Vox Pop Speaks Out for Direct Mail with Web

Each direct marketing campaign depends on a series of factors for its success. Careful planning is vital to ensuring that response rates are high and sales conversions numerous to effectively improve return on investment (ROI). Among such factors are the season, even the time of the week when the direct mail piece arrives, how relevant its message is felt to be by the consumer at that time and how strong the actual offering really is.

To this day, however, statistics regarding conversion to sale motivators in direct mail are still hard to source, so CDMS decided to commission a survey to find out which factors made British consumers more likely to make a purchase as a result of direct mail. The findings are extremely clear: the ability to respond to the campaign online was rated the most important factor of all, making consumers 20% more likely than average to respond and purchase. Timing of the campaign to reach the recipient when in purchase consideration mode (17% more likely) came in second with personalisation of the campaign rated as 14% more likely than average. Continue reading “Vox Pop Speaks Out for Direct Mail with Web”

The Riches of Relevance

crm-logoTargeted marketing communications used to be something of a pipe-dream for many businesses.  Database analysis could establish an all round view of each customer, but the processes of translating this intelligence into targeted, personalised communications was either unwieldy or unaffordable.  However, three things have come to pass over the last two years.  Personalised colour printing has become affordable for all sizes of company, rather than just the large ones.  The ability to create a tailored set of contents for each customer’s envelope has become very sophisticated and in addition to this, businesses have established the initial proof that personalised content on the website improves customer retention, satisfaction, cross-sales, and ultimately profitability. Continue reading “The Riches of Relevance”

Customer Retention in a Recession

Handshake Crystal BallWith a recession in full swing, cutbacks are being made. The latest Bellwether report from the IPA revealed the biggest fall in marketing budgets for nine years. However, in an economic downturn it is even more important to spend and use marketing budgets wisely. In the current climate it is easy to think the worst but marketing departments will still have money to spend.

With consumers tightening their purse strings and seeking cheaper alternatives, one of the best ways for marketers to spend their reduced budgets is on customer retention and development, i.e. focusing on the key customers – the 10% giving you 50% of your turnover. Continue reading “Customer Retention in a Recession”

Turning a New Leaf on Cross-Channel Communications

ginkgo_leaf1Consumers have become less loyal and much more demanding of the businesses they purchase goods or services from. But it’s not just quality and convenience they want; consumers are ever more interested in the experience provided by organisations and the customer service they are receiving.

Information is expected to be readily accessible online and the boom in comparison sites is testament to this shift in consumer mentality that sees sourcing information and deals as an integral part of the buying cycle.  However, as channels multiply and independent information can be accessed from hundreds of user reviews, websites and blogs, marketers are struggling against their shrinking budgets to secure an authoritative presence for their products and services across the media spectrum. Continue reading “Turning a New Leaf on Cross-Channel Communications”

CRM Investments

crm analystCRM investment is wasted if the intelligence it delivers fails to influence dispatched communications. How can businesses ensure that money spent on CRM analytics actually begins to benefit the messages that are delivered to customers and prospects?

While the importance of getting targeted communications out of the door has achieved mainstream awareness, there is still considerable potential for improved return on investment from CRM systems.

Too often, companies are compromising when it comes to communicating with customers and prospects. The lack of attention to the actual delivery of personalised messages to customers or enquirers is making a nonsense of many companies’ marketing strategies.

Arguably, the need for sophisticated mail has never been greater. Customer retention has become a major issue, with today’s multi-channel environment making it easier than ever for consumers to switch brand allegiance. Consumers are acutely aware that the balance of power has shifted in their favour. It is an accepted mantra that attracting new customers costs more than retaining existing customers, and suppliers operate knowing that bad service, or even perceived bad service, is more likely to be met with defection. Continue reading “CRM Investments”

Why CRM Fails

failure0400Between the decision to implement an enterprise-wide software solution and it implementation and acceptance, lies perhaps the most treacherous ground in the corporate IT landscape…

Research group after research group report that an extraordinarily high percentage of software projects either fail to meet their goals after completion, are delivered over-budget or late, or are simply cancelled outright.

Gartner says half the projects in their study exceeded their initial budget tolerance by 200%. Standish Group suggests fully 1/3 of software projects are scotched before a single user has drawn benefit from the application.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management – projects are no different; they are subject to the same torques and tensions that tear other projects apart. In fact, the numbers are higher with CRM projects; studies show up to 70% of CRM projects fail. What is the source of so many CRM failures? Are there characteristics of CRM projects that make them especially vulnerable? More important, what are the remedies? Continue reading “Why CRM Fails”

How Are Salesforce Admins Driving Company Revenue & Reducing Costs?

hire-on-demand-logoI was sent an interested email the other day from a company called Hire On-Demand which is a recruiting firm for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) companies. It was a pretty good bit of information related to salesforce.com admins so I thought it was worth posting here.

