Written in partnership with Ascend Agency
Dave Carroll is a digital creator based in Plymouth, Minnesota. He is a thought leader and the founder, owner, and CEO of DOPE Marketing. Carroll has 8 brothers and sisters and was raised in a middle-class neighborhood in St. Paul. Carroll says he was a knucklehead growing up and attended 9 different high schools. However, this taught him that he didn’t fit into the conventional schooling system.
Carroll got into business right after high school and has been doing well over the past 12 years. His company, DOPE Marketing, helps agencies automate laser-focused direct mail marketing for their clients. Its bolt-on direct mail service makes life simple by sending automated direct mail with its open API, Zapier integration, and direct connection with CRMs like Go High Level.
Carroll’s entrepreneurial journey started when he established Lions Share Maintenance out of his mom’s garage. He worked very hard with this window cleaning company for the first four years before realizing he had other dreams. He then began to phase himself out of the company. However, the business still currently does millions in revenue annually.
Dave Carroll is a risk-taker. He started a software company in 2015 without knowing what he was doing. He found a guy on Craigslist who had just finished at the University of Minnesota and shared with him the idea of making professional estimates in less time. This university graduate charged him $30,000 for the complete software. Carroll had about 300 users paying $30 a month within six months of launching.
A year later, Carroll tried to upgrade the software into a CRM, but all did not go well. A staffing company from Canada overcharged them for developers, and Carroll sued them. He hired an attorney since he could not make it to court in Canada, but it was all in vain, and all Carroll was left with from this situation were great lessons to learn from, like exposure to the world of data.
Carroll got into data and started an A-type data business, brokering residential and commercial listings to home service companies. This allowed him to scratch his entrepreneurial itch, but it was always hard to scale as it depended on him. Carroll would travel a lot for business, and that’s how he connected with some high-end agencies and referral partners. “I had the opportunity to work with big companies like Nike, TiVo, Golden State Warriors, and Ashley Furniture. Being exposed to those levels of businesses really opened my eyes to the possibilities and opportunities of scaling large companies,” Carroll says.
Carroll has bought out 2 print shops over the past 32 months, and they do all the print production for their direct mail automation software internally. DOPE Marketing has been operational for almost three years, has 40 employees, was released on the Zapier store 6 months ago, and can automate postcards from your CRM.
“DOPE Marketing wrote our own internal proprietary software to automate direct mail. We also own the print shop, so it is a full-service end-to-end transaction completely controlled, trackable, automated, and built to fit your business. Unlike digital ads, direct mail gets attention,” adds Carroll. He believes the sky is the limit, and DOPE Marketing is positioned as a 9-figure powerhouse, thus bridging the gap between digital marketing and direct mail with automation.
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