Nuts & Bolts - Case Study: Automation Quickens Rapid Notify's Email
The decision to seek out a marketing automation tool was a simple one for Monica Seely, marketing manager of Laguna Hills, Calif.-based mass notification services provider Rapid Notify.
"Well, I am a one-woman marketing department," she says. "It's just me. So my challenge is time."
She had been manually manipulating software to avoid sending batch-and-blast email campaigns to Rapid Notify's 10 customer segments. She was over it.
Seely reviewed all of the tools compatible with her company's customer relationship management (CRM) software, Salesforce, and in September 2011, she hired Beaverton, Ore.-based Act-On Software. Within a week, she sent an email campaign to 4,000 of Rapid Notify's customers. The Act-On solution she chose also automated follow-up emails, newsletters and Web reporting.
"It freed me up to focus on other things which were very necessary, such as advertising and public relations," Seely says. The time savings equal an entire day each workweek, which she had devoted to iterative analytics and email marketing processes.
"But I think the best benefit that we have seen is the ability for our salespeople to now see the lead scoring," Seely says of the ability to model, which is new to Rapid Notify. Now the sales team can "see the activity, the email activity, see everything from within Salesforce. They don't have to go to multiple places anymore to see that data. And now it's actionable. Now there are workflows associated with it to alert them when they have hot leads, when there's a lead inquiry from the website or from a form. … Everything's integrated, they can see the website analytics. The visibility for them has been the biggest benefit. It makes them more effective."
Seely says the past year's resulted in a 20 percent increase in lead closure from the sales team. Rapid Notify defines closure as a "conversion to opportunity," which means the lead has a business proposal, a price quote and is in active negotiations. Since September 2011, she says the ability to reach closure has increased 50 percent.
Rapid Notify works to close deals with municipalities, police and fire departments, healthcare organizations, financial institutions, school systems and shopping centers, among others. Within those entities, her company contacts decision-makers such as emergency managers, police chiefs, fire chiefs, risk managers and directors of operations. These prospects may need the same system, but they need it to do different things.
"Our messaging has to be unique to each one," Seely says. "That's where we do our best segmenting, and dynamic messaging is for each of those markets."
That's also where the tool's dynamic content capability comes in handy, she says.
"Instead of having 10 templates for leads in 10 different industries, we now just have one template and have the dynamic content determined by the industry and tailored to that specific audience," Seely says. "It's saved me time in having to create individual templates for every single scenario. And now I can just have one and tailor it as-needed. And then when I send, I just send to everyone and I don't have to worry about spending the time to segment the leads ahead of time."
Seely says this aspect of her life has become much easier, because she mainly checks to see if everything's working right. "Now everything's pretty much just a couple clicks away."