Traditional industries are struggling to seize opportunities in the digital world. This case demonstrates how Haier thrived in the digital world by adapting to customer preferences. The company leveraged 1-to-1 communication and marketing automation solutions to engage customers and boost sales.
Started as a small manufacturer in the early 80s, Haier fought its way to become one of the world’s dominant players in the household appliances industry. By the end of 2014, Haier generated $20 billion in its global sales and has expand into more than 100 countries worldwide.
As an leading figure, Haier’s development was not without concerns. First, the Haier member community club gained very little awareness. The club served as a customer loyalty program for news delivery, product promotion and member benefit management, but the website generated little traffic. Second, the program has gathered abundant data throughout time, but the data was unorganized and the quality varied significantly.
To make full use of the existing date and create new opportunities, Haier partnered with Webpower to rejuvenate its online communication. The goals were:
- Enhance customer interaction;
- Clean and restructure Haier’s database;
- Strengthen customer loyalty and engagement;
Haier Loyalty member program Website
Step 1: Making a buzz through email campaigns
The catch the eyes’ of customers, Haier started to send out well-designed newsletters on Haier member day and other major festivals. The newsletter informed users about special deals and upcoming events. Meanwhile, it also included product recommendations that were personalized based on the users’ purchase history.
Furthermore, Haier utilized ‘gamification’ tactics to stimulate interaction. Gamification strategies involve using game techniques to improve customer engagement/loyalty. In one of the email campaigns, Haier encouraged members to collect stamps enclosed in some of the mailings. After that members could upload the stamps on the club website, exchange stamps for member points, and use these points as discounts for their future purchases.
Campaign email for Women’s Day
Member Day email
Step 2: Use e-ID to clean database
Member data was massively stored in the database, but it was not effectively organized for automation. To structure the Haier’s database, Webpower adopted progressive profiling. Members’ information was collected in a progressive manner —from the basics (name, birthday etc.) to private (address, income etc.). Haier also gave out member points for those who submitted their personal details — the more private the information, the more points members obtained. Based on this information, an e-ID was established for each member. E-IDs are digital profiles that describe customers by tags. Besides personal information, the e-ID also included members’ behavioral information, such as their email behavior. In this way, Haier was able to send out personalized emails and communicate with members in a one-on-one manner.
e-ID establishment process
Member attributes information
Email automation process
Step 3: Remarketing
Based on members’ email behavior (e.g. what product they viewed lately), product advertisements are automatically shown when members are surfing on the internet. Customers often click on a product but do not make a purchase immediately . And they tend to forget about the product afterwards. Haier collaborated with major search engines for remarketing campaigns. In this way, Haier’s product ad would pop up as a reminder to trigger purchase when customers are still hesitating.
Remarketing ad display
The partnership between Haier and Webpower has achieved promising outcomes. Active members increased by 128% more than our goal. Members took active part in the events, and it was also spread by word-of-mouth. In Haier’s case, data cleaning and reorganizing was the foundation where marketing automation was based on. It enabled the company to obtain accurate knowledge of each customer and customize emails to their preferences. The various campaigns designed by Webpower served as channels and encouragements that engaged members and created a high level of loyalty. Finally, remarketing turned staggering customers into buyers, and boosted the company’s presence and awareness.
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Under Armour: Lifecycle campaign for deeper customer engagement
In 2015, the passion for sports participation remained growing among Chinese consumers and continued to spur overall market growth. In order to respond to this fitness initiative, local governments actively launched sports activities such as city marathons and color runs to encourage more residents to participate in such events. Meanwhile, a number of reality shows themed around athletic or outdoor sports, such as Survivor Games and Running Man , which won considerable attention among Chinese citizens and inspired them to take some form of exercise.
These examples explain the several milestones the Chinese sports market achieved in the last few years. Consequently, demand has been increasing. This demand is mainly the result of some upcoming sports in China, of which physical training & running are the biggest trends. For example, the gym market in China grew from $4 billion revenue in 2010 to $5.5 billion revenue in 2015. (Source: Euromonitor) The trend of physical training & running led to a trend of fashionable sportswear. This is how UnderArmour, an innovative provider of fashionable sportswear, gets in the picture.
Established in 1996 in the United States, UnderArmour provides athletes with the most innovative performance apparel, footwear and accessories. UnderArmour is known for its synthetic under-shirts, which provide comfort and warmth in all weather conditions. UnderArmour generated $3.76 billion in revenue in 2015 worldwide. The company started its expansion in China in 2010, by launching its Chinese website. One year later, the company opened their first brand store. UnderArmour has achieved great brand awareness through a campaign featured by Steven Curry, a famous NBA basketball player. Basketball is immensely popular in China and Steven Curry is the MVP (Most Valuable Player).
UnderArmour is growing in China, but competition is fierce. Nike, Adidas, and Li Ning (local brand) are still dominating the market, while other local brands have covered the low-end market. To keep moving forward, UnderArmour understands that they have to go for the extra mile. The company needed more competitive advantages and decided to point their arrows at customer interaction and brand visibility, something they have done extraordinary in the US market. In China however, most companies, especially foreign companies, seem to be struggling with customer interaction; according to Deloitte China report 2014.
It takes local knowledge to achieve interaction and brand awareness in China. With 10 years of expertise in digital marketing in China, Webpower became a partner of UnderArmour to launch a new online marketing campaign. The focus will be on email marketing, in which a campaign was launched to increase revenue by using a personalized approach. This personal approach will be executed by segmentation, continuous data gathering & by sending relevant offers and content.
Webpower helped UnderArmour with lifecycle campaigns to engage customers in a gradual and consistent manner. UnderArmour wants to achieve two goals; first, they want to turn interested visitors into purchasers. Second, they want to turn online purchasers into loyal customers. With lifecycle campaigns, personalized information is sent that is aligned with the interest of the reader. Through this campaign, UnderArmour is able to retrieve more information about its customers by analyzing email behavior and knowing where people click in an email.
Based on this information, relevant messages and offers are sent to a specific target group. The solution is based on 2 lifecycle campaigns. The first lifecycle campaign is following people who registered as a member at the UA website. The second lifecycle campaign is following people who made a purchase on the website.
