Electric Marketing Blog

Email Marketing To Corporate Sponsors of Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games

It’s hard to ignore the international events in the sporting calendar this summer. Football, rugby, cricket and the biggest of them all, the Olympic Games.  Although sponsoring the Olympics requires budgets that only the multi-nationals can muster; there are different levels of sponsorship so that the host country’s major companies can benefit from worldwide exposure.

At the top of the budgetary tree there are ‘worldwide Olympic partners’: the truly global megabrands who sponsor the Olympic Games every time it comes round: Atos, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Dow, GE, McDonalds, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Visa.

The second tier are ‘official sponsors of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games’. These are big brands in Brazil: the bank Bradesco and its insurance arm Bradesco Seguros; Brazil’s state owned postal service Correios; Brazil’s large internet and phone provider NET; mobile operator CLARO; telecom operator Embratel (part of the same America Movil group as CLARO) and finally, a familiar name, Nissan.

Next up are the ten ‘official supporters’ of the games; the only companies with a presence in the UK on this list are EY and Cisco. Others include Aliansce Shopping Centres, Estacio, Globo, Sadia, Qualy, Skql, Latam Airlines and 361.

After that 30 ‘official suppliers’ to the Rio Olympics; Airbnb, C&A, Eventim, Karcher, Microsoft, Nike, Nielsen, Symantec are in this division.

Of course every team has its own set of sponsors; Team GB has ‘official partners’ in Adidas, Aldi, BP, Deloitte, DFS, Fitness First, Kellogg’s, Muller and Nissan. Official suppliers to Team GB are Jet Set Sports, Krow Communications,  Ocean Outdoor and Simon Jersey.

We’ve put all of these generous sponsors together in a series of mailing lists, divided as always by job title. Our thinking is that these sponsors have allocated big budgets to be spent during the Games and have a limited time in which to spend them. A targeted approach at the right time could see a small chunk of that budget heading your way.

The Olympic fortnight starts on Friday 5 August, followed by the Paralympic Games running from 7-19 September.

 

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B2B Marketing To Corporate Sponsors In The Summer Of Sport

Summer of sport has begun with European Football, next week it’s Wimbledon and the Rio Olympics starts on 5 August. Hundreds of companies have paid to sponsor the events, the teams and the players.

But if you haven’t paid to be an official sponsor, beware of trying to associate your brand with sporting events. Firstly, the sporting event brands themselves police sponsorship very closely; the chicken shop in Stratford that rebranded itself Olympic Chicken in 2012 was short-lived.

Secondly, avoid tortuous connections in your email marketing. The eshot that begun ‘With Valentines Day fast-approaching, now is the perfect time to buy a new toner cartridge’ was mocked and swiftly deleted. Not many b2b companies can claim a real connection to a big sporting event so it might be best to leave that to consumer brands. This is the time to be in takeaway pizzas and big TVs.

Electric Marketing was asked for mailing lists of the companies who are official sponsors of international sporting events. It follows that if there is a sponsorship budget for the European Football, there must be a big marketing and promotions budget surrounding it. If you can make this work for you, we now have lists of sports sponsors.

There are different levels of corporate sponsorship; the ten global sponsors of the UEFA 2016 football championship are Adidas, Carlsberg, Coca-Cola, Continental Tyres, Hisense (Chinese electronics giant), Hyundai-Kia, McDonald’s, Orange, SOCAR and Turkish Airlines.

Although national teams are not permitted to display sponsors’ logos on their shirts, Vauxhall sponsors England, Northern Ireland and Wales national teams. The England team have an official supermarket sponsor (Lidl), their suits come from sponsors Marks & Spencer and Panini is the official sticker provider. There are many more companies involved in sponsoring the teams in the Euro 16 Football and still more in the Rio Olympics.

These sponsors will have allocated big budgets to be spent during these events and have a very limited time in which to spend them. The right approach at the right time could see a small chunk of that budget heading your way.

To access the mailing lists of companies actively involved in the business side of this summer’s sports, see our website page dedicated to mailing lists of UK sports sponsors.

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Mailing List Selections: Put Yourself In Your Prospect’s Shoes

When should you choose to select your list by both employee size and annual turnover?

Generally our advice is not to do this. Pick just one.

Choose employee size if you are selling something relevant for companies whose business relies on having a lot of staff eg, payroll software, health and safety services, absentee management software, internal communications consulting, catering kit for staff restaurants.

