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Time for a direct connect

We are living in very uncertain times. The current economic climate is not one that marketers look forward to, considering most customers are quick to tighten their marketing budgets in a wavering economy. The last time we went through a tough economy, one of the first things that most business owners and marketers did was to cut marketing budgets. Resist the temptation! The biggest learning most CMOs would have had from the recession of 2009 is that companies which continued to invest in marketing effectively, survived and a few in fact grew. The key is that you invest in the right tools.

The digital medium is increasingly emerging as a popular tool, more so during tough times, thanks to a more tangible measurement metrics and higher accountability of results. Add to this, the rapid adoption of the internet extending to Tier II and Tier III cities in India as well, the digital medium is emerging to become one that marketers cannot afford to ignore any longer. India today is the third biggest internet market in terms of users, with over a 100 million internet user base. The time an average Indian spends online today is now on par with TV viewing time at 16 hours in a week. Information is now being democratised on the web, search is now a daily activity and email is part of the connective tissue, through which companies can collaborate with and engage their customers better.

Time for a direct connect

Advertising cutbacks hence is not affecting targeted marketing channels such as email marketing and other direct digital marketing channels such as mobile advertising. Marketers are building their customer lists, improving customer analysis and focusing on direct digital marketing (DDM) as a more intelligent and serious aspect of the overall marketing efforts. In turbulent times, it makes more financial sense than ever for companies to focus on marketing to their own customers and prospects. Marketers increasingly want to segment their audience and tie in their email activity with web analytics in an attempt to make communications as relevant as possible to the receiver.

The popularity of DDM is growing more than ever in India because it allows marketers to connect directly with their customers. By targeting specific demographics and studying the habits of your consumers, organizations can open a direct window into the needs of the market. In addition, by contacting each individual customer, marketers have a much greater opportunity to engage them in a discussion about what they require and how a specific product or service could help them do that.

The more closely you are able to follow the preferences of different groups of your customers within the target market, the better you will be able to convince them that you have a solution for them. Compared to traditional mass advertising efforts, email marketing also provides a shorter and easier path to ensure return on investment (ROI) which is everything in the current economic scenario. The marketer can measure the response at every step, including testing which message is more effective.

Below are a few key essentials to ensure your direct digital marketing campaign delivers good results:

List and contact management: The first step is to create or ensure a hygienic and relevant list of customers whom you can address. Segmentation is critical in email performance and some platforms can segment customers based on ‘who they are’ or ‘what they do’, etc.

Create a good message: Good and relevant content is key to how effective your DDM campaign is. So, this is an area that you need to focus on and get right. Message creation may be done via templates, the ability to rapidly create campaigns by copying and editing previous messages can be a time saver.

Deliverability: A great message and a quality list though do not necessarily deliver great results. To engage, marketers must get their emails and messages into prospective’s inboxes and ensure deliverability rate is no lesser than 90%.
Auto responders known as triggers are marketing sequences designed to build relations with the customer. You can not only include sign up forms but also behavioural responses such as a click or download.

Web landing page generation: Create a HTML code that allows customers to subscribe to your email list. High end platforms enable marketers create forms and landing pages as destination for email recipients.

Reporting and analytics: One of the most valuable aspects of DDM is its measurability. Measures such as list size, open rate, link rate, unsubscribe rate, spam complaints and rejection rate are a must.

CRM integration: It is a good idea for DDM to be directly integrated with sales CRM data so that a sales executive can map a prospective customer’s email activity.

Most importantly, DDM allows for you to integrate it with other marketing efforts, whether it is mobile or other on-the-ground promotional initiatives. So, here’s wishing you are able to engage your customers better in 2012.

Read original article at


Make some killer sales this “Holi”

Spike in search for "Holi"


As we can clearly see that, there is an obvious spike in the search for “Holi” across India. So the first question is that are you putting Holi in your subject lines, if not you could- attracts more clicks and opens in this week.

The next thing is that who all it will work for?




The top spike is seen in Bihar Jamshedpur and Patna




Rajasthan-Jaipur and Udaipur come second





Gurgaon shows a great volume of searches

Gurgaon comes third and follows the rest of the northern states like Delhi, UP, Punjab, and States like Gujarat, Assam, Madhya Pradesh. Surprisingly the other states did not seem to have much traction about the festival- well none of them are actively looking for the things that they would want to do or, looking at things related to Holi. There could be multiple reasons for it- this time Holi is coming on a weekday being one of it, or, it comes right in the middle of the exam season for them.

Well beside all the factors and after analyzing the results with last year people are eagerly waiting for