This case reveals lofty goals, large profits and a wish to create amazing projects. Hereinafter You’ll learn how we sold agricultural machinery by dint of email-newsletters.
Client and task
Our agency was contacted by a group of companies (which wished to remain incognito), producing agricultural machinery for the CIS market. We faced a task to sell at least one tractor worth no less than 4 million rubles by dint of email-marketing. The company already had a base comprising 800 contacts. No email-newsletters had been sent before we started our work. The set KPI were very simple, but their implementation was quite difficult. Selling a tractor at a price of 4-6 million by dint of email-newsletters seemed impossible, but we accepted the challenge and started working
Start of work
At the beginning we’ll tell You about the client’s niche market and business. Everything looks pretty typical for B2B:
- Long cycle of decision-making on purchase.
- High average bill.
- Managers advised customers personally before each sale.
- The company is engaged in selling at specialized exhibitions. Therefore, the website was mostly of informative nature.
As our experience and practice show, B2B has a long sales cycle. Therefore, we didn’t expect that email-marketing would generate immediate result. We offered the client several options for the project’s implementation. One included collecting the database and automating email-marketing, the other – only advertising mailings. Despite our recommendations and arguments, the order-giver chose only advertising mailings.
We analyzed the company’s brand and developed a design template for all the subsequent letters, in order to maintain the brand recognizable. We understood that this customer’s target audience would not click the “Add to cart” button on the website, in order to purchase the tractor. Therefore, we added an option of fast communication by phone or via e-mail.
The customer didn’t like the design from an aesthetic point of view (he said nothing). We persuaded the customer to try the newsletter with our template over the course of negotiations.
Newsletter opt-in process
The first letter. For the first letter, we and a client developed a promotional offer with discount 25%, a time limit, a possibility of payment in installments and a loan secured by the purchase The promotional offer was valid for a self-propelled sprayer at a price over 5 million rubles.
The results we achieved
Nearly 40% of subscribers opened the letter, 4,7% followed the links. The letters never reached 133 subscribers out of 800. It happened, because що 98 addresses were incorrect, while the rest of mailboxes were stuffed with letters or inaccessible. We changed the subject of the letter and sent it to the subscribers, who didn’t open the newsletter for the first time. The effect was minor: the coefficient of opened letters – totaled 12%, of clicks – 0,5%. The size of the client’s database never exceeded 1000 email addresses throughout the entire working period. That’s insufficient for B2C email-newsletters, but in our case it’s normal. Usually, the market is much smaller in B2B sphere, compared to B2C, and oftentimes key customers can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Potentially, each subscriber from the base could have made a purchase worth 4 million rubles, therefore were very attentive towards each contact.
The second letter. In the second letter we were telling about the technology of grain logistics, and we also added a discount of 15% for email subscribers.
The results we achieved
The letter was opened by 40,4% of subscribers, 3,7% followed the link.
The third letter. In the previous letter we were telling You about the machine for agrochemical operations and offered a discount of 15% therefore, along with the possibility of paying in installments.
We sent a letter to 938 contacts, and we achieved an Open rate – 37,6% and a Click rate – 4,5%
We created 3 email-newsletters and created a design template. Thereafter the order-giver asked to replace the contractors. There were several reasons for doing so:
1. The client asked for additional changes to be made to the mail after sending the letter. When it was no longer possible, he was dissatisfied.
2. Though the statistical indicators were good, the client still didn’t like the template.
3. The email messages didn’t bring about instantaneous results, whereof we warned from the very beginning.
The results of our work
We obtained feedback from the client 5 months after the launch. Our assumption concerning the long sales cycles has been confirmed. Please, find attached the message from the company’s owner below.
The sales occurred by phone, both times the buyer specified the channel of electronic mail as the source of the phone number. 2 sales were accomplished for an overall amount of 12 000 000 rubles with the marginality of 15%.
We may calculate the profitability of investments in email-marketing for this project. We shall use the following formula to calculate the profitability of investments in the email-marketing:
You need to multiply the total income by margin and divide the result by 100.
We count ROMI
We calculate the email marketing costs. We included the cost of development of the template’s design, the preparation of three email-newsletters, work with database and other related services. In total, the client spent 18300 rubles for the email-channel.
The client received 9736 rubles of net profit for each ruble, invested in email-marketing. That’s an excellent index. For comparison, ROMI 100% is considered good, while 1000% is considered exceptional.
Here are several thoughts about email-marketing in B2B after this project:
1. At the beginning of the project, selling a tractor for 6 million, via e-mail, seemed unrealistic. But it became clear from the project’s results that email-newsletters may bring about efficient results while working with large-amount cheques.
2. In B2B the decision-making on purchase with high average receipt may take a long time, and that’s normal. Lots of business owners expect quick results from email-marketing and they make premature conclusions. That’s a mistake. A similar approach won’t work with B2B, and our case is the proof thereof.
3. It may be difficult to determine which marketing channel worked and how many sales it brought about, without a systemic approach to digital-marketing and analytics. It is possible that our newsletters encouraged more clients to acquire agricultural machinery, but that’s hardly monitorable without coherent web-analytics.
4. Electronic mails bring about the results with B2B. A colossal profitability of investments, amounting to 9736% is the proof thereof.