Industry Knowledge for Decision-Makers

TradeBriefs generating quality leads for Happay

Happay is an online business expenses management software solution to track your expense workflow from purchase to accounting. They were looking to target their services to an intersection of top management, medium sized companies and our finance newsletter subscribers.

On the creative side, we used the business letter format for direct mailers which helps in a number of ways. Emailers without many images have a better performance ratio in terms of deliverability and focus.

The first campaign was sent in two shots with a gap of one week. The idea was to provide them quality leads. They would then nurture these leads with the help of their sales team and convert them to customers. And we did succeed in doing that. A healthy email open and click rate of 16% and 5% respectively including 80% top management folks and 217 companies were very encouraging. Some quality conversions at their end led to one more campaign for their petty cash management and travel expense management tools, which was also a success.

One campaign led to another, which has resulted in a strong client-seller relationship between Happy and TradeBriefs. We were approached by a few other companies working on the same model as well.

We at TradeBriefs have had 80% of our clients coming back to us with more campaigns, thanks to our quality subscribers (we don’t like to call it a database) which is quite rare in the industry. We engage them with our daily newsletters and hence the industry-best open and click-through rates. We believe in delivering quality to all our clients. Indeed one good campaign leads to another!

Branding campaign for Ford, targeting the TradeBriefs Premium Audience

Recently we were approached by Blue Hive, the agency handling the global marketing initiatives for Ford. They were looking to do a branding campaign on the launch of their new offering – The All-New Ford Endeavour. They undertook 360 degree marketing initiatives – Television, Newspaper, Billboards, Online Media and so on. We helped them advertise through our email channel, to the TradeBriefs Premium audience, pan India.

More about TradeBriefs Premium audience –

TradeBriefs has an audience of 1 million+ white collar corporate professionals growing organically every month. And this includes 1 lakh+ top management CXOs and HNI individuals. It comprises of some of the biggest names in the industry across India. This is the TradeBriefs Premium List. Notable points about this list below –

– Includes HNIs, CXOs, Decision-makers
90% work email ids
80% top management, 20% middle management
– Receive promotional emails once a month (highest quality leads, unsubscriptions close to nil)

We worked with Ford to deliver. The direct mailers were sent out and the response was truly amazing. The email opens were close to 25% whereas the industry average is not more than 10%. 30,000 subscribers out of 1,00,000 saw the email and 2500 people clicked on the ad to know more, including 86% top management folks. The campaign was a huge success in terms of the impressions.

Later on we did similar campaigns for IBM as well. The main goal here is branding and what better than showcasing it to the who’s who of India via TradeBriefs!



The Real Deal with Email and What TradeBriefs does right!

So, here’s the real deal with email. Yes, we all get too much email, but for those of us who check it, we do so over 15 times a day. One of the reasons we check email so often is because we need it for work, we need it for other important communication, including transactions and brand communication. Also, spam detection technology has gotten a whole lot better and email was one of the first ‘apps’ on our smartphones. Email is a habit. What about millenials, are they checking email? Here’s what summarizes their thought process – “Email is for serious business. Texting, Twitter and Facebook are for socializing.”

Now, what does TradeBriefs do right?
TradeBriefs is all about serious business. TradeBriefs gets subscribers from its 14 industry-focused websites (Retail, Telecom, etc), or through industry association partners like Retailers Association of India (RAI), Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Great Place to Work Institute, Franchising Association of India (FAI), Direct Marketing Association of India (DMAI), eTailing India and Locator. Our newsletters are daily and relevant (industry news from your sector), which builds a daily reading habit. This gives us 2 things – high deliverability and brand recall. Email providers are increasingly moving towards machine learning driven approaches to determine whether an email makes it to the Inbox or lands in spam. Gmail will even reward your email with visibility in the Primary tab if your reader engages with your email often. So, engagement is key.

High engagement gives TradeBriefs emails high deliverability. Also, most TradeBriefs subscribers subscribe from their work email addresses, which also gets higher attention. Our deliverability advantage, combined with work email address opt-ins get us 200% – 300% of industry averages in email opens and clicks.

