Mimeo taps customer evangelists to beat industry averages

Whether you run a small or midsize business or have been stranded on a business trip away from your in-house copy center and administrative staff, you’ve probably used a chain copy center. Anyone among us has probably searched for one to make a deadline in Minneapolis or Miami at some point — I know I have.

Mimeo.com is one company that has taken the bricks-and-mortar model and set out to prove that stationary copy centers are no longer the gold standard of business copy services by offering a one-stop printing shop found exclusively on the Web. Despite being one of the fastest growing companies both on the Web and in the digital printing vertical, Mimeo needed to get the word out. Enter e-mail.

Mimeo’s e-mail strategy converted referred leads into paying customers and centered on viral and social components. The e-mail program messaged active customers with a referral campaign to promote Mimeo.com’s offerings. By soliciting the help of existing Mimeo.com customers, the campaign was more effective in leveraging viral facets and reaching interested consumers who were more likely to take the recommendation of their friends and social contacts.

The integrated, holiday CRM referral campaign consisted of two main e-mail messaging components. For each referral, existing customers were directed to enter their friends’ contact information into the campaign’s landing page, which automatically updated Mimeo’s CRM database. Existing customers who participated were rewarded with $25 Amazon.com gift cards.

The new customer referrals received notification e-mails from Mimeo informing them of who referred them. Each e-mail call to action, “See why your friend is delighted with Mimeo.com,” directed consumers to the Mimeo campaign landing page to enter their contact information. Participating new consumers were offered $100 in free printing services from Mimeo.

The campaign surpassed Mimeo’s expectations. The average open rate of Mimeo’s integrated holiday e-mail campaign was 44.46% with a click-through rate of 74.67%, and the referral portion of the campaign garnered an open rate of 54% and a click-through rate of 42.8%. New customer conversion rates were at 8%.

Seeking a solution that would complement its existing virtual printing center business structure, Mimeo turned to e-mail to assist with customer acquisition. Mimeo decided on an e-mail referral program that integrated its CRM system because it wanted to obtain new leads while rewarding their current customers. By creating an e-mail platform that tracked all customer communications while simultaneously updating Mimeo’s existing CRM database, Mimeo used its sales life cycle to support its marketing initiative.

This campaign is a great start to Mimeo.com’s entry into the e-mail marketing world and once again proves that satisfied customers are still an Internet business’ greatest marketing asset.

Tara Lamberson is VP of marketing and solutions at MindComet, Mimeo’s interactive agency. Reach her at [email protected].

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