What a Storage Marketer Can Learn from Fusion IO’s Email

Posted: June 2, 2011 by David Lamont in Opinion
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Oh look a message about solid state disk developer, Fusion IO, from Steve Wozniak! I’ll open that.

Hmmm! The message is neither from Mr. Wozniak, nor about Mr. Wozniak. Not much about Fusion either. Lucky I know who they are, what they sell and what their value proposition is. Do you?

But, hey it’s written to me personally by someone who knows I’m super busy.

Wait a minute! It’s from “Act-On Marketing Service on behalf of.” Could this be a mass mailer? No it couldn’t be. If it were, surely it would be CAN-SPAM compliant and include a snail mail address.

I live in the data storage world, but what “recent” event did I attend where I met with Fusion IO? Oh yes, the Flash Summit 7 months ago! I remember now, Fusion had the best and most expensive booth and gave away T-Shirts to anyone who scanned their badge. It was a great looking booth with a wall of monitors. The T-Shirt was great too and I do wear it at the gym. Not sure about the ROI or the wisdom of spending so much budget on a bunch or industry insiders and competitors. A Fusion competitor, Violin, drew almost as many people with a box of blinking lights (it was an open-box SSD) on some other exhibitor’s table. I’ll bet their ROI numbers were very good.

News update: Now that I’m in the Fusion IO Acton-on email system I just got another email. This one is from a different rep. No sales territory conflicts there.

Why am I picking on Fusion IO? Two reasons: (1) There are lessons to be learned from their example. (2) They are spending envious amounts of money so they really should have better execution.

What can a marketer of storage learn from this example?

  • Not all leads are good prospects. Some are just fans (as I am of Fusion IO). At a trade show you can always ask.
  • Keep comprehensive notes in your CRM system. Otherwise how’s the next sale rep supposed to know the history of a lead?
  • Follow-up emails must be timely and reference the connection point. People forget where, when and why they registered.
  • Even if you use a bulk email system, each email should look and read exactly like it would if you just sent one email to an acquaintance, especially if you are trying to foster a person-to-person relationship.

There are tips in the Words To The Wise™ article “Promotional Emails — 12 Powerful Tips and 8 Important Copy Guidelines.”

Email marketing to a house list is extremely effective. At Marketingsage we’ve used email to promote SSDs and to nurture leads. Done right, a single campaign can generate higher quality request-for-quote leads worth (many) millions. Additionally, interested recipients will keep the emails so they know who to contact when they are ready to engage with a salesperson. We’ve seen people reply up to 2 years after they got an email about something that interested them. Sometimes it takes time for a purchase champion to get the support of management as well as a budget.

About the Author

David X. Lamont is an accomplished marketer of IT products and a partner at Marketingsage, a PR and lead generation firm that specializes in marketing data storage, data management and enterprise software products. He can be reached by email at blog [at] marketingsage.net. Fellow marketers and IT professionals are invited to join his network on LinkedIn and to subscribe to this blog (see sidebar).

  1. David Lamont says:

    Freaky Coincidence? Within minutes of posting the blog mentioning Fusion’s use of Act-On I opened an automated email from Raghu Raghavan, CEO at Act-On Software, about their new $10 million investment round. Congratulations! The email also says “…Fusion-io count[s] themselves among [Act-On Software] 250+ happy customers.” I definitely don’t recall subscribing to the Act-On mail list, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and just opt-out.

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