Boost Profits and. Customer Relationships with. Effective Marketing

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1 Boost Profits and Customer Relationships with

2 Abstract marketing is experiencing dramatic growth as marketers in virtually every industry begin to take advantage of this powerful technique that helps to increase revenues and reduce sales costs by enabling more efficient communication with customers and prospects. Response rates for marketing are substantially higher than traditional marketing techniques, because there is much greater opportunity to target the offer to the interests of the recipient. At the same time, marketing costs are substantially lower because it eliminates postage, printing, and other costs associated with traditional direct mail marketing. Taking full advantage of marketing requires careful attention to the characteristics of this unique medium. The ease of reaching out to prospects via this innovative medium must be balanced with compliance with federal regulations on spamming. The keys to success include convincing large numbers of prospects and customers to agree to receive your e- mail, providing offers and information tailored to the needs of carefully selected segments of your customers and prospects, and experimenting with new approaches and testing their effectiveness in order to continually improve marketing performance. Finally, the importance of obtaining software that can help you reach the right people with the right message while generating metrics that will facilitate future successes should not be overlooked. Like other marketing programs and campaigns, how marketing is managed is critical to reaping the full benefits. Vendors are offering marketing applications that help create, manage and measure marketing programs. These solutions are an essential ingredient if you want to garner the complete benefits that marketing offers.

3 Table of Contents Creating Value Through Marketing 1 Save Money 1 Target Prospects and Profits 1 Measure the Higher Response Almost Immediately 2 Manage your List Especially those that don t want to be on it 3 Creating an Integrated Campaign 3 Moving Beyond Marketing 4 Software to Support Marketing 4 Integrating with CRM 4 Epicor emarketing provides a Complete Solution 5 About Epicor 7 Boost Profits and Customer Relationships with i

4 Creating Value Through Marketing Why are so many companies moving aggressively to take advantage of as a complement to their traditional marketing efforts? One reason is that traditional marketing strategies involving telemarketing, trade shows, direct mail, and print and broadcast advertising all require a significant expenditure to deliver the message to prospects. For example, it can easily cost several dollars per piece to print attractive mailers and deliver them to prospects through regular mail. In addition, with traditional marketing it s very difficult to tailor your message to the specific interests of your customer. Print ads, for example, generally deliver the exact same message to tens of thousands of publication readers, making it necessary to dilute your message by appealing to the lowest common denominator. Another weakness of traditional marketing is that it s very difficult to measure its impact. Suppose you send 10,000 pieces of direct mail and get 100 responses. What happened to the other 9,900 pieces? Did they reach your recipient? Did they bother to open them? Did they read your message? Finding the answers to these questions would be extremely expensive, but without them you are left wondering why your message was ignored by so many people and without critical information that would help to improve your next effort. marketing overcomes all of these difficulties. Save Money The cost of delivering , once your infrastructure is in place, is fixed and not dependent on the volume of sent. This allows you to communicate with prospects, customers, employees, business partners, and others (with their permission, of course) without increasing costs. By communicating your message through , you can substantially increase the volume of your marketing efforts while saving money that you previously dedicated to postage, printing, and space advertising. marketing also provides tremendous new opportunities to tailor your message to the individual recipient. You can segment your audience into as many different groups as the information in your database allows and tailor an individualized message to each of them. Additional cost? Just the time involved in individualized creative and message development. The use of marketing also provides unprecedented opportunities for measuring the results of your campaign in order to generate information that can be used to improve the next one. For example, using a comprehensive e-marketing software solution, it is easy to determine who opened your , who clicked on the links you included to get more information, who started filling out your form, who browsed other areas of your Web site. Instead of waiting for weeks or months to evaluate the performance of your campaign, e- mail marketing allows you to create an campaign in the morning, send it out at noon and receive orders that same afternoon. Target Prospects and Profits Prospects and customers are much more likely to respond to messages that are targeted to their particular interests. By capturing as much information as your recipients are willing to share, you will be able to match your message much more closely to their individual Boost Profits and Customer Relationships with 1