Choose turnover for everything else. If you really must.

Let’s say you are buying a list of HR managers, it is largely irrelevant to specify that each company must have 15+ employees. Would you expect your prospect company to hire an HR manager to manage the HR issues for 14 people? It is likely that the MD and his assistant would handle this himself. But there are holding companies who run all the HR and finance for a group of companies. The group may have 200 employees as a whole, but the HR manager works for the holding company which employs 10 people. And by putting that 15+ employees restriction in, your mailing list excludes those group HR managers. There is no accounting for complex corporate structures.

This selection strategy works if you are certain that your mailing list company is selling you people with the job title HR manager, rather than ‘managers responsible for HR’ which will almost certainly include director’s PAs and office managers. Electric Marketing only offers lists by job title. If you ask for HR managers, you will have a list of HR managers.

It is a good idea to ask yourself if you really need to limit your campaign by company size. If you have specified a job title which is only likely to feature among the largest companies, say Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Facilities Manager or Head of Business Intelligence, it is largely irrelevant to specify that the companies must have annual sales of £10m+. Put yourself in the shoes of the managing director of a company with annual sales of under £10m? Would you hire a CSR manager? The fact that a company has a dedicated CSR manager is a clear indication that they are a large company with a CSR budget.

It is only by looking at company accounts that mailing list companies can get info on company financials and companies with a turnover below £5m are not legally required to put the number of employees they have in their company accounts. Companies House requires simple unaudited accounts from small companies. By specifying turnover, you will exclude all the companies which do not publish their UK sales figures: US companies tend to publish a figure for European sales and do not split it out by country. By selecting by turnover your mailing list will exclude these multinational companies.

If you really must target companies by their size, select companies by turnover. Mailing list companies are more likely to have this information. And as a reliable guide to available budgets, look at the job titles of the companies you are targeting. If a company has hired three marketing managers to manage and spend its marketing budget, it is likely to be a decent-sized budget.

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Information Commissioner issues new guidance for direct marketing

On 26 March 2016 the Information Commissioner issued new guidance on Data Protection and Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations for direct marketing.

The full guidance can be read here https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1555/direct-marketing-guidance.pdf but we’ve extracted the sections for business-to-business marketing and they are shown below:

Business-to-business texts and emails

1. Rules on consent, the soft opt-in and the right to opt out do not apply to electronic marketing messages sent to ‘corporate subscribers’ which means companies and other corporate bodies eg limited liability partnerships, Scottish partnerships, and government bodies. The only requirement is that the sender must identify itself and provide contact details.

2. However, it serves little purpose to send unsolicited marketing messages to those who have gone to the trouble of saying they do not want to receive them.

3. Corporate subscribers do not include sole traders and some partnerships who instead have the same protection as individuals. If an organisation does not know whether a business is a corporate body or not, it cannot be sure which rules apply. Therefore we strongly recommend that organisations respect requests from any business not to email them.

4. In addition, many employees have personal corporate email addresses (eg firstname.lastname@org.co.uk), and individual employees will have a right under section 11 of the DPA to stop any marketing being sent to that type of email address.

Business-to-business calls

1. Sole traders and partnerships may register their numbers with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) in the same way as individual consumers, while companies and other corporate bodies register with the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS). So organisations making business-to-business marketing calls will need to screen against both the TPS and CTPS registers.

The right to opt out

1. Organisations must not make unsolicited marketing calls to a person who has said that they don’t want those calls. In other words, there is a right to opt out, and organisations cannot call someone who has objected to or opted out of marketing calls.
Organisations should not make it difficult to opt out, for example by asking individuals to complete a form or confirm in writing. As soon as an individual has clearly said that they don’t want the calls, they must stop.

2. If an individual objects or opts out at any time, their details should be suppressed as soon as possible. It is important not to simply delete their details entirely, otherwise there is no way of ensuring that the organisation does not call them again.

3. Organisations must not send marketing texts or emails to an individual who has said they do not want to receive them. Individuals have a right to opt out of receiving marketing at any time. Organisations must comply with any written objections promptly to comply with the DPA – but even if there is no written objection, as soon as an individual says they don’t want the texts or emails, this will override any existing consent or soft opt-in under PECR and they must stop.

