Exclusive Concepts’ VP of Marketing Sciences Nik Rajpal recently sat down with Jeff McRitchie of MyBinding.com for a quick video chat about his business and how partnering with our marketing agency has helped drive its growth. Watch the video or check out the transcript below for the full scoop on this story!
Nik Rajpal: Can you please introduce yourself and give a one-minute history of your career?
Jeff McRitchie: Sure. My name is Jeff McRitchie and in 2003, a local small business owner came to me and said, “Could you make me an online retail store?” I said, “Well, I’ve never done that before, but it shouldn’t be that hard.” That’s really the beginning of my MyBinding.com. We sat down, we figured out the domain name, we launched our first site almost 12 years ago.
It’s been a wild ride and an adventure since then. We’ve been growing at double- and triple-digit growth for the last 12 years, which is really exciting. Today, 90 percent of our business comes from online retail. We have 80 employees and about a 70,000 square foot facility in Hillsboro, Oregon. It just has continued to be a really fun time.
Nik Rajpal: Awesome. How did you get involved with Exclusive Concepts?
Jeff McRitchie: I actually met Exclusive Concepts at a trade show almost five years ago and had some conversations. At first, we were talking about conversion optimization [and testing] and that didn’t end up going anywhere. I had other things going on, but I’ve been on the [email] list and I am getting the webinars and have watched a bunch of webinars. As I needed some help with my pay-per-click campaigns, I remembered what these guys do and I thought, “Hey, that could be a good fit,” and so that’s when conversations opened up again and we said maybe this makes sense.
Nik Rajpal: Awesome. What was the reason that made you chose Exclusive Concepts?
Jeff McRitchie: I really chose Exclusive Concepts because I need growth. We’re a very growth-driven company. Our pay-per-click had become flat, so it wasn’t really declining as much as it was just not going anywhere. Over the years that I’ve done this, that’s happened to me a few times where that edge that it takes to continue to grow, the new ideas stop coming, and everything just flattens out and things stop happening. I knew it was time to make a change, and that’s really when I decided to start looking.
When I talked to Exclusive Concepts, one of the biggest things for me was I had an idea that they would bring a fresh perspective and a new approach to the campaign, which I really needed, and just turn things around to cut out waste and then start the growth process again, which is what we really need.
Nik Rajpal: Thank you. Was price more important than delivery, service and quality?
Jeff McRitchie: Price was important, but not my number one concern. I needed somebody who was going to be competitive and reasonable as a percent of spend essentially, just to be in the right ballpark, but I was mostly concerned about somebody who was going to be able to deliver the growth type of goals that I needed. When I looked at competitors, I had a reasonable assertion that they were going to be able to deliver that growth for me, and that was the most important thing, more than how much can I save or spend in terms of management fees. Ultimately, if I grow and they grow, we’re both happy. If not, then no one’s happy and we just end up having to look for a new partner.
Nik Rajpal: Can you tell us a little bit about how your experience has been with our products and services so far?
Jeff McRitchie: It’s actually been a really smooth transition. I was a little concerned about that. You always have a new company start and it’s like, we’ve got to restructure campaigns, and sometimes it can be painful and it really hasn’t been. I saw growth the first month, which was awesome. Leading up into this transition, my previous company, the performance of my account had declined and within two and a half months, the account regained all of the decline that the other people had gotten. We had trimmed the fat, and then we were really onto seeing things pick up and grow. Last month, we had really our best month in a very, very long time. It was really exciting.
Nik Rajpal: Awesome. Can you think of a word or a phrase that best describes your relationship with us, and why that word or phrase?
Jeff McRitchie: I guess I’d probably go with freshness. For me, we just have a fresh and new energy. The management of our account, we’re taking a new look at it, and that’s really what’s driving the growth right now. I think it’s just we’re taking an account that’s now been running for 12 years. At first I managed it and I’ve had other people manage it, and we’re just taking a new set of eyes, a new set of energy that’s able to inject a new life into the campaign, and so I’ve been pretty excited about that.
Nik Rajpal: Has working with us changed the way your company does business in any way?
Jeff McRitchie: One of the reasons why I’m visiting Exclusive Concepts today is because I’m here to figure out how I can help them better. I’m always looking and saying, “Okay, so now I’ve got my whole marketing team and we’re doing all of our things. How can we find that synergy?” What are the things that they need from me to be more successful with my campaign?
I think that’s probably the biggest change. It would just be now I’m saying, “Okay, they’ve got a fresh perspective. They’re trying to move this thing, but they can’t do it by themselves.” I need to be improving my site. I need to be creating landing pages, and also just trying to bring them up to speed with all the other initiatives that are happening in the company, because all of those things impact them and their really awesome insights can help me to be more successful at those and then we’re all more successful. The conversion rate at the site will go up and their campaigns will look better. I’ll look good and they’ll look good and everybody’s happy.
Nik Rajpal: Awesome. You’re a big catch [in] the industry. Have our competitors knocked on your door? If so, what do you tell them?
Jeff McRitchie: I get calls, I don’t know, maybe a few times a month, at least, from different competitors who are looking to win my business. Right now, I say that I’m happy and if I wasn’t happy, sometimes I’ll take a look and see what they think that they can do for me, but the reality is that we’re on a growth trajectory.
Things are going well and the reality is that I do feel like there’s freshness and growth there, and so I don’t feel I need to go and explore software solutions. Everybody’s got a different angle on the market, but really ultimately the only angle that I need is the one that’s going to bring me revenue growth so that I can meet my targets and produce what is demanded of me by the company.
Nik Rajpal: Now, why would you recommend us to someone else?
Jeff McRitchie: I feel Exclusive Concepts is small enough to be down-to-earth, to take a real look at it and you’re not just another number in the big picture, you actually matter. I guess probably the bigger thing is that they’re more of a holistic company. In the past I’ve dealt with pay-per-click management companies and it tends to be that they look at the pay-per-click , but they don’t look at the rest of the site or the rest of the experience.
The reality is that the rest of the experience probably has more of an impact on the pay-per-click than just the pay-per-click does. You can spend a lot more money driving more traffic, but if that traffic isn’t doing something and they’re willing to stop what they do and talk to me about that and say, “Hey, I noticed this on your site and if you just might consider doing that like making your free shipping pop out a little bit more, it might have a better impact on you and on your conversions.”
I think that means a lot to me, just the willing to look at my business as a whole as opposed to just as what it does on Google AdWords, because AdWords is an important part of what we do but it really is only a small part of that overall traffic conversions and business that we do online.
Nik Rajpal: Awesome. This is somewhat similar, but if someone just asked you the very simple question, “Why should I do business with Exclusive Concepts?” what would you tell them?
Jeff McRitchie: Because Nik is awesome? No. Yeah, I would say if someone said, “Why do business with Exclusive Concepts?” I would say because they can provide you growth, and that’s really what it all comes down to. Whether that be in conversion optimization, whether that be in paid search, it’s really a matter of having a conversation and saying, “Hey, what can you do for me?” and they’ll tell you. You really have to evaluate it at that, but ask them how they can grow your business and let them answer that question and win your business, because that’s really what it comes down to. It’s about what can they do for you, how can they make you look good. Are you going to be able to hit your next quarterly goals, your yearly goals, and grow your business like you need to grow your business?
Nik Rajpal: Thank you so much.
Jeff McRitchie: You’re welcome.