5 interests in future campaigns. This can dramatically increase the response of your mailings and also reduces the risk of annoying customers by sending them mailings that don t apply to them. For example, an AMR research study shows that marketers that segment mailing lists and target smaller groups with more specific offers have a response rate that is, on the average, seven to 12 times higher than those that use a mass mailing approach. AMR points to the example of a large retailer of electronics goods that sends one to four million s per month but each mailing is as small as 1,900. Who could resist at least reading about a special offer targeted to owners of a particular machine or users of a particular software package? Segmenting and targeting your mailings also helps to distinguish your mailings from unsolicited communications, which helps to keep it from ending up in bulk mail folders. While developing the ideal message for any type of marketing effort is a challenge, marketing can serve as a perfect test bed because it allows you to obtain a great deal of feedback electronically. Developing creative content for traditional marketing typically involves a considerable amount of discussion, with everyone involved in the process offering their opinion as to which text or graphics are likely to achieve the greatest response. marketing, on the other hand, makes it easy to test the effectiveness of various messages. It allows you to create a number of different approaches, send each of them to a small sampling of your total list, and let the market decide which one is the most effective. Besides improving the effectiveness of your marketing effort, the information that you obtain on what s hot now with your customers and prospects can also be used to drive the creative process for your traditional marketing efforts, where it is much more difficult to obtain such feedback. Measure the Higher Response Almost Immediately It should come as no surprise that many marketers have found to be their most effective marketing tool. DoubleClick s 2002 Consumer Study shows that 78% of online shoppers have purchased as the result of clicking on an link. The same study shows 75% of consumers say that permission-based is their preferred method of communications with merchants while only 25% prefer postal mail and 0% select telemarketing. Likewise, 78% of customers use for customer service and the percentage that prefer for customer service has increased from 50% to 57% in the past year. The study also shows that s have a major impact on offline purchasing. 59% of those surveyed purchased in a retail store after receiving a merchant while 39% purchased through a catalog and 34% purchased by phone. While less research is available in the B2B area, studies generally show similar results. For example, a recent Harte-Hanks study evaluating 700 permission based B2B campaigns showed click-through rates as high as 25% for general marketing, 21% for marketing research, 10.3% for sales promotion, 9.2% for offline seminar invitation and 3.8% for subscription offers. marketing solutions enable you to document your higher response rates. Comprehensive reporting capabilities in marketing solutions make it easy to determine how many people opened the message and when, how many times they viewed it, whether they clicked through to the microsite, a special Web site that is specially designed to service respondees to a particular campaign. This information, which is continuously available in real-time from the moment your message is delivered, provides the feedback you need to continuously improve the effectiveness of your marketing effort by basing decisions on facts rather than opinions. You can also easily generate reports that provide a longer-term perspective, such as by comparing the effectiveness of different campaigns over time and monitoring the growth of your lists. Boost Profits and Customer Relationships with 2

6 Manage your List Especially those that don t want to be on it One of the greatest challenges in marketing is building your list while respecting privacy concerns. The best place to start is typically with your existing customers and prospects. Chances are, people that do business with you will appreciate receiving information from you via , but be sure to make it easy for them to remove their name from your list at any time. Not only is it a good practice in customer service, it s the law. It makes sense to capture all of the demographic information that you can for each customer and prospect in order to make it possible to provide him or her with information that is specifically tailored to his or her interests. For a business-to-business customer, for example, you might want to capture the products that they have purchased from you, their industry, their title, their geographic location, the size of their company, and so on. You can continually work to build your list, such as by entering visitors to your Web site that sign up for future mailings into a prize drawing. Also, consider the possibility of mailing to a purchased list that has been created, for example, by a trade journal that targets your prospects. Manage your lists so that only people who have requested information from you receive your mailings, a practice that is called opt-in marketing. Many marketers go one step further and, in a process called double opt-in, send an to people that have subscribed to their list and ask them to click on a link for confirmation that they do in fact wish to receive information. A cardinal sin in marketing is sending messages to people that have requested information at one point but later asked to be removed from your list. When sending to purchased lists, be sure that the receivers know how you got their name you are receiving this because you told that you were willing to receive information from partners. Sending spam is more than just discourteous, it runs the risk of annoying customers and prospects and potentially losing their business. Since spam is poorly targeted, it is also ineffective. Effectively managing opt-outs is critical. The key point is to approach prospects correctly explain who you are, why you are contacting them, give them the option to opt out and respect that choice if they make it. Creating an Integrated Campaign Chances are small that you will be able to tell your entire story with a sufficient level of detail to make the sale in a single . For that reason, it s important to carefully think out the process of how you will take action when a prospect responds to your for more information. How will you provide with opportunity to either purchase the product or, for products that are too complex to buy online, enter into the sales process? The most effective approach is to include a link in the for the prospect to click through into a microsite. A microsite is a small, targeted site that is often developed to work with a specific campaign. It is generally more effective to funnel prospects to a targeted microsite rather than just pointing them to a corporate Web site. The microsite should provide more information on the product in order to increase the prospect s interest and give them the opportunity to either make a purchase or enter into the sales process such as by seeing a demonstration of the product. Testing this Web site is just as important as testing the . Web analytics software should be used to determine what proportion of prospects drop out at each area of the sales cycle. Boost Profits and Customer Relationships with 3