This lifecycle campaign starts when a person registers to become a member on the website. The goal is to guide customers towards purchasing. This process starts with creating awareness of a subscriber and guiding him/her towards a purchase. This starts by sending an email containing the new product introduction. If the person is engaged, UnderArmour can consistently ask more detailed information of this person. This process, called progressive profiling, gives our platform the data to build a strong e-ID. The e-ID is a user profile regarding personal details, for example age, gender and occupation. It is a great way to segment users and customers into groups.
The e-ID is created by tracking all customer email behavior. An example of e-ID creation is the UnderArmour training tips email. In this email, sport preferences can be determined by analyzing what information people click on. By knowing this information, UnderArmour is able to send personalized content to the subscriber as well as relevant product promotions.
Sending out relevant content does not only increase click-rates, but also makes subscribers feel recognized and appreciated. Besides training tips, analyzing clicks on product catalogues is a more direct way to obtain consumer insights. In this case, UnderArmour sent customers a product introduction after 3 days of subscription. Preferences can be determined by analyzing where people click the most, the least, how often and at what time. When customer preferences are determined, they should be put to an advantage. This is done using a call to action, a message to persuade and guide the subscribers to make a purchase decision. The approach is to send the best-sellers of UnderArmour to guide the purchase journey of a customer. By recommending preferences from other UnderArmour customers, customers are being educated about the brand and UnderArmour can learn which bestsellers are most popular.
The UnderArmour APP is also promoted in the emails. This APP provides in-depth information about sports and personalized product recommendations. The APP is promoted in the email, because it helps UnderArmour analyze customer preferences by clicking behavior as well as guiding sales. The UA APP is the first 24/7 connected health fitness app, combining all areas of health: nutrition, exercise, sleep & activities.
After a purchase is made, it is important to ensure that customers are left with a good feeling. A transactional email will be sent to the customers. Normally, this email just contains a confirmation of the purchase. But we can take advantage of this transactional email and make it more memorable for the customer.
After the confirmation, engagement with the company should continue. This interaction starts with educating the customers. An email with training advice is sent to bond with customers, by helping them dive deeper into their favorite sports. This enhances customer loyalty with UnderArmour.
After this nurturing phase, a survey will be conducted to receive feedback on the user experience. Customer details are also collected. This completes the information the company needs from the customer. With more details of a customer, his/her e-ID is polished for future communication.
If a subscriber turns into a purchaser, his/her lifecycle changes. Now this person will receive e-mails from the online purchase lifecycle instead of the subscriber lifecycle. Additionally, the Webpower platform makes sure that this person will not receive content he already received during the subscriber lifecycle.
The campaigns resulted into greater brand awareness of UnderArmour. Customers trust the company and are looking forward to the company’s emails. To prove this, our emails have boosted conversion by 5 times. Average opens and CTO increased by 58% and 35% respectively. These improvements did notnly lead to higher sales, but provided deeper insight about customer preferences. UnderArmour is able to segment customers into groups based on multiple criteria, for example sport preferences, gender and buying behavior.
With the help of Webpower, UnderArmour is able to precisely identify customer’s personal preferences and tailor information to their likings. The company’s brand awareness has been growing, as well as customer interaction and loyalty. With the help of Webpower, UnderArmour has established stronger brand visibility and customer interaction in China. With the sportswear market expecting to grow towards 247 billion RMB in 2020, Webpower assisted UnderArmour to thrive in this highly competitive market.
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Take Every Opportunity to Reach Your Target Audience
The best way to increase brand loyalty is to give your customers something they want or that grabs their attention. So, if you send an email to a prospect or an existing member that sparks their interest, then you have a much better chance of bringing them to your end goal. This is the case whether you want them to buy your product, or sign up to use your service.
In this case, we will show you how Web International English (WIE) used tailored email lifecycle campaigns to connect with its target audience as part of a lead nurturing process. We will also show you how this led to higher conversion rates.
WIE is one of the most well-known English language training bodies in China. Since 1998, it has opened more than 100 training centres in the country and has taught English to over 300,000 students.
Over One Million Signed Members
WIE has more than 1 million members, of which 100,000 are active on a regular basis. However, the lack of clear database segments led to low open and click rates on the emails it sent out.
Taking a closer look at how the company managed its email marketing flow in the past (as shown below); it was clear that existing campaigns had a number of issues. For example, while each campaign followed a few simple steps, they lacked focus.
In addition, there were no attempts to connect with their dormant users, nor did WIE issue follow up emails after users performed desired actions. It was clear that the blame for this lack of interest lay with a failure to address the audience on a personal level.
WIE came to Webpower for help in improving their email marketing. The aims were as follows:
- To segment their users by social roles and personal interests
- To build different email lifecycle campaigns for each segment
Creating Lifecycle Campaigns
Webpower helped WIE to create lifecycle campaigns at five key stages during the lead nurturing process. The main aim of this was to reach every member of the target audience, each of whom may have been at a different stage of interest in the service from the next member.
Webpower helped WIE design a number of campaigns to reach different kinds of customers. These included the following:
Lifecycle Campaign 1 (for existing members):
To enhance the user experience for new members, Webpower added a series of emails into the existing flow. These included a welcome email and two follow-ups. New members also received first-hand access to tutors and classes, as well as coupons and an offer to subscribe to the newsletter, “Hi English”.
Lifecycle Campaign 2 (for newsletter subscribers):
Webpower and WIE designed Lifecycle Campaign 2 emails for “Hi English” newsletter subscribers. The clicking behaviour of each reader defined the type of content they received.
The very first “Hi English” newsletter displayed five identical GIF icons at the bottom of the email. These icons denoted five different social roles. These included the following:
- “Otaku” (people with an obsessive interest in animation)
- “Office Workers”
- “Back Packers”
The icon that each user chose would define the type of content they would receive in the next email. For example, if a person picked “Office Workers” as their social status, they would later receive business English study tips and course details. Active readers of the “Hi English” newsletter would receive surveys, as well as details of offline events.
Lifecycle Campaign 3 (for those who have taken the free trial):
Offering free trial lessons to your target audience is a powerful way to create leads in the language training business. Yet people can still lose interest after the trial class, if there is no follow-up action.
With this in mind, WIE added another lifecycle campaign to reach out to people who attended their free classes. These emails included online tests, offline event details, class schedules and more.
Lifecycle Campaign 4 (for new customers):
WIE then sent follow-up emails to those who signed up for classes after the trial lessons. The purpose of this was to engage with the students on a deeper level and to inspire them to spread the word through the ‘member-get-member’ campaign.
