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Recently we have been tasked with streamlining and slimming down the relationship that we have with certain external vendors. Specifically, we were looking to move many manual processes from a third party literature fulfillment vendor to a more automated process. The previous processes included elements such as:

  • Lead routing for web product information request forms
  • Lead routing for all trade show activities
  • Lead routing for all distributors/agents/manufacturers reps who fell outside of SFDC
  • Digital Literature Fulfillment

 

The true challenge that we faced with this was that their manual lead routing process delayed the delivery of leads from 8 hours to as much as 6 days from the time of submission. Holiday weekends were painful and selected trade shows took weeks. Additionally, the quality of their routing (not their fault) was poor because it relied on a manual update to an Excel spreadsheet every time we wanted to make a change. This file took 4-8 hours to create and up to two weeks to get implemented in their systems which meant that no one ever updated it.

 

On top of this, the construction of our current lead routing process between this vendor and SFDC did not allow us to route leads effectively to Inside Sales teams. This is because our sales assignment tables were based on product lines (which generally go to our field sales teams), and these inside teams sold specific sets of product groups within those product lines making this nuance "disappear" and routing all leads to our field sales teams.

 

By using Eloqua, our team was able to replace all product based online forms with standard Eloqua forms.  We then built look up tables and routing logic using Program Builder to handle the correct routing assignments where hard coding was necessary (Inside Sales and Distributors) to override the assignments in our sales commission tables. Lastly, by using blind forms to profile the customer and products, we were able to increase the accuracy of the submissions making the lead quality much higher.

 

We're still working on developing our plans for establishing a digital literature fulfillment program in Eloqua, but we plan on getting that done in Q4.

We recently launched a new campaign aimed at getting new testimonials to use in our marketing efforts, mainly video testimonials. The campaign was to give out free cameras to the first 50 customers that shared a written testimonial, then ask those customers to record their testimonial and send it in for a chance to win one of 5 iPads. When we sent out the first email promoting the campaign, we were overwhelmed by the response we received. Within 20 minutes, we had already received our first 50 written testimonials and they were still flooding in. We had to turn on a auto-reply email letting customers know that the cameras were gone, but we still gave everyone who entered a $5 Starbucks gift card to say thanks.

 

We did several more pushes promoting the contest, and even though we told everyone the cameras were already gone, they still responded with their written testimonials. To date we have received 180 new written testimonials from happy customers!

 

What we had not counted on was the lack of response to the video portion of the campaign. Out of the 180 written testimonials, we have only received 8 video testimonials. We even called everyone who received a free camera in a vein attempt to guilt them into recording their testimonial.

 

Despite the lackluster response of video testimonials, this campaign was a great success. We now have a brand new database of awesome testimonials to pull from in our marketing campaign. Not to mention we found out that one of our customers is a video production company, and their video testimonial is AMAZING!

 

My conclusion, your customers are your biggest cheerleaders - so ask them to rate, review or give a testimonial and they will respond.

Highlights below on Mobile Compatibility that should be considered:

 

Summary:

  1. HTML:  most now support HTML rendering!
  2. Images: still blocked, except on iPhone/iPad.
  3. Alt-text: Only Android will display alt-text behind a blocked image.
  4. Preview Text: Has gained a ton of traction in recent months. It shows up right after the subject line, and pulls in the first few lines of live text from your email to give readers a “snippet” of what’s in the email.
  5. Scale:  Think of this space as the preview pane.
  6. Modify Fonts: Reading email on a tiny screen is hard. Every mobile OS will modify your fonts to some degree (learn to accept that your fonts may not be the size or shape you intended)

 

 

Mobile email compatibility basics like image blocking, preview text, alt text, and more. Use this guide as you’re planning out your next campaign:

 

MobileChart2012.jpg

 

HTML:  This column is an indication of native HTML support on the device. The great news is that most modern mobile operating systems support HTML and CSS,

 

Images: While HTML support in mobile is mostly good news, the bad news is that image blocking is back in a big way. The only mobile OS that doesn’t block images by default is the iPhone/iPad. All’s not lost, though. Of those devices that block images, most offer a big touch-friendly button to turn them on.

Alt Text: If you’ve been designing email for the desktop for a while, you’re probably a master at the fine art of alt text. Unfortunately, only Android will display alt-text behind a blocked image.

Preview Text: Preview text has gained a ton of traction in recent months due to it’s prevalence in Outlook, Gmail and the iPhone. It shows up right after the subject line, and pulls in the first few lines of live text from your email to give readers a “snippet” of what’s in the email. It’s a great way to pack more punch in your email, and it will show up in iOS devices as well as Windows Mobile 7.

Scale: While the iPhone zooms into your email and fits the email to the width of your screen, most other devices will display the upper left-hand corner of your email, leaving users to scroll left-and-right in addition to up-and-down to view your entire message. You could think of this space as the preview pane, reborn for the mobile age.

Modify Fonts: Reading email on a tiny screen is hard. Every mobile OS will modify your fonts to some degree, although it’s a bit of a mixed bag. iPhone and iPad have a 13px minimum font size and will auto-adjust anything under that size, often breaking navigation bars and other tiny text. The folks over at Campaign Monitor wrote up a post on how to fix this using a bit of CSS. In other devices, I observed text being condensed, breaking at random intervals and other unfriendly behaviors, but nothing that seemed consistent or predictable. The best course of action is to plan for unruly text behavior in your design, and learn to accept that your fonts may not be the size or shape you intended.

Test your emails and find out.  Use this site: http://litmus.com/email-testing

Source is from Litmus.   They have a lot on this subject, so checkout their website at http://litmus.com

Eloqua's CTO, founding member and the author of the books 'Digital Body Language' and 'Revenue Engine' will visit Finland September 26th and 27th. Steve will deliver two key notes at the Finland's premier MarCom confrence, Marketing Communications Week.

 

More information about the event (in Finnish) at www.markkinointiviestinnanviikko.fi.

 

If you are planning to visit and need an invitation, please let me know.

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