Fios stays top-of-mind with e-mail

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Challenge: Fios is a 5-year-old Portland, Ore.-based company that provides electronic information discovery services to legal professionals. The company manages and processes large amounts of electronic data for legal professionals and investigative agencies that require an audit trail.

Because its sales cycle tends to be unpredictable, Fios wanted to remain visible to customers by sustaining ongoing communications; it also wanted to find a way to formalize its lead generation program.

In addition, Fios, which means "knowledge" in Gaelic, has seen a significant rise in the number of its competitors. While there were three or four key competitors in this highly specialized area in 2003, this year there have been about 240 new entrants into the space, according to Kate Kockler, marketing programs manager at Fios. "It's important to keep our brand in front of potential customers and current customers because we have a lot of competitors out there," she said.

Finally, because various industry studies indicate that only about 6% of the market uses electronic discovery services, there is a challenge to boost awareness and educate potential customers in order to take advantage of the enormous growth potential in the market. "A big part of the goal is to educate customers," Kockler said.

Solution: Fios hired eROI last December and the company helped Fios map out an e-mail marketing strategy. The first order of business was to generate attendance for Fios' Webcasting events. EROI created and managed e-mails announcing Webcasts, managed Web registrations, generated reminder e-mails and handled follow-up e-mail to Web attendees.

In early 2004, eROI helped Fios develop an e-mail newsletter to maintain contact with customers and prospects. The newsletter contains educational content, as well as Webcast series schedules and links to the company's Web site. eROI also formalized the lead capture tools on Fios' Web site. The newsletter is currently going to 7,159 subscribers, of which about 25% are current customers.

Fios collects e-mail addresses from its target audience through Webcasts, the Web site and trade shows.

Kockler said eROI is also sensitive to spam compliance. "They're very proactive when something new comes up in terms of legislation, so it's something we don't have to worry about," Kockler said.

She said eROI's biggest strength is its attention to measurement and analysis. "They harbor all our e-mail data and we can slice and dice the data," she said.

Fios just completed the integration of its eROI e-mail marketing tools with its CRM program, This week, it will test the integration to "make sure all the information is populating and flowing correctly," Kockler said. That step will enable Fios to track leads throughout the sales cycle.

"ROI is our main focus when we are running marketing programs," Kockler said. "We don't spend money unless we know we're getting something back from it. We base all of our marketing program planning on ROI."

Results: Through three e-mail campaigns in July, Fios increased traffic to its site by 63% over June traffic. The number of subscribers to its e-newsletter has more than doubled, up 3,425 since December 2003. Its July newsletter had an initial open rate of 32% and a relative read rate (people who returned to the e-mail and read it again) of 70.7%.


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