Lifecycle Campaign 5 (for inactive prospects):
There will always be people who are loath to make a purchase, even if they still show some interest in your products or services. There might also be some people who don’t show much interest in your service at all after their free trial.
Staying connected with these inactive leads makes it easier for your sales team to convert them in the future.
To re-engage those who did not show much interest in signing up to courses after their trial lessons, WIE sent reminders for future events. If this did not have much effect, WIE would try to boost interest through other channels, such as WeChat.
By making a number of smart changes to its email campaigns, WIE enhanced its user experience. It also streamlined a number of processes by automating follow-ups and merging its offline and online tasks into one. The campaigns achieved great results, with the ROI reaching 1:40. Within 12 months, nearly 10,000 people showed interest. A further 1000 people spent an average of 20,000 RMB on courses during that time.
With well-designed lifecycle campaigns, any business can connect with its customers and prospects, create leads and boost profits as a result. Knowing what they want, understanding who they are and acting on this with tailored campaigns can boost conversion rates to truly great effect.
Marketing Automation Aligns Online and Offline Strategies
Brick-and-mortar stores in China are facing fierce challenges. With 410 million online shoppers, e-Commerce is sweeping over the country and casting a shadow over conventional stores and shopping malls. Around 121 shopping malls in China were shut down during the first half of 2015, mainly due to insufficient in-store traffic. As a result, how to survive in an online world becomes the top concern for malls in China.
Shanghai is by all means the shopping heaven for mainland shoppers. Among the many high-end shopping centers, K11 mall stands out because of its brand variety, convenient location and fascinating interior design. As the first art mall in China, K11 delivers the artistic sense to shoppers by accommodating art galleries and exquisite sculptures in the mall.
K11 adopts a well-structured and mature membership system. The membership is separated into two categories:
1) Regular members. Anyone can become a regular member by downloading the K11 app and register through this app.
2) Golden member. Customers are qualified for golden member if they spend ¥5,000RMB and above within one day; or ¥25,000RMB and above within three months. With a golden member card, customers can enjoy special discounts from most of the brands in the mall. At the same time, all their purchases will be recorded and exchanged into member points. These points can be used for exchanging gifts and participating in exclusive events.
Golden members compose a large portion of the member database. They are engaged with K11, enthusiastic about the latest trends and have stable disposable incomes. K11’s goal is to strengthen the brand attachment of golden members, encourage them to visit the mall frequently and improve communication with these members. To realize these goals, K11 partnered with Webpower to achieve the following:
- Collect detailed personal information from golden members
- Enhance online interaction with golden members
- Leverage online strategies to direct traffic to the mall, hence increase sales.
The solutions are heavily focused on integrating online and offline strategies through email marketing. In K11’s case, email is not used for online sales, but as a pure communication tool to deliver relevant information, bond with members and eventually lead to their purchases in the mall. In particular, the solutions are as follows:
Lifecycle email campaigns
In order to strengthen engagement with golden members, Webpower worked with K11 to tailor lifecycle email campaigns for each member. Once a person becomes a golden member, he/she will receive personalized emails at different stages. For example, a Welcome email after registration, greeting emails on birthday & other festivals, as well as emails that promote events and products. By contacting members regularly, K11 is able to tie itself to the members and get involved in their life. Among these emails, birthday email highlights the lifecycle:
30 days prior to a member’s birthday, an email is sent with various free coupons as a gift from K11. These coupons cover a wide range of products/services from multiple brands, and members can choose up to three coupons. Choices of coupons are associated with member cards, so that the birthdays gifts can be realized in store upon presentation of the member card and a confirmation SMS. Good cooperation between brands and the mall is critical in constructing such campaigns. With support from various brands, K11 is able to provide gifts that satisfy different customer needs. Meanwhile, it is also a means to uncover customer preferences by tracking their selections of gifts. Through the birthday email campaign, golden members develop stronger attachment to K11. At the same time, in-store traffic is boosted as members travel to the mall to get their gifts.
Use of SMS
The use of SMS to retrieve contact information is another highlight. Immediately after registration, a welcome email is sent to the member’s email address. This is the start of lifecycle, as well as a means to double-check the contact information. However, a common annoyance in such situation is information invalidity: emails cannot be delivered because of incorrect email addresses. While many companies choose to lose contact when encountering invalid email addresses, K11 manages to minimize the loss: as soon as an invalid email address is detected, an automated SMS will be triggered to inform the member of the error. All the member has to do is to reply to the SMS with the correct email address and this address will automatically replace the invalid one. Consequently, contact lost due to invalid information is significantly minimized.
Everybody loves free gifts. To encourage members to provide detailed personal information, K11 rewards them with something in return. For example, K11 partnered with a coffee shop in the mall to offer coupons for free coffee. Promotion emails were sent to customers with a survey link, members who submitted personal information by accomplishing the survey would get a digital coupon for a cup of coffee on the house. By providing free gifts, a large number of members are willing to share their detailed information. Meanwhile, this tactic also serves to lead members to visit the mall.
Events in store
Initiating member event in store also serves to improve customer engagement and increase in-store traffic. K11 arranges three types of member events regularly:
a) Themed art galleries, where art pieces from home and abroad are displayed in store.
b) Workshops, where members are invited to participate in special activities (pottery, cooking, yoga…) during major festivals;
c) Branding events organized by different brand stores in an effort to promote products.
Although these events are open to all K11 customers, members receive emails beforehand and are prioritized in registration. Through these events, K11 is able to bond with members and increase its visibility.
K11 also offers personalized product recommendation for each member in order to strengthen the personal touch and boost sales. Every time a member buys something in the store, the purchase history will be recorded in his/her profile. The platform analyzes and tracks the purchase history and recommends relevant products accordingly. Members appreciate the relevant information and are more likely to make purchases in store.
Through joint effort between K11 and Webpower, K11 is witnessing increased in-store traffic, a good portion of which is attributed to email campaigns. Email performance is also fulfilling: open rate and CTO have achieved 25% and 15% on average respectively, considerably higher than the industry standard level, 18.51% and 1.56% (according to the China Email Marketing Metrics Report 2014).
The K11 case also proved the effectiveness of email marketing in customer communication. K11 successfully utilized email marketing to rejuvenate conventional in-store sales and bridge the gap between online and offline strategies.
