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May 1, 2007
by Christopher Heine
"We try to look several weeks ahead towards upcoming seasonal opportunities, so that we can create eye catching emails with a visual theme consistent with that season or holiday," said Eric Engstrom, director of advertising and media at Salco Distributors, Largo, FL. "We attempt to complement the various magazine advertising pieces that we produce each month. We try to create a synergy between the print and the web. Our sales staff is briefed each week on these media communications, so that everyone is on the same page, to ensure that our customer interactions are at their very best."
Engstrom and his team have been honing their campaigns since 1999, tracking each effort to measure impact and render alterations on design, copy, price points and offers. They have seen their open rates run anywhere from two to eight percent; which are high results numbers for B2B marketers. "We have gotten a lot of feedback from our customers who say they have come to expect the emails every week and enjoy receiving them," Engstrom explained. "It is kind of like, 'Pavlov's Dog;' we have come to train them, and now they are using email as a purchasing tool."
Meanwhile, Engstrom says that sales conversions via email are on the rise for Salco. In the near future, he plans to extend the distributor's marketing efforts further into individual segments, focusing on niches, in addition to the broad market. Engstrom wants to utilize more of a divide and conquer strategy to service those individual segments. "We have tracked our emails and print ads and can see a steady increase in sales over the last 3 quarters," he said. "We have found that our email blasts have definitely increased product awareness and sales across all segments of our customer base."
Another recent aspect of emphasis for the Salco email programs has been in making the effort to tailor the content that is sent to the customer. Engstrom said his team hopes to give clients a better experience; one that does not waste their time and brings them to fully understand that Salco wants their business.
Salco has also synched up email and the website homepage (www.ezdropshipper.com) by using corresponding Flash media pieces in each. In order to draw attention to the product, the firm positions the animated Flash file directly in the center of the homepage and also positions the product as the top feature in the email. "We also try to position the same product in each of our print ads during the time of the multichannel campaign," Engstrom explained. "Overall, we find email to be an evolving medium that presents challenges, but produces rewards for those who take it seriously."
Of course, going headlong into email marketing can be scary for a wholesaler who is fresh to the scene. Thankfully, Engstrom was kind enough to supply his top trio of Things To Do and Things Not To Do, after working the field for the last seven years.
Things to Do:
Topic: Business Strategies
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