6 ways to target ecommerce customers with SMS and email

SMS marketing provides brands with the opportunity to craft an immediate personal relationship with customers, but many are yet to incorporate the channel. With consumers running the game when it comes to tech adoption, those that act fast will stake a claim in the mobile inbox – leaving others at the back of the queue.

Today’s empowered consumer challenges us to provide exceptional brand experiences. Each interaction needs to be packed with all the contextual relevancy and personalization we now receive in our digital lives. Moreover, consumers are fully aware that they leave data breadcrumbs everywhere they go. And they expect them to be used to make their experience better.

To keep up with on-the-go consumers, marketers (firstly) need to utilize powerful technology and leverage the right data. Secondly, they need to compose brilliant, meaningful messages that compel customers to act fast. Adding complementary channels to support your email marketing efforts means you can reach the right customer through their most relevant channel. At dotmailer, we think this omnichannel expansion starts with SMS.

Multiracial hipster friends couple having fun with smartphone in subway train – Urban relationship concept with young people watching mobile phone in city underground area – Bright desaturated filter

There’s no better way to reach every customer than by bringing together the two giants in communication: SMS and email marketing automation. More than 5 billion people will own a mobile by 2019. Plus, eMarketer expects total US retail mcommerce sales will grow a further 32.7% in 2018. And with email boasting a healthy £38 return for every £1 spent, the numbers paint a healthy picture for investment. Both mediums provide much more bang for their buck compared to, say, paid media, giving you back valuable resources to spend as you see fit.

Combining these two push channels nurtures that all-important 360° customer view. Plus, you can add relevance and granularity to your strategy when you tailor your engagements to the individual. Choosing a tech provider with SMS baked in means you can add the channel to your strategy with ease – and scale quickly.

We’ve put together 6 prime use-cases for the SMS/email partnership, along with some ideas for your multi-channel campaigns:

1. Shipping/updates

Using automation to deliver a dual-channel transactional strategy is the best way to keep customers up-to-date with their purchases and deliver exceptional customer service. If you’re using an ESP like dotmailer, you can trigger SMS messages – like dispatch alerts – using the SMS service. Automate your key transactional communications through your email provider to keep all your analytics in one place.

2. Customer feedback surveys

If you’re looking for a quick way to gauge the experience your customer has received, a quick SMS survey could be just the ticket. Get feedback on your transactional emails by asking customers to reply with a number between one and ten. Quick, easy and informative!

3. Reminders and alerts

Slotting SMS extensions into your automation programs enables you to deliver emails and SMS at appropriate points along an individual customer’s journey – but at mass scale. Appointment reminders and expiry prompts are just two examples of SMS notifications that you can automate.

4. Personalized offers/marketing campaigns

In a recent survey conducted by Narvar, US online shoppers from every age group from 12-65 admitted to preferring to receive text messages over push notifications from retailers regarding their orders. The story runs parallel in the UK, with 67% of  internet users aged 18-34 stating they like receiving relevant brand offers and promotions via SMS.

Offer-led messages are more likely to strike the right chord with customers if they’re carefully considered and well-timed. Consider this use case: An existing customer browses and ‘favorites’ a sale item on your website; she leaves the website without buying, so your automation program triggers an ‘abandoned browse’ email to the customer to remind her of product she’s flagged – you could also include the date that your sale ends. If the customer doesn’t return after a chosen period, delivering an SMS to reminder her that her favorite item will soon be full price might just do the trick. You could even offer the customer an exclusive SMS discount to bring them over the line.

5. New product updates

Got a new mobile app or an upgrade to your service? These brand landmarks are worth telling your customers about and an SMS could be the ideal way to spread the good news. If you’re communicating your new app, including a CTA link to a download page helps the recipient instantly get the goods.

6. Loyalty

VIP customers deserve VIP treatment. They already feel affinity for your brand and, in some cases, may be true advocates who are sharing the positive experiences with their peers.

Loyalty reward emails containing time-sensitive content are often best backed up with SMS reminders. Updates about new points earned or those that are due to expire are a good way to show that you know and respect your customer; Think too about optimizing the conversion period for valuable customers with SMS alerts about exclusive sales access.

dotmailer SMS

SMS is an effective marketing tool that enables you to cut through the noise when other channels can’t. 54% of US retailers plan to expand their unified commerce (omnichannel initiatives) over the next 18 months, the top answer for those surveyed. It’s never been more important to get ahead of the competition.

dotmailer’s integrated global SMS service works in 156 countries, helping you amplify your automation strategy with timely and contextually relevant communication. Check it out for yourself!