Given the current climate, many companies are focused on maximizing their existing resources. Salesforce.com Administrators often times play an instrumental role in boosting company productivity and increasing the bottom line. Based upon daily interactions with Salesforce customers over the past few years, below are several tangible ways Admins are making a difference:

1. Sales Efficiency Salesforce Admins often serve as a Business Analyst, interfacing with key business units and understanding their processes. The Admin knows how to translate these processes, particularly as they evolve, into Salesforce. Results can include capturing, routing and tracking all incoming leads and ensuring cross-functional teams interact seamlessly. For example, many companies are currently asking their Customer Support reps to identify new revenue opportunities. An Admin, serving as a liaison between the two groups, ensures all leads identified by Support are properly captured in Salesforce and automatically routed to the appropriate Sales Reps. Lead follow-up and pipeline are tracked in real-time analytics resulting in a closed-loop process. Continue reading “How Are Salesforce Admins Driving Company Revenue & Reducing Costs?”

Dreamforce 2008 CRM Wrap

Salesforce.com just finished their annual CRM user conference in San Francisco and it was amazing to say the least. I’ve attended almost every year and they continually get better each time. Attendance was close to 10,000 which made it seem more like a large company gathering (which I guess Salesforce.com now is) which was a negative for me.

The Monday night gala was excellent though featuring Foo Fighters live and an open bar. The buffet and assortment of desserts was also delightful especially if you like chocolate. If you weren’t aware, Journey was supposed to play Dreamforce instead of Foo Fighters but for some reason ended up canceling. Lots of people were bummed out but Foo put on a great show regardless!

Something else that I noticed was the plastic badge holders you got once registering. Very nice and professional-looking. In fact, the whole registration process is automated (you check in via their laptops) it makes things quite easy and painless. Times have sure changed and for the better. The only thing I didn’t like was the size and placement of your last name and company. The font was too small so I had trouble reading other people’s company names when speaking with them. Such a minor thing but important when trying to network and read names. Continue reading “Dreamforce 2008 CRM Wrap”

Call Center Metrics – How do You Measure Them?

If your company sells any sort of product, chances are you have a support team or call center to deal with customers. Some companies outsource to countries like India where labor can be hired for lower costs. Others keep their support team close by and within the same country. Regardless of the structure or location of your call center one thing always stands true. How do you manage and measure incoming call volume, problems resolved, types of issues, etc? It’s important to gather and analyze call center metrics to answer these questions.

Some call center products are bundled with these tools but most are weak or non-existent. This is where a dedicated solution that provides things like individual customer scorecards, detailed support metrics, and other key metrics that give managers needed insight into their call center team. As we learn more about these requirements and business needs, we start to notice companies like call-center-metrics.com pop up to fulfill these business needs.

Being a call center manager, it’s very important to understand overall customer service efficiency so you can improve your internal operations as well as reward your employees based on their performance. Say, for example one of your call center employees does a great job and you’re unaware of this deed. A post call survey for the customer would be able to provide an opportunity to give this feedback, hence later rewarding the employee.

All things set aside, call center metrics are very important and a necessity in all businesses. If you don’t have anything currently in place, I recommend checking out these trial versions and seeing for yourself. I personally haven’t used them yet but based on what I’ve read thus far, they could be a great solution for you.

If you have any other suggestions or comments about general call center metrics and how you currently measure them, please let us know!

AIMpromote – A Lead Management Solution

For those of you who are looking for a CRM product, you’re probably overwhelmed with the number of choices available today. There is a huge range of solutions and most people just don’t know where to start looking. You could pay thousands of dollars and get a top-notch inhouse solution or subscribe to an on-demand solution which is fully hosted and worry-free. The latest player I’ve come across in the crm software game is a company called AIMpromote.

AIMpromote is an on-demand web-based software application to manage the handling of sales leads. It is essentially a CRM, but is focused particularly on handling leads. There is also the ability to sell leads (lead aggregation business). AIMpromote takes a different approach and focuses more on lead management which for some, is plenty. If you check out their crm features, you’ll see most of them are in the sales lead management section which is great when it comes to lead management.

I have yet to sign-up for their trial but when it comes to sales management software, I’d consider evaluating AIMpromote along with other traditional players. Since they are relatively new and they don’t mention the price on their website, I’d first give them a call to find out more details. Based on the screenshots and feature page, it’s hard to decide if it’s worth the investment without knowing more information. Regardless, for a pure lead management solution they might be the exact solution you’re looking for.