Blue Sky Factory: Getting Into The Inbox Without Selling Their Wares.

Ever since I’ve started reading Chris Brogan & Julien Smith’s Trust Agents, I’ve found myself more intrigued by what one email service provider and it’s founder have been doing that shapes the way we use the Internet. Trust Agents is all about bringing back human relationship and establishing a rapport with your customers so they’ll feel good about putting their faith not only in your product, but your company & brand. This is the exact sense that I’m getting from Blue Sky Factory and its founder, Greg Cangialosi.

Blue Sky Factory

I first heard about Blue Sky Factory about two years ago while working in Washington, DC and I had to find an email provider that would have the capacity to handle such a large database. Turns out that Blue Sky Factory was exactly what I needed – they were a “preferred vendor” and by that I mean since the company had worked with them before, I didn’t need to go scrounging around for approvals. It wasn’t that much further before I actually got to meet the founder of Blue Sky Factory, Greg Cangialosi – it was during an event called PodCamp where I first saw him, but we didn’t really speak until SocialDevCamp.  Since then, we’ve kept in touch and I’m definitely glad for that.

Inbound Marketing Summit - Greg CangialosiChris Brogan calls Cangialosi a “trust agent” because he’s “one of us”. He gets it. Really he does. But it’s not all about him. It’s his company. They get it. You’d think that building trust has to do with social media. It doesn’t. It applies to all facets of the web and even human relationship. The entire team at Blue Sky Factory get what it’s all about and how to build trust and rapport. They’re pretty good at reaching out to offer their services to sponsor a worthwhile cause, event or conference or even to let people know what best practices there are when creating their own email marketing campaign – regardless if they’re being used or not. Simply put, I have known and worked with a variety of email marketing vendors but when it comes to customer service, there is none that I think even comes close to what you get at Blue Sky Factory.

Started in 2001, Blue Sky Factory has grown remarkably and focuses heavily on building a connection between businesses and customers using email marketing. With over 600 clients internationally, this remarkable company has changed the name of the game. It’s apparent that they realize that there are some customers that prefer to have someone else help distribute their emails and there are others who just want to do it themselves but wants to have someone there in case they need help. That’s why Blue Sky Factory introduced a new product called Publicaster. It’s essentially your own “do-it-yourself” version of what an email service provider would give you.

So what can Blue Sky Factory do for you?

  • Provide strategy work on how to reach out to your customers/audience.
  • Develops and creates creative and campaign execution.
  • Analyzes the data that comes in as a result of your email distribution.

Basically, they’re going to run the entire program for you and tell you what is right, wrong and how you can fix it. You’re going to have a sound program by the time Blue Sky Factory gets done with it.

Still not convinced? Inc 5000 listed the company as one of the fastest growing in the United States twice in both 2008 and 2009.

How are they building trust in an industry where it’s sometimes ambiguous?

Success often reflects leadership. Greg Cangialosi is the guy you want to know when it comes to email marketing. Why? Because he’s one of us. Just talk to him. I read Brogan and Smith’s book Trust Agents and Cangialosi is all over this thing. Why? Because Brogan has so much faith in Cangialosi and trusts him to be an advocate. Brogan did this even before he started using Blue Sky Factory for his own campaigns. Here’s an excerpt from Trust Agents that will hopefully explain everything.

We tend to buy from people who are like us. Becoming One of Us means being dedicated to nurturing a relationship. It means being the customer advocate, and sometimes the advocate before someone is even a customer. Greg Cangialosi…was a friend long before Chris was his client and long before Chris passed on two more sales to him. He was there, and he was One of Us. Cangialosi’s company is successful…because he is always around, being friendly.

That’s all that it is. Cangialosi is an advocate for the customer. He understands what it takes to make them happy even if that results in them going to a competitor, but the trust is there because customers know if they need a good resource, they can turn to Cangialosi – and this culture has definitely carried over to the team at Blue Sky Factory. They are true customer advocates. They’re helping us get our message through to inboxes without them pushing hard for a sale just so the company can make more money.

Extending trust to the customers via social media.

Did you know that Cangialosi is on Twitter? How about Blue Sky Factory? Did you know that a lot of other folks at the company are also on Twitter? It’s encouraged. They even have a blog for Blue Sky Factory (aptly named “The Thinking Inbox“) and you can read Cangialosi’s separate thoughts on his own blog. These guys are here to push out helpful content that will make your email marketing campaigns stronger. They’re not pitching for sales or harassing people who mention “email” in their tweets or blog posts. They will respond to questions about the subject and be a lot more helpful – think about it as industry customer service on Twitter.

They even have a Facebook and YouTube account that you can use to reach out to them. Recently, they’ve even started doing livestreams with Blue Sky Factory TV where they have an interactive program where people are interviewed and questions are answered from the chat room. Blue Sky Factory understands the value of social media and it’s definitely not to sell.

So now what?

Blue Sky Factory has definitely proven their worth in my book and I’m pretty sure that I’d recommend them to anyone who wants to get into the email marketing foray. Sure, there are other email service providers and I’m eager to hear about them as well, but the bar for me is set rather high with Blue Sky Factory. They’ve established a pretty solid rapport with their customers and friends. So if you want a winning combination of great customer service AND a outstanding product, then look no further than what’s offered by Cangialosi and his team at Blue Sky Factory.

Anything else is just plain spam.

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."