CRM in ACTION: Streamlining Customer Contact

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The Challenge: Manage mismatched customer email communications. The Solution: With a tech-savvy customer base that often relies on instant communications, Internet Security Systems (ISS), a $220 million global software and services company based in Atlanta, turned to email several years ago to alert customers about security. Some customers received one marketing newsletter or security alert. Others received two or more copies of each. Others received neither. "We needed to be able to handle these communications in a standardized way," says Tim McCormick, ISS vice president of marketing. "We had to know to which email lists customers had subscribed." The company needed a centralized view of email communications that would give customers various options as to formatting and opting out. So ISS installed marketing software from Silverpop to manage its email.
The Payoff: Now ISS has an enterprisewide view of which customers are receiving which communications from which departments. The Silverpop software enables ISS to create email templates and email mailing lists, and to import information from external sources. The centralized management of email communications prevents duplicate and missed e-mail messages, and presents the messages in the format customers choose. But even customers on the same lists don't want information the same way. Some wanted HTML messages complete with colors and graphics. Others, concerned about the security risks inherent in HTML messages, want text-only correspondence. "We wanted to give the choice to the users about how they wanted to receive the communications," McCormick says. ISS uses the software to keep track of what formats and communications (newsletters, security alerts, etc.) customers want and to monitor opt-in/opt-out decisions. ISS continues to refine its use of the Silverpop system to look deeper into email data to refine the company's marketing efforts. "We couldn't do that without this engine behind it," McCormick says.
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