Reaching growers by email
Tulips, roses, Phalaenopsis, gerberas, boxwoods; there is a huge demand for plants all over the world. As a result, a vast network of growers, traders and drivers must work together to keep up with demand.
FloraHolland, the largest flowers and plant trading platform in the world, knows all about what it takes to be a success. Yet this conglomerate is more than just a global trading platform. It also provides marketing support for its growers.
FloraHolland’s market information service keeps growers up-to-date with the latest developments in the trade on a weekly basis.
It hired Webpower to help set up a system that provides the growers with more information. The aim of this is to help growers be even more efficient in their work.
Segmentation and management
Judith Compeer is an employee at the Services and Promotions department at FloraHolland. This department facilitates the trading that takes place outside of the auction halls. Ms. Compeer says, ‘The clients we serve are growers and traders. In addition to providing them with a trading platform, we also offer them the Market Information service.’
The 400+ growers who subscribe to the newsletter receive important market information. Until recently, FloraHolland sent out all emails through Outlook. This didn’t provide any information on how well growers responded to the newsletter. Nor did it show which topics were of interest to them.
This meant there was hardly any way for FloraHolland to segment their clients. All in all, the organisation was desperate for an email marketing tool. They found just what they needed with help from Webpower.
Tailored information for each grower
Webpower segmented the database for FloraHolland, based on the plants and flowers that the growers cultivate. This allowed the organisation to send specific emails to growers of different products. FloraHolland now writes and sends tailored information to reflect the interests of each type of grower.
In order to stay relevant, FloraHolland is always striving to improve their content. In fact, they now source the information directly from employees who are active in the relevant fields. These experts know exactly what is going on and understand the relevance of developments in the trade. Through these newsletters, the organisation is able to share this valuable knowledge with growers.
Improving customer relations through relevance
The growers who subscribe to these newsletters are using a paid service. Judith Compeer of FloraHolland says that her organisation now “spends many hours creating useful information”. All of this content is “individually tailored” for its clients. Growers are now able to boost their operations based on this data. As a result, “they are more than willing to pay for it”.
FloraHolland now knows its job is to find what is relevant to its growers and to ensure that the information that they provide for them reflects this.
Relevant information helps boost operations
One major advantage of email automation is that has saved a lot of time for FloraHolland. This is the case simply because it is now much easier to send its newsletters. Thanks to the engaging content it now sends out with help from Webpower, FloraHolland expects far more growers to gain interest in this service.
The growers who receive our newsletters have told us how valuable the information we provide is to them. We always stay in touch with growers and regularly ask them how we can help them boost their operations even further by taking advantage of more prospects in the market. What information are they looking for? And in what way would they like to receive it? With the technology of Webpower and its skilled team on our side, we expect to become even more valuable to our growers. We will continue to fine-tune and tailor information for our readers.
Employee Services and Promotions @ FloraHolland
Uniting people, physically and digitally
Jaarbeurs is market leader in consumer tradeshows and trade exhibitions. The goal of the company – founded in 1916 – is to encourage inspiring and lucrative meetings between like-minded people. Jaarbeurs organises dozens of exhibitions and summits every year. And now with online exhibitions, they are also able to do this in the digital realm.
200 people work for the company at its main exhibition centre in Utrecht and at those in Shanghai and Bangkok. Jaarbeurs seeks to bring more and more exhibitors and visitors together, physically or digitally, every day. Webpower provides support to help the company achieve this. Wim Weijmans, manager of marketing operations at Jaarbeurs, explains exactly how.
Email marketing is an important tool for Jaarbeurs. On average, the company sends 10 million emails a year. ‘We have a database containing 1.5 million people, all of whom have been to an exhibition before’, says Mr. Weijmans.
‘When people sign up for an exhibition visit, we ask them about their interests, function and the extent to which they are involved in decisions. This allows us to segment our content. When a new exhibition is coming up, we know who is interested in that subject and who isn’t.
‘Someone working as a nurse, for example, will likely have no interest in a construction exhibition. Yet a facility manager working at the same health care unit may be part of the target audience’, continues Mr. Weijmans. ‘So it is important to know in which organisation someone works, and what their role is within it.’
Over the course of a few weeks, potential visitors receive various emails with information about exhibitions, and why they may be of interest to that visitor. Jaarbeurs also sends out emails to exhibitants. They receive service emails with information on their industry.
Jaarbeurs sends all of these emails using our Webpower software. This allows us to take complete control of the technical side of things, as well as helping us to come up with solutions for our client.
How does Jaarbeurs ensure that people will open and read the emails it receives? ‘It is getting more difficult to keep the open rates at the desired level. Choosing the right target audience is important, but the process of making sure communications stay relevant requires at least the same level of thought. As a result, we work with specialist writers more often’, says Mr. Weijmans.
He continues, ‘For example, when we are preparing for a metal industry exhibition, we will get the text written by a copywriter who specialises in that particular trade. That’s how we manage to keep our communications relevant.’
Continuous testing leads to better results
Together with Webpower, Jaarbeurs started an acquisition project to attract those wishing to take part in exhibitions. To achieve this, the company sends acquisition emails to 1,200 addresses. “We used to send an email to all of these 1,200 addresses at once”, explains Mr. Weijmans. ‘Our sales department then attempted to follow up each email with a call, but it proved impractical to call 1,200 people in under a week’.
Using the Webpower application, we now email the same 1,200 addresses over the course of four weeks.” Mr. Weijmans continues, “We then monitor what the recipient does with the email. Their action – opening an email, clicking on a link and so on – decides our next step. People may receive a new email, or get a call straight away from the call centre. The goal of this phone call is to set up an appointment with one of our account managers.
We build in certain triggers in the first email, and define beforehand what the follow-up action is when someone responds to one of the triggers. Because we do not email all of those 1,200 addresses on the same day, we can spread our workload. This leads to a much improved sales process. As a result, our emails become both more efficient and more effective.”
To determine which texts, which layout and which triggers work best before every mailing, Jaarbeurs now performs an A/B test with two versions of the email and a select group of the target audience.
Mr. Weijmans continues, “This is how we learn what works and what can be improved upon. Should the button be located at the left or the right of the email? Which call to action yields the best response? You can test nearly anything. By doing this on a regular basis, our knowledge of which type of content works for which target audience is increasing. We are always fine-tuning.”
