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E-Mail Campaign Management Software Earns CRM Points

June 26, 2002

In contrast to users of other CRM ( news - external web site) implementations, a large majority of companies that use e-mail campaign management software are satisfied with the results they achieve, according to a recent Aberdeen Group research report.

Research director and report author Harry Watkins told that over 75 percent of survey respondents would recommend their campaign management software vendor to a noncompeting executive.

"The tendency is for all of us to get into a doom-and-gloom perspective, given what's going on," Watkins said. "In fact, in the campaign management software area, I got mixed -- but very positive -- feedback."

Opting In

Aberdeen surveyed customers of six campaign management software makers: Annuncio (PeopleSoft); Broadbase (Kana); Matrix Technologies; Nuedge; Unica; and Xchange. More than 70 percent of the suppliers' deployments were in companies that had over 2,500 employees, and more than 80 of the implementations were in single divisions or business units.

Nearly 70 percent of the respondents reported using the software to conduct targeted e-mail campaigns, and well over 80 percent predicted that e-mail would become their most important customer communication channel in the near future.

No Clear Winners

Watkins said that most of the suppliers benchmarked in the study received strong ratings for ease-of-use, speed of deployment, and support for multistep, multichannel, personalized e-mail campaigns.

The suppliers showed "considerable variability in performance," but Watkins said that each has particular strengths.

However, the users surveyed gave the worst performance ratings for ease of integrating the software with other applications and legacy databases. The companies found integration of e-mail campaign software with other CRM applications burdensome.

Telecom Rules

Watkins reported that among the companies surveyed, those in the telecommunications industry have, by far, the most experience with this category of CRM software. Given the customer churn rate in the industry and its reputation for customer service challenges, use of e-mail campaigns has become a key component of customer retention programs for the telecoms.

On average, telecommunications firms have 33 months of experience with e-mail campaign management apps. The telecoms are not only running large-volume campaigns, they also are running such campaigns frequently -- as often as two campaigns a day.

Greener Pastures

Deloitte Consulting partner Mark Peacock told CRMDaily that he believes one reason for the relative success of e-mail campaign management projects -- when compared to broader CRM initiatives -- is that they generally are limited to one unit or department.

"A typical CRM implementation usually ends up being fairly complex," he said. "You're having to replace or supplant existing systems, and the application spans multiple units in the organization."

In contrast, said Peacock, e-mail campaign management software usually is used only by people in marketing departments. The applications allow marketers to bring customer relationship functions in-house that may previously have been outsourced.

"It has a little bit more of a green field feel about it," he added.

Kimberly Hill, Copyright © 2002 Triad Commerce Group, LLC.


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