Want to see what you can do with SMS? Take a quick demo.

 

The post 6 ways to target ecommerce customers with SMS and email appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 2 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

4 tips to perfectly target your customers

AI is a buzzword in marketing right now. For marketers like you, battling these everyday challenges, it acts as a shining light at the end of the tunnel. With any luck, when it comes, AI will be the end of all your marketing woes, helping you deliver content to the right person at the right time. But, before these dreams become the reality, don’t miss a trick and let today’s potential customers pass you by; make sure you’re targeting customers with smart, data-driven automation tactics.

We’ve put together a cheatsheet outlining four top tips to help you reach the next stage of your marketing journey. Have a sneak peek here:

1)   Get to know your customers

Customers’ expectations of brands are changing. They don’t want to waste their time looking at content that isn’t relevant to them. Get to know them as quickly as possible by building a preference center – the email equivalent of a handshake. By getting prospects and customers to tell you about themselves, they’re giving you a treasure trove of data to help keep your communications super-relevant.

77% of consumers expect brands to use the data in their profiles to personalize their marketing emails. In fact, they prefer it, so make the most of it!

2)   Segmentation, segmentation, segmentation

Segmentation is the key to getting the right message to the right person. While it’s not a new practice, there are still many brands out there that are only employing basic segmentation tactics. With dotmailer your segmentation knows no limits. You have access to a vast number customer of insights, including behavioral web and order-based data.

When thinking about segmentation consider things like page views or order histories to create rich, sophisticated behavior-driven groups. dotmailer’s drag-and-drop segment builder makes targeting your customers easier than ever before.

Remember: Campaigns that use segmentation typically have a 50% higher click rate. There’s really no reason not to do it.

3)   Extend your reach

Sadly, not every one of your subscribers will be responsive to your email marketing. But these contacts aren’t lost to you. It’s time to start exploring other channels.

90% of text messages are read within three minutes. With this extremely high level of engagement, it’s important not to overload contacts with useless content that pushes them further away from you. Enticing them with a unique discount code or free delivery is a great use of this channel to encourage conversion.

SMS is not only a channel for unresponsive customers though. Transactional communications are a perfect way to remind customers that you’re thinking about how to make things simpler for them, such as letting them know when to expect a delivery.  When you’re being helpful your customers are going to have a much better experience.

4)   Bring them back into the fold

Re-targeting is an essential tactic in today’s digital age. These customers have already expressed an interest in your brand. Half the battle is over. Websites alone have an average conversion rate of 2%, re-targeting gives brands a second chance to convert the remaining 98%. By keeping an eye on abandoned carts and abandoned browses, you can target customers with super-relevant content and making them 70% more likely to convert.

Through dotmailer, contacts can be auto-added to Google AdWords and Facebook Audience campaigns.

 

 

To find out more about bringing all these tips together into perfectly automated campaigns download the cheatsheet now.

Want to know more? Register today for our next #dotlive

Join us on Wednesday 11 July and learn how perfecting your marketing automation tactics can bring you closer to incorporating AI into your marketing strategy.

As well as learning about planning for the future, we have plenty of free breakfast treats for you and a chance to win dotmailer goodies on the day. After all, who said learning can’t be fun?

The post 4 tips to perfectly target your customers appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 2 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

The true taste of success: Monin stays connected to customers and understands what drives them

To inspire brand loyalty, you need to stay connected and understand what interests your customers. Why should they keep coming back? What can you offer them that a competitor can’t?

dotmailer gives you access to seamless integrations with ecommerce platforms, such as Magento, to help you achieve real results. Take the world-famous syrup brand Monin, for example, whose products adorn restaurants, coffee shops and bars in over 160 countries. The brand recognized that, to meet the needs of its diverse customer base, they needed to bring their ecommerce and email closer together.

We’ve been working closely with Monin since 2015, helping the brand create an effective content strategy, refine its automation programs and improve its audience segmentation. This was made possible by the insight that the dotmailer-for-Magento integration offers.

The brand’s success has been considerable, and we’re delighted to announce that Monin was shortlisted for the Imagine Excellence Award with dotmailer – for Commerce Marketing Team of the Year 2018.

