Objective: Provide an additional marketing vehicle to publicize the company's new brand identity and draw prospects and customers into the main Xerox site.
In conjunction with custom publisher Imagination, Xerox created an e-zine—Exchange—and a quarterly newsletter to push the electronic publication's content to customers and prospects.
As many as 70% of all of the people who visit Exchange go on to visit different pages on Xerox.com. Meanwhile, only a very small percentage—about 0.03%—opt out of the corresponding newsletter.
This past January, Xerox Corp. completed an extensive rebranding effort, introducing a new corporate logo as well as a revamped look and feel for all its marketing communication materials. The effort was a bid to increase awareness of the company's capabilities, said Edward Gala, Xerox's VP-corporate marketing services.
“There was a lack of understanding about the company, and what we offer and what we do,” he said. As part of the education process, Gala and his team needed a way to bring people in to the main Xerox site. But since there isn't one typical Xerox customer—the company serves small, midsize and large businesses, and offers a wide variety of products and services—they needed something that would let the team touch every customer category and vertical. A custom e-zine, designed and produced by custom publisher Imagination, was a perfect platform for that, said Gala. It was nontraditional, he said, and could be used to disseminate information.
“We deliberately went with an e-zine to appeal to the broad base of customers and prospects,” Gala said. “We could use it to tell an integrated Xerox story across all customer segments rather than zeroing in on just one.”
It also gave them a way to provide information that would help its customers. The new e-zine, he said, would do more than just disseminate a branding message. For example, this spring the company used it to report on news and information coming out of the Drupa trade show in Germany, a printing event that takes place every four years.
“Previously, we wouldn't have had a way to provide that kind of information. We ran a dedicated page [on the e-zine site] and generated some of the highest traffic we've ever had with more than a 100% increase month over month,” he said.
The e-zine's design matches the main Xerox corporate Web site's, while its content includes such topics as innovation, sustainability, recruitment and best practices.
In the end, though, it's the prospects and customers—and what they think about the e-zine—that matters most. Gala said Xerox is very happy with the results. The average time spent on site is about eight minutes—although it has seen average times spent as high as an hour. Even more impressive, the e-newsletter that supports Exchange and goes out to a list of 230,000 is doing just as well.
Opt-outs have been almost nonexistent, Gala said, adding: “The first edition of Exchange was sent Jan. 8, 2008, to 231,000 recipients and resulted in 65 unsubscribes.” More recently, the special edition of Exchange sent at the end of May in conjunction with the Drupa show to 28,000 recipients resulted in just three unsubscribes. “So we are hovering at about 0.03% and want to stay well below 1% which, according to our contacts at Imagination, is a good place to be,” Gala said.
Today, Xerox has one person dedicated to working with the Imagination team to develop content. In addition, the custom publishing firm sends representatives to Xerox's corporate marketing summits so they can better understand the marketing goals of the company and learn about new products and services. “They see key press coverage, executive speeches and information about major marketing events,” Gala said. “The e-zine is really powerful. In the past, we might have thought about a corporate magazine for our key customers, but that's not available or updatable in real time. An online custom publication is an evergreen communication tool.”