Categories: Founder's Blog


Sam Bayer


Email Integration – Update

New Product Development is a messy business.  The textbooks all make it sound like its a nice orderly linear progression from “concept to cash”.  Maybe it appears to be linear in hindsight, but on a day to day basis it’s anything but.

Spurred on by a client recommendation, for the past three weeks we’ve been investigating what to do about providing an email marketing extension to our service.  Today’s post will summarize our findings and announce our commitments moving forward.

To begin with, we did what we said we were going to do.  We spoke with our clients, we prototyped a couple of services and did a deeper dive on the key requirement…an integration between our user database and these email marketing services’ segmented customer lists.

The most disappointing learning of the past few weeks was that our clients really don’t consider the need to communicate with their B2B website users on a regular basis as a “fundable need”.   That stopped me cold in my tracks for awhile.  The message that I was getting was that marketing departments were focused on finding new business as opposed to catering to existing “captive” audiences.  Besides, it seems as if in 2009 marketing departments have their own favorite email marketing programs and they don’t need another one just dedicated to their B2B website customers.

Bottom line, even though we think its important to communicate with your customers on a regular basis, if our clients don’t, we’re not going to be pursuing this…for the time being :-).

However, we did uncover a few scenarios that we felt would be ideal opportunities to reach out to website customers, and for those clients that would like to, we’ve made it easier for them to download those mailing lists.

I examined a few of our client’s logs and here is what I found:

  • Up to 40% of invited website users have never logged in
  • About 25% logged in once and chose not to come back
  • Only 20% of registered users were regular users

Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out why those 40% never logged in?  Could it be that their invitations got caught in a spam filter?  Did the email invitations even get opened by them?  How about those 25% that only came to the website once?  What was up with that?  Anything we could learn to entice them back in?

As of today, Client Administrators with the appropriate authority, can download the entire user database and easily produce segmented email lists of:

  • all clients that have been invited but not logged in within X days of their invitation being sent
  • all clients that have logged in less than X times within Y days of their first login
  • all clients that have logged in within X days
  • all clients that haven’t logged in within X days

We’re making it easy to segment your customers into groups that you should be able to craft targeted messages for.  We hope you’ll take advantage of that and start conversations with them.  After all, if they aren’t using the website, neither you nor they are reaping any of the benefits of 24×7 real time access to your SAP Order Management information and processes.


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