PageProof's startup lessons from the United States

PageProof founders Marcus Radich and Gemma Hurst want to make proofing documents and files easy and perfect.
CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ

PageProof founders Marcus Radich and Gemma Hurst want to make proofing documents and files easy and perfect.

Tech entrepreneurs Gemma Hurst and Marcus Radich had a unique problem when they started their cloud proofing platform, PageProof. 

Launched in June 2015, the service was rapidly gaining customers, with the United States being the company's second largest market.

However, 70 per cent of sales were in the east coast and just 30 per cent in the west, but nobody knew why.

It was only until Hurst and Radich touched down in the states that they realised the power of using the right language.

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"Workflow is a big feature of PageProof. We found out quickly that nobody [on the west coast] actually used the term 'workflow'. They all talked about 'review routing'," Hurst said.

No one used the word "proofing" either; it was "reviewing", she said.

Hurst said making those small changes almost immediately led to a more balanced ratio of 55 per cent of sales in the east and 45 per cent in the west.

"We wouldn't have discovered that unless we were in the market," she said.

Up until the trip, Hurst and Radich had also been offering a free trial of the platform without setting a date when potential clients had to decide whether to officially sign up or not.

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After talking to people on the ground, they set up a 14-day trial instead and found much better customer engagement.

They are also in talks with Adobe about integrating PageProof services into Adobe products, including InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.

Hurst said they started PageProof because of the challenges they experienced in the creative industry with proofing documents.

"One of the things is typically artwork is emailed to someone for approval and as soon as that disappears from the outbox, there's no visibility on the feedback. That piece of artwork might come with one, or 50 comments. You also lose sight of how that piece of artwork travels around the recipients," she said.

With PageProof, users could review documents of all sorts, from art to video, all on the one platform without the need to download software and with full encryption.

Radich said their focus was on taking proofing to the "next level", making it easy for people to look at a file from anywhere.

 - Stuff

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