Hitpath Partner Interview
Today, we’re excited to release our latest Q&A partner interview post with Sam Prokop, Co-Founder and CEO at HitPath!
Talk a little about the history of HitPath and how you came to found the company.
My partner and I were mailing and managing a lot of data on behalf of advertisers partners back in the day. We had a very transparent set of custom-written dashboard tools that enabled us to let list owners gauge the performance of their data with our mailing efforts. At the same time the need to have a centralized way of managing all the campaigns associated with the email program had forced us to create our own custom link tracking engine which was integral to both our sending software, as well as the reporting modules. At some point, one of our clients asked us if we had ever thought about licensing our software and told us “build it and we will come” and so that’s how it started. The HitPath platform was built from our personal experience as online marketers who need a reliable, scalable, and always-available tracking platform.
When did HitPath start working with OPTIZMO and how did that partnership come about?
As an email marketer, you know the importance of compliance and the need to maintain accurate unsubscribe lists. We had built a unsubscribe solution for our business, however, this was not the core of our business and although adequate for our use initially, it became clear that some clients needed a more robust solution with a wider feature set than we could offer. We had previously integrated with another unsubscribe data management platform (I say “integrated” but really the word used should be “hacked together” – LOL), however, the relationship with that company was miserable and not at all the level of technology, service, and support what I wanted to provide to our clients. When OPTIZMO came into being, it was refreshing because, not only did you guys have the same drive to create a solid product for your clients, but the genuine interest you gave to the relationship we wanted to put in place was something that clearly told me this was the right fit. Khris has put together an amazing team of smart, talented people at OPTIZMO. When combined with the great relationships we have developed where we really see things eye-to-eye, it helps create the perfect environment for fast innovation and a great partnership.
Why is Email and SMS Marketing Compliance important to HitPath and your clients?
When you operate in an environment where data (and large amounts of it) is being used to generate revenue, there are going to be instances where some rogue entities may try to game the system to their benefit and oftentimes to the detriment of the consumers. When that happens, it becomes vital that there be a strong system of checks and balances in place to protect the consumers placed into law (like the CAN-SPAM Act). In the US, they are most often enforced by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Clients who need to leverage Email and SMS as part of their marketing efforts don’t necessarily have all the knowledge or expertise to understand the intricacies of these laws. We (HitPath and OPTIZMO) make a point of staying on top of these laws, the actions that have been taken to enforce them, and the best practices that are needed to remain compliant and continue to operate within the laws, while still generating high-performing campaigns and driving revenue. This is one major value that we provide to our clients. Compliance is not a one-time deal, it’s an everyday process that absolutely needs to be embedded deep into your overall business strategy as an online marketer.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned about creating and growing a business in the affiliate marketing industry?
We operate in a fast and furious environment where ultra-fast revenue growth is possible and the by-product of this is sometimes the complete disregard for compliance. We have learned that one bad operator will absolutely create issues for everybody! It’s not IF it’s WHEN.
Started in 2005 by Webapps LLC, HitPath software remains a leader in the performance marketing (also known as affiliate marketing) and data tracking software industry. Spurred by the industry’s demand for better solutions in tracking, reliability and customer support, HitPath has relentlessly forged the way in creating a better experience for online marketers.