Using Transactional Email for Cross-Selling

January 11, 2007

I hadn’t come across this topic in awhile, but transactional email can be an effective – and low cost – method for cross-selling and gaining valuable customer insight. A transaction email is, for instance, a confirmation email sent from you to a customer after a purchase or download of some sort. Many times, transactional emails are plain text generated from a customer database. Why not make them more?

A quick article written by Dave Lewis of StrongMail Systems ( in a recent BtoB Email Marketing Insight newsletter offered a few tips on developing a program to take advantage of transactional emails.

“Compliance. While marketing messages are allowed in transactional e-mails, you do need to follow the provisions set out in CAN-SPAM. It comes down to keeping the focus on the transaction in your subject line and placement of content. Of course, you’ll want to consult with your legal adviser for the exact parameters before implementing your program.

Relevancy. Any messages or offers inserted into a transactional e-mail need to be relevant. Relevancy is even more important with transactional e-mail, as you risk losing an active customer with indiscriminate marketing offers that don’t reflect previously established interests and preferences. Helpful information related to the transaction can go a long way in establishing brand loyalty and inducing follow-up sales.

Branding. Take full advantage of HTML to reinforce your brand. Without taking focus away from the transaction itself, HTML also allows you to insert marketing messages and offers in a much more prominent, visually appealing way. Text-based offers too easily get lost at the bottom of a transactional e-mail.

Technology. Sending out relevant, highly branded e-mails requires the right technology to enable HTML and integrate with your customer databases. As a supplemental marketing channel, you’ll also want to make sure that you have the e-mail management systems in place to properly track delivery, open and conversion rates. Whether you use an in-house solution or outsource to an ESP, make sure it provides the required integration and management capabilities.”

If a quality email tracking program is in place, a small business could track what a customer may also be interested in by where they click in the confirmation email. That information could be used by the sales team for the follow-up thank you call or for future marketing efforts. Promotions on related products or services purchased could also be communicated via the email.

Yes, building a back-end program generated from a database for this program could be costly and/or challenging, but the benefits and the upside could easily offset that.


Great Blogs Added to My Blogroll

January 10, 2007

With all the great marketing news and information that’s been floating around lately, I’m overdue on a post adding new blogs to my blogroll. I keep my blogroll to marketing-related blogs that I read often and that provide unique and informative insights to my readers. These blogs probably aren’t new to anyone, but check them out if you haven’t already.

Drew McLellan’s The Marketing Minute: I truly enjoy Drew’s writing style and quality posts. He blogs often and he usually puts a unique twist on common marketing news or techniques. I often leave his blog with a new viewpoint to consider.

Chris Brown’s Branding and Marketing: Chris comes up with fresh, unique content on a daily basis. Her experience as President and owner of Marketing Resources & Results, Inc. has translated into a great blog loaded with quality marketing information.

Thanks Drew and Chris for the great information! There are plenty of great reads in the blog world so stay tuned for further additions to the Lonely Marketer Blogroll.

Giving Your Campaigns a Global Reach

January 8, 2007

globe.jpgAs a Marketing Manager with responsibility for both US marketing and marketing to other parts of the world, any article focusing on launching campaigns in different territories catches my eye.

Many small companies aren’t equipped with marketing people all over the world to tailor and launch territory-specific campaigns. Typically, we’re left with trying to figure out how to turn a US-based marketing campaign into a global effort.

This article by Carat Fusion’s Mike Yapp talks about giving your campaigns a global appeal. This section is what prompted me to write about it:

“I once spoke to a group of marketing students from U.C. Berkeley. I asked them to paint a picture of an individual from the following information:

His father is a lawyer and Rotarian. His mom is a teacher and president of the PTA. He’s Protestant. His family has lived in Springfield for three generations, and he graduated fifth in his high school class.

Naturally all I got back were blank stares.

