Last weekend as I was cleaning up the kitchen, I had the radio on to my local NPR station's pledge drive. Usually they pull in a celebrity of some sort to help them raise money. A famous musician or radio personality. Guess who the celebrity guest was?
Their customer service email guy.
He was great. He talked about various emails he'd gotten from people who loved the station and wanted album information. He frequently mentioned how he always emailed them back, "Why don't you make a contribution and become a member?"
It was clear from the way the regular announcer treated the email guy that the station considered him a real celebrity. Someone who enough listeners had a personal connection with that they would dig in their pockets and donate.
It makes me think, now more than ever your customer service department has your brand reputation in the palm of their hand.
Our Senior Reporter Catherine Getches submitted a new Case Study on McDonald's Chipolte this week that completely illustrates the power of the email guy. It's the first Case Study below.
Anyway, here's a round-up of the most useful info the MarketingSherpa gang put out over the past week. Enjoy.
#1. McDonald's Chipotle Restaurants Revamp Site & Email Campaigns to Maximize Viral Pass-Along
�It looked like a heavy metal band's site," Chipotle's email manager Joe Stupp describes the restaurant chain's Web site before its big revamp this summer.
Even with a bad site, they got a heck of a lot of visitor email. So they focused their revamp and subsequent email marketing campaigns on taking advantage of it. If you copywrite email marketing campaigns, you'll enjoy the sample copy in this Case Study. If you're in charge of email customer service, you absolutely have to check this thing out
#2. Oakwood Uses Advanced Web & Email Tactics to Survive the Recession on a Smaller Marketing Budget
Before the recession hit, $500 million corporate temporary housing industry leader Oakwood already had an 8,000-page Web site and an email newsletter. So when business got tougher, Oakwood's marketer had to go beyond Web marketing 101 to improve sales on a smaller budget.
If you depend on your Web site to generate sales leads, this is a useful Case Study for you. Yes, there are some tactics (and cool metrics measurements) that companies of any size can take advantage of. Click here.
#3. The Onion - How the Web's Most Beloved Humor Site Stays Profitable
So many independently owned Web sites have gone under in the past year, that many fans of The Onion worried it might topple too. Never fear. The site is profitable and staying strong.
Although our Case Study is a fun read (hey, it's The Onion after all), it also includes some genuinely useful info on online ad sales that might help your own site improve. Enjoy
PRACTICAL KNOW HOW
#4. How Hewlett Packard Doubled its Own Site's Sales with Web Analytics
Seth Romanow, HP's Director of Worldwide eBusiness Research & Metrics, oversees the gathering and analysis of a profoundly huge amount of data from HP's site. Then once a week he gets together with his analysis team to make little tiny incremental site changes based on this data.
Over the past year, these little changes have doubled the site's visitor-to-buyer ratio and added millions to HP's sales. Not bad. Learn how Romanow's team has done it
#5. Alexis' Tech Column: Refer-a-friend from Plain-Text Email?
Yessiree! Thanks to lots of readers helping her test solutions, our Tech Editor Alexis Gutzman has found the way to include a refer-a-friend link email that works *without* forcing email readers to click to a form on the Web (which many don't feel like doing.)
Her solution is detailed here (note: if you're a typical marketer your eyes may glaze over, we suggest you forward this link
to your tech dept.)
6. My Marketing Column: Testing Emailed Transactive Offers
According to early tests conducted by Kim MacPherson over at Inbox Interactive, adding transactive offers -- i.e. buy now forms that people can fill out in email instead of having to click to your site -- can double your sales. Which is a pretty powerful reason to consider testing it yourself. More details, including a FlowersUSA campaign sample and my reality check here.
#7. Top 3 Ways PR People Annoy the Heck out of Journalists
This article contains a few home-truths from the journalist's point of view about why PR people are hard to work with. Chances are your company commits at least one of the sins mentioned. Here's your chance to stop it and make journalists love you
Until next week!
Anne Holland, Publisher