• September 1, 2008
  • By Jessica Tsai, Assistant Editor, CRM magazine

The 2008 CRM Market Awards: Elite -- Ice Energy

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When we first spoke to Ice Energy about its use of JangoMail’s email marketing solution (see “So Hot It’s Cool,” June 2008), we were blown away by its results. It wasn’t unusual that sales were slow for the United Kingdom–based manufacturer of ground-source heat pumps during December of last year. After all, admits David Hutchinson, marketing manager at Ice Energy, heat pumps don’t exactly stir up the holiday cheer. Sales for the month were projected to reach only 50 percent of the company’s target goal.

With nothing to lose, Hutchinson and senior executives created a simple campaign, highlighted with an attractive offer, and used JangoMail to deliver a personalized message to a targeted group of prospects. Once the email went out, Ice Energy saw its sales skyrocket. And in the time that elapsed, right before the company closed for holiday vacation, Ice Energy had reason to be very merry indeed, booking a record 110 percent of its monthly sales target—in just one week.

Before then, Hutchinson had struggled for almost a year with an installed email solution that took nearly 10 hours to deliver a single campaign to his database, bringing the company’s office server to a grinding halt each time. Moreover, list hygiene and maintenance had to be handled manually. Cognizant of email best practices, Hutchinson understood the possible ramifications of not taking the necessary precautions to ensure that his lists were clean and that his messages were relevant.

As a result, the burden that any single campaign would inflict left Hutchinson with little choice but to curtail his emailing altogether. Still, Hutchinson was convinced email marketing should work—a theory that became fact after he found JangoMail in June 2007.

“He’s really one of our customers who let the technology work for them so they can do what they do best—they do heat pumps,” says Kim Wright, director of operations at JangoMail. “They just want to see the end results.” It helped that Hutchinson came to JangoMail prepared with the knowledge of what it takes to create a robust emailing list, Wright recollects. Unfortunately, despite Hutchinson’s conviction that it was essential to build a relationship with his customers, he found himself constantly being bogged down by administrative duties.

Ice Energy’s first email through JangoMail was a refresher to determine which addresses were still viable and to find out more about people’s heat-pump needs. With one click, 6,000 people were emailed—and Hutchinson could only describe the response as “phenomenal.” In the first 24 hours alone, Ice Energy sold enough equipment, ranging in price from $10,000 to $30,000, to cover 10 years of JangoMail’s cost: 750 recipients said they were either interested or ready to buy immediately and 740 provided their phone numbers to receive further information; out of the 6,000 recipients, only 250 opted out.

Hutchinson’s list has been growing by 800 to 1,000 individuals each month, and he reports that, after the first email, there have been no more than 70 individual opt-outs in a given month. On average, 20 percent to 30 percent of recipients access the Web site through the emails, while some campaigns have produced clickthroughs as high as 80 percent. It once took three to four days to develop a campaign; now, campaign creation takes two days and the result is more powerful.

“We’ve religiously sent out emails every month, and one of the real powers is that we’ve set up a series of multipath, multidimensional, multitrigger email campaigns—no matter where someone contacts us from [on] the Web site, they end up getting a series of automated emails,” Hutchinson explains. And because Hutchinson has also integrated JangoMail with Google Analytics, Ice Energy is able to incorporate consumer insight into its emails and piece together a highly personalized puzzle.

“It’s difficult to emphasize the importance of personalization,” Hutchinson says. “Every day I get calls and emails from customers who feel as though they know me and only want to deal with me.” But even Hutchinson has his limits, “I have to tell them I need to pass them through to sales as I’m in marketing.” 

Real Results : Ice Energy

  • Hit a record-breaking 110 percent of a monthly sales target in just one week.
  • Reduced the time to create more-effective campaigns from four days to two.
  • Increased its contact database by 800 to 1,000 names each month.
  • Generated a 20 percent to 30 percent average response rate per campaign.

To read about the other 2008 CRM Elite winners, click here.

For the rest of the 2008 CRM Market Awards, click here.

Every month, CRM magazine covers the customer relationship management industry and beyond. To subscribe, please visit http://www.destinationcrm.com/subscribe/.

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