Cover Story: How Fast Is Your Fulfillment?
In addition, this seamless transparency results in the reduction of backup contingencies, along with improved customer service and systems availability. With immediate insight on inquiry volume, the supply chain “moves from forecasting into nearly real-time” operations management, explains Demirdjian. “Today, you see all the demand coming in that needs to be fulfilled tomorrow.”
5. With digital fulfillment, it’s best to?
c) Serve Web page with link during online visit
When fulfilling information requests online, turnaround should be immediate, the experts agree. Depending on the marketer’s Web site capabilities, it’s best to follow the successful completion of a form fill with the serving of a Web page that contains the link to the downloadable materials.
An alternate method is to have the form completion trigger an automated e-mail that provides a link to a landing page where the requested materials can be downloaded.
What’s increasingly being avoided in regard to digital fulfillment is attaching the materials in PDF form to an e-mail. As Lowndes points out, some companies’ servers filter e-mails with attachments that exceed certain size limits. And, adds McIntosh, people tend to be wary about opening attachments due to computer virus threats.
McIntosh cautions marketers to be careful of going all-digital with lead materials. He’s seen research that shows people might appreciate the immediacy of a digital format, but they also like to receive the materials in color by mail—especially if they want to place their orders via mail and there is no print-and-mail mechanism in the digital materials.
One final piece of advice on digital fulfillment from Lowndes: Aim for the print and electronic materials to mirror each other as best as possible. If the electronic messaging is targeted, then the print kit should be, too.
6. The biggest missed opportunity in fulfillment programs is?
a) Not enough testing