Bringing the in-store experience online

Understanding that content was a key driver of engagement, Monin focused on generating ideas that perfectly paired dotmailer and Magento. To complement a new email campaign, Monin populated their website with relevant content – from recipes to ‘Tips & Techniques’. A super-smooth path to purchase was on the cards for customers; a call to action on the perfect iced latte experience drove readers to click through, read an inspirational blog, and head to the checkout – equipped with the syrups needed to recreate it themselves.

Getting the right message to the right customer – at the right time

To tackle the midweek lull in traffic, Monin combined the insights gathered from Magento and dotmailer to identify preferences based on user behavior. The brand was then able to target specific content and promotions to these segments. Utilizing our WebInsight tool, Monin tracked customers’ browsing history, enabling them to curate content and recommend products based on previous purchases, recently-visited product pages and abandoned cart items.

The brand’s biggest success story was its carefully planned ‘Monin Mondays’ campaign, capitalizing on slow Mondays and Tuesdays: days with typically low levels of orders. The campaign was run routinely – four to five times a year – and specifically targeted lapsed customers, those yet to make a purchase and VIPs. Spontaneously landing in inboxes with hard-hitting discounts, this campaign boosted sales by a phenomenal 400%!

These new tactics, harnessing the data and capabilities of dotmailer and its integration with Magento, have contributed to a dramatic increase in Monin’s online sales. There has been a 20% increase in conversion rates and a 10% lift in revenue generated by email. Job well done, Monin!

For more inspiration about how dotmailer can help you, visit our customer success page or contact your account manager.

What are the Imagine Excellence Awards?

Imagine is the annual conference hosted by Magento. One of the highlights of the conference is the Imagine Excellence Awards, announced on the day of the event. They celebrate the achievement in leadership, innovation, teamwork and impact of Magento merchants, developers and partners over the previous twelve months.

In 2018, they received 250 submissions across 16 categories. Those nominated are shining examples of innovation, customer experience, design, and business acumen.

 

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Reblogged 4 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Faster, smarter email marketing for APAC customers

Another exciting landmark in dotmailer’s APAC expansion sees the launch of our brand-new data centre in Australia. As well as enhancing performance, the new instance of the platform also offers enhanced security and privacy, thanks to the combination of a physical data centre in Sydney and the utilisation of Microsoft Azure’s cloud technologies for security and encryption.

The upgrade to our infrastructure means we’re now able to store our customers’ data within the region, fully complying with the 13 Australian Privacy Principles (APP).

We opened our first Australian office in 2015 and the warm reception of our software led to the opening of a second office in Melbourne in 2016. Globally, there are around 80,000 marketers in 150 countries using the dotmailer platform – so partnering with leading technologies like Microsoft Azure truly underpins our growing presence.

“dotmailer’s customers consist of marketers and businesses that want an intuitive yet sophisticated online tool that helps them engage with their customers more effectively. By launching in Australia, we can offer customers a secure and faster service in the APAC region,” said Steve Shaw, Chief Technology Officer for dotmailer.

You can find out more about dotmailer’s infrastructure and the seriousness we place on privacy via our Trust Centre.

The post Faster, smarter email marketing for APAC customers appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury applies a flawless approach to driving offline customers online

The global financial crash had a somewhat significant effect on the fate of these iconic and beloved brands but, in truth, the deep-rooted problem was that they’d simply failed to keep up with evolving consumer habits.

Around a decade on and it’s safe to say the high street isn’t dead. The demise of old-fashioned retailers has not only forced existing brands to reimagine the way they operate, but it’s paved the way for artisanal start-ups to bring something fresh to the arena.

Today, consumers are empowered with a multitude of ways to connect and shop with a brand. Companies with physical stores have realized that offline and online can work in harmony and are reaping the rewards of omnichannel retail. They’re developing marketing and sales strategies that are bridging the gap and offering customers a truly seamless experience; ‘click and collect’ services are a prime example of this.

Of course, there are many other ways in which omnichannel is revolutionizing the retail industry. Just check out this article that I published last year on Fred Perry’s mission to achieve a single customer view.

In this blog post I have the pleasure of announcing another omnichannel success story, again with email right at the heart. We know there are various ways to use online interactions across the customer journey to drive foot traffic to bricks-and-mortar stores – such as store locators – but Charlotte Tilbury has bucked the trend by doing the opposite: driving offline customers online.

