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Best Email Newsletter for Marketing Purposes:
Honorable Mention B-to-B
Ariad's MarketingSense e-newsletter
Brand/Client Side Team:
MarketingSherpa Summary - Why They Won:
The sad truth is, most marketing departments are not set up to give resellers, field sales reps, and/or distributors much help with email. And these are the folks who most need the help (they are too busy in sales pitch meetings to focus on marketing.) Also, field reps et al, tend to have strong personal relationships with the prospects and clients on their own lists. So, email for them has a tremendous pay-off, far better than marcom from a faceless marketer up at corporate HQ. We hope more marketers serving field sales and resellers follow Ariad's example.
From Their Nomination Form:
This is a bi-monthly email newsletter program that provides financial advisors with value-added marketing communication ideas to help them build their business. Ariad sells personalized, financial planning newsletters to financial advisors which they, in turn, distribute to their clients. Ariad distributes the MarketingSense newsletter to these financial advisors (their customers) in order to build loyalty and customer retention by educating them on marketing tactics and techniques. Customer research showed a financial advisor would remain committed to using a newsletter program if they had advice, tactics, and research that supported this kind of marketing. The research also showed that Ariad had a high degree of credibility amongst advisors as a provider of this kind of information and expertise. The primary target audience for MarketingSense is current and occasional users of an Ariad client newsletter or client e-newsletter service. The secondary audience is 'pure prospects' ' advisors who have never used an Ariad service. Ariad is growing this list through 'forward-to-a-friend' campaigns, opt-in opportunities on the Ariad Web site, through trade show campaigns, and other marketing initiatives. An additional audience is interested people within the industry, including members of the media who write on practice management issues. They are invited to subscribe to the newsletter as a way of encouraging them to use Ariad as a source in their articles, and raising awareness in the industry.The marketing objectives of the program are to: Maintain a higher degree of contact and develop deeper relationships between Ariad and its financial advisor customers; Reinforce the purchase decision by demonstrating the Ariad is the most knowledge supplier of advisor marketing tools; Provide a new source of sales inquiries from prospects and occasional users of Ariad's newsletter services. Cross-sell and up-sell from existing for added features in the program and for other products and services; Increase awareness of Ariad's brand, expertise, services and products; Generate new sales leads and referrals through 'forwards' of the e-newsletter. Communication objectives are to: Provide information and advice on marketing communications tactics that help advisors reinforce their relationships with their clients; Provide advisors with regular, relevant information and advice with a high perceived value; Engage advisors in a dialogue through use of interactive features; Show advisors what's working for other successful advisors; Promote Ariad's expertise and range of services. Ariad chose an email newsletter to achieve these objectives because it was considered to be: Cost effective and made good use of limited marketing dollars; Interactive ' so that Ariad could establish a dialogue with its 6,000 clients without being face to face with them; Trackable; Easily archived allowing Ariad to easily build a microsite of marketing resources by keeping past issues available; Linkable to the many other resources available to financial advisors on the Ariad website.
The e-newsletter is produced six times per year. It is deployed during the period when Advisors are making their order/purchase decisions for their client newsletters. As part of the sales cycle, advisors receive an e-preview of the newsletter that they can order for distribution to their clients. The MarketingSense newsletter arrives in their inbox two weeks after the e-preview, and is scheduled so advisors can immediately take advantage of the e-newsletter's tips and tactics for getting maximum benefit from their marketing communications activities with their clients. It is also deployed at a time when call volumes into the sales and service centre are traditionally lower, generating more sustained customer interest during the whole sales cycle. By publishing the MarketingSense newsletter, Ariad is communicating several important messages to its advisor clients. First, the newsletter demonstrates that Ariad values its relationships with advisors and is committed to helping their businesses succeed. Second, it reinforces that Ariad is the expert on advisor marketing ' the 'go to' agency for expert marketing communication advice and services. Third, it supports Ariad's value proposition by 'practicing what it preaches': the importance of maintaining regular contact with your customers; providing a fresh and relevant perspective in a cluttered communications environment; maintaining the right balance between a value-added service and a business generating tool. While it helps to generate sales and strengthen Ariad's client retention, it also provides a high-value service to its own financial advisor customers by helping them to generate sales and strengthen relationships with their own clients.
Average email metrics: Total open rates: 82%. Unique open rates: 48%. Total clickthrough rates: 33%. Unique clickthrough rates: 30%. Business results: Customer service representatives in the company's call center report a significantly higher volume of product enquiries immediately following the deployment of the e-newsletter.