Email marketing is so powerful that it can boost your sales by several percent a month. If you aren’t using it, you should be. If you already are, you might not be doing so as dynamically as you could be. We’re going to show you how almost anyone can create a free email marketing piece that can be used over and over again. This smart email template is specifically designed for the broker/distributor business model, as it will display the correct sales rep and contact information for each of your accounts. With the right call to action, this template will help drive sales directly to your reps.
Here’s an example of the kind of email you can build by following this tutorial. (Your’s can look much better!)
Notice the sales rep for this account, “Rob Rhyne” is in the top left hand corner. Also note that MailChimp gives us Twitter, email and Facebook social sharing tools for free.
Choose an Email Service
We are big fans of MailChimp. They have hundreds of templates to choose from and easy to use tools for customization. Their email delivery engine, Mandrill, powers our lightening fast order email notifications. MailChimp’s free plan is so generous, you should be able to send an email to all of your accounts.
Build Your List
The first step is to export your customer list from where ever it lives. If you use Orderoso as your Mobile CRM and Order Management tool, contact us, we’ll show you how to get a clean, perfectly formatted list. If not, you might be exporting from an accounting package like QuickBooks. Wherever your list is, be sure to export each account’s Sales Rep so we can display the appropriate contact information.
We find that many Brokers and Distributors use QuickBooks. Here’s a few steps on how to get your list exported from both Quickbooks Desktop and Online:
Orderoso syncs with QuickBooks and Salesforce.com allowing orders from your Reps to be sent directly to accounting without redundant order entry. Contact us to learn more!
- Go to your Customer Center
- At the top of the Customer Center click the Excel dropdown
- Make sure “An Excel Workbook” is selected
- Click “Export” (this should open a new Excel Work book with your customers)
- Delete every column except Email, First Name, Last Name and Rep
- Save the Excel file
- Click “Reports” then “Reports List”
- Scroll down to the the “Lists” header
- Click the “Customer Contact” list
- Click “Excel” in the top (your list should download)
- Open the list and delete every column exceptEmail and Full Name
- Create a new column to the left of Full Name called First Name and enter this formula: =LEFT(E2,FIND(” “,E2,1)) You’ll need to change E2 to match the location of the Full Name column.
- Create a new column to the right of First Name called Last Name and enter this formula: =LEFT(E2,FIND(” “,E2,1)-1) Again, you’ll need to change E2 to match the location of the Full Name column.
- Add a column to the left of Full Name called Sales Rep
- You’ll need to add a unique rep signifier for each account. We recommend the rep’s initials, but make sure not to have two of the same initials.
- Save the “Excel” file
When you are done, your list should look like this. (You may not have a Full Name column)
How many customers do you have email addresses for? If isn’t a high percentage, you’ll want to ask your reps to fill in as many email addresses as possible. Consider setting a deadline based on when you’d like to send your email blast. The faster you send the email blast, the faster everyone will see results.
Import Your List to MailChimp
Now that your list is complete, you’ll want to import it into MailChimp:
- Signup with MailChimp and login
- From the left menu pick “Lists“
- Click “Create List” in the top right
- If MailChimp asks if you’d like to create a group, click “Create List“
- Fill out the Setup List fields and click “Save“
- In the message telling you that you’ve created a list, click ““Customize It”“
- You can also get to this page from the Lists page by clicking the “Stats” drop down button and then “Settings” and finally “List Fields and Merge Tags“
These steps can be a little tricky. Here’s some screenshots that should help.
Adding the Sales Rep Merge Field
This is where the real power of our email starts to take shape. We’re going to add your Sales Rep identifier to the email list as a MERGE FIELD so that we can display the proper rep’s contact information for each email in your list. You should now be on the “List Fields and *|MERGE|* Tags” page. If you are not, see the image above. Your MailChimp list will start with Email, First name and Last name. We’re going to add a new field, SalesRep to this list. Here’s how:
- Click “Add a Field” under the list table.
- Click the “Text” button
- Change the field you added from “Untitled” to “Sales Rep”
- On the right, where it reads “MERGE3“, change to “SALESREP“
Your list should now look like this.
- Click “Save“
- At the top, from the Import drop down click “Import“
- Choose “Copy/Paste From Excel“
- Go back to your excel file and Select the Email, First Name, Last Name and Sales Rep columns and copy them to the clipboard
- Paste those fields into the text box in MailChimp
- Click “Import“
- Click “OK” through each column, or match them up with the proper column if you’ve used a different naming strategy
- Click “Done“
Creating The Content of Your Email
The secret to effective email marketing is to provide as much value as you can in each email. Providing value gives your customers a reason to open each email. If you have a small allocation of something highly sought after that would usually be parceled out to key accounts, why not offer it to the first few people that read the email? Do you have a special you can extend for the next week only? Mabye you have some amazing tips for how your clients can sell more of your product. You might simply have some quality product information or media your customers would love to have. Whatever your value prop is, make it worth your customer’s time, and allude to that value in the email’s subject line.
Here’s how to create the email:
- On the left click “Campaigns“
- At the top, click “Create Campaign“
- Select the list you just created
- Name your campaign (this is for internal purposes)
- Give the campaign a compelling subject related to your content
- Fill out the rest of the campaign info and leave the default settings
- Click “Next” at the bottom
- On the “Select a Template Option” choose “Basic“
- We’re going to choose the template “Left Side Bar”, but choose the layout you like.
- When adding your content, keep it short. State your main point clearly and use compelling product images.
Now for the really powerful part. We’re going to display the correct Rep for each account, based on the SALESREP merge tag we added earlier.
- Roll your mouse over the content area where you want to add the Sales Rep contact information
- Click the “Edit” button
- Change the header to “Contact Your Rep”
- Click the source button that looks like two arrows back to back < >
- Paste the following into the form (make sure to get all of it):
Display the proper sales rep for each account.
The above might look like a big mess, but it’s actually really easy programing and no harder than your average excel task. It says, if the SALESREP column for this line of our email list equals “rr”, then we’re going to display the block of text before the END:IF line. Else, if the SALESREP column for this line of our email list equals “to”, then display the second Rep’s contact information. If neither of those match the SALESREP field, then the final block after the ELSE statement will be used for contact information.
You will need to replace each of the *|…SALESREP=rr|* lines with the rep ids you exported from your list. You will also need to replace each name (Rob Roberts, Tim Olson, Lea Drep from our example) with each one of your rep’s names.
You can add as many blocks of reps ( *|ELSEIF:SALESREP=to|* ) as needed.
Lastly you will need to replace the phone numbers and the email address (in two locations) with the appropriate numbers and emails. Remember to replace both the mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org section as well as the email@example.com for email addresses. The last block will be shown as default if the contact you are emailing does not have a SALESREP field, so it should be your office’s contact information.
When you are done:
- Click “Save Now” at the top right to close that edit window
- Click “Preview & Test” at the top right to preview your email
- Click “View Live Merge Info” and the left & right buttons at the bottom to preview your SALESREP merge.
- The contact information should change to the user you are previewing
That’s about it! We can go on to edit the plain text email, which is sent to users who have HTML off by default and confirm our list settings. You can now send your list out to all your accounts.
Feel free to contact us, or leave a comment if you have questions!