To tease Charlotte Tilbury’s recent store opening in London’s Westfield White City, the brand showcased a quiz in the shop hoarding that passers-by could engage with. At the end of the quiz, each person was given a chosen ‘look’ – one of the brand’s 10 personas. Charlotte Tilbury’s team then offered customers the opportunity to have the details of their chosen look emailed to them.

This is one of the emails sent to people who’d engaged with the brand during its new store opening in London

Each of the 10 ‘looks’ has a dedicated web page, featuring everything from a customized music playlist to personalized beauty tips. The brand has peppered each guide with useful ‘how-to’ videos to complement corresponding beauty products, along with Pinterest buttons so users can ‘pin the look’ to their boards.

We loved this smart multi-faceted marketing approach. Not only is Charlotte Tilbury growing its database with engaged contacts, it’s collecting valuable insights on each customer so it can provide the in-store experience online and drive engagement across its social networks.

Nice work Team Charlotte Tilbury! You can find out more about the brand’s looks here.

The post Beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury applies a flawless approach to driving offline customers online appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Humanise your email marketing content and bring customers closer to your brand

Content is one of the most important aspects of an email’s infrastructure. It’s the personality of the email that either grasps the recipient or puts them off. A subscriber’s impression of content can sometimes be instantaneous, so it’s essential to get it spot on from the start.

In The Future of email marketing – 2017 edition, there were a few thought-provoking points on content that really made me reflect on the importance of copy in an email. The below point stood out for me the most:

Email will (and should) have a more conversational voice and tone.

Aweber quoted Maya Angelou, the famed American poet: “people don’t always remember what you say … but they always remember how you made them feel”. We should apply this to an email marketing context: what a brand says can be compelling, but how it’s said leaves the lasting impression (and that’s what really matters).

Brands need to be plain-speaking, casual and not take themselves too seriously. Branding needs to be baked into every sentence. Writing content that oozes personality will help customers relate more to your business, and even feel a part of it. This is an essential goal of email marketing; to keep the core (business) and the periphery (customers) as entwined as possible. Because really, what would a business be without its customers?

According to Aweber, voice and tone are two separate objectives of content; the former is the “mission”, i.e. the message of the email; the latter is the delivery of said mission. This tends to be descriptive and should – in terms of best practice – be conveyed in an emotive way. The key is to humanise the message and make it specifically relatable to a human being’s sub-conscious. Do not view them as subscribers or even customers.

What does this look like in practice?

A great example is Naked Wines’ emails. According to Kunle Campbell, “they [Naked Wines] … relentlessly infuse dynamism into their business” and “their copywriting … is crisply written, with an easily identifiable tone of voice to go along with it”.

It’s worth noting that any business can do this. An email from a financial corporation might find it harder to send a relatable and emotional message than say, a charity or a pet shop. However, as long as you ask yourself the following questions –

  • What does the email mean?
  • What do we want the individual to feel?
  • What do we want the subscriber to do?

– you’ll be on track. Be creative and think outside the box.

 

 

Sources:

https://blog.aweber.com/email-marketing/how-to-develop-tone-of-voice-to-connect-with-your-email-audience.htm

http://www.emailmonday.com/email-marketing-future

https://2xecommerce.com/nakedwines-marketing/ (Kunle Campbell)

The post Humanise your email marketing content and bring customers closer to your brand appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

5 stats that’ll help you understand your customer’s omnichannel experience

It seems like just yesterday when the key behind winning customers was in the quality of your products or services. How times have changed. Any marketer will tell you, today’s prime drive to success lies in the ‘customer experience’. And in 2016, at the heart of this is the omnichannel journey today’s savvy customer travels on.

To continue fulfilling the evolving needs and expectations of the modern consumer, retailers need to meet them across all channels. Omnichannel retailing is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ — it’s a must-have for any online retailer.

Multi v omni

Let’s be clear, it’d be an expensive faux pas to think your multichannel provisions have your omnichannel requirements covered. In fact, both may have the same touchpoints on their lists, but it’s in the interaction between, and reliance on each channel, where omni comes into its own.

Omnichannel has at its heart the knowledge that most customers navigate between many touchpoints to make a purchase. It recognises the consumer’s leaning to explore various channels, and places them – their lifestyle, problems, needs, and desires – at the heart of the strategy. The aim is for the matrix of channels to work seamlessly together, to provide a positive brand experience – and to drive purchasing.

