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Using Newsletters in D365

Introduction

Marketing, in some way or the other, happens to be the soul mantra for survival for any business. Simply launching a business doesn’t necessarily mean, it’s doing great. You have to plan a grand advertisement too which can make your business reach out to other corners of the world, including people whom you don’t even know or haven’t ever contacted directly or indirectly.

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Sometimes your business needs to encompass advertisements which not only mean including new customers but also revisiting existing/old customers. Sometime evangelizing your customers about newer releases or products which your business has just launched. Or drawing attention of an old customer saying that “You might be interested for a new product that we have launched, which is very similar to the one which you bought from us.”Or you might need to tell your customers that there is a new tie up with another product company. If you use this product from us, you would be granted a certain favor from our tied-up organization. You could see several examples from “State electric supply meter bill”, where paying your bill using PayTM would result you would get a Rs 20 recharge on any mobile.

Here comes the utility of using Newsletters. Newsletters are an extremely valuable marketing tool used by ourselves as well as by our customers. One of the most important tasks for a business is to maintain contact with its customers.Developing a newsletter program with a solid audience will prove to be a very important marketing asset for the duration of your company.

Think about how on any given website you only have a few seconds to capture the attention of a visitor before they are gone forever. Developing a strategy to attract new customers and retaining existing clients is crucial to successful marketing. Maintaining a company blog is a great way to get your personal message out to many viewers. But a blog is a passive effort, meaning a user must navigate to it in order to get the message. Transforming a passive blog into a pro-active newsletter program is a logical step.

Advantages

  1. To increase awareness. Your newsletter should give enough information to create awareness about what you are offering your customers. People should get a good idea of how it would be to deal with you, or to buy your products, so that when they leave, they will feel compelled to find out more.
  2. Position your brand. You should create the best first impression about your products or services on your newsletter. Customers tend to use your marketing and communication tools to form a impression of your business. Newsletters are an extremely strong marketing tool to differentiate businesses from one another.
  3. To get more business from current clients. A newsletter is an effective way to let clients know about your other services and show them how they can benefit from those services, without being to “pushy”.
  4. To get repeat business from former clients. People who used your services or bought your products once will purchase again–when they’re ready. A newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with them until they are.
  5. To educate prospects. A newsletter that provides prospective clients with valuable information helps them make better decisions, allows you to demonstrate your expertise, and provides a mechanism for staying in touch with them until they are ready to hire you.
  6. To generate word-of-mouth referrals. Newsletters have pass-along value. A good newsletter will be shared with an average of three other people, even more online.
  7. To build your contact list. You can offer visitors to your web site a subscription to your newsletter in return for providing their email (and other contact information). When speaking or networking, you can offer to send your newsletter to people who provide you with their business card.
  8. To establish expertise and credibility. Your writing helps prospects, publishers, reporters, meeting planners, and referral sources see you as the expert you are.
  9. To provide content for, and traffic to, your web site. Your newsletter can drive traffic to your web site or blog. Your newsletter content can be re-used as content on your web site or blog, generating additional traffic from search engines and social media.
  10. To shorten the sales process. People who respond to your newsletter are better informed about what you do and pre-sold on your ability to do it, in contrast to people who come to you via advertising.
  11. To serve as a networking tool. Your newsletter is a tool to reach out to other professionals. You can interview them for an article, conduct a survey, ask them to write an article, or ask permission to put them on your mailing list.
  12. To add value to your services. A newsletter can provide an added benefit for clients. Give clients “subscriptions” or added value to current services or discounts on products. Put a price tag on the newsletter but send it free to current clients.

Software required

  1. Microsoft Dynamics 365 For Finance & operations
  2. HTML & Multimedia to design the advertisement

Setting up a newsletters systems

Identifying the customers:

In order to know which customers you should be interacting with, put up a flag on your customer: “Selected for newsletters”. This will identify the customers who wish to receive newsletters for business. By default all the customers would be set to true.

Setting up a mailing category:

You can always class your customers based on a number of parameters: e.g. price of the product they have brought, frequency with which they buy, one time customers(customer who visited long back, once) or customers who have brought variety of products over a variety of price range. Based on this you can set up a category.
Evidently you need to send each and every customer with a different category a separate mail format.

