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Tom Marin

Building Brands

By Tom Marin

About Tom

Tom Marin is the managing partner of MarketCues.com and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.

 

How E-Mail Marketing Helped a Company Grow

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One of the fastest ways to lift your strategic marketing out of the doldrums is to look at what a successful company is doing and see if there are structural approaches you can applly to marketing your business. For most of us, this type of learning is accomplished best by reviewing success stories that demonstrate winning business development that led to increased top-line revenues.

Here’s a real challenge: Figure out a way to grow higher sales using a lower budget. After a fairly quick analysis of a company’s overall marketing, it was readily apparent that it was relying on extremely traditional media communications that leaned heavily on trade show exhibitions, print advertising and direct mail.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not opposed to any of these tactics. I’m just saying this type of media was being produced at a hefty price tag with little return for the company’s investment.

Closer analysis showed that a business-class e-mail marketing program would generate significantly higher response rates because it was how the company’s key customers preferred to receive information. Is every industry and situation identical to this company’s? No! But e-mail’s greater value was true in this case.

Here’s a quick overview of what made the program a success.

THE SITUATION
The company provides financial services to a wide variety of business clients in many different industry sectors, including industrial capital equipment, professional services and not-for profit organizations, including associations. The company supported a standalone division that relied heavily on the leads it received from the marketing department.

Industry focus group research quickly brought to light that the company’s industry had dramatically changed during the past five years and that more sales were being initiate via the Internet and telephone than at trade shows and through responsive print marketing.

Since each sale by the company required heavy management involvement, it was necessary to either drive a much larger number of new customers through the pipeline or look for more profitable business engagements. The company decided to test an e-mail-only marketing campaign, its first.

THE CHALLENGE
The company also decided that the best marketing approach was to use an automation system that would inexpensively generate qualified leads for its sales team and track and quantify the results generated from the marketing program. The challenge was, each e-mail campaign needed to be tracked. Since the company lacked staff that understood the mechanics of this type of program, an outside strategy firm was engaged for assistance. Using a limited marketing budget and in-house resources, a strategic market plan was produced and the e-mail marketing campaign was prepared.

THE SOLUTION
What made this campaign strategy work?

Customized e-mails were sent under the sales representatives’ names and the content strategy was completely different from the company’s insistence on sending out everything using its “corporate brand speak.”
E-mail templates were created and messages sent to each sales representative’s direct contacts within his/her territory or industry specialty.

The sales representatives’ actual e-mail addresses were used to send the messages and as the reply-to address.
The e-mails were personalized with specific linked hypertext to direct the recipient to specific areas on the company’s website that contained free downloads and calls to action fulfilled via the website using custom pages.
All of this e-mail customization was performed by an outside provider.

THE ROI / PROGRAM RESULTS
The company’s total out-of-pocket expense for 12 weeks of e-mail campaigns was $17,500. The program generated 40 highly qualified sales leads, in which the prospect had requested either more information and/or a visit by a sales representative, or both. A total pipeline of $110,000 of new sales was generated from this campaign, which was substantially higher than the results the company had been experiencing with a much larger budget for traditional marketing. All things considered, it was a great success for the company.
 
Tom Wants to Hear Your Branding Issues:
If you are a printing company or product/services company serving the print-media market and would like to be considered for a feature in this blog, please contact Tom Marin for an interview.

Follow MarketCues on Twitter for branding and social media tips, as well as the latest trends. Tom also welcomes emails, new LinkedIn connections, calls to 407.330.7708 or visit www.marketcues.com. How can he help solve your branding issues?
 

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