In my last blog Marketing is Digital I talked about the importance of staying up to date when it comes to marketing. I also emphasized that although the challenges of marketing remains the same, the tools and methods have changed greatly over the past few years.
I thought I’d give you a practical example; namely how we ourselves (SuperOffice) conduct the 5 step marketing process of our monthly seminars towards existing customers. These steps ensure that we've got a packed house every time.
1. Choose your target group (segmentation): Make sure you invite the right customers when it comes to geography, type, size etc. We are privileged as we have a good CRM solution in place , making it easy for ourselves to create dynamic selections that’s always up to date. In short; we define the criteria once, and can reuse or change at will.
In the example below, the selection would contain all the persons with a sales and marketing responsibility working with our VIP customers on version 7 that is owned by me, and has an active maintenance agreement.
Puuuhhh, try to do that manually…. and still have time left to actually invite them before the seminar…
2. Create your Message OK, so you know WHO you want to invite, now it’s time to ask yourself WHAT you want to target them with. Again, as we are a software company developing and selling software for this purpose, we use our own eMarketing module that’s fully integrated with our customer base and all our selections.
It’s really easy to either use one of the default templates or the one that you have created especially for your seminars. You can also build your new mailing based on a previous one and only change the dates.
We always make sure that, in addition to the invitation, mention the seminar in our newsletter, as well as on our website. There is more than one way to Rome (or a full seminar).
3. Handle the enrollments Make sure that all your participants receive a confirmation of their enrollment, nothing is worse than wondering about whether your application went through. This should, of course, be handled in the same solution, a standard mailing being sent to the people who have signed up. Make sure to include all necessary practical information regarding location, map etc.
In SuperOffice eMarketing, you can choose to have all the participants automatically added to a project or a selection, this makes it really easy to keep the control and overview. In the projects and selections, you automatically see the number of participants, making it dead easy to close the enrollment when the seminar is full.
4. Remind your participants It is a matter of fact that there are always too many no-shows on seminars (everything more than zero is too much…). To get the no-shows below 10% make sure you call each and every one of them 1-2 weeks in advance of the event or conference.
In addition you need to remind them some more! We do this by email (yet another standard template/mailing) automatically scheduled to go out one week before the seminar.
We also send the participants an SMS the day before the event. The message is short and (hopefully) sweet; “We meet for our breakfast seminar tomorrow at Thon Hotel Opera. Breakfast served from 08.30 hrs. Seminar starts at 09.00 hrs. Regards SuperOffice, 23354000”.
We add the phone number on purpose making it easy for customers to contact us if they can’t come. It allows us to invite customers from the waiting list instead of having an empty seat.
On the day of the seminar we have scheduled eMarketing to send this SMS at 08.00 hrs: “Good morning. Registration for the breakfast seminar starts at 08.30. Meeting room: La Boheme, in annex pavilion. We stand ready with the coffee! Regards SuperOffice”
5. Follow up After the seminar we send all the participants who showed up a mailing with a few options; we tip them about our blog for interesting and relevant articles, our product sheets for more in-depth info or the possibility to easily contact us.
In addition, we will of course make sure to call each and every one of them, we are after all a sales company taking care of our leads.
Conclusion: The process described above takes very little time to perform once you have made your selections and templates. It’s a beaut when a tool allows you to optimize your work process, saving you time every time you perform it.
The recipient (in this case the customer) is left with a feeling of a professional vendor having control of the process. The fact that all the material and the design is consistent, further reinforces this impression.
So, something that makes your eMarketing easier, as well as more professional – sounds like a win-win to me!