DMNews talks with Palo Alto Software CEO Sabrina Parsons
Q: Can you describe the product and its target audience?
A: We launched a new product called Email Center Pro, which is a Web-based service application. It's a different product for us — we're known primarily for our business plan software requiring installation.
Q: When did the campaign start?
A: The campaign started in March, before we launched Email Center Pro on April 24. We wanted to make sure that we were communicating that this was software-as-a-service. So we definitely wanted to do things a little bit differently than we've traditionally done.
Q: Can you describe how the campaign worked?
A: We started out making sure Email Center Pro had a really good social media foundation. We updated all our customers on the status of the product through Twitter and our company blogs. We also created a fun flash animation video to describe the e-mail response and management problems that a lot of small businesses face. The video was posted to YouTube and to the Email Center Pro Web site at www.emailcenterpro.com. Links to the video were also included in various blog postings. The Email Center Pro Web site also has links to a couple of case studies of beta customers who have been using our product. With the blogs, Twitter and video in place, we started doing e-mail marketing to existing customers who opted in to hear from us. So far, we've only contacted about 25% of our customer list. We're going to do another big e-mail push. We're also going to do a lot of pay-per-click search advertising.
Q: Has Palo Alto Software used social media marketing before?
A: It's the first time we've utilized these social media marketing strategies — and it's really working. Because of the way we're marketing this product, we've been able to actively solicit feedback and information from our customers about the product.
Q: What have been the results been so far?
A: We've have had more than a 3% conversion rate from our e-mail campaign. And, only a month after the product launch, we have seen over 100% growth from our beta customer period.