Then I asked the same question with the following information:

He wears Volcom jeans, a Quicksilver t-shirt, a Hurley cap and DC sneakers. He drives a tuner and listens to The Killers.

Bingo! Faces lit up.”

That story got me thinking – how many times do we describe our product or service in a way that entices us but not our audience? They may be interested in what we have to offer but we didn’t engage them with our description. This can easily happen when we try to stretch a campaign globally. The article talks about many good examples and is worth a read.

Does anyone else have thoughts or comments about global campaigns and global messaging?

A Great (and tasty) Marketing Example

January 6, 2007


My wife and I vow that one of these years we’re going to start keeping information about wines we enjoy. Maybe its the time involved or the tough peeling of labels from bottles, but we never seem to start cataloging our favorite bottles.

That’s why this little piece of marketing caught my eye. I’ve yet to really see a winemaker take advantage of the space they have on bottles. Yes, there are some great designs, but how many times has a marketing method been used on the bottle’s real estate? I was about to throw this bottle away tonight when a peel-off label caught my eye on the back of the bottle.

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On the back of the peel-off label are the winery’s website, phone number and type of wine you drank. Rosenblum Cellars did a great job with this! The only thing missing was a custom landing page where they could track the success of the label. The url listed was their main site. Imagine the possibilities with that label – special urls with promos, newsletter sign-ups, pre-buying of new releases, advertising of new vintages, etc.

But, they got my attention and I’ve even started a notebook with the small label. Hopefully, more wineries will jump on this bandwagon.

TO FURTHER THE DISCUSSION: Drew McLellan of Drew’s Marketing Minute had this post this weekend about winemakers changing their thinking about how they market themselves to their customers. Whoever thought the combination of wine and marketing would make such a good discussion!

Check This List Out if You Haven’t Already

January 5, 2007

I thought most everyone in the search marketing world had seen or heard about this list, but I’ve corresponded today with two people who had not. So, I’m posting this in case any of my readers have not visited Lee Odden‘s Online Marketing Blog to see his incredible list of search marketing blogs. He and his team put a ton of work into this – the list is definitely worth a look!

I’ve already found a few blogs on the list that I didn’t know about that contain great content for the small business marketer.

Search Engine Land Discusses Small Business

January 3, 2007

The ever popular Search Engine Land blog managed by Danny Sullivan got even more popular in my eyes recently with the post – SMBs, Paid Search And Self-Service. The post, by Greg Sterling, highlighted how important small businesses are to the paid search industry and how they can be under-served by Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

I think paid search is a great marketing tool and I spend plenty every year on it. But, I was completely amazed at how little support I received from Google and Yahoo until I started to spend more. Now, I have great account reps who are very responsive. Was it the money or did they beef up their service?

Search and Display: Mix It Up

January 2, 2007

I’ve written in previous posts about the right marketing mix. By that I mean the melding of various mediums of marketing into one cohesive plan. Whether it be print advertising, search marketing, banner advertising, etc – its the art of bringing it all together in one marketing plan. Well, because I think its so important and also because we’re starting a new year and a new media plan, I’m throwing out more information on the topic.

A recent article on the Marketing VOX website discussed the results of two recent studies on display and search advertising and the effects that one has on the other. One of the reports described was done by ClickZ News and they say:

“…found that online users exposed to both the search and display advertising campaigns purchased the advertiser’s products and services 244 percent more online and 89 percent more offline compared with users not shown the ads.”

I love seeing numbers like these. As I’ve stated in the past, I’m not a huge fan of print advertising, but I know that its a necessary expense for many companies due to its large impact on branding. Print advertising is costly and takes up a size-able percentage of an overall marketing budget, but when you see how one medium can impact another, you can more than justify the expense.

Now, does this mean you can go out and run print and search ads, let them run, and you’re on your way to an early retirement. No way! In order to achieve the success found in those studies, your messaging and strategy need to be consistent throughout. The mix between your display and online should support and strengthen each other and your overall message.