4. Organisations must not make it difficult to opt out, for example by asking individuals to complete a form or confirm in writing. It is good practice to allow the individual to respond directly to the message – in other words, to use the same simple method as required for the soft opt-in. In any event, as soon as an individual has clearly said that they don’t want the texts or emails, the organisation must stop, even if the individual hasn’t used its preferred method of communication.

5. If an individual objects or opts out at any time, their details should be suppressed from marketing lists as soon as possible. It is important not to simply delete their details entirely, otherwise there is no way of ensuring that the organisation does not contact them again.

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NEW Mailing List of Living Wage Employers

We’ve compiled a new mailing list of companies  signed up to pay their staff the Living Wage and who support the Living Wage Foundation. Signalling a commitment to employee wellbeing and a progressive HR vision, the companies on this mailing list are more likely to invest in HR, people development, learning and internal communications to cement a reputation as an ethical employer.

What does it mean to sign up to the Living Wage?

All UK companies are obliged to pay workers aged 25 and above the National Living Wage, an hourly rate of £7.20 (The rate for workers aged 21-24 is £6.70 per hour, and for 18-20 year olds it is £5.30 per hour). The Living Wage Foundation has set a higher wage, the Living Wage which is calculated so that anyone with a job is not living in poverty. The companies who sign up to the Living Wage Foundation commit to pay all their staff aged 18 and over (including contractors), a minimum of £8.25 an hour (£9.40 in London).  Financially, it is a big commitment but the campaign has attracted companies large and small; Aviva, Barclays, Burberry, Channel 4, ClearChannel, GSK, ITV, KPMG, Legal & General, Linklaters and Santander are significant supporters of the Living Wage Foundation which campaigns against in-work poverty.

Why sign up to the Living Wage?

These companies are highlighting their commitment to be fair employers who care about the lives of their staff outside the workplace.  Membership of the Living Wage Foundation is more than a component of a recruitment and retention strategy; organisations are seeking to distance themselves from rival corporates who look to be out to make profits at any cost and some maybe making amends for past corporate misdemeanours (there’s a fair few banks on the mailing list).

Why Might You Be Interested In Marketing To Living Wage Employers?

Unwilling to buy on price and not hiring the cheapest option, serious about CSR (corporate social responsibility) and wanting to be seen as ethical corporates who try to ‘do the right thing’: we think these companies are great b2b marketing prospects, and not just for HR and training companies. If your product offering has an ethical slant, why not consider a targeted email marketing campaign to the Living Wage Employers. Just as they are fair employers, they are more likely to be fair business partners too.

Mailing list of companies paying the Living Wage

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25 Years In Business-to-Business Database Marketing

Top 5 Tips To Get Best Value From Your Marketing Lists

It’s, ahem, 25 years since I sold the first subscriptions to Marketing Appointments to a handful of advertising and design agencies. You don’t need to know everything I’ve learned about mailing lists, business data and marketing information. But knowing how to get the best value from our marketing lists, that is useful. Here’s five points for b2b marketers that can’t be said often enough.

 

  1. The best performing list is one that contains companies with a similar profile to your current client list. If you buy a mailing list and it contains the names of people and companies with whom you are already doing business, this is a good sign. Don’t waste your time grumbling that 3 people on the list of 100 names are already clients, get on with contacting the other 97 in the happy knowledge that these are good prospects.

 

  1. Social media is great but unless your tweets and FB posts are being read by your target audience, it won’t bring in the sales. Use mailing lists to identify your target readership, find those prospects on Twitter and LinkedIn and communicate with them directly.  Follow people on Twitter and get yourself noticed by writing some interesting tweets. Most Tweeters receive an email each time they attract a new follower, which puts your company name in their inbox, just by clicking the ‘follow’ button.

 

  1. In times of mass emailing clogging up the executive inbox, you need to stay on good terms with your prospects and clients. Figure out how often people can bear to hear from you. Think of something new to say or a new way of saying your old message. Bashing out the same copy to the same people every week wins you no fans, just a whole bunch of unsubscribes.

 

  1. Many executives have their inbox security set to ‘very high’ to screen out unwanted emails. Email sent to these people will bounce back to you as ‘identified as spam’ or ’email unavailable’. Put these email addresses in a separate file and write an email specifically formulated to get a very low spam score and to get past their spam filter. Keep it short, keep links to a minimum and keep it text only. See here for more tips on keeping your e-shots out of the filters’ way.