Tapping the larger audience, generating the right amount of Leads

Leads – The corporate world is so obsessed with this simple, yet so complicated word. It is the typical high-school examination report card for marketing professionals! Situations are different but interpretations are the same. The bottom line is “Generate maximum number of leads in the minimum amount of time”. But what exactly qualifies as a lead? Let’s find out.

A business thrives on customers. But do we realize that there are a lot of layers before one can actually get not just a product-needy customer but also generate the right amount of leads for an offering. There is a lot of difference between a prospect for a product and someone who considers a product. It is absolutely necessary to bridge this gap.

Let’s re-visit the marketing funnel. It all begins by creating ‘awareness’ about an offering. It is the most crucial level as the other layers depend on its impression. This offering can be a product or service. It can range from a mobile phone to a luxury car or for that matter, a charity drive to a corporate summit. Deeper down the funnel is the ‘consideration’ phase which is followed by the last phase that is ‘purchase’. This is the ultimate goal for all marketers, getting customers to buy their product or service.

But what did we miss? What about those guys who considered your product but needed some nurturing? Let’s take an example of the recent content marketing campaign done by us for Act-On, a Marketing Automation Software seller. They began by providing some knowledge to the audience, explaining to them some modern marketing concepts and eventually where they would fit-in. It did not come as a surprise to us that the campaign was a success. Not only did they get direct prospects but also people who now had the intention to get the product after learning about its nitty-gritties. They attacked the top layer of the marketing funnel which is definitely wider and began by nurturing the audience there and eventually got more business. Here is an article on lead-nurturing.

optimal campaign
An Optimal Campaign

Here is a contrasting example. A famous brand tried to sell its product through our modes of advertising. Leads were generated. But we think they did not leverage the full benefit of the campaign. They could have achieved much more than what they got by imparting some info about the utility of their product/service mapped to the current business scenario. They tried to tap the bottom-most layer of the funnel for direct leads and ready-to-purchase prospects.

sub-optimal campaign
A Sub-optimal Campaign

The same phenomena were observed in many other campaigns done by TradeBriefs. Below is a comparison. The numbers have been generalized.

Campaign comparison

So we see that educating and nurturing your audience is a must. This can be done by providing them with some knowledge regarding the value of an offering instead of rushing directly towards instant lead-generation. You may get a few numbers but what about those who could have become a customer, but were not fully aware of the potential of that offering?

Basically, this is the path that joins awareness and consideration, crucial as well as effective. Can we tap it? Of course, in fact we should. There are numerous ways through which an offering can have an efficient awareness phase. Case-studies can be provided, an e-book can be made available or even a webinar can be created. You can also have blog posts, research papers, videos, podcasts or a white paper. This will help in achieving a psychological edge in the minds of the audience. It will also help in building your brand bigtime!

The conversions will be slow but very steady! Give some more time to a campaign to maximize the gain. Undoubtedly, it would be highly beneficial in the long-run. May be 10-odd leads today could touch 50 in a month!

About the Author
Gautam Shetty
Senior Marketing Executive, TradeBriefs
e: gautam@tradebriefs.com

TradeBriefs wins Technology Off Campus Award at IvyCamp Challenge 2015

TradeBriefs has won the Technology Off Campus IDG Ventures Award at the IvyCamp Challenge 2015 . The IvyCamp – Business Plan challenge is a multi-step evaluation process to select the best business plans among the business plans received which will be eligible for funding through IvyCap.

Watch the video footage

ivycamp tradebriefs award

TradeBriefs inks partnership deals with 5 new partners, including eTailing India and Great Place to Work Institute

TradeBriefs produces industry-specific newsletters for professionals. Last year, it introduced a partner model where opt-in members/prospects of companies and associations could take advantage of TradeBriefs’ content and technology expertise to create custom daily newsletters for their members. The first partner to sign up was Retailers Association of India. This was followed by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

Following this, TradeBriefs has rolled this model out to several new partners, including eTailing India (eCommerce) and Great Place to Work Institute (HR). “Each newsletter is carefully curated by an editor who understands the space,” says Sree Vijaykumar, Managing Director, TradeBriefs. This helps corporate decision-makers and professionals stay knowledgeable about their industry in just a few minutes a day.