Historically retailers have fallen behind their customers when it comes to the changing landscape of how they shop. The reality is, where once there were two or three touch-points they’d meet with, now there’s an average of 4 or 5. From the smartphone under the pillow, to the desktop in the office – recognising your customer’s experience is a journey involving a multitude of devices and platforms really is vital in today’s competitive market.

Omnichannel retailing creates a more positive sentiment for the brand, leading to better word of mouth marketing and sales, across multiple channels. It’s a lot to take on board for those just starting out on their omnichannel development – but in amongst the plethora of information out there, here are 5 stats that should help offer clarity.

Stat #1: If you’ve got an omnichannel customer engagement strategy, you’ll retain 89% of your customers[1]

And without, it’s 33%. So, let’s start with this one, just for any doubters who are wondering if they can go head-in-the-sand over omnichannel. Sorry, no. That’s 56% of your custom you’re risking if you do.

What’s more, research shows that omnichannel consumers are likely to spend up to 25% more. This increase comes as a result of optimized cross-selling and upselling achieved only by capturing information that tracks the customers in real-time across all channels.

Stat # 2: People spend an average of 2 hours a day browsing the internet on their smartphones[2]

It was last year that saw the balance tip, before then it was our desktops and laptops that held the accolade for most time spent online. And so it’s inevitable that more and more of the moments across the customer journey are happening right there. Whether it’s performing a search, opening an app, visiting a website or watching a video, people turn to their phone to get answers and, increasingly to take action.

As well as making sure sites are developed for mobile optimization, there’s also a psychological factor that wise retailers will consider: Smartphones are personal. In fact, around 66% of us have one within reach right now. They’re in our pockets, on our kitchen tables at dinner and, admit it, they’re even in our beds. Not delivering a seamless mobile experience is unforgivable – and your customer’s journey will come to an abrupt end if your mobile site isn’t up to scratch – they certainly won’t take to their desktop to find your comfort zone.

Stat #3: 56% of customers use a mobile device to price compare[3]

If helping your competitor out is the objective in mind, then make this price-comparison factor cumbersome. In fact, 43% of consumers will visit a competitor’s site next, after a negative mobile browsing experience.

Interestingly, much of this price comparison occurs when the customer is in the bricks-and-mortar store, connecting online research with in store buying is an essential tactic for today’s buyer. Savvy customers will search online for offers, vouchers, discounts whilst in stores – all to make sure they’re getting the best deal out there.

Stat #4: 75% of customers online will give details that’ll increase a retailer’s understanding of them[4]

Combining channels makes for a more complete view of the customer – who they are, what makes them tick – allowing for the holy grail – bespoke, tailored, personalised marketing. Customers are regularly asked for postcodes, emails, birthdays and other information, and this data can be compiled along with customer preferences for search words and more.

There’s a plethora of tools claiming to hold the keys to this “me-commerce” nirvana. And as successful big-brand online retailers have come to master the art of personalisation, the expectations of consumers have increased drastically.

Retailers need to use insights to drive specific objectives for each customer – across all touchpoints – engaging customers and giving them what they want, when they want it. For instance, there’s navigational personalisation, based on browser behaviour, and predictive personalisation – the “if you like this, you might also like…” route.

Stat # 5: 25% of shoppers who use their mobile devices in stores, make a purchase on their mobile devices whilst there[5]

Retailers now know their biggest challenge is to merge the digital and physical selling worlds into one seamless customer experience, and this stat is the epitome of this. The purchases that occur this way include products that aren’t in stock, those in a size currently unavailable in a specific store, or, and most painfully perhaps, those on other retailer’s site – where the customer’s found the same or similar item at a better price.
So even for those customers for which the lure of the high-street still holds true, technology, especially mobile, is having an impact on the store experience – changing the shopper’s path to purchase, and calling retailers to up their game and clinch the sale in store, before their customer grabs their beloved phone.

This guest post was written by JH.

 

[1] Sessioncam customer engagement stats

[2] Ofcom

[3] Ofcom

[4] Accenture

[5] Internet Retailer

The post 5 stats that’ll help you understand your customer’s omnichannel experience appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Five reasons why email is THE core channel for “on-the-go” customers of an e-commerce business

People say that email – a channel with a history spanning five decades – is dead. But I don’t buy it. According to Forrester, approximately 122,500,453,020 emails are sent every hour.