 

  1. ReMail. You have bought a list from Electric Marketing. Don’t just use it once, get your money’s worth and email it again. You can send an initial email, follow it up a fortnight or month later, look the person up on social media and make contact, write a letter, send a brochure or pick up the phone. You’ve got the data, use it while it’s current.  ReMailing works.
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Learning From The Results Of Your Email Campaigns

So you’ve bought your mailing list, removed the people you already have as clients, checked your creative for typos and spelling errors and sent the email out. Apart from dealing with all your enquiries, setting your appointments and processing your orders, what should you do next?

It probably isn’t your favourite job but remember to keep a record of your results. How many orders did the mailing generate, how many appointments, enquiries, phone calls? Listen to your prospects when you speak to them. Did they understand the mailing and did they know how to respond? Were they the right people to mail or did they pass your mailer up the corporate ladder, sideways to another department or down to a subordinate?  Next time you come to buy a mailing list, having a note of the industry sectors and job titles of the people who responded, can guide your purchase so that you buy the best data possible.

Remember that re-mailing the same list can work really well, as long as you are careful to remove the people who have already responded. Try a new subject header or tweak the copy based on what you’ve learned from your conversations with responders.  Electric Marketing does not charge you for re-mailing a list, so get your budget’s worth and send a second email. Or follow up with a phone call or look the person up on social media and make contact.  You could even send a letter. In a world of many forms of communication, everyone has their favourite way of interacting with companies.

And if you feel you have left it too late to follow up on an email, remember that Electric Marketing offers an updated version of your mailing list for just 25% of the price if you come back to us within six months of the purchase date. Or you can pay 50% of the price for an update if you bought the list within 12 months.

 

 

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EU data protection regulations – Update

EU Regulation On Data Protection Unlikely To Become UK Law Before 2019

Nearly four years into the process, the Council of the European Union has now decided on its negotiating position for the trilogue with the European Parliament and the European Commission. There is now a timetable running to December 2015, during which representatives from the Council, the Parliament and the Commission will come together to decide on the final wording of the new EU-wide data protection regulation. This means that if they stick to this timetable, which on past form is by no means certain, by the end of 2015 we should know how the new regulations will affect direct marketers in the UK.

Among the controversial questions still to be thrashed out are:

What is the precise definition of ‘personal data’?

How will the ‘right to be forgotten’ work in practice?

What exactly is meant by the ‘legitimate interest’ of data controllers? Does this include marketing? And if it does, does it include any or all of consumer marketing, B2B marketing, online marketing and offline marketing?

Must consent be ‘explicit’ or not?

Will compulsory data breach notification apply to minor breaches or just high risk breaches?

Will all businesses be required to have a data protection officer?

What happens if EU data protection rules conflict with a non-EU country’s data protection rules?

While we might know what the new regulations will be by the end of 2015, they are unlikely to be adopted into EU law before mid-2016. In fact the Information Commissioner’s Office now estimates that the two year run-in period before the regulations become compulsory can realistically be expected to start at the end of 2016, meaning that they will not be enforced in the UK before the beginning of 2019.

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Get Me Off This Mailing List! The Insider’s Guide To Removing Yourself From Mailing Lists and eMail Lists.

Electric Marketing mailing lists are targeted, compiled mailing lists of a total of 80,000 influencers and budget holders. If you’re included on one of our mailing lists and you don’t want to be, we’ll remove you within hours. We won’t be pleased about it. We’ve selected you as a business person with senior responsibilities that other companies want to reach. And we only allow verified companies offering products and services pertinent to your role to access our data. But we’ll accept your decision with good grace and quickly remove you.

We often get messages requesting removal from people who are not on our mailing list. For those people, here is our guide to the mailing list business and how, if you really don’t want to receive information that is pertinent to your job and industry, you can get yourself taken off mailing lists for good.

