• August 2, 2010
  • By Juan Martinez, Editorial Assistant, CRM magazine

The Era of Static Emails Is Over

The first day back after a long, relaxing vacation can be more stressful than a visit from the Internal Revenue Service. There's a stack of work piled on your chair. The blinking voicemail light is making you dizzy. Your email inbox has more new messages than old ones. To get the day started, you immediately separate the important email messages from the unimportant ones. After all, who needs to read an advertisement for a sale that happened a week ago, right? Well, hoping to put an end to outdated marketing emails, Infor enterprise software solutions recently released Epiphany Email Advisor, the first product under Infor's Epiphany Advisor Family umbrella, promising to give users only the most relevant personalized information.

Infor's new modular approach embeds within the CRM suite the automated decision-making capabilities that guide each customer interaction. Infor's Interaction Advisor product, the underlying intelligence-gathering and decision-making engine, powers the new series of add-on modules that the company claims will solve top challenges for

  • specific employee roles,
  • particular challenges and tasks, and
  • certain vertical industries.

Several email marketing issues have forced marketers to rethink traditional approaches. Due to an increase in user opt-out, for example, marketers are trying to move away from static emails. Large, generic email blasts lead to delivery and reputation issues at Internet service providers (ISPs), and Infor's position is that creating multiple email versions for greater personalization remains cost-prohibitive.

"Many of our customers have asked us for a solution that helps them with email because they've been seeing that email marketing is really declining," says Jackie Palmer, senior product manager at Infor. "It was supposed to be the silver bullet because you don't have to spend as much as direct mail and you can send out as much as you possibly can. But we're seeing declining success, primarily because marketers are sending out nonrelevant mailings and people are opting out."  

With the release of Email Advisor, Infor aims to asnwer four major email marketing questions:

  • What if customers could receive the best email content at the right time?
  • What if each email could display the latest content, regardless of when it's opened?
  • What if poor-performing email content could be automatically removed?
  • What if expired or already fulfilled content could be instantly replaced?

Email Advisor allows marketers to send emails that can update instantly whenever the emails are opened, so that only timely information is shown to the user. As Palmer notes, any company that sends out irrelevant information has just missed an opportunity to market to a customer, or an opportunity to communicate something valuable. "If companies could display the latest content regardless of when the email is opened," Palmer says, "then they potentially have an opportunity to transact with the customer."

Infor executives say that a four-month beta test has proven Email Advisor's effectiveness, with the following overall results across eight campaigns:  

  • An average of 1.5 million emails per campaign;
  • 13 million emails in the largest campaign;
  • 100 emails opened per second, per server;
  • minimal latency, 20-millisecond response;
  • 23 percent average open rate; and
  • 50 percent increase in clickthrough.

"Infor's Epiphany has one of the crown jewels in CRM — the Interaction Advisor," says Ray Wang, partner at Altimeter Group. "The Advisor provides real-time suggestions and decision support for marketing campaigns, sales scenarios, and potentially support situations. Infor's a $2.2 billion in revenue company with a lot of assets from its acquisitions. Overall, they've been proactive in addressing key software ownership issues such as upgrades, migration, new products, and maintenance."

Based in Georgia, Infor serves more than 70,000 customers worldwide and employs approximately 8,000. The company is also the fourth-largest software company in the world.

News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine.

You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" below.

CRM Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues

Related Articles

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Marketing Management Remains Leader-less

MQ for EMM '10: Infor gets booted from an MQ for EMM that looks similar to the past two reports.

CRM Is No Longer a Four-Letter Word

Why the badge is finally one worth wearing.

Forrester Waves In Cross-Channel Campaign Management

In response to the demand for cross-channel marketing functionalities, the research firm publishes its first report covering this trend.

Oracle's Other Half Lands in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation

Magic Quadrant for SFA '09: The research firm evaluates two fewer vendors this year, and promotes Oracle CRM On Demand to join corporate cousin Siebel CRM in the top quadrant for the first time.

Infor Delivers CRM to IBM System i Users

The move looks to help the install base of 14,000 integrate basic CRM functionality with existing Infor ERP systems.

Still No Leaders or Challengers in Gartner's EMM Magic Quadrant

Magic Quadrant for EMM '09: Enterprise marketing management vendors continue to face slow adoption rates in an economic downturn.