Nordic Sugar and e-mail marketing

By APSIS

2011-08-05

With a focus on sugar Nordic Sugar is the leading sugar supplier to the northern European market. E-mails are used as a collective communication channel with a focus on the industry, end consumers and the company’s operations in not less than seven different countries.

CHALLENGE

• Communicating with three different business areas
• Using seven different languages
• Getting feedback to the sales department

SOLUTION

• Production and mailing from Apsis Newsletter Pro
• Internal content production, external assistance with design and mailing

RESULT

• Reduced distribution costs
• Greater flexibility and faster communication
• Better statistics and information about customers

Many markets, many languages

Nordic Sugar is a market leader in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The company has almost 1,500 employees and supplies sugar and sugar products to the industry, animal feed customers and end consumers. A lot of information has to reach recipients with completely different needs and expectations.

Our newsletters need to cover a lot of ground,” Eva Kristell, Product Marketing Manager of Nordic Sugar, says. “We have three different business areas which, as a rule, have completely different customer structure, so we need three newsletters. In seven languages!

E-mails and newsletters were a natural choice for us,” Eva Kristell says. ”It is a matter of pure practicality. We must produce relevant information for the different recipient groups and distribute it in a sensible way. And e-mailing is both practical and cost-effective.

Content is created internally, design externally

Nordic Sugar has now established a routine for newsletters. The first contact with Apsis was made already in 2005 – an attempt to reach out in a new medium which was making a breakthrough.

– We started on a small scale and made sure we built up experience internally. Over time we have learned more and more as to what we should do in order to reach the right recipient in the right way and e-mail marketing has thereby also grown in importance for us.

The work process has changed fundamentally. From working with a more traditional customer magazine with long lead times for production, printing and distribution, we have now developed a quicker process with newsletters that now characterise Nordic Sugar’s overall marketing communication.

– Having different newsletters for different groups has increased our flexibility and enabled us to work more clearly with the different brands we have, Eva Kristell explains.

The marketing department gets materials from other parts of the operations such as information units in other countries and the management team. Once all articles and pictures are in place, the work on creating and sending the letters is outsourced.

And this is one of the keys to the success of Nordic Sugar: we do not try to do everything on our own. Our focus is on creating good content which feels relevant for the users. The design, production and mailing of the letters are entrusted to an external cooperation partner.

– We can concentrate on what we can do best, at the same time as we make sure that we get good statistics for everything we do. It is important to be able to provide feedback to the sales departments and to present them with specific opportunities to work further with the results we get from the newsletters. It used to be a real strain on our personal resources to manage with the design and mailing of the newsletters on time, so this has been a good solution for us. At the same time, it is a challenge to work with many different languages,” Eva Kristell says. ”We have solved this problem by collecting all materials and then drafting a basic newsletter in English. Once it is ready, we translate it into the other languages. In this way, we know that there will be good quality in all stages of the process.

An important part of planning is finding a suitable mailing frequency.

– We have decided to issue our newsletters four times a year. This feels like a reasonable target for us and at the same time we know that we can fill each newsletter with content that is relevant.

Strategies producing results

It requires a bit more than an individual strategy to present relevant information to the three distinctly different customer groups of the company. The newsletters for the industry are more traditional and focus on product information and industrial novelties, whereas other newsletters have more direct offers. And also interact more with the recipients.

– When it comes to our newsletters for end-customers, for example, our animal feed products for horses, we work a lot with contests as a way of involving our readers. These can be simple things like drawing of tickets – but they provide clear results.

The important thing for us is to communicate with the right recipient in the right way,” Eva Kristell concludes. ”When we send relevant information, we feel that we give our readers something, at the same time as we get much in return in the form of statistics and customer information.

© APSIS International AB. All rights reserved.