  1. Tick the opt out boxes when you buy online. Do not add yourself to any more mailing lists. This might mean that you have to pay more for your pleasures. I used a cheap hotel booking service: part of the bargain was that I accept their “partners’ marketing messages”.
  2. Stop accepting free stuff.When you sign up to receive a free industry magazine or email, part of the deal is often that you accept “carefully targeted marketing messages from our partners”. Selling email lists pays for the writers and compilers of your free information.
  3. Search the internet for your own email address.You may find that your email address has been added to the end of a corporate press release and is sitting on the web, ready to be picked up by web spiders. These programs trawl the internet, ‘scraping’ email addresses from web pages and adding them to mailing lists which are then sold at bargain basement prices. If you’ve ever received an offer of a mailing list of a million contacts for $99, this is the source of that data. No human has been involved in the compiling of that data, just the guy who wrote the sales pitch.
  4. When an unwanted email comes in, click through to the unsubscribe page and read the name of the list you are on. Sometimes it will give the name of the company which supplied the data. Search online for that company and contact them directly. They are obliged by law to remove you within 28 days of your notifying them that you do not wish to be on their emailing list.
  5. Take yourself off LinkedIn.  LinkedIn charges for its InMail service and when you sign up you agree to receive those InMail messages. But if you have put your name, job title, company name and location on LinkedIn, it is easy for other business people to find your phone number and email address and to get in touch.

If you are doing an important job in a significant UK company, other business people want to contact you. You may not want to hear from them, what they have to say may not interest you, but if you are in a senior role with budgetary responsibilities, accept that other business people will get in touch. And their right to contact you once by email is enshrined in the UK’s Privacy & Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulation 2003. The law is different in Ireland and most of the rest of Europe.

The UK is a marketing friendly business space and this seems to be working pretty well.  Have you checked the value of the Euro recently?

Serious business people keep their minds open to new ideas, refresh their supplier base and take on new business practices. Pushing forward with new ideas, updating company business processes and being an early adopter of new technology are hallmarks of successful corporates and their senior teams. How can you find out about the latest trends and new technology if you don’t read pitches from potential suppliers?

Obviously some companies abuse this right, take hold of your email address and send you stuff three times a week. Hit the unsubscribe button. Show no mercy. I’ve written about over-frequent emailers here.

 

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How Many Is Too Many?: Using Email Lists Effectively And Sensibly

‘How often can I use the mailing list?’ can be the first question a new client asks Electric Marketing.

We don’t restrict the use of our mailing lists: it’s your marketing campaign, you are running the show. But to get the best value from an email list and to be able to use it over and over, we recommend that you limit emailing your cold prospects to once a month.

Business-to-business email marketers must be alive to their ‘unsubscribe’ rate. UK law states that you can send emails to business people on business matters but if they ask you not to contact them again or ‘unsubscribe’, you must not email that person again.  Each ‘unsubscribe’ is a prospect that you cannot email again. Ever.

To get best value from your email marketing list, keep the unsubscribes to a minimum so that your list of 1,000 marketing managers does not deteriorate to 900 email addresses after the first week.

One of the top reasons people give for requesting to be removed from the Electric Marketing database, is that they receive too many emails. If a prospect feels that your emails are filling up their inbox, they will seek out your unsubscribe button and launch themselves off your email list.

In tests, we have found that an email campaign to a fresh list of cold prospects can expect an unsubscribe rate of 0.5%.  Email that same list one month later and we receive the same unsubscribe rate. But email the same list two weeks later and the second email generated 1% of unsubscribe notices and we note, more strident language.  By emailing twice a month, so 24 times in one year, your email list shrinks at twice the rate.

‘People don’t unsubscribe because they do not want to hear from you, they unsubscribe because they know what you are offering.’

If your email marketing serves to remind businesses that you are still eager to do business with them, it is likely that you don’t have anything different to offer from last week.  You wouldn’t write to a business every week saying pretty much the same thing, why treat email differently on the basis that it is cheap to do so?  We recommend that you email your cold prospects no more than once a month for up to a year.  After a year of emails, it is likely that you will have to reach out to them by phone, post or social media and admit defeat on email. A quick phone call might reveal that they are not the right person in the company to make the decision.

No busy decision maker reads every email that arrives instantly.  Time management best practice dictates that successful business people filter emails into what is urgent and to be dealt with immediately, then maybe emails to be filed and then emails that are interesting and to read later. Realistically no senior decision maker will place an approach from a new supplier in the ‘must read now’ file.  Your first email should aim to be in the ‘read and consider later’ file. Give your prospect time to read your email.  It is probably best not to badger them with emails twice a week until they ask you to stop.

For email lists of busy decision makers in large companies see our page of email lists of directors and decision makers

 

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