E-Mail Help for a Help Desk Company

If you’re a B2B marketer and haven’t moved a significant portion of your marketing communications to e-mail yet, this case study featuring Parature, the award-winning provider of help desk software, should be the convincer you need to get started.

Recently, I spoke with Parature’s marketing VP, Cyndi Ogle, about why she uses e-mail to communicate with clients and prospects and her successes in both areas. She credits a lot of her success to her relationship with e-mail provider VerticalResponse.

“When I worked at other companies in the past, we would use direct mail, and it was difficult,” said Ogle. “A typical direct mail piece would cost $0.75 to $2.00 to produce and mail. Yet we couldn’t gauge our readers’ interest in our campaigns. For lead-generation campaigns, often our inside sales force would neglect to ask for source information when prospects responded by phone, which eliminated our ability to track the effectiveness of the campaign. For newsletters sent to our customers, we couldn’t gauge what topics were of interest to them and which weren’t.”

Saving Money With E-Mail

“E-mail saves us a ton of money,” she continued. “We only spend a half penny per e-mail. And with VerticalResponse, there’s no contract or monthly fee, so we pay as we go, which fits the way we do business.”

Parature sends a monthly e-newsletter, “Release Notes,” to clients and prospects. The newsletter helps track customers in a cost-effective way, especially because they introduce new features so rapidly.

“Because we can now track which content our readers are clicking on, we can also tell what information they find relevant,” she said. “When we started sending out ‘Release Notes,’ we had a 10 percent open rate. Now we’re up to 45 percent.”

“In our monthly newsletter, we advertise many offers,” Ogle continued. “When we see that a prospective client has clicked on that offer to learn more information, we can send their contact information to our inside sales team for a follow-up.”

E-Mail Postcards Increase Trade Show Leads

According to Ogle, Parature sends postcards to prospects before its trade shows. It then sends post-show follow-ups. The first postcard included a drawing for an Xbox, which increased marketing leads by 25 percent. The software company also sent e-mail postcards for its annual user conference.

“What I like about VerticalResponse is that you’re not confined to an e-newsletter template,” she said. “We tend to use large images for things like e-postcards, and we needed to work with someone who could accommodate that easily. VerticalResponse also worked with us to make sure our images got through Gmail and Hotmail filters so that the images automatically appeared.”

Janine Popick, CEO of VerticalResponse, says Parature’s success isn’t atypical for niche industries, which often get higher response rates than mainstream marketers. This is probably because their messages and databases are so well targeted.

There you have it. A marketing solution that costs a half penny per recipient, gives you invaluable customer intelligence, and increases your marketing leads.

This story appeared previously on ClickZ.

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