Integrating e-mail and telemarketing

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When MegaFab, a machine tools manufacturing company, was searching for ways to boost its telemarketing sales numbers, managers took a closer look at the company’s e-mail marketing efforts. MegaFab relies on telemarketing for the lion’s share of its sales, said Alfred Julian, VP-marketing, so tapping e-mail response data had the potential to provide a gold mine of valuable leads.

Until recently, the Hutchinson, Kan.-based manufacturer had been using a low-end, in-house e-mail package that provided minimal reporting information about responses to its online marketing campaigns, Julian said. The most detail marketing managers gathered was a measurement of increased traffic to the Web site soon after an e-mail blast, which offered no help to the sales force, he added.

Julian said he believed a more sophisticated e-mail system integrated with the company’s telemarketing efforts could boost sales. “Our goal is to have telemarketing and e-marketing running together as a team,” Julian said. “We hope that instead of calling people randomly two to three times a year, we’ll make more calls to people who express interest in an e-mail.”

To that end, the company made significant changes to its e-mail marketing program earlier this year. MegaFab switched to an e-mail reporting system from ReachMail Inc. that gives the manufacturer real-time information about recipients who opened e-mails and acted further on them. Julian can access that data in spreadsheet format and drill down to get details about specific actions a recipient took on the company’s Web site. By targeting follow-up phone calls to people who clicked through on e-mails to visit particular places on the Web site, the company’s sales team is working more efficiently, Julian said.

The company also improved its e-mail content, he said. For instance, e-mails invite recipients to click on a short (45-second) video about a specific product. MegaFab also makes sure that relevant information will be viewable in the e-mail’s preview pane. Plus, it offers technical information to selected recipients, Julian said, noting that those who take action on such information are important customers.

As a result of these efforts, MegaFab has experienced a 50% increase in the number of “hot lead” phone calls its sales representatives made since late March after people expressed interest in an e-mail sent to them, Julian said. Hot leads are more valuable contacts than individuals who may have purchased products in the past but aren’t necessarily seeking information on new machine tools, he said.

“Considering we’re in a down economy, an increase in our outgoing hot leads is remarkable,” he said.

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