Ashish Jhalani of eTailing India agrees. “TradeBriefs is a valuable partner for eTailing India. The daily briefs powered by them are something the entire industry looks forward to every day.We havereceived tremendous branding and leads for our events through this channel, as more and more industry professionals opt in to stay informed and knowledgeable.”

Here are TradeBriefs’s current partners. 

DMAI Great Place to work IAMAI
RAI ASSOCOM eTailing
Young Biz Times Webvriksha CIM Global
Franchise association of india Select R and D Creativity

How Native Advertising helped Gartner double its lead count in 30 days

Status

It started with Minaz Adenwala, Marketing Manager – Gartner (and a TradeBriefs Software subscriber), thinking about ways to attract new audiences to Gartner’s events in India. There are 2 role based summits in Mumbai and a Symposium/ITxpo conference in Goa that Gartner conducts in India every year. “The TradeBriefs Software audience seemed like a good fit, so we started with a partnership where we offered them branding at our event in return for promotional e-mailers to their audience,” says Minaz. “However, we soon realized that a deeper relationship was in order, to really take advantage of the audience engagement that TradeBriefs has.”

The result was a native advertising campaign within TradeBriefs newsletters. Readers were segmented to include CEOs, CIOs and the next level of reports.They were further segmented into 2 groups – top of the funnel and bottom of the funnel.

Top of the funnel

The top of the funnel folks were those who had heard of Gartner but had never really engaged with the brand. The way to get them into the Gartner funnel was by providing them access to exclusive content that added value to their job roles. The objective was educating them about Gartner. Once they saw value in the content, they were more likely to respond to offers to attend Gartner events (fyi – The annual Goa conference is priced at at Rs 73,650 plus taxes). Below is a screenshot of the content included in the newsletter followed by the lead capture form, most of which gets pre-populated since readers have submitted their profile information to TradeBriefs before.

Bottom of the funnel

The bottom of the funnel folks are already convinced about the brand, but needed more information about the specific event, pricing, etc. Here the approach was to gather their inputs on specific areas in IT (BI, ERP, Cloud, etc) that were of interest to them and create a custom agenda from the event and send it to them. Note that there are 9 parallel tracks going on at the Gartner annual conference at any given point in time, so it’s physically impossible to attend all sessions. Readers appreciate the customization and are more likely to actually attend once they see the specific value to them. This was enabled through native advertising again, but with a more direct approach. Below is a screenshot of the content in the newsletter followed by the custom lead capture form, which captured the reader’s preferences.

In either case, Gartner sales team members were told to educate these prospects about Gartner events, the speakers, the analysts and the whole package, through a series of emails, followed by phone calls to the more likely prospects. The native advertising within the daily email newsletters delivered several hundred leads, mostly CIOs and direct reports. We’ve analyzed why this campaign worked vs some other approaches and here are our conclusions.

  1. Native advertising is less intrusive than direct email marketing, which although more effective in the short term, cannot be used too frequently. Native advertising on the other hand can be used daily, since the ad content is interspersed with news and jobs content that the reader finds direct value in.
  2. Targeting and context are important. Native advertising content cannot be too removed from the rest of the content as the reader is in a certain frame of mind and is reading your publication with a certain purpose. For TradeBriefs, it’s typically B2B advertising that works well.
  3. Understanding of the funnel is important. Like with any form of advertising, some readers will be exposed to the brand being advertised for the first time, others would be closer to making a purchase decision. As long as marketers understand how to handle these different types of leads, it’s fine. Top of the funnel folks need more education and hand-holding. Bottom of the funnel folks need specifics and perhaps an offer to convert quickly. So, don’t waste time educating bottom of the funnel folks or giving offers to top of the funnel folks.

 

How Tradebriefs delivered 100+ leads to Intuit India through re-targeting

Preface

Intuit India is a fully owned subsidiary of Intuit Inc. USA. Located in the southern city of Bangalore (also known as the Silicon Valley of India), the India office was started in April 2005. Currently it has around more than 500 employees. It is one of the two development centers of Intuit outside the USA, along with Intuit Canada.