7 Moving Beyond Marketing marketing also has the potential to improve the effectiveness of and reduce the cost of many other business communications tasks. Currently, the costs and delays involved in printing and mailing limit the frequency and level of personalization that can be achieved in providing non-marketing communications to customers, employees, business partners, vendors, members of the press and financial analysts, and others. marketing tools provide the same benefits of low cost, immediacy and measurability when used to replace traditional methods such as paper newsletters in communicating with these groups. It also goes far beyond traditional communications tools by providing immediate two-way interaction between a company and all of its constituencies. For example, an newsletter with an article on health care benefits could conclude with an Intranet link that allows employees to change to a different health care provider. Or, an e- mail to customers that explains different methods of obtaining customer service could provide a survey that allows them to indicate their preferred method of interaction. Software to Support Marketing marketing offers tremendous benefits. In order to capitalize on the advantages hat this medium offers, it is necessary to do more than send out generic s to large lists. You need to personalize your message, segment your lists and track the results. E- mail marketing solutions can help you do this. Companies have found that marketing solutions have helped them manage marketing programs. In a March 2003 Gartner survey about of CRM users, 62% said marketing lowered costs, 88% said it improved efficiency, 91% said it improved effectiveness and 71% said it helped them gain a competitive advantage. Integrating with CRM Integrating your marketing effort with your customer relationship management (CRM) solution is an important consideration. Since your most productive mailings will probably be directed to current customers, you need a simple process for moving new customers into your marketing programs. By the same token, prospects that respond to offers need to be swiftly moved into your traditional marketing cycle, for example, Boost Profits and Customer Relationships with 4

8 by entering them into the process to receive literature and have a salesperson call to schedule a demonstration. Epicor emarketing provides a Complete Solution Epicor emarketing will help you take full advantage of the tremendous potential of marketing. It manages the entire campaign cycle from one user interface all the way from segmenting lists of names, creating s and microsites, to reporting and analyzing the results. The software package includes a content editor that enables you to swiftly create personalized, attractive HTML messages and microsites. An option exists for creating text only s. A user-friendly environment allows non-technical users to quickly and easily develop sophisticated campaigns with minimal training. This editor opens up the potential for marketing personnel and subject matter experts to create content without the cost and delays involved in getting information technology specialists involved. With emarketing, you can import data records from virtually any source including your CRM software. To ensure that your messages reach the right people, Epicor emarketing provides segmentation capabilities that allow you to filter contact data based on any fields in your database. emarketing also enables you to select target recipients for new campaigns based on their response to previous campaigns. The information emarketing database can be merged into the to personalize the campaign, such as the recipients name, company, industry or region. Epicor emarketing simplifies the process of building your list while ensuring that all marketing is conducted on a permission basis. Visitors to your Web site that sign up to receive your mailings can be automatically added to your marketing database. If you wish, recipients can also receive an requesting that they confirm their registration by clicking a link on a Web page. At the same time, the software makes it easy to include a link in the message that allows recipients to opt out of future mailings with a single click. Epicor emarketing s Response Summary gives you detailed metrics that allow you to measure, test and fine-tune the effectiveness of your emarketing efforts. Boost Profits and Customer Relationships with 5

9 The robust reporting and metrics capabilities in Epicor emarketing allow you to effectively measure the success of a campaign, providing valuable information that makes it possible to continuously improve your marketing results. From the moment your distribute s, you begin receiving metrics such as messages delivered, messages opened, click-through rates, length of visit information and registration numbers. You also have the ability to create tabular or graphical retrospective reports that can, for example, compare the performance of a campaign over time or one campaign to another. Epicor emarketing works as a stand-alone product and can also be integrated with the Epicor CRM and Clientele suites, which provide a seamless solution for addressing virtually every aspect of the sales, marketing and customer service cycle. Epicor CRM and Clientele can enable a consistent process that ensures that best practices are followed throughout your organization. The use of integrated software ensures that everyone has the information they need to operate at maximum effectiveness. For example, sales people can see everything they need to know about your company s interaction with a particular customer from a single screen while managers can quickly generate company-wide reports that provide a clear and up-to-date picture of the entire sales process. This seamless approach maximizes the efficiency of your customer-facing efforts. Boost Profits and Customer Relationships with 6

10 About Epicor For 20 years, Epicor has been a recognized leader dedicated to providing leading edge enterprise software solutions to midmarket companies around the world. With over 15,000 customers, Epicor delivers end-to-end, industry-specific solutions that enable companies to immediately improve business operations and build competitive advantage in today s realtime global economy. Epicor s comprehensive suite of integrated software solutions for Customer Relationship Management, Financials, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, and Services Execution and Control provide the scalability and flexibility to support long-term growth. Epicor s solutions are complemented by a full range of services, providing a single point of accountability to promote rapid return on investment and low total cost of ownership. Trademark and Copyright Acknowledgement Copyright Epicor Software Corporation Epicor is a trademark and/or registered trademark of Epicor Software Corporation. All other trademarks acknowledged. Epicor reserves the right to make modifications or changes to the functionality, and plans described herein without further notice. This document is intended solely to inform the audience of Epicor's current intentions. Epicor makes no warranties, express or implied in or by this document. The contents of this document are believed to be current and accurate as of its date of publication. For a complete description of the product features, please refer to the product s user guides, reference manuals and release notes. Boost Profits and Customer Relationships with 7

11 For more information, Contact Epicor Sales at Or visit us on the Web at

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