Article

Olivier  Choron
Olivier Choron 31 January 2018
Categories B2B, Email & eCRM

In 2018 there is no space for one-size-fits-all emails

Innocent or guilty? Are you one of those businesses who for decades have been sending all their channel partners the exact same emails or newsletters, no matter who these partners are, resulting in diminishing open and click rates and overall boredom in emails being received?  Be honest! If you haven’t done so already you really need to change your approach.

The one-size-fits-all strategy sadly continues to be adopted even today (but you know this already, right?), so I will explain and prove to you how to cost effectively change your approach quickly and easily, with minimum effort (yes, it is possible!).

The why

Data is often a huge contributing factor as to why companies fail to create targeted newsletters for their channel partners, as they simply don’t know enough about them. Who the individuals are, what they need, what they sell, their behaviors and which markets they operate in are all ways companies could better target their partners and boost email engagement.

But, having the budget to manage the complexity of delivering targeted content to partners on a global, multi-lingual scope is extremely expensive, resource-intensive and time-consuming. We get it! It’s therefore not surprising that because of this, organizations’ have no choice but to focus their time on producing a nice-looking email, rather than one that is targeted and relevant to partners. This has the unfortunate effect of very low open and click rates as partners quickly become disinterested. Sound familiar?

How can you possibly maintain a relationship with partners if they don’t open your email? It’s time to make a change.

My personal example

Just to illustrate my point, a very large IT company, working in Europe, whom I know extremely well, were growing their partner base. They started off by creating one HTML newsletter version in English, which they sent once a month to their partners. After growing their partner base, they realized they needed to do more than one version, so they translated the newsletter into 12 languages. For this they needed specially-recruited email marketers to take the English version, translate it (which of course incurs a cost), create separate HTML newsletters and send them separately (all of which costs ever more).

After their partner numbers grew even further, the company decided to take their targeting one step further and produce three email versions in English for:

  • ‘companies that were not active’
  • ‘companies that have been active’
  • ‘companies that were very active’

… every month.

This of course needed to be translated into 12 languages as well, equating to 36 different newsletters being created every month. To achieve this, I’m sure you can imagine, the costs were growing to astronomical proportions due to the number of ‘people’ involved, not just in the translating, but in the HTML designing and building of these newsletters as well.

As budgets were inevitably cut, they decided to only translate into 6 languages instead of 12, but kept with the 3 groups. This still equated to 18 versions being created monthly. Budgets were then unfortunately cut even further so they stopped creating 3 versions for each language and instead created one version and translated it into 6 languages.

This is just one example I’ve seen, but there are many more I have encountered like this over the years. Unfortunately, when a lot of people are involved it just becomes too expensive and is simply not sustainable.

Where organizations get it wrong

Marketing automation software can appear to be the solution at first glance, but this type of software is designed to be used to nurture relationships with prospective buyers, not maintain and build relationships with channel partners over a long period.

You also don’t want to second guess what you think channel partners would like to hear about, which is what a marketing automation solution basically does.  Just because a partner clicked on something in the dim and distant past what’s to say they have since decided it’s not for them? But because of this one click they now have to receive email after email about the same thing. Boring and off-putting!

Here’s a thought…What if you actually asked them what information they would like to receive from you, and only send them content related to that? This would be best scenario, wouldn’t you agree?

The answer

newsondemand, a solution developed by my company Tremolo Software means that this is now possible.

Why partners like it:

  • Partners choose what news they would like to receive from you, by selecting what topics they are interested in and what languages they would like to receive it in (25+ choices)
  • They select when they would like to receive news from you (daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly)
  • Each recipient will receive a fantastic 100% targeted newsletter to them which will only feature news they’re interested in reading about

It’s so much easier and cost effective:

  • Admins add news to the platform and tag it based on recipient type, language and topic
  • Admins can select the priority level of news articles so the most important will appear at the top
  • With no HTML coding required, less people are involved in the creation process, vastly reducing the overall cost in creating an email newsletter
  • You can track the popularity of each article and identify how engaged your recipients are

It really is a genuine ‘no-brainer’. I cannot begin to explain what a difference this has made to our clients. Take a look at this case study from SAP and see how it has helped them achieve email open rates of up to an astonishing 49%! Or if you prefer, watch a great step by step video that clearly explains how it all works.

So, guilty as charged? There’s really no defense for it. It’s time you made that change and stopped sending one size fits all emails. Try a marketing automation tool, (if you must) but I can assure you that you will be disappointed in the results, as you will be spending far too long creating (partly) targeted emails every week and far too much money on labor costs when it’s simply not necessary.

Take the easy, more cost-effective route and ask partners what content they would like to receive from you and when they would like to receive it. And then only send them content related to that. Happy partners equate to more sales, and being the vendor of choice. It just makes perfect sense in 2018.

This article was originally published here.

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