Here are five reasons why email is the core channel for your everyday consumer:

  1. Effectively reflects your brand image
  2. Cheap & drives conversions
  3. Dynamic (i.e. personalization & segmentation)
  4. Consistent, coordinated and deliverable
  5. Very measurable for marketers

Email is very much alive, and has in fact undergone years of evolution into the channel that the consumer wants it to be. Nowadays, for a marketing channel to prove valuable to business strategy, it needs to provide the flexibility and adaptability that the hyper-connected consumer desires. Email is a blank canvas for the marketer – it’s a cost-effective channel to reach prospects & customers, with an on-brand message that drives ROI through dynamic campaigns that keep people engaged. As long as you use email intelligently (i.e. you have the data and tech in place) and employ an on-brand strategy, this channel could prove an essential component in the success of your e-commerce business, whether B2B or B2C. These case studies on workwear provider Alexandra and British homeware brand Cabbages and Roses provide the perfect illustration.

If you’re looking to up your email marketing automation game, these campaigns will give you a jump-start:

Abandon Cart email – “We’re ready when you are.”

Triggering emails on the back of abandoned baskets is a great way to drive revenue and increase conversion. Having insight data in your email marketing platform allows you to store behavioral information on your subscribers in order to drive intelligent and engaging interactions, ultimately leading to conversion. For example, a customer might log onto your website via desktop, browse, and add products to their cart. Then, for some reason they may close their browser. Rather than this information being lost, it can be pushed into your email platform, stored, and then utilized to send the customer an email with their basket details and a CTA for checkout. Email is therefore the perfect tool to recuperate the abandoned customer journey.

Post-purchase email – “We’ve missed you, have you missed us?”

Triggering emails on the back of a customer’s purchase information is something every online retailer should be doing; it’s integral to the e-commerce handbook. Segmenting customers based on recency, frequency and monetary value (RFM model) is a great way to target your audience because it will subsequently drive ROI. For example, rather than sending generic offers on shoes to your entire database, you might want to send a particular segment a 10% discount offer on a high-value pair of stilettos, because this segment has an average lifetime value (ALV) of over £2,000 and they have bought more than 1 pair of stilettos in the past year. They also haven’t purchased for 3 months, hence the offer. This segment is more likely to action over the rest of the database. Sending highly personalized messages through dynamic content will have a greater chance of increasing key metrics, such as click-through-rates (CTRs) and conversions.

At the end of the day, it’s the simple measures that prove essential – segmenting, targeting and personalization drives value right to the top of your customer’s inbox (if your deliverability is top notch, that is).

To see eight other key programs you should be sending to grow your e-commerce business, pick up your free copy of our best practice guide.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Darryl, the man behind dotmailer’s Custom Technical Solutions team

Why did you decide to come to dotmailer?

I first got to know dotmailer when the company was just a bunch of young enthusiastic web developers called Ellipsis Media back in 1999. I was introduced by one of my suppliers and we decided to bring them on board to build a recruitment website for one of our clients. That client was Amnesty International and the job role was Secretary General. Not bad for a Croydon company whose biggest client before that was Scobles the plumber’s merchants. So, I was probably dotmailer’s first ever corporate client! After that, I used dotmailer at each company I worked for and then one day they approached a colleague and me and asked us if we wanted to work for them. That was 2013.  We grabbed the opportunity with both hands and haven’t looked back since.

Tell us a bit about your role

I’m the Global Head of Technical Solutions which actually gives me responsibility for 2 teams. First, Custom Technical Solutions (CTS), who build bespoke applications and tools for customers that allow them to integrate more closely with dotmailer and make life easier. Second, Technical Pre-sales, which spans our 3 territories (EMEA, US and APAC) and works with prospective and existing clients to figure out the best solution and fit within dotmailer.

What accomplishments are you most proud of from your dotmailer time so far?

I would say so far it has to be helping to turn the CTS team from just 2 people into a group of 7 highly skilled and dedicated men and women who have become an intrinsic and valued part of the dotmailer organization. Also I really enjoy being part of the Senior Technical Management team. Here we have the ability to influence the direction and structure of the platform on a daily basis.

Meet Darryl Clark – the cheese and peanut butter sandwich lover

Can you speak a bit about your background and that of your team? What experience and expertise is required to join this team?