Mapping the customer to category:

A seamless batch keeps on finding the customers to map to the necessary category. Several points to consider while designing the batch:

  1. Customers who have never interacted after their first transaction: if the customer again shows up after a certain amount of time, this customer has to be shifted back as a “Low interacting client” from “One time client”
  2. Customers who had not been interacting much over certain amount of time: if any “Low interacting client” suddenly keeps on interacting frequently, then the customer has to be shifted from “Low interacting client” to “Frequent client”
  3. Frequent clients: if frequent customers suddenly shows a stagnancy over a certain period of time, then they need to shuffled back “Low interacting client”
  4. High valued customers: similarly if a high valued customer lately had been only consuming products which are very low in value, a logic has to be written which will be bringing them to be marked as “Low valued clients”
  5. Low valued clients: similar arrangements must be kept to mark a “Low valued client” as a “High valued client” if suddenly the client starts showing traits of consuming high valued products very frequently.

Each of this customer category is mapped with a mailing template, defined below.

Mail format

Mail format would be different for each and every customer category. You can choose to manually write the formats yourself or design a mail format upload utility which will let you to upload a word file which contains a personified format.

Tips:

  1. Your mailer could just be a clickable multimedia image that could take your customer to the direct dealer portal/enterprise selling site.
  2. Your mailer could be more personal, with a personal message [e.g. Dear XXX, you can choose our new product YYY which we launched recently. Click here for more: <a hyperlink leading to the eCommerce site>] and a hyperlink image that leads to product description site.

Setting up a mailing list

Complete the following steps to create a new mailing list or update an existing mailing list.

  1. Click Sales and marketing>Periodic>Mailings>Generate mailings.
  2. Select the mailing category, the mailing item, and the status of the mailing list.
  3. Set the date for the mailing.
  4. To adjust the Generate mailings query, click Select, and then enter values in the filter fields.
  5. Click OK to generate the mailing list.

The mailer event

When the above steps are done, you can set up a mailer event which will periodically send mailers to your clients. You need to further customize your mailer event to loop through only those customers for whom “Selected for newsletters” is set to true.

The mailer event

Always don’t expect that your customers are going to come back to you, using the newsletters. Most of the times the customers do not wish to be disturbed or poked and would choose to stay undisturbed. Every newsletter does also contain an arrangement for “Unsubscribe” link. This link generally unchecks the customer as a “Do-not-disturb” party.

In order to do this, we need to design a web service in D365 which accepts a customer code as a parameter and then sets the flag on Customer master as false. When the customer clicks the “Unsubscribe” hyperlink it willlead to an intermediate HTML page, which in turn invokes the web service defined as above.

Assumptions

The multimedia messages to design and embed in the mailer doesn’t come as a part of D365 development

While multimedia messages are quite dazzling, personal mail messages are more human like and attractive. Proper logic has to be written in case the mailer contains plain text messages written as “Dear %1, you can try our product %2”, with proper replacements.

Dedicated server for batches required

Proper time period of calculation need to be defined: for example I cannot shuffle a customer from “High-valued” to “Low valued” overnight or within a short span of time. Such observations need a good amount of time

Other suggested ways of newsletters

With D365FO, as artificial intelligence got introduced more in the market, the life gets all the more easy when you start applying predictive modelling to your business.Tasks such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation all have one thing in common: they require large amounts of computational power. Most companies could not afford the needed computational power, but now can thanks to the cloud.Just like ten years ago, we sit on the precipice of a world of possibilities. Tech giants are all hard at work creating services that can be used by businesses. Meanwhile, these same businesses are rapidly figuring out ways to optimize their operations by using those systems. No one can claim to have it perfectly right just yet, but we are making tremendous strides.AI Compute provides a variety of services to manage your computational requirements, and AI Data provides services for the storage and accessibility of Data. Big Data and Computational Power go hand-in-hand as you cannot analyze big datasets without access to large amounts of computational power. Microsoft machine learning service facilitates advanced decision-making capabilities, and for applications to self-learn and auto-correct based on data received. A good example is how Microsoft is using machine learning to improve the accuracy of Sentiment Analysis in social media. And lastly, combined with Natural Language processing, the Azure Bot Service allows businesses to easily create Bots that integrate with Apps such as Cortana, Office 365, Skype, Slack, Facebook Messenger, and more are being added to the service regularly

When you start leveraging such newer avenues of maximizing your business, collating data about your customers over years and then enveloping them into newsletters won’t take a rocket scientist’s brain!

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