“One needs to be more clever with their marketing today,” says Reeves, “Sending someone a letter and a brochure doesn’t really cut it anymore.” Reeves knew he needed to find a new marketing strategy but he also wanted to find a way of getting their message across “without boring people to tears.” Launched in 2000 by Reeves and his sister Rachel Clacher, Moneypenny enables a company to “outsource” their reception by providing telephone answering and virtual assistant reception services. From the caller’s perspective, they don’t know any different as to whether the receptionist is based in the company’s office or Moneypenny’s. “I thought a good way of marketing to potential customers would be to inter-act with them as that’s more likely to spark a reaction. And that’s why PURL (an acronym for personalised URL) works so well,” says Reeve. Moneypenny uses its PURL strategy to send each target customer an email containing a personalised URL which links back to the company’s website. “Invariably, that alone is enough for someone to be intrigued to click on the link. This then takes them through a presentation on our site which explains how Moneypenny could benefit them and their company.” Moneypenny tailors the presentation – both visually and textually – to that potential customer’s needs using information they have stored in their database about the company they work for. “The results are absolutely stunning,” says Reeves, “We only introduced PURL marketing in December and we’ve already seen a 70 per cent increase in the volume of enquiries and our conversion rate from enquiry to trial is about 35-40 per cent.” Moneypenny has also started including PURLS in the direct mail it sends out which is also proving a successful marketing ploy: “20 per cent of the recipients of our direct mail log onto the PURL it contains. And in the world of direct mail, that’s a massive figure – it’s normally around 1-2 per cent.” Today, Moneypenny handles in excess of four million calls per year for the 3,000 companies on its books, 60 per cent of which are SMEs. Its turnover now stands at £4m and it employs 125 staff. A key goal is to double in size by 2010 and Reeves is confident that the PURL approach can help them in achieving this: “I’ve now realized that getting personal with a customer generates far more business than taking a blanket approach.”
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