January 03, 2007
If your company’s policy is offline-only in terms of direct sales, how would you effectively use the Web site to drive prospects to the call center and retail outlets?
Just in time for all those New Year’s resolutions, see how one dieting program marketer is using a Web-to-phone system to not only dramatically improve conversions but also better track customers and prospects ... not to mention synching up national marketing with stores to give the campaign a truly local feel.
Multichannel strategies, intriguing results and creative samples:
Jenny Craig Inc. doesn’t conduct transactions online primarily because they don’t want to abandon the in-person and over-the-phone relationships between clients and consultants that built the brand.
But getting people who click on banners or search ads to take the next step in the purchasing process (i.e., to call or to go to a store location) is never easy. And it’s especially true when dealing with consumers who are contemplating the idea of entering a potentially lifestyle-changing dieting program -- New Year’s resolution or not.
“Our Web marketing department has to be able to not only get customers and prospects the information that they need, but also give them the call to action to our [stores] or phone reps,” says Ted Sindzinski, Internet Marketing Manager for Jenny Craig.
While the Web site already had a store locator box and a toll-free number, Sindzinski and his team set out to make the signing-up process more convenient for consumers and more profitable for their outlets.
They put together an onsite click-to-call program that also incorporated email marketing and surveys to maximize the data they could attain.
Step #1. Tighten the Web-store loop
After a period of careful marketing analysis on how to improve sales conversions, Sindzinski implemented a system just over a year ago that allowed viewers to request an immediate call from a service rep in their area. The old system made consumers go through a series of prompts before getting to the local store.
An ad button asking, “Have You Called Jenny Yet? To have a consultant call you, Click Here,” was placed in the center of the home page. A smaller ad appeared at the top of the page. Viewers who clicked were taken to a page where they needed to give their name, telephone number and email address in order to request the call. A drill-down menu gave consumers the option of getting a call from a local “centre” (spelling is indicative of Jenny Craig's Australian roots) or Jenny Direct.
Seconds after saying yes, their phone rang with a short recorded message from brand spokeswoman Kirstie Alley about how the program helped her. Viewers then were sent through to a local centre or to the national call facility.
In the case of the former, the staffer acknowledged that the caller was coming from the Web before inquiring about specifics, such as the prospect’s weight-loss goals and budget constraints.
But before all of this, Jenny Craig’s 465 centres had to get hooked up with the program -- in short, their telephone system was reconfigured so they could signal that the call was an online lead.
Step #2. Immediate follow-up
Throughout the call, a pop-up window stayed open on the prospect’s computer screen. After users finished their conversation with the consultant, the window offered them a chance to fill out a six-question survey about their experience with the technology. The questions were designed to find out simple answers, such as whether they made a purchase and what they liked/disliked about click to call.
The popup also offered them an opportunity to schedule another call right away or within one, five or 10 minutes.
Because initial customer support was so important, new Jenny Craig members received a welcome email immediately to remind them about some of the steps they had to take to use the program appropriately.
Since customers either picked up or received their food supplies on a weekly/biweekly basis, the company also sent them notifications about their dieting schedule and meal plan during the crucial first few weeks. Regular email notifications about where the customers were in their plans were sent out from then on.
“In a lot of these cases, this is an emotional beginning to a weight-loss challenge,” Sindzinski says. “So, the emails really try to walk them through the early stages of the program to help them get started.”
Oftentimes, the emails included the local centre to make it easier for the customer to contact the store, further intertwining the online/offline components.
Step #3. Get the word out
To jumpstart the click-to-call feature, Sindzinki’s team promoted it with ads on portals such as Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN and AOL’s Health Fitness channel. Banners went up on dieting/health sites, such as WebMD, and dating sites, such as Match.com.
Click to call also was included in a variety of email campaigns to the firm’s database, which is segmented into dozens of lists (as one example, the male quotient of their audience often get separate messaging).
The campaigns normally reached out to inactive customers, as well as to prospects who had shown interest but not yet joined.
It's now a year later, and the results have Jenny Craig and their customers raving.
“Our conversions are about twice as high using this system,” Sindzinski says. “We’ve bridged the gap between the online and offline world. Our customers love the fact that it’s easy for them to get in touch with the local centre. People love the speed of the service, and they think the technology is cool.”
Indeed, in the customer questionnaires, more than 75% rate the service as good or very good and 90% are satisfied with how fast the process works.
“Most of the people who said they didn’t enjoy it were using a dial-up connection,” Sindzinski says. “Another interesting thing we’ve seen with the surveys is that about half who tap the click to call button are looking for information and half are looking to make an appointment.”
Although the email campaigns supporting the feature have been successful, Sindzinski couldn’t go into details besides mentioning that their open rates are typically favorable compared to the rest of the industry because of the strength of the brand.
Sindzinski says they'll definitely continue to push their click-to-call application. “This breaks the ice, and it’s a little softer [sell],” he describes. “It’s a little easier than getting somebody to take action by picking up the phone and dialing the number themselves.”
Useful links related to this article
Creative samples from Jenny Craig’s click to call program:
eStara - the marketing services firm that provided the “Click to Call” service: