Marketing social media

The Email Campaign

One of our posters from the Email marketing campaign.

One of the things with writing a blog on the sales and marketing efforts on Kizuna India Badminton Strings in India or for that matter any such effort is that we cannot really measure the benefits of it. As we cannot measure the benefits, it gets relegated to one of the important things but not an urgent one, as Stephen Covey says and gets delayed. Due to this, there is a time delay in this blog. More than what’s happening in the present this has things that happened some time back. The urge to record a journey that we and others can look into and learn and the belief that such a recording will help the website in the long run by keeping it relevant is what keeps this blog going.

When we collated the data of sports dealers from the internet we came across their email id’s also. We thought that as they are an interested group, we could start an email campaign and elicit their interest. We did some research and comparison on emailing software and zeroed in on Mail Chimp. They were small enough, had a free plan that was suitable for us and they were really user friendly, has the regular unsubscribe options so that we avoid spamming. We created a mail on Kizuna India badminton strings, it’s made in Japan tag and what is offers to the stringer and player, a landing page, analysed the right time and day to send such marketing mail. And we send the mail to the data base. And we wait.

About 30% of the mail gets bounced. Our account gets blocked in mail chimp as the software system judges that we are spamming. On analysing the bounced mails, we understand that while collating the info we made some typo, etc. What do we do? We create another mail chimp account, remove the bounced email, correct some of the syntax and send another email. This time it works. Not many email bounces. Mailchimp is not unhappy. The only problem is that the campaign has no results. No conversations, no interest.

What must have gone wrong? Is email as a marketing communication to the micro businesses in India not something that can work considering the different languages that we speak, the low level of English language skills of the target client base, the lack of usage of email as communication tool among this segment? Is that the reason why Whatsapp became such a phenomena in this country? It looks like emails are not an effective marketing tool if we want to bring the small stringers and the small dealers who are interested in making that extra buck. The big retailers are probably the people who use email as a communication tool. However, they will never get converted to a single product brand unless their customers demand for Kizuna badminton strings. These are all businesses that are big and demanding. They are not game for us for  the time being. We will tackle them when it comes to that. Meanwhile, we will continue chipping away using Whatsapp and phone calls to interested people who are the small stringers and small businesses and interested individuals. The good thing is that that is working and the numbers of our stringer partners are increasing day by day.

Marketing social media

The Leap Of Faith

Once the website was created, we quickly created some facebook, Instagram and twitter presence and decided to make some telesales effort to sell Kizuna India Badminton strings. During the Covid lockdown, we did some work collating a data base of sports dealers from the list of dealers listed in the Victor India website and couple of other reputed sports distributors in India. We also had our own dealers in south India with whom we still have good relations. It was decided that our earlier dealers in Kerala and Tamil nadu will be dealt by Rajesh. All new as well as earlier dealers in Karnataka and AP-Telengana will be handled directly from our office in a digital and tele-calling mode. Meanwhile, Rajesh started placing some reasonable numbers of Kizuna India badminton strings through his dealer contacts. 

Immediately after the website and the social media presence were created, we attempted making some cold calls. The usual stuff of telesales. Kizuna, made in Japan, Badminton strings, premium, excellent sound, and durability, better than BG65, better thanBG66 Ultimax, etc. The recipient’s responses were also equally cold with responses like Kizuna?, what Kizuna ? etc.

We decided to call this off and start a campaign on Whatsapp. We also realized that we have a pretty large database of people who contacted us for purchasing racket stringing machines. Our communication with this data base started giving reasonably good responses. They were mostly stringers and someone contacting them directly for supplying strings was mostly welcomed by many of them. We started calling them once we started getting a feel that the chats on Whatsapp are maturing to a conversion level. Over a period of time we started fine tuning on our tele-calls script. We created different sample packs for strings to first try our strings. We created Google pay to make payments easy. All this started paying off. We started getting our first order from the digital marketing effort and also from past good deeds, business integrity and relationships. 

Along with the above, we started making posts in social media and started asking our friends and well wishers to give us likes in our social media presence. The blog was started. Testimonials were started with real feedback from players and stringers who were early converters. We did some fine tuning of the website for making it SEO friendly using the yoast plug-in. Kizuna badminton strings were made available in Advertisements for strings were run in Amazon. Prices were reduced so that players will start getting. We started getting some orders in Amazon. 

Real people started stringing using Kizuna Badminton Strings and started playing with rackets strung with Kizuna badminton strings. A journey with its beginning in times of a pandemic started bearing fruits albeit small.