Congratulations to Email Hippo, who won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation in 2020!
- In 2015: began engineering our own solution to stop fraudsters using our email verification software for free.
- In 2016: reduced the amount of online fraud on our own site by 90% and began turning our ‘private’ software into a business service
- In 2020: awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise:Innovation for the software
Email Hippo CEO Rowland O’Connor explains the story behind the bullet points
How did you hear about The Queen's Awards for Enterprise?
I’ve been aware of the Queen’s Awards for many years, and think it is a pinnacle achievement for any UK business. The fact that my company is entitled to display the iconic logo is something I’ll always be proud of.
Why did you apply for The Queen's Awards for Enterprise?
We applied for an Award in order to celebrate what we’d achieved and set ourselves apart from our competition. The majority of our business is international, so we wanted to show that we’re the best in class and give potential customers something unique to benchmark our services by.
It’s important for us to be accredited and independently assessed because we deal in data accuracy at enterprise level, so customers have to trust us totally. We start with an email address, and verify whether it’s likely to be connected to a real person in order to help customers prevent fraud and improve communications.
What benefits have you seen, or expect to see from winning the Award?
Winning the award is already benefiting our business. From a team perspective, it gave us a real buzz to be able to celebrate. As we’re a ‘lockdown year winner’ our celebrations took place remotely. We hooked up with a local company here in Cornwall and delivered a cream tea to every member of the team!
It’s early days and it’s hard to make comparisons with last year but we’ve already seen a rise in sales and that people are spending longer reading the pages on our site where we’ve shared the news and showcased the Award. All our services are delivered digitally, so we don’t ‘see’ our customers face to face, but many of them congratulated us and we’ve definitely picked up on the fact they find it reassuring to know they’re dealing with the best company around.
Do you have any advice for future applicants?
My advice for any business is to apply. It’s not onerous, although you do need to have full evidence of facts to support any statements, so there is some homework to do. We enjoyed the process of looking back and it became an opportunity to cement achievements, especially for new team members who didn’t have the shared experience that builds an understanding of company ethos.
We engineer software and it’s easy to always look forward to the next thing. Because the entry is retrospective we found the process inspiring in itself as a really good way to reflect and rediscover ideas.
Everything about the Award, from entering, to celebrating, to building the benefits into our business is valuable. We already have plans to enter again.