First Utility Selects StrongMail to Energise Email Communications to Customers

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Ability to deliver automated lifecycle email content to a prospective half a million customers will drive reputation and business growth

StrongMail, a leading provider of interactive marketing solutions for email marketing and social media, today announced that First Utility, an innovative UK energy supplier, has selected StrongMail On-Demand to drive its lifecycle email marketing campaigns. The solution will support the company’s strategic expansion plans to sign up 400,000 new customers.

First Utility, the UK’s first energy supplier to introduce smart metering, relies heavily on its email channel to distribute bills, provide energy-saving tips to customers and offer insight into industry trends. With each customer displaying different requirements, a platform that could easily distribute relevant content based on specific stages in the customer lifecycle was a must. First Utility simply lacked this capability with its previous email service provider (ESP).

The company assessed a range of ESPs before selecting StrongMail, which was chosen for the drag-and-drop lifecycle marketing capability of its enterprise email marketing solution, Message Studio. Using pre-built templates for common customer lifecycle scenarios, including welcome, upgrade and winback programmes, First Utility is able to easily design and execute the delivery of hundreds of thousands of customer emails, an exercise that would not have been possible with its previous solution.

With its new StrongMail solution in place, First Utility can access customer data from multiple sources via simple integration with its new centralised system, which incorporates payment databases, automated flow management systems and customer billing data. Being able to access and utilise this large spread of customer data from a single location presents an enormous time saving to the organisation.

Bill Wilkins, CIO at First Utility, said: "As a relatively new entrant to the UK energy market, First Utility is striving to increase transparency and generate more competition in a market dominated by much larger vendors. Clear and tailored customer communications are a vital part of this strategy, and StrongMail is the ideal technology partner to help deliver this at scale. As well as providing individual customer communications, its email platform also provides a high degree of flexibility and scalability and can be tightly integrated into our Smart Energy Delivery Platform, which further supports the continued growth and success of our business."

In support of the lifecycle marketing platform, First Utility makes use of StrongMail’s transactional email application programming interface (API) capability, which enables tight integration with back-end business processes. Using this, the company can easily trigger customised emails based on individual customer preferences and behaviours. Wilkins adds: “The simple ability to send template emails to an individual customer based on their purchases or behaviour is a great way for us to maintain close contact, without spending vast amounts of time on our databases. We were unable to find similarly capable features with the other platforms we reviewed.”

A turnkey solution for marketing and transactional email, StrongMail On-Demand enables First Utility to receive the cost and integration benefits of owning an in-house email system without having to run everything through their IT department.

Scott Ollivier, Vice President of Products at StrongMail, adds: “First Utility is committed to lifecycle marketing initiatives, which will ensure that its customers receive content that resonates with them at the time that they expect it. Coupled with StrongMail’s unrivalled integration capabilities, this is a great example of true, one-to-one marketing in practice that will drive brand affinity and ultimately lead to increased revenues.”

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About StrongMail Systems, Inc.
Every day, StrongMail is empowering leading brands to engage and grow their customer base through email marketing and social media. From the world’s largest enterprises to the hottest daily deal sites, StrongMail is helping smart marketers boost the performance of their programmes with cutting-edge lifecycle email marketing capabilities and the ability to deliver millions of highly personalised messages in minutes. Much more than a top-tier email service provider (ESP), our products and services provide end-to-end solutions for such notable brands as Travelocity, McAfee, Viacom and T. Rowe Price. Learn more at http://www.strongmail.com.

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