Software Provider Finds E-Mail Eloquent for Prospecting

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Sales effectiveness solutions provider Eloquent is readying a second e-mail effort after a campaign to 22,000 sales and marketing managers generated a 2 percent response rate -- nearly three times what the company expected.

The e-mails were the first marketing effort for the LaunchForce sales force software that Eloquent debuted in February.

"Using the Web to deliver our message and information on this product reinforces our message since our product is Web-based," said Angela Jorgensen, director of marketing communications at Eloquent, San Mateo, CA. "And through an e-mail campaign, it gives us the opportunity to provide more information as well as get the campaign up and running much faster than if we decide to use direct mail."

Eloquent works mainly with Fortune 1000 companies and sent the e-mails to sales and marketing managers within those companies. The list, all prospects, was compiled from subscription lists to trade publications.

The company hasn't determined an average sales cycle for LaunchForce, but Jorgensen said it likely will be 30 to 90 days. Pricing starts as low as $50,000 and runs up to several hundred thousand dollars.

The e-mails went in HTML or text format depending on the recipients' capabilities. They contained an introductory letter and bullet points listing the product's features and benefits.

Individuals who responded were taken to a custom landing page that featured a photo of the offer, key selling points and a brief registration form. Prospects were given the choice either to download the information immediately or have it mailed to them.

The free information kit included a white paper ("Sales Readiness: Key to Sales Effectiveness"), a customer case study, an analyst report and a multimedia demo on CD-ROM, which was available only through the hard copy version.

Jorgensen said a response was classified as a request for the information kit, either in hard copy or downloadable form. Requests were split evenly between electronic and hard copy versions.

The size of the June mailing is expected to roughly equal the May effort. Due to the results from the first campaign, Eloquent plans to take new names from the lists that it used in the first mailing. The content will be the same as in May.

"We are looking at this as a program and not just a one-time marketing push," she said. "The idea is to learn as much as we can about the people interested in our product and what they respond to most often in our marketing messages and tailor our future efforts around that information."

The campaign was designed by Connect Direct, Redwood City, CA.


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