Online exhibitions turn a threat into an opportunity
People who like to find out about new products in the market can choose to do so via an increasing number of channels. Of these, the web is becoming ever more popular. With this in mind, Jaarbeurs is also now offering online exhibitions. This allows businesses to present to their customers 365 days a year.
Jaarbeurs has integrated its work in the physical and online realms to stunning effect. In fact, it has now created digital platforms for a range of industries. These include everything from health care and beauty, to engineering and construction.
These online exhibitions also issue newsletters. This ensures people receive just as much up to date information about their industries as they would in the physical realm.
When subscribing, people also state their interests, which allows Jaarbeurs to ‘handpick’ the deals, videos and news items it will send to them. As soon as people click on a link in the email newsletter, this brings them to a personalised landing page. This helps to create a connection with the company in the mind of the reader.
Creating a meeting of minds
A meeting at a tradeshow or business event is only useful if there is a good match between the visitor and exhibitor. And of course the outcome should be a business opportunity. But how can you make sure that such meetings take place? Webpower helps Jaarbeurs to attract relevant target groups whose interests match those of the exhibitors at its events.
How much profit will we make?
When it comes to organising exhibitions and other events, a lot has changed in recent decades. For example, there is an increase of virtual meetings. Besides its physical trade shows, Jaarbeurs organises more and more events online, with one such example being Beautyvakbeurs.nl.
In addition, there is an increasing demand for measurability and transparency. Indeed, companies want to know in advance if their taking part will be profitable.
In the area of target group research, Jaarbeurs is far ahead of the competition. This research is fundamental for the used invitation policy. The research models are so good that the company can accurately predict the number of visitors at an exhibition by a margin of 3-4%. Pre-subscriptions and email marketing play an important role making such accuracy possible.
Meanwhile, the Jaarbeurs website and its mailings create an open and transparent way of reaching the target audience. The key question is this: How does the exhibitor easily and effectively approach as many visitors as possible from the predefined target groups?
In 2010, the ‘Kampeer & Caravan’ (Outdoor Camping) tradeshow had 10% more visitors than in 2009. Webpower helped us achieve that goal.
Manager Marketing Operations @ Jaarbeurs
Get personal to attract more visitors
Jaarbeurs uses two means of communication to attract visitors. On the one hand, it reaches its target groups through email marketing and free publicity.
On the other hand, it does it by letting exhibitors invite their own contacts. Wim Weijmans, Manager Marketing Operations at Jaarbeurs, says, “When exhibitors themselves invite specific target groups, things get a lot more personal. Visitors are therefore more likely to attend the fair; there are fewer ‘no shows’.”
This is less common at a consumer exhibition like De Vakantiebeurs (Holidays and Travel), where 10% of the visitors have been invited. Yet when we organise a tradeshow for a certain target group, two thirds of the visitors attend on the invitation of an exhibitor. The last third attend due to the actions of Jaarbeurs, as well as free publicity.”
Whether an event or meeting is virtual or physical, it should be of high quality. The preliminary phase of an exhibition is of key importance. As Mr. Weijmans explains, “Nowadays, in the case of an event, you cannot think ‘how many square meters do I need and how many employees will that require?’ It’s all about the trinity: matching, statistics and technique. These three key factors, when combined with the content of the message, have a great influence on the preliminary phase of an exhibition.”
Content = king
Email campaigns are already being developed a year before the start of an exhibition. The campaign itself begins about 12 weeks before the start of the event, with an invitation email. This mailing involves getting as many people as possible to sign up to attend the event.
The content of the message must be specific. The ‘Internationale Bouwbeurs’ (International Builders) for example, has 10 segments, including architects and contractors. These sub-target groups should receive separate emails with content that is relevant to them. As a result, “Jaarbeurs has a million records in its database, which contains as many user profiles”, says Mr. Weijmans.
“From the first moment a person signs up by email, we get to know a lot about them. For example, we learn what company this person is working for, whether it has investment plans, and the person’s fields of interest. This in turn helps to define the content of the subsequent emails that we send to them with Webpower software.”
Matching the profiles of both guests and exhibitors makes it easier to create perfect matches at the event. Yet those who might wish to attend the event should know in advance why it would be fun to do so. And it’s important to spread a lot of relevant information prior to the event to attract the right guests.
With this in mind, Jaarbeurs now encourages exhibitors to take an active role in the sign up process, by inviting their contacts in the industry.
Yet while reaching people online is increasingly important, Mr. Weijmans says, “We still cannot abandon paper. [This is because] paper invitations convert 15% better than email direct marketing (EDM). This is in turn is due to the fact that the potential visitor needs to put in more effort to register, so the no-show is lower. In both cases, we refer to the exhibition web page as the landing site.”
The invitation contains a link to the website where one can register. There is a causal relationship between a very active and inactive exhibitor and the amount and quality of the visitor profiles they are able to create for us. The inactive exhibitor costs around eight times as much per lead, compared with an active exhibitor who uses both digital and paper to invite guests.
Jaarbeurs started building customer profiles on paper in 2005. Yet the process became a lot easier with the move to digital storage and automation. These days, prior to an exhibition, Jaarbeurs uses Webpower to define the specific target groups (or segments). As Mr. Weijmans says, “By establishing a link between the mail shot and the statistics program, we gain insight into what content interests a certain audience. We then take this into account for the next mailing.”
Exhibitors can also send digital invitations to their contacts with an application developed by Jaarbeurs and Webpower. One out of five exhibitors uses this option.
VNU links several statistical programs together for added transparency. This provides insight into who signs up to an event and how many visitors a digital invitation yields. One can then compare the results of an exhibitor’s digital invitations to the average overall yield. The exhibitors can see these results on their personal page through the client portal.
Testing the technique
Testing is very important in email marketing. One needs to define what works, what does not and why? It is necessary to have the discipline to keep on testing. An example is to test whether the position of the sign up button has any effect on registrations.
Another method is to test two different variations of a mailing. This would involve sending both versions to small test groups. The Jaarbeurs team then consider which of the two performed better, before sending the superior version automatically to the rest of the mailing list.
Mr. Weijmans says, “We are happy with the A/B testing feature in the Webpower email marketing platform which makes testing a natural process without any difficulties. The quality of the mailing list is also very important. Webpower has the power to reduce bounce rates and spam complaints.”
