One of the key advantages of email marketing is its complete transparency. It is possible to judge the success of a campaign quite easily by the number of opens and clicks emails receive. There are instances however where these key success indicators can actually not properly reflect the success of a campaign – particularly in the B2B space.
While Head of Internet for Investec Asset Management, a UK & South African based asset manager, I ran regular email campaigns targeting UK, European and US based financial advisers. One of the ideas I touched on was using email marketing as a prospecting tool to gauge the interest and appetite within the financial adviser space for various investment funds. Investec were interested in launching an Africa equity fund to tap into their natural expertise in the region. Having offices in South Africa they understood the people, culture and potential of the region far better than anyone else. They weren’t sure however that there would be sufficient appetite for such a capability.
In an attempt to try and push this project forward, I hit on the idea of running a prospecting email campaign to see what if any desire there was within the financial adviser community for such a product. The email, focused around a whitepaper highlighting investment opportunities in Africa was sent to 6,000 UK and European financial advisers. Initial clickthroughs weren’t that great, with only 150 or 2.5% of advisers downloading the whitepaper. Digging deeper however, by observing how many opens and clicks were associated with each email profile, I noticed that many of these 150 individuals had forwarded the email on to other advisers or people they knew who might be interested in such an investment strategy. The end result, over 4,000 whitepapers were downloaded – all originating from these 150 recipients.
Using email marketing, Investec were able to identify considerable yet niche interest in an investment approach that they were able to launch a number of funds investing in the region. Remember, email is extremely transportable and can, if designed well, go ‘viral’.
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