Mary Abrahamson, Email Marketing Specialist, Ferguson Enterprises, went from a first-time attendee at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014 to Best-in-Show winner at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015.
"I learned a lot at Email Summit last year, and coming back [to the office] I felt like we were in an okay place, but we had a lot of room to grow," she said, explaining that the team began taking steps to refuel their database.
While you may not have heard of Abrahamson’s company, you most likely have Ferguson products in your home and office. Ferguson is the largest wholesale distributor of plumbing in the U.S. It has evolved over the past 60 years from a local distributor to an $11 billion company with more than 1,400 locations and more than 20,000 associates around the country.
Ferguson was sending out emails before tradeshow events that had no registration information and provided no opportunity for the company to follow up. Each send also had to be manually created, essentially leading to the same email being changed and sent more than 90 times.
The day of the event, attendees had to physically fill out cards. The cards could spend up to three weeks in transit back to Ferguson's headquarters, only to then be manually uploaded to the email database.
The team looked to automate the email process to allow for tailored content based on customer type and segment. They segmented based on:
- Company zip code
- Job title
- Company size
- Trade type
The team had a goal to digitize the on-site registration process at the Ferguson Rewards tradeshows. This new system would eliminate the delay of adding in new email subscribers and the need to decipher illegible handwriting from the cards.
At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015, attendees heard how Ferguson Enterprises generated $10 million in online sales by enriching the customer experience. Mary Abrahamson shared the customer journey of two personas as they moved through the sales funnel.
Abrahamson advised her peers at the event to "illuminate the bigger picture for your customers. A lot of customers, they don’t really want to part ways with their information. So make them realize why you want [it.] That you’re going to follow up with relevant emails."
Related ResourcesMarketingSherpa Summit 2016
— At the Bellagio in Las Vegas, February 22-24, 2016B2B Email Marketing: Ferguson Rewards trade show optimization achieves over $10 million Inbound Marketing: How Ancestry.com increased conversion by 20% with reduced choice barriers and targeted content