At iPost we take pride in our ability to guide customers on how to drive meaningful email marketing campaigns. Over the years we have had the pleasure of working with some truly terrific marketers and brands. Just recently I worked closely with a well known brand that has been an iPost customer for over four years. After the completion of a complex integration project they provided some meaningful feedback as to why they thought their program with us had been so successful. I learned a lot from this, so in the spirit of helping others drive their campaigns to a higher level, I am going to share the highlights.
Marketing is Powered by People and Technology
During their initial on boarding conversations, they let us know that the main reason they had left their last provider mostly centered around lack of delivery visibility, segmentation capabilities, and email marketing expertise. This customer had great products that were perfect for email marketing, but they couldn’t get the program were it needed to be. They stressed that even though the product they had been using could technically meet some of the requirements, they always felt like whenever they inquired about making the system better integrate with their other corporate tools, they would either get the run around or pointed to the standard integrations. As we probed, it became clear that this client had great plans for their email marketing program, but had never really taken it all way and their program was unfortunately suffering from it. This was particularly interesting as their last provider had a dedicated account management program and yet they rarely felt compelled to speak to the them as it simply wasn’t a fluid relationship. They complained that they did not understand their business and did not feel like they had a partner supporting their needs.
Integration to your system is key
From the moment that this client engaged us, we created two buckets. The first was the things needed to get done to get the first mailing campaign up and running. The second was a list of all the areas they had always wanted to improve – segmentation that matched their various marketing channels and one-to-one marketing of their products without programming work on their end. All they had to do was supply the data. The program was so successful that the response overwhelmed their back-end servers and it was necessary for them to perform major upgrades before resuming. In addition, we helped put together a beautiful and functional two-stage preference center, integrated with their Google Analytics application, and trained them to create focused campaign segments. This process allowed both the client and us to get to know each other. In a matter of weeks, we would get a crash course on the customers’ business while they would get to propose every idea they ever had about how they would like to run their campaigns and get a feasibility answers right away.
Be willing to pay money
As you can imagine, this work required intense effort to get going and it was not free. The economy was tight and there was not a lot of extra budget laying around. This one was a struggle for the client and we were as accommodating as possible. Interestingly, as we progressed through the list and the client started seeing their campaigns increase in ROI, this hurdle became less of an issue. Unfortunately, many companies never actually even start because they run into budgeting issues which then don’t allow the programs to be ultimately successful.
Express your pain
Even after we took care of the first and second category buckets, other things would come up. In a recent conversation I had with this client she said that the one thing that had happened over time is that trust had been built and they felt that they could ask for anything. It’s true that a great relationship has been built. In fact, in order for us to do our job, we actually need for people to feel free to ask for help. That is what we are here for.
Expand your relationshipsI have primary responsibility for this client. That said, there are many others that they interact with. From operations to accounting to product, we all play our unique role. Through the years they have gotten to know a few of us on a first name basis, including iPost’s founders – they know we will treat their business like it is ours.