When intermediary-dedicated Edeus moved into the mortgage market just over a year ago, the creative use of technology was at the heart of its proposition. It chose Salesforce.com, the market-leading on demand CRM system, as part of its campaign.
Edeus initially used a standalone emailing system, which meant that information had to be exported out of Salesforce and then back in again when the email had been sent. It didn't offer any flexibility, reporting, or segmenting, and failed to meet a critical Edeus marketing requirement, which was to be able to send out bespoke and personalised messages to customers.
The marketing communications team began to look elsewhere for an alternative emailing solution that would also integrate with Salesforce, and eventually decided on ExactTarget. Ross Purcell, online development project manager, says, "ExactTarget combines a depth of sophistication that appeals to those developers amongst us, and yet our generally technophobic sales team is thrilled with its ease of use. It has all the functionality we require and the capacity to grow with us. It also helps that ExactTarget can be integrated with Salesforce and knows the goals we are trying to achieve from a marketing perspective."
Together, Salesforce and ExactTarget are being used for many different initiatives, including personalised emails. They can be sent out on behalf of the nationwide sales team, with each sales person's unique call to action and sign-off - notice of their being in a specific location on a particular day, for example. In-depth reporting provides essential information such as details of email receipt, bounce-back, opening and tracking.
The combined software allows the sales team to make controlled changes in a pre-prepared email which is then sent out via ExactTarget's Lock and Publish facility. The email is sent automatically to the head of marcoms, Elaine Forth, for approval. Once given the all clear, the email can be sent immediately or timed for later release.
Forth says, "Sending out their own emails and witnessing the response is really helping the sales team to see for themselves what works and what doesn't.
Prompt reaction to market trends is vital in this industry. The majority of Edeus' emails go to registered subscribers, so the call to action is normally to log into the site in order to download a guide. Being able to track responses enables the sales team to target customers by current interests and current business activities. Edeus is currently in the process of testing the effectiveness of calls to action.
According to Forth, Edeus is already ahead of targets. "In a crowded marketplace, our being able to personalise and segment emails to the degree of sophistication that we now can has made us stand out from the crowd. The feedback from brokers is that they really like being treated as individuals - and because we are accurately profiling them, we don't bother them with information that they don't want or need."