Lots of email messages sent as a e-marketing campaign are coming from a no-Reply email address. When another sending address is chosen, it’s usually out of marketing considerations. Actual responses aren’t expected.
For that goal, call to actions were added to the message. An update and unsubscribe link are usually included as well, which should suffice to receive reactions for readers. It has its benefits for your results, but there’s also a disadvantage: reactions are still automatic and look kind of artificial.
Let’s do it differently
The Expert Institute, based in New York, wanted to things differently. They are a fast growing service platform for matching and directly connecting professional firms to specialty practitioners, industry thought leaders, and academics. Being a startup, they figured they wanted to take a different approach in their marketing, to differentiate them from their competitors. Email marketing became the base of their strategy, but with a twist.
They found their “twist” in their VP of Client Relations, George Cuchural. Not only did he become the face of their campaign, he also became the sender of the email. In a first email message – a simple message – he introduced himself and the possibilities of their product to their prospects. The goal was simple. Letting their contacts know that an actual human being was speaking to them; one that was willing to start a dialogue with them.
Address them personally
Once a month, they continued the conversation with a specific newsletter. Again, the salutation was personal, and it was the Vice President explaining the new possibilities of their products and services. He also explained ideas and offered exclusive whitepapers.
Every email ends with the following message: ‘”I’m here to answer all your questions, or to see how we can be of service to you. And in the meantime, you can find all the tips you need to select a good expert in the following whitepaper”.
Of course all these messages offered CTA that contacts could use to click through to the website and registration forms. But at the same time, the VP also received personal replies on the messages. Some emails saying “thanks for the information, but not needed right now”, but also “I have some questions, let’s schedule a call to discuss them”.
Readers writing back with a personal message is not the conventional way to convert prospects. But their approach got that much responses, that they compiled a file with all people who responded. That file could be accessed by the sales department, who could personally contact the prospects who replied.
Call back immediately
In a company with a CRM or other type of database, that could be done even more efficiently. And to be even more personal, the VP would also keep an eye on responses. If it fit his time schedule, he would call to future client back himself. It can’t be more powerful than that.
The results were overwhelming. The conversation rate increased a lot, with a maximum of 200% for some mailings. The open rate increased to 60% and the click rate increased to 20%. The number of unsubscriptions decreased. But the most beautiful number was the increase in actual sales. Where at first only 1% resulted in a contract, it now increased to 3%.
The personal approach wasn’t the only thing they changed. They examined their contact database to check if all names were filled out correctly. That was necessary for the personalized salutation. They also used A/B testing on their subject lines. Those are elements that were part of the success of their strategy.
They haven’t changed much in their follow-up. They still use the personal approach. But they started implementing more automatic features. The contacts are being grouped by recent activity. Contacts who always open will receive more email messages than someone who only opens the emails occasionally. Based on clicking behavior they adapt the content of the newsletter. But those are all successful measurements that are being used by lots of companies. The unique thing here is how they deal with replies.
Do you have other examples?