Rich Media E-Mail Tool Helps Qualify BTB Prospects
An alternative to mass mailings that involve expensive, glossy brochures, Virtual Prospector sends out an "eBrochure." These brochures are Windows-executable files that combine graphics, text, audio, slides and video without requiring the recipient to download any special software to view the message.
The e-mail allows recipients to request more information about a product, arrange for a sales call or click on a hyperlink to the section of a Web site where they can buy the product.
One feature allows prospects to fill out a short form that asks for their contact information, company profile and when they would like to receive a sales call. This is accomplished within the e-mail file and does not require a user to log on to a Web site.
A tracking system reveals whether or not a prospect opened the message, for how long it was viewed, what the prospect looked at, if the message was forwarded, if the prospect clicked on the hyperlinks within the message, and other information. Everything is tracked in real time, allowing a company to contact interested clients immediately.
Virtual Prospector can send an alphanumeric pager message when a prospect views an eBrochure, or the salesperson can check the prospect's activity at a password-protected section of Virtualprospector.com.
The system allows sales managers to keep tabs on their staff. "A manager can look by salesperson and see who's prospecting, who they're sending it to and what kind of response they're getting," said Tom Blakeley, CEO of MindArrow Systems, Aliso Viejo, CA.
MindArrow, formerly known as eCommercial.com, has a history of successful viral e-mail campaigns. Early this year, it created a promotion for the band Hanson in which it sent e-mails to 15,000 of the band's fans. Thirty-one percent opened the message and viewed it an average of three times. Ninety-six percent of those who opened it clicked to other links within the message; 55 percent downloaded the band's new song.
Virtual Prospector costs $95 per sales representative per month for use of the service. There is an additional charge for creation of the eBrochure.