The Problem Statement

Intuit India was looking to generate qualified leads for Intuit QuickBooks, a flagship offering targeted at SMEs across industry segments. The offering had to be positioned as a cost effective, easy to use, convenient product that can make their life easy as far as accounting hassles are concerned with zero paperwork. Since the pricing is reasonable for the SME segment, the challenge was to push the message as hard & fast as possible to ensure maximum conversions

The TradeBriefs Approach

Since the challenge here was to make sure that the target audience for this exercise needed to be targeted continuously to become trial customers, we recommended the following approach

  1. Messaging – The core of what Intuit QuickBooks is ‘ease of use’. So the communication had to something that re-assures a business owner that all their accounting processes can be simplified using QuickBooks. We brainstormed with Kenscio, our digital agency partner and came up with the following topics for the campaigns. These subject lines struck a chord with the prospect and made them curious to know more
    1. ‘As a business owner, you wear many hats’ – Reflects ‘Ease of use’ & multitasking
    2. ‘Taking business decisions would be easier if…’ – Using an open ended statement to increase open rates
    3. ‘4 reasons why you should try QuickBooks’ – Highlight compelling reasons to try the product
  2. Free trials – QuickBooks being a SaaS product, it had a free trial option for businesses to try it out before paying up. This made the conversion easier as the prospect is comfortable trying out the offering before buying
  3. Re-targeting – During the first campaign to the SME audience, we observed an open rate of close to 18%. The ones who opened the campaign were exposed to the second campaign that had a special offer only for Tradebriefs subscribers (link). This further expedited the prospects buying decision making process and resulted in higher trial signups and subsequent paid signups

 

Tangible Outcomes of the Campaign

  1. The overall campaign delivered 100+ leads to Intuit India through the various channels viz email marketing, re-targeting & banners
  2. Intuit India was able to identify prospects based on trial signups and passed them on to their sales team which would then focus on the right leads to maximize chances of conversion

How TradeBriefs delivered 75+ leads to Adobe India through content marketing

Preface

Adobe Systems Incorporated is an American multinational computer software company head quartered in San Jose, California, United States. The company has historically focused upon the creation of multimedia and creativity software products, with a more-recent foray towards rich Internet application software development. It is best known for the Portable Document Format (PDF) and Adobe Creative Suite, later Adobe Creative Cloud.

The Problem Statement

Adobe India was looking to generate qualified leads for Adobe analytics, a flagship offering targeted at CIOs of large organizations across sectors. The peculiarity of the case is that CIOs in India had cross functional dependencies on CMOs & other business heads. The offering had to be positioned in a way that’s appealing to all decision makers including the CIOs through continuous & engaging content converting them to actionable leads

The TradeBriefs Approach

Since the challenge here was to make sure that the target audience for this exercise needed to be educated more on the field before actually become hot leads, we recommended the following approach

  1. Education – Adobe U.S hosted a webinar for CIOs in March 2014 which had sessions on how to benchmark analytics with world’s most successful businesses. People who had clicked through the emailer landed on a page which had a form to be filled before accessing the video. It also had an option where a prospect could actually request for a demo from the sales team
  2. Innovative subject lines – Every CIO today would be worried about how his/her company stacks up in comparison to peers & how they can gather more insights from raw data. So we used ‘See how your business stacks up’ & ‘The road to top is paved with data’ as catchy subject lines for our communication. This acted as a strong factor to make prospects curious enough to know more
  3. Content marketing – Another key point Adobe India wanted to drive is to educate prospects on how the CMO-CIO divide can be bridged. A Forrester research report was identified and was used as a content bait to evoke interest levels among prospects. Prospects were made to fill up a form before getting access to the report. This also drove leads in Adobe India’s way

Tangible Outcomes of the Campaign

  1. The overall campaign delivered 75+ leads to Adobe India through the various channels viz content marketing, webinar & direct EDMs
  2.  Adobe India was able to identify prospects based on BANT(Budget, Authority, Need &amp Timeline) and rank leads accordingly so that their sales team would focus on the right leads to maximize chances of conversion