Meanwhile, within Jaarbeurs, a large team of analysts monitors the quality of the database which forms the basis of its mailing lists. This plays a huge part in helping to ensure that content stays relevant.
Because the receiver decides what he reads, email marketers should learn to think like the reader. Due to the priority functions in the likes of Gmail and Outlook, those who receive the emails can indicate their importance and give them priority.
This makes the relevance of the content more important than ever before. After all, if the reader thinks the mail is relevant, the successive mails will end up in priority mail and with that, the chance of the mail being opened or even shared with friends, family and colleagues grows.
Webpower provides a number of email templates with different text blocks. This makes it possible to send many different mailings at once to several sub-target groups. For example, a married person over 65 years old will likely receive different content to a young, single person.
When it comes to luxury brands, Lacoste is still on top
The idea was born on a tennis court in 1933, as French tennis champion René Lacoste brought on a revolution in men’s fashion. He did this by replacing the classical woven, long-sleeved starched shirt with a light short-sleeved one in airy petit piqué fabric. Today, most people know this piece of clothing as the classic LACOSTE polo shirt.
The shirt celebrated its 80th birthday back in 2013. And over the years, some have redesigned the LACOSTE polo shirt. Yet much like the famous crocodile you will find on every shirt, that first design remains timeless.
LACOSTE is a well-known brand in China and the company works with the Webpower team at our Shanghai office. LACOSTE was one of the exhibitors at the Hainan Rendez-Vous in 2013. This esteemed event is one of Asia’s biggest trade fairs for luxury yachts and private jets.
The annual four-day event was held along the Riviera-like shores of Sanya City, on Hainan Island, China. As one of the main exhibitors, LACOSTE once again affirmed its status as one of the top luxury brands in sports and lifestyle apparel.
LACOSTE asked its long-time event driven email partner, Webpower China, to help create a new campaign around the Hainan-Rendez Vous. The objectives of the campaign were as follows:
- Improve the brand image and expand brand influence
- Improve the member database for future marketing needs
- Attract new members
LACOSTE did not collect detailed information about their customers prior to this campaign. In some cases, the database only contained an email address and in other cases only a mobile phone number. Due to this lack of information, LACOSTE was unable to conduct data analysis, or to implement targeted marketing campaigns.
To achieve these objectives, LACOSTE began by organising a lucky draw. This gave people a chance to win tickets to the Hainan Rendez-Vous event.
The first step was to enrich the profiles in the database with missing data such as email address and segmentation data. With careful planning, we created an Omni-channel campaign around the Hainan Rendez-Vous fair. This combined a number of channels such as email, text messages, micro-blogging and QR codes.
We chose event-driven emails with high accuracy, relevance and a number of cost-effective features as the major marketing channel for most of the campaign. For micro-blogging, LACOSTE chose to work with Weibo because of its interactive features. To boost mobile coverage, we used the popular QR code to recruit new members. In addition, text messages (SMS) gave LACOSTE extra coverage at very low cost.
Webpower provided the platform on which to execute this Omni channel campaign. We were also responsible for planning, coordinating, implementing and monitoring its success.
Weibo translates literally as ‘micro-blog’. It is also the most popular microblogging service on the web in China. Weibo has well over 600 million registered users. A good way to describe the platform is to call it ‘the Chinese answer to Twitter’.
Webpower’s client success team implemented the Omni-channel campaign on our platform. Part of this involved drawing up a plan to define channel, frequency and delivery time.
Completing existing member data
It also involved using MMS, SMS and event driven emails to fill in any gaps in the existing membership data.
To enrich the profile of existing members, Webpower sent out the first message by text to those who had only given their mobile numbers. We sent emails to members who had only given an email address. To entice members to complete their personal information, we gave them the chance to enter the lucky draw.
Sending texts to entice members to complete membership information with the offer of a chance to win tickets to an event
Enticing members to complete membership information with the chance to enter the lucky draw
Two weeks before the event, we sent a reminder via SMS and email. This message included event information and we sent it to all members who had incomplete profiles. As a result, the LACOSTE team were able to glean valuable new information about many of their customers.
Using microblogging and QR codes to attract new members
LACOSTE used Weibo, China’s most popular micro blogging website as an online channel in their campaign. It also used QR codes to promote the event offline. This involved sending news through the micro blog, as well as placing large posters with QR codes in each store.
Non-members could either click on the hyperlinks, or scan the QR codes in the store. This would then take them to the campaign landing page and ask them to sign up for the lucky draw by leaving their name, telephone number and email address.
Online microblogging to attract new members
Offline QR code to attract new members
Real-time event driven messages increased sales
Once new members signed up and existing members updated their information, they then received an event driven text message with a discount code. This aim of this was to entice members to browse the LACOSTE website and then make a purchase.
By inviting people to enter the lucky draw through multiple channels based on each individual’s preferred mode of communication, LACOSTE was able to increase its customer base, update member information and enhance its brand image. With this campaign, we helped to lay the foundations for targeted marketing in the future.
The campaign yielded amazing results. Out of all text message recipients, 18% of the members submitted their email address to join the lucky draw. Out of all those who received emails, 37% submitted their mobile phone numbers to join the lucky draw. During the campaign, LACOSTE increased its membership by 30% compared to its monthly average.
‘Webpower came up with the core creative idea of using an omni-channel campaign to meet the marketing goals we set out. By integrating online and offline, email, social media and mobile as well as the popular QR code, we collected new members, increased our brand awareness and boosted sales‘. Carolyn Pan,CRM Manager @ LACOSTE
Spring Airlines, marketing intelligence case in China
Spring Airlines, as China’s first budget carrier, has always positioned itself as the airline who delivers the best traveling experience to their customers at the lowest fair. Over the last 10 years, Spring Airlines has gained a tremendous amount of loyal customers and now owns a considerable market share. Being a low-cost airline, Spring Airlines does not offer on-board meals nor beverages, instead passengers have to purchase meals and beverages. While other, state-owned, heavyweight airlines are suffering from the down time, Spring Airlines is able to stay ahead and turn the budget airline model into a success. The secret behind their success is the power of marketing intelligence.
Marketing intelligence is a process that helps you understand the market better by analyzing the sources both internal and external. It allows organizations improve efficiency when making business decisions and generate more sales opportunities. In this case, Spring Airlines will show you exactly how powerful marketing intelligence is.