My background is quite diverse from a stint in the Army, through design college, web development, business analysis to heading up my current teams. I would say the most valuable skill that I have is being highly analytical. I love nothing more than listening to a client’s requirements and digging deep to work out how we can answer these if not exceed them.

As a team, we love nothing more than brainstorming our ideas. Every member has a valid input and we listen. Everyone has the opportunity to influence what we do and our motto is “there is no such thing as a stupid question.”

To work in my teams you have to be analytical but open minded to the fact that other people may have a better answer than you. Embrace other people’s input and use it to give our clients the best possible solution. We are hugely detail conscious, but have to be acutely aware that we need to tailor what we say to our audience so being able to talk to anyone at any level is hugely valuable.

How much of the dotmailer platform is easily customizable and when does it cross over into something that requires your team’s expertise? How much time is spent on these custom solutions one-time or ongoing?

I’ll let you in on a little secret here. We don’t actually do anything that our customers can’t do with dotmailer given the right knowledge and resources. This is because we build all of our solutions using the dotmailer public API. The API has hundreds of methods in both SOAP and REST versions, which allows you to do a huge amount with the dotmailer platform. We do have a vast amount of experience and knowledge in the team so we may well be able to build a solution quicker than our customers. We are more than happy to help them and their development teams build a solution using us on a consultancy basis to lessen the steepness of the learning curve.

Our aim when building a solution for a customer is that it runs silently in the background and does what it should without any fuss.

What are your plans for the Custom Tech Solutions team going forward?

The great thing about Custom Technical Solutions is you never know what is around the corner as our customers have very diverse needs. What we are concentrating on at the moment is refining our processes to ensure that they are as streamlined as possible and allow us to give as much information to the customer as we can. We are also always looking at the technology and coding approaches that we use to make sure that we build the most innovative and robust solutions.

We are also looking at our external marketing and sharing our knowledge through blogs so keep an eye on the website for our insights.

What are the most common questions that you get when speaking to a prospective customer?

Most questions seem to revolve around reassurance such as “Have you done this before?”, “How safe is my data?”, “What about security?”, “Can you talk to my developers?”, “Do I need to do anything?”.  In most instances, we are the ones asking the questions as we need to find out information as soon as possible so that we can analyse it to ensure that we have the right detail to provide the right solution.

Can you tell us about the dotmailer differentiators you highlight when speaking to prospective customers that seem to really resonate?

We talk a lot about working with best of breed so for example a customer can use our Channel Extensions in automation programs to fire out an SMS to a contact using their existing provider. We don’t force customers down one route, we like to let them decide for themselves.

Also, I really like to emphasize the fact that there is always more than one way to do something within the dotmailer platform. This means we can usually find a way to do something that works for a client within the platform. If not, then we call in CTS to work out if there is a way that we can build something that will — whether this is automating uploads for a small client or mass sending from thousands of child accounts for an enterprise level one.

What do you see as the future of marketing automation technology?  Will one size ever fit all? Or more customization going forward?

The 64 million dollar question. One size will never fit all. Companies and their systems are too organic for that. There isn’t one car that suits every driver or one racquet that suits every sport. Working with a top drawer partner network and building our system to be as open as possible from an integration perspective means that our customers can make dotmailer mold to their business and not the other way round…and adding to that the fact that we are building lots of features in the platform that will blow your socks off.

Tell us a bit about yourself – favorite sports team, favorite food, guilty pleasure, favorite band, favorite vacation spot?

I’m a dyed in the wool Gooner (aka Arsenal Football Club fan) thanks to my Grandfather leading me down the right path as a child. If you are still reading this after that bombshell, then food-wise I pretty much like everything apart from coriander which as far as I’m concerned is the Devils own spawn. I don’t really have a favorite band, but am partial to a bit of Level 42 and Kings of Leon and you will also find me listening to 90s drum and bass and proper old school hip hop. My favorite holiday destination is any decent villa that I can relax in and spend time with my family and I went to Paris recently and loved that. Guilty pleasure – well that probably has to be confessing to liking Coldplay or the fact that my favorite sandwich is peanut butter, cheese and salad cream. Go on try it, you’ll love it.

Want to meet more of the dotmailer team? Say hi to Darren Hockley, Global Head of Support, and Dan Morris, EVP for North America.

Reblogged 2 years ago from blog.dotmailer.com