Sometimes, all it takes for a start-up to come to life is something as small as a suggestion.

That was the case earlier this year when one of Eric Guth’s clients, an elderly woman, asked if he could call her every day to check in.

As the general manager for Efrat Networks, an IT firm, Eric immediately thought about how technology could play a role in the process.

“I knew I wouldn’t be able to call her every day, but I set something up on Outlook to automatically check in on her.”

And that was how Today I’MOK was born.

The idea

Soon after setting up his email system, Eric started thinking that other people could be interested in getting regular messages, too.

“There are a lot of older people living alone,” he says. “This way, they can just click a mouse to tell caregivers, family members, and friends that they’re OK.”

Eric knew that he needed a system that was more customizable and advanced than Outlook, so he started looking into email marketing providers and came across Constant Contact.

“We wanted to make sure that the message gets delivered and we knew Constant Contact had a great deliverability rate. It was also a question of capacity–if the company is successful, we want to be able to send millions of emails.”

Making the connection

The Today I’MOK system sends an initial check-in email at six in the morning, then a follow-up six hours later if there’s no response.

So, Eric needed a way to set different rules for different recipients, depending on where they lived and how they responded to the email.

“There are twenty-six time zones in the world. We may not be in all of them, but we still needed to have a way to schedule each job accordingly,” he says.

There had to be other custom controls, too.

If someone goes on vacation or is celebrating Sabbath, for instance, it had to be possible to suspend the emails for that account for a set period of time.

Additionally, if there’s no response from the emails, a message needed to get sent to “keyholders,” the family and friends of the person who can check in on them.

Eric went looking for a company that could help with all of these features and he found AppShark, a partner featured in the Constant Contact Marketplace.

“We love our relationship with AppShark, we highly recommend them for integration,” Eric says. “They really helped make this whole idea possible. Before we met them, we didn’t even know if it was possible. We’ve got so much technology running behind this so we can make sure those emails get there at 6 a.m. on the dot.”

The future

Today I’MOK is just a few months old. There’s still a long road ahead, especially when it comes to getting the word out about the service.

Eric says that, right now, he’s considering some content marketing strategies to promote the company. “I want to start a blog that talks about senior safety and helps people looking for that information.”

Facebook and email marketing have been integral to establishing an audience, too.

“Right now, we want to start talking about how many seniors are living alone and bringing everyone together. From there, I hope we get more and more people interested in the service.”

Considering that Today I’MOK is free, it’s hard to imagine that Eric will have too much trouble.

Want to learn more about possible apps and integration with Constant Contact? Check out The Constant Contact Marketplace