As the domestic competition is becoming increasingly fierce, Spring Airlines saw the urge to expand its routes to China’s neighboring countries. In 2010, Spring Airlines launched its first international route to Japan. However, the Japanese culture being vastly different from the Chinese culture, communicating with the Japanese was not easy for them
Spring Airlines desired a more intimate approach to both their domestic, as well as their international customers. However, they were lacking insight into online customer behavior and segmentation. Therefore, sending to right message, at the right moment, to the right person seemed impossible. That is why Spring Airlines came to Webpower looking for a strategic partner in digital marketing for both the Chinese and Japanese market. The goal of the partnership is to increase the awareness of the flight route between China and Japan and communication between Spring Airlines and the Japanese customer base. Furthermore this partnership should increase engagement with the Chinese customers and improving the user experience, resulting in increased sales.
It all starts with knowing your customers
Understanding your customers is the primary step before conducting any further communication or engagement with customers. As of today, Spring Airlines has more than 15 million memberships worldwide and more than 73% are under 35.
Sending the right message to the right audience requires a deep understanding of your prospects and customers. In order to build up a 360 degree profile for its’ target groups, Spring Airlines built up below segmentations:
- Social features: demography; age; gender; career, OS usage and etc.
- Interests: online browsing and clicking behavior
- Consumption behavior: purchasing power, product features, etc.
Based on these models, Spring Airlines is able to segment their customers into below groups:
- By users’ social features, Spring Airlines categorized the groups into the white collar group, the Teenager group, the kids group, the mother-to-be group, the undergraduate group, the management group and the non-Chinese group, etc.
- Based on their interests and consumption behavior, Spring Airlines classified the groups into the business class group, the 99 special deal group, the newsletter subscriber group, the traveler group, etc.
Think global, act local
Although the Japanese culture was greatly influenced by the Chinese culture, the two cultures are vastly different from each other in terms of consumer behavior.
Unlike Chinese people, Japanese are more concerned about privacy issues. Personal information such as a mobile phone number is not something a Japanese person would be willing to disclose online. Moreover, international text messages and phone calls from China to Japan are comparatively expensive. This formed a big barrier for Spring Airlines to communicate with their customers in Japan. To solve this problem, Webpower helped Spring Airlines with the optimization of the registration form on their Japanese website by adding email address as a priority field and mobile number as an optional field. Oppositely, the Chinese form gave users an option to register by choosing to fill in a mobile phone number or email address. Through email, Spring Airlines was able to send flight confirmation and sell additional services to their Japanese customers.
The Chinese registration form:
The Japanese registration form:
Keep your costumers engaged everywhere
In order to increase engagement with Chinese customers and enhance the user experience, Spring Airlines collaborated with Webpower on a compelling campaign which leveraged multi-channels including offline advertisement, Weibo, WeChat, website as well as email.
By conducting the campaign “Special flights offer from 1RMB and up” and which was also on advertisement boards in the metro, Spring Airlines was able to attract passers-by to scan the QR code and gain more WeChat subscribers. In the WeChat official account, users will automatically receive the same 1 RMB flight campaign. Later on they will be sent one other campaign that they show interest in. By clicking on the links in the campaign, users will be redirected to the Spring Airlines website. Moreover, in order to give users a better shopping experience, purchases can be made directly through mobile devices. When users make a purchase, the email address is a required field in order to send the confirmation later on. Cross sales attempts such as meals or hotels at the destination will be included.
This whole campaign is mostly conducted through mobile phone as it is a trend especially in the aviation/tourism industry. According to historical statistics, Spring Airlines found out that around 50% of the users browse and make purchases for their flights through mobile phones and more than 40% of the users regularly check their email on their mobile device. Thanks to the WeChat wallet and Alipay, which makes online payment not only fast, but also convenient and trustworthy for online users.
Throughout the whole year of 2013, Spring Airlines was able to generate 5.8 billion RMB revenue through digital channels and email ROI reached 1:68. They increased their number of members, with Weibo subscribers reaching more than 5 million (currently the highest among the Chinese domestic competitors) and WeChat official account subscribers hitting 500,000. For overseas, their market share has increased 69% compared to previous year.
With the power of marketing intelligence, Spring Airlines not only drove up the sales, but also increased their brand image. The multi-channel campaign has also established a foundation, where the Spring Airlines was able to have a comprehensive and in-depth communication with their targeted audience.
Using one-on-one marketing to reach millions
Ever since Peppers & Rogers had a bestseller in 1996 with their book, ‘The One to One Future’, there has been a strong focus on the benefits of one-to-one marketing in business as a whole. Yet to date, few businesses apply this concept to its full potential.
Glamour Sales was one of the first luxury fashion ecommerce websites in China. It is also one of the most popular. The company’s online store sells products from a wide range of high-end fashion brands. It uses flash sales, also known as ‘deals of the day’, as part of a business model based on time-bound promotions.
This model is proving very successful for Glamour Sales and has done so for the last few years. Since the company started in 2010, more than 2.5 million members have signed up, and this number is growing by around 2,500 per day. Glamour Sales offers a huge number of products to suit a broad range of clients.
Before getting in touch with Webpower, the Glamour Sales team sent out standard emails each day in a bid to make their members aware of new products on its website.
Still, each member received the same content in the emails they received from Glamour Sales. Over time, the open rate fell and the number of clicks through to the Glamour Sales website started to fall. In order to turn things around, Glamour Sales sought the help of Webpower. We helped Glamour Sales to do the following:
- Increase traffic to the Glamour Sales website
- Improve email marketing performance
- Influence user behaviour and boost brand loyalty
- Integrate a number of ways to reach customers online
How to reach existing but inactive members
It is still possible to reach members who do not show much interest in the products or services you offer. You can do this by understanding their needs and wishes, which in turn can help make communications more relevant.
Each type of person has different wants and needs and it is important to adapt each message to reflect this. There is quite a big difference between a single mum with limited spare-time and a single 20-year-old student, for example. The more you know about the customer, the more accurate and relevant the each message will be. Webpower uses automation to streamline the marketing process from start to finish.
In the case of Glamour Sales, the first thing we did was analyse its customer database, containing 2.5 million members. We then separated each member into segments based on their personal data, online behaviour and buying histories. This allowed Glamour Sales to create a digital profile for each customer.
For all of the segments in the database, we devised a communication flow which responds to the customer journey. Through this process, Glamour Sales ensures that each member receives information relating to their preferred products and brands.
Each customer receives this information at the right time (in line with their stage in the buying process), as well as in the right format for whichever device they were using.
Reach your customers anyhow, anywhere, anytime
After gaining a better understanding of each customer’s needs, it was time to start a dialogue. Most Glamour Sales members use a mobile phone or tablet to check their emails and browse the web. With this in mind, Webpower worked with Glamour Sales to send messages alternately by email, SMS or via an app notification to increase attention value.
The app we used to send notifications is WeChat. This is similar to WhatsApp in Europe and has over 500 million users in Asia. After their first purchase, customers receive enticing offers to follow Glamour Sales via WeChat. By monitoring what customers click on in the WeChat app, Glamour Sales learned even more about their personal needs. The company then used this data to enrich its members’ digital profiles even further.
WeChat is available 24 hours a day for users. With this in mind, it made sense for Glamour Sales to use WeChat for the whole customer journey; from call to action (coupons codes and offers) to customer service. In essence, the platform helps make the one-to-one dream come true.
WeChat is also a popular channel for sharing content. Glamour Sales now uses it to share information about new sales and new collections with their followers. This app also allows people to share the messages (like new promos or new collections) with friends easily and with just one click. This helps to ensure Glamour Sales’ customer database continues to grow.
Taking our advice, Glamour Sales also used teasers, such as scan codes through which members can get discounts on their next purchase. This not only increased conversion rates, but also proved an effective way of tempting customers to disclose more about themselves in exchange for discounts.
Email marketing is still one of the most powerful ways to create a dialogue with clients; indeed, the information flow works in both directions. Glamour Sales sends relevant information to its prospects. At the same time, through their clicks, these prospects leave valuable information for Glamour Sales; a win-win situation.
In order to follow the customer pipeline, it is important to answer the following questions:
- What kinds of emails does each customer open and engage with?
- Which landing pages do they visit?
- Where do they go to buy online and what do they buy?
To gain this information, Glamour Sales added the use of trigger-based emails. These are based on customer performance and not only increase customer activity, but they also help to boost brand loyalty. Furthermore, trigger-based emails make it is possible to decrease the number of lost leads by sending the right information at the right time, to the right person, through the right channel.
Finally, Webpower analysed the database regularly to identify which members are ‘ambassadors’, and who are the ‘followers’ and ‘stragglers’. Glamour Sales now encourages its ambassadors to engage with other members via social media, with the use of WeChat playing a big role. The company then asked the stragglers if they wish to unsubscribe and/or cancel their membership, and if so, why.
Based on this information, Glamour Sales decides if they should approach these people again after a certain period of time.
The importance of knowing
By building and optimising digital profiles of members based on tastes, demographics and online behaviour, Glamour Sales became more relevant to each target group. Marketing automation strengthens the relationship between the brand and the user.
With this campaign, Glamour Sales achieved a 12% increase in open rates, and a 44% increase in click-through rates. It also helped to achieve higher conversion rates, better email deliverability and lower unsubscribe rates. All this was done by following a few simple steps as we describe below.
- Analyse and segment the database
- Track online behaviour
- Create customer profiles
- Send personal emails with content that is relevant to each recipient
If you want to generate higher open rates and create your own successful campaign, then use the following tips to ensure that your campaign is a success:
- Be interesting and relevant to your audience
- Exceed customer expectations
- Personalise content and tailor communications
- Create a solution for the needs of your audience
- Include a clear call to action in each message
Collecting customer data and tracking their online behaviour is now a vital part of modern marketing. The case of Glamour Sales shows that when marketing automation is done well, it offers a great ROI.
Increase in open rate
Increase in click to open rate
Glamour Sales just started with marketing automation, it is too early to say it is a big success. So far we do think marketing automation is a satisfying way of achieving our objectives. The high email deliverability of Webpower as well as the good cooperation of bilateral teams is highly appreciated. And we are looking forward to its success.
Marketing director @ Glamour Sales
Segmentation boosts ROI by 30%
FrieslandCampina plays a vital role in the daily supply of food to hundreds of millions of people around the world. The company now builds and maintains customer relations in China through more personal messages relating to healthy diets for pregnant women, and for those with babies and toddlers. As a result, FrieslandCampina’s email marketing ROI has risen by around 30%.FrieslandCampina aims to help people advance in life with the help of a healthy, natural diet. It supplies milk, baby and infant food, as well as cheese and desserts to clients across Europe, Asia and Africa. The company also supplies cream and butter products to bakeries, caterers and others in the food service industry.
It employs 19,487 dairy farmers in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. In fact, FrieslandCampina is one of the five largest dairy cooperatives in the world. Its annual sales of €10.3 billion also make it one of the most successful. It has offices in 28 countries with a total of 19,946 employees. Its products now find their way to more than 100 countries across the globe.
Using the know-how of Webpower to build customer relations
FrieslandCampina wanted to build customer relationships in China through more personalised communication. This would involve advice on healthy diets for pregnant women, as well as mothers with babies and toddlers. The challenge they faced in reaching customers on a personal level was two-fold.
Firstly, the company had been sending every member of its database the same content as part of its email marketing efforts. Secondly, the FrieslandCampina team lacked the technology and know-how to set up, organise and find valuable ways to use the data that segmentation would give them.
Segmentation based on growth phases
In 2012, FrieslandCampina China turned to Webpower for help. The first step was to define the target audience. We worked together to outline two “new” target groups; namely pregnant women and women with babies and toddlers.
The next step involved tagging the different members within the target groups with the aim of sending them content that aligned closely with their own situations. This way, we were able to define sub-target groups in terms of number of weeks pregnant, or on the specific month in the growth phase of the child.
The third step was to match the content of each email with the correct reader. With the help of the Webpower team and its software, FrieslandCampina were able to achieve this with ease.
Reaching different customers with ease
Due to the successful restructuring of its database and the introduction of tagging, FrieslandCampina can now send personalised e-mails to customers in China. It weekly newsletter content is also tailored to the tastes and needs of each of its target groups.
We thank Webpower for their strong support to FrieslandCampina CRM strategy in China. Our customers very much appreciate the personalised e-newsletters we send them. The fact that the ROI of our email marketing campaigns has risen by 30% illustrates how vital the help of Webpower is to the success of our company in the region.
CRM Manager @ FrieslandCampina China