DEMO

Psst: ZigMail turns emails worth spreading into fast status updates

For deals too good to keep to yourself, email service ZigMail has created a simple sharing tool designed to help you pass inbox offers on to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ friends.

ZigMail, as a refresher, is the Chicago-based startup that helps you filter “transactional” emails such as bank mailers, retailer goodies, and Groupon offers out of your cluttered inbox and into a separate hub where you can engage on your own terms. The startup launched its elegant box two months ago and has today enhanced its product with ZigIt, a referral engine for emails worth spreading.

“Email has been evolving over the past five years from personal to transactional communication. People have become overwhelmed and frustrated and they’re disengaging because email interfaces haven’t changed,” ZigMail co-founder and chief executive Richard Gerstein (pictured above, right) told VentureBeat.

The premise behind the company’s latest product is that consumers, when presented with transactional content that they can process at times of their choosing, will once again find value in these emails and go on to spread the best messages to their favorite social networks. So, for instance, that totes adorbs Antrho dress in this week’s email blast will capture your imagination and you’ll then want to show off your fashion prowess by posting it to Facebook.

The logic is sound, even if the product lacks integration with today’s most appropriate social network for inspirational email sharing. Of course, we’re referring to Pinterest, the place where fashionistas, foodies, and home-improvers trade ideas by “pinning” their favorite web finds to collections called “boards.”

Jeff Clavier, a managing partner at SoftTech VC and a panelist who commented on the ZigMail demo at the conference, wondered what the consumer incentive is.

“It’s a pain to get those (marketing) emails, why would I share them with my friends?” Clavier said.

Still, ZigIt seems like a smart step in the direction of social commerce, where the consumer and not the marketer has the ultimate power.

“It’s a powerful new way for consumers to advocate for the brands they love, while bringing great value to friends in their social network,” Gerstein said.

Founded in 2011, ZigMail is an Angel-funded service with 4,000 users.

ZigMail is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2012 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After we make our selections, the chosen companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.

Photo credit: Heather Kelly/VentureBeat

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