Barpay not your usual satisfied customer

Barpay says Propel simplified marketing and actually simplified sales as well.

Barpay is not your usual Propel user. This isn’t a PR company or marketing agency. Rather, it’s an app that helps restaurants offer customers contact-less ordering and payments using a QR code. Before Propel, Barpay CEO Joe DePinto had no Public Relations strategy. Today the company relies entirely on Propel for its media outreach and PR workflow. So far, according to the creators, things are working pretty well. 

The problem

Joe works on sales, customer success and anything that doesn’t have to do with development. The team of 5 work privately with clients and don’t have much of a marketing department. As business grew, they realized they didn’t have a public relations plan and didn’t know where to start. Should they be reaching out to newspapers? Writing their own content? The team had no idea. Their product was so ahead of its time, that when COVID hit and their app came into demand, the team knew they needed to boost their presence through earned media. That would require pitching niche restaurant and bar-focused journalists. Not every reporter would be a good match for a piece on Barpay, and that’s something that was tricky for their small team to figure out before adopting Propel. Barpay was forging their way in the bar business but felt the process of getting coverage was intimidating. The team didn’t know who to reach out to or where to start organizing their contacts.


The solution

Barpay adopted Propel and started making use of the database where they could search for relevant journalists based on previous content, location, media type and category. After finding these writers, the team fell in love with the email plugin, which allows them to pitch and track emails within their native email platform. It helped the team see who was engaged in their materials and who wasn’t. 

Propel is helping Barpay build all sorts of relationships -- both in promoting product news and getting in touch with all kinds of journalists and influencers that might be interested in writing about them. Propel’s software allows Joe to view open rates on pitches and set follow-up reminders. By managing all of his journalist interactions in one place, Joe is able to keep track of both relationships and coverage. Joe began to realize it made sense to reach out to writers who had published pieces on them in the past. But without Propel, it can be tough to remember names of reporters or keep tabs on which publications they work at. 

Barpay considers Propel the solution of the future. In their words, it’s the place where startups can do their own marketing. Instead of paying a minimum retainer fee of $10,000/month to a PR firm, Propel helps small businesses like Barpay do their earned media successfully for a fraction of the price.

Joe says after one tutorial plus an hour of playing with the software, he understood how to use all of Propel’s features.

The results

“We saw results right away when we started using it. The article we put out got picked up by 2 sources, and I think that's just because we’re now targeting the people that have interest in what we’re sending them,” Joe said.

Since pitching with more precision, Barpay achieved more success. Out of 10 or 11 different articles the team pitched, 7 or 8 got picked up by reporters within 48 hours. Joe says he’s pleased to be working with journalists who focus on his type of content. 

In addition to utilizing the database of reporters, the Barpay team loves being able to see who is opening their emails. For Joe, building relationships is most important and if a potential client is in the mix, following up using the email plugin can literally make or break a deal. 

“Propel simplified my marketing, and it actually simplified my sales also. It presented a platform I could understand as if I was working with a digital marketing agency,” Joe said.  “I think it gives more of a personal touch. To me, I think being able to use it for more than just the marketing side of things is a huge value addition.” 

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