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November 13, 2013 / christinazuniga

Case Study: Targeting Audience Results in 1700% response rate INCREASE!

It was the best of Marketing practices, it was the worst of Marketing practices. Two divisions within a multi-national organization that follow different techniques to evaluate their customer satisfaction using the same medium: email. Both divisions use similar copy, questions, email templates and their contact lists overlap significantly, so it’s safe to say this is an apples to apples comparison.

Division Granny Smith has management motivated to get the highest number of responses, so their strategy is a simple batch and blast to all contacts on file at every customer regardless of tile, role, or engagement with the brand. Division Honeycrisp apple is concerned with the type of respondents they hear from. Both divisions are B2B software sellers and Honeycrisp wants to make sure that they are hearing from the right person at each company so they invest in time from Sales, Services, and Customer Success teams to select each contact individually. The two division’s total audience lists differs by thousands.

Each year Division Granny Smith ran into trouble with bad responses from customer contacts saying that they couldn’t answer all of the questions because they hadn’t interacted with the Sales Rep or did not use the software directly. While Division Granny Smith had greater overall response numbers, their response rate was dismal and they saw large amounts of unsubscribes. Division Honeycrisp had a lower number of actual responses, but they saw a response rate 1700% higher than Division Granny Smith! Division Honeycrisp’s targeting ensured that each of their responses was from a relevant contact and that the data they gathered would help them to become a better software provider.

How does this help you?
Targeting doesn’t only help with better email statistics, it also helps with relevance. What’s the point of reaching out to a person that doesn’t use your product or whose feedback won’t bring value and insight to your business? Why ask the CMO how their financial software is working and not target the CFO specifically?

  • Receive and give value: make sure the email will be important to the contact you send to. No one wants to see useless or impersonal emails cluttering their inbox.
  • Collaborate with other departments like Sales, Services or Customer Representatives. Other departments have personal connections and insights; make use of their knowledge!
  • Offer a great incentive, especially multiple options. For example, offer a personal gift (iPod, Kindle or similar) vs. a company benefit (services allotment or one time discount). Different incentives motivate different people and contacts whose companies do not allow them to receive a personal gift may still appreciate winning a company benefit.
  • Remember that quality is much more important than quantity. Management should be concerned with with how helpful the responses will be not just how many total responses they receive.

I’ve recommended to Division Granny Smith that they follow Division Honeycrisp’s example. If Division Granny Smith takes my advice, I’ll update in a future post!

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