Personalization that Lasts Beyond the Mailing
How often does a custom message extend beyond the printed piece mailed to prospects? For Epicor, an e-commerce and enterprise software developer that specializes in mid-size companies, its lead generation campaigns begin, continue and end with tailored marketing communications.
That's because the company sells products that help its clients manage their own customer relationships. Any campaign it conducts has to lead the way in customer-centric marketing.
Boiled down to its essence, the goal for the 6" x 9" envelope effort mailed in September for the firm's line of e by Epicor products was simple: Generate a certain number of leads based on the numbers needed to make the firm's yearly sales goal, says Jennifer Smith, manager of direct mail programs at Epicor.
The result of some strategizing with Seal Beach, CA, agency Rauxa Direct was a direct mail campaign that incorporated personalized Web sites for each respondent (#836EPISOF0901). The Web sites also would give Epicor a relevant reason to periodically e-mail reminders to respondents to visit the Web sites for updated content.
According to Smith, the lead generation campaign was executed in 2000 for other Epicor products, and then rolled out to the e by Epicor offering in 2001.
Prospecting is a challenging part of the campaign, Smith explains. Once Epicor pulls in leads, whether they come from rented lists, sales staff, trade shows, print ads, etc., the goal is to funnel them appropriately into the mail program, and then build them into customers. Epicor achieves a 15-percent to 22-percent response to its lead generation efforts in the qualification stage.
The mailing captures prospects' attention with a second window on the outer envelope that shows off a Web address personalized with the prospect's name. This address is referenced in numerous places on both the single-page letter and the four-color, card-stock insert. This insert also offers prospects a mail-in BRC, in case they don't want to set up a personal microsite on
e-commerce marketing. Smith says there are several versions of the letter, each tailored to the list used.
While a personalized Web site is a powerful lure, Epicor backs it up with the offer of a free CD demo and the chance to win a Blackberry wireless handheld. Prospects need to set up their personalized Web site to qualify for the contest, though. Epicor tests information premiums, like white papers, against the greed premiums, and drops the premium component entirely when mailing to lists that perform well.
Once prospects register for their own site, they receive monthly e-mails that notify them of the Web content updates. While it's transparent to the visitor, there are really four vertical sites that are tailored toward the prospects' interests, says Smith. These interests are pinpointed in the registration process and by tracking where the prospects travel within their microsites.
To move these qualified prospects from Web site visitors to buyers, Epicor tracks each visitor's interaction with the site and then matches these leads in segments to the appropriate call center follow-up. This way, sales representatives can be more relevant and effective when they inquire about the prospect's current software needs.
"For a campaign like this," Smith says, "you have to scrub the data." This means running identification processes that make certain the names, companies and customer status is captured accurately.