 2013 as a bulk SMS marketing tool, ClickSend has grown into cloud-based multi-channel software that helps companies communicate with customers.
While SMS messages still account for 80% of business, ClickSend now distributes email, direct mail and post, voice messages and even faxes, all from one dashboard.
Over the past 18 months, the business has seen customer uptake increase from 100 each month to 2,500 each month, following expansion into Asia, Europe and North America. ClickSend now has a revenue of $6.5 million, with 362% revenue growth landing it the sixth spot in the Smart50 list.
Larner, once a structural engineer, launched the product alone, and while there’s something to said for only having to rely on yourself, being a sole founder also has its challenges, he says.
“You can certainly expedite work when shared and it’s invaluable to have other knowledge and experience to bounce ideas and thoughts off,” Larner says.
He also came up against the challenge of launching a product in an already crowded industry that was in “one big price war”.
“You can’t be first to market when the market’s already there, so you have to constantly assure people (and yourself) that there is a better way to do this (and that your way is the better way),” he says.
Rather than engaging in a price war, ClickSend embarked on a strategy of product innovation, customer support and quality of service — Larner says the company has a 100% up-time service level agreement guarantee.
This means “we get greater customer retention and lifetime value”, he says.
And he’s also preparing for the future. New Rich Communication Services (RCS) are threatening all SMS service providers.
“We are already building an RCS product, of which we believe will be Australia’s first, and our current strategy is morphing the software into a true all-in-one multi-channel messaging tool.”
When it comes to marketing its own product, ClickSend’s best trick was “a bit of a cheeky one”, Larner says.
When a number of global car brands signed up for the service for an airbag product recall, ClickSend used its own email marketing software to approach all affected Australian brands, promoting its services as a way to inform potentially-affected clients about the recall.
“We’ve now had the two biggest car brands in Australia sign up to long-term contracts,” Larner says.
SmartCompany is the leading online publication in Australia for free news, information and resources catering to Australia’s entrepreneurs, small and medium business owners and business managers.
Feel the churn: How to bounce back after losing staff and clients Sue Parker DARE Group founder
Own it: The 10 things you need to do to manage your personal brand Lisa Stephenson Who Am I Projects founder
How to call your team into action with a winning presentation Emma Bannister Presentation Studio founder
The link between diet and mental health — and how to eat your way to wellbeing Kate Save Be Fit Food co-founder
From interactive videos to AI: The five marketing trends that will dominate 2019 Warwick Boulter Collaboro co-founder
Australia is leading the legaltech revolution, but what does this mean for lawyers, firms and clients? Jodie Baker Xakia founder
Why a video news release needs to be part of your PR strategy Leisa Goddard Adoni Media managing director
Want to catch more customers? Here's how to create a super sales funnel Jovana Vujnic Bumper Leads founder