Customer Relationship Marketing
Ernan Roman Direct Marketing guarantees double-digit response rates using consensual opt-in customer relationship marketing solutions, customer relationship management and creating integrated marketing solutions
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Spacer Tips for Using the 3-Step Marketing Process® to Achieve Double-Digit Response

Microsoft’s First Opt-In Marketing Program Yields 40%+ Response - Worldwide!

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Tips for Using the 3-Step Marketing Process
Process to Achieve Double-Digit Response

As you will see in the Microsoft case study, there is a proven process and methodology you can leverage to achieving opt-in marketing success.

Implementing the 3-Step Marketing Process helps you achieve relevance by providing value as defined by the individual customer, based on their self-profiled, opt-in preferences.

It also enables you to operationalize the experience of relevance for each customer; offering the right message, to the right person, at the right time, via the right media mix.

Step 1: Know More About Your Customer’s Needs

Voice of Customer Relationship Research is a specialized research process which ensures truly customer-driven implementation of your opt-in programs and integrated multichannel programs.

Over the course of more than 2,600 hours of VOC research interviews, we have learned insights such as:

  • “A true relationship” means two-way communication!”
  • “An opt-in relationship would be a huge competitive differentiator!”
  • “Blogs can most closely emulate the sense of community built during in-person interactions.”
  • “The fastest way to be forgotten is to buy.”
  • “When you tell me to go to the web, what I hear is ‘Go. . . help yourself.’”
  • “Value of  your marketing materials? One garbage can per day – 2 feet by 16 inches.”
  • “Mail should be specific to my role, to what I do all day long.”

Suggest that you use the VOC Relationship Research process to help you build the customer-driven foundation for your opt-in programs.

Step 2: Engage Customers in Meaningful Consensual Marketing Opt-In Relationships

Traditional “Spray and Pray” isn’t working. Opting-out seems to be the norm. Seventy-six percent of all US adults have registered for the National Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry. More than 120 million phone numbers are listed on the DNC.

Internationally, the picture is even more grim. The Italian government has banned all unsolicited mail, phone, e-mail, fax and mobile communications without affirmative consent.

Don’t settle for “permission” as the solution. There is a vast difference between “permission,” and the Opt-In Marketing process. The difference is; passive acceptance versus active participation in defining a relationship. You want to encourage your customers to define their individual preferences and requirements, and populate the opt-in database with their self-profiled information.

This data enables you to respond to the unique requirements of individual customers by understanding what they expect of you and how to leverage the dimension of time to sustain the value and relevance you provide your customers.

Step 3: Improve the Effectiveness of Your Integrated Multichannel Mix

Integrated Direct Marketing (IDM®) is a process for the precision timing and synchronization of multiple media and channels per opt-in preferences. It leverages the power of precision integration of traditional and digital media and channels.

Now, let’s take a look at a brand new case study which shows you how Microsoft used the 3-Step Marketing Process.

CASE STUDY: Microsoft’s First Opt-In Marketing Program Yields 40%+ Response - Worldwide!
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There are 40 million plus small businesses worldwide. There are ever-increasing IT choices available to these businesses.

Microsoft realized that to keep these customers and market share, they needed to create a relationship program to deepen customer engagement.

Microsoft’s first step was to listen to their customers. They conducted two waves of VOC Relationship Research. In the first wave they focused on whether customers want a relationship with Microsoft, and how they would define that relationship.

Results showed that 60% of all small businesses contacted wanted a relationship with Microsoft. Additional learnings surfaced through the research:

arrow Customers see two Microsofts:  Products and the Company
arrow Most customers feel they have a positive relationship with the Products, but feel there is no relationship with the Company.

The second wave focused on what customers wanted in this Opt-In relationship. Quantitative research was then conducted to validate the VOC findings.

Based on these learnings the Small Business+ program was born. The goals of this new relationship program were to:

arrow Deepen customer engagement
arrow Improve customer satisfaction
arrow Deliver targeted and relevant marketing messages
arrow Drive revenue

“The Small Business+ program was done to determine if we can really have a higher level of engagement with a very broad audience and provide them with meaningful tools and information that improves their perceptions of Microsoft and in the process increase their likelihood of buying future products and solutions from Microsoft.”

— Eddie Yandle, Senior Director of Small Business in
   the Worldwide Small & Mid-Market Solutions &    Partners group

These goals were achieved by offering Small Business+ customers:

arrow Software training
arrow Business training
arrow Self-help technical support
arrow Free and discounted chat and phone support
arrow Local offerings (which varied by country)
arrow Personalized web and direct communications based on their opt-in profile

To receive these benefits, customers were willing to self-profile a significant amount of information regarding their business and their individual preferences.

“We found that when customers saw that they would be given more relevant and personalized content and tools, they were quite willing to tell us about themselves and their companies.  In fact, they said they were willing to tell us even more than we asked – so long as they saw a benefit derived from providing that information.”

— Eddie Yandle, Senior Director of Small Business in
   the Worldwide Small & Mid-Market Solutions &    Partners group

Pilot results were so positive that the program was rolled out to 8 countries with a 9th country launch slated for early 2007. Analysis of results to date indicate opt-in rates well in excess of 40%+ and very high response rates to the communications sent to members that drive to Small Business+ online resources.

“ Customers have responded very positively to the commitment made by Microsoft through the program, to provide valuable information and resources which are personalized.  This has been evidenced by the high response rates to the newsletter communications which are targeted based on customer’s profile information”

— Mina Mistry, Senior Marketing Manager of the Global    Relationship Marketing Strategy team

Since January, membership levels have already hit six-figures, with very positive feedback and usage rates of SB+ benefits.

‘Early success and customer feedback have verified that this program can deliver against the goals and that by delivering value for customers, Microsoft will be able to support both relationship and revenue goals by creating the web assets that deliver broad reach across the Small Business market”

— Mina Mistry, Senior Marketing Manager of the Global    Relationship Marketing Strategy team

Learnings to date from this program include:

arrow VOC research and behavioral analysis were critical for defining program strategies, at the very beginning, per the individual requirements of customers
arrow Delivering exactly what customers asked for clearly drives membership in SB+
arrow Educating customers regarding how to obtain more value from their software builds a positive relationship with Microsoft
arrow Personalized communications based on opt-in profiles drive high open and click-through rates and fuels engagement.

To learn more about other successful case studies utilizing the Opt-In Marketing Process, click here.

Click here to share your story!

IDM® is a Registered Trademark of Ernan Roman Direct Marketing


The recent DMA Annual Conference was a great success.  Attendance at our sessions was wonderful and the interest in Opt-In and Integrated Marketing was resounding. 

We were honored to present two sessions.  The first was titled “Breakthroughs in Opt-In Marketing:  Learn the Strategies That Are Helping Microsoft Achieve Opt-In Rates of 40%+, Worldwide!” and was co- presented with Mina Mistry, Senior Marketing Manager of the Global Relationship Marketing Strategy team, Microsoft Corporation.

This was the first time Microsoft shared this breakthrough case study.  Please read the story below and consider the impact that a uniquely accurate opt-in, self-profiled database of 40% - 70% of your customers would have on your business!

The second session was titled “7 Step Process for Achieving Double-Digit Response with Best-In Class Consensual Opt-In and Integrated Multi-channel Marketing”.  This 2 hour workshop highlighted powerful IBM, HP and Microsoft Relationship Marketing strategies presented by marketing pioneer, Yvonne Brandon, Group Manager, Online Partner Marketing (OPM), Microsoft Corporation.

Hope you enjoy this issue of the newsletter.  Please continue to call or email me with your questions and comments.

Best wishes,

Consensual Marketing Opt-In Process® is a Registered Trademark of Ernan Roman Direct Marketing
IDM® is a Registered Trademark of Ernan Roman Direct Marketing

We are excited about the coverage we recently received in the article “How Good is Your Customer Service?” in Target Marketing. Click here to read the story and take the customer service quiz.

How has your company benefited from recognizing the importance of Customer Care? Email us your story and we’ll include it in future newsletters.

Comments about Customer Service
as a Competitive Differentiator? Let us know what you think!.
To learn more, go to Case Studies / Tips for You. Also go to Our Books to review Opt-In Marketing: Increase Sales Exponentially with Consensual Marketing.

Contact Us for a complimentary consultation to discuss your needs and how the Consensual Marketing / Opt-In Process (CMO) may satisfy them.

Click here for additional customer relationship management solutions case studies.

We wish you the best of luck in using the Voice-of-Customer-driven 3-Step Marketing Process to achieve double-digit response.

    To read previous newsletters, click here.
    For additional case studies, click here.

Ernan Roman Direct Marketing | 3 Melrose Lane | Douglas Manor, NY 11363 | Phone: 718.225.4151 | Fax: 718.225.4889
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Customer Relationship Management Solutions