by Adam Sutton
, Senior Reporter
Salespeople need information. Data about a lead's interests, challenges and reasons for connecting can be invaluable when crafting a pitch or presentation.
Email marketing is a good source of this information. Analytics can reveal the links a lead clicks in an email and when they do it. But when it comes to sharing this information, many companies drop the ball.
The marketing team at Thirty-One Gifts wanted to make this a smooth handoff. The company is the 18th largest direct seller in the world by revenue, according to Direct Selling News.
It sells purses, tote bags, wallets and more, and has more than 100,000 independent sales consultants in the U.S.
The company's marketing team sends email campaigns to potential customers on behalf of its consultants. The team needs to pass along the results of those campaigns into consultants' hands so they can sell more effectively.
"We pass that on to empower our consultants to maintain and manage their businesses," said Stephanie Sammons, Interactive Solutions Specialist, Thirty-One Gifts.
Thirty-One Gifts created a three-part email series to update consultants on the performance of the campaigns it sends on their behalf. The messages include basic stats, such as delivery and open rate, and detailed information, such as the name and email address of every prospect who clicked each link.
Here are the steps the team took to launch the series:
Step #1. Create tools for sales enablement
The marketing team at Thirty-One Gifts sends promotional email
on behalf of about 90% of its consultants. The monthly emails highlight products, discounts and encourage customers to host a house party where products are sold
In addition to these emails, the company supports personalized webpages
for consultants and a back-end system with reports on the email campaigns. Consultants can check:
- Open and clickthrough rate data
- Who on their list opened and clicked a message
- Who has registered for one of their house parties
Step #2. Send data via email
Asking salespeople to log in and check campaign results creates a barrier between them and the information. When only one email campaign is sent each month, it can be easy to forget to log in periodically.
Since the data can be an effective sales tool, Thirty-One Gifts put it front and center by sending it to consultants in a series of three emails.
Three updates in one week
Consultants receive an email with fresh analytics
on day one, day three and day seven after a promotional email is sent. The emails are identical except for its analytics data, which is updated at the time of each send.
The top portion of the email includes basic information, such as:
- Date of the promotion
- Number of emails sent
- Delivery rate
- Clicks and clickthrough rate
- Opens and open rate
The bottom portion of the email lists each link in the promotional email and its corresponding:
- Number of clicks
- Name and email address of any subscribers who clicked
- Time and date that each subscriber clicked
"Now a consultant can see who may want to host a party, or who at least is showing some interest Ö A consultant may reach out and say, 'Hey, I saw you are potentially interested in hosting a party. Are there any questions I can help answer for you?'" Sammons said. "It's a way to gauge interest and allow them to follow up on leads in a different way."
Capture the peak of activity
Thirty-One Gifts' promotional emails earn most of its engagement in the middle of the week, Sammons said. Since a promotional email can be sent at any time, the team needs to make sure it sends at least one week of data to consultants.
"We generally see an increase in activity mid-week, so that seven days really allows us to capture the full activity," Sammons said.
Step #3. Streamline the process
When the marketing team began the email updates, the process was "extremely manual" and took several days, Sammons said.
Thirty-One Gifts recently changed email service providers and now use the new provider's API to create and send the emails. The process has been almost entirely automated.
The change also allowed the team to simplify the back-end experience for consultants and push them one step closer to the data. Now, they only need to login once to access a reporting dashboard instead of having to log in to Thirty-One Gifts' system and then log in to another system.
"The single sign-on experience was very important to us. We needed to have them stay in one place and not have to jump from site to site," Sammons said.
Step #4. Plan to expand the tools
After overhauling its tools a few months ago, Thirty-One Gifts plans to continue rolling out features to will help its sales consultants with email marketing.
One upcoming feature will allow consultants to email house-party invitations to targeted groups of prospects.
"Segmentation is in the pipeline in a big way," Sammons said. "We want to empower the consultants to better reach the audience that best represents the message they are trying to convey."
Sammons cited a hypothetical example of an email campaign focused on recruiting new members for a consultantís team:
"We can allow the consultant to segment those who have shown interest in possibly joining their team and then have a very targeted message about recruitment."
"This is something we've been doing for years but continually optimize in order to drive the best data and leads to our consultants," Sammons said. "The biggest benefit has been from the voice of the consultants. We have had rave reviews."
The email updates are one of the top ways Thirty-One Gifts connects sales consultants with potential leads. Although it cannot directly attribute them to sales, overall revenue at the company is up and Sammons said the emails are a big contributor.
"As a whole, email has been one of the most valuable marketing tools in our mix," She concluded.
Thirty-One Gifts projects a 39.3% increase in sales revenue year-over-year for 2013. From 2011 to 2012, sales increased 48.9%.
As of 2012, the company is the 18th largest direct seller in the world in terms of revenue, according to Direct Selling News
. That's up from the 24th largest in 2011 and the 83rd largest in 2010.
- Consultant page
- Customer email campaign
- Consultant activity report email
Related ResourcesMarketingSherpa 2013 Email Marketing Benchmark ReportDirect Selling News: Global 100 ListMarketing Analytics: 3 steps to help Sales and Marketing improve productivitySales-Marketing Alignment: Marketing-qualified lead lift of 25%, lead rejection reduction of 20% with data-driven marketing strategySales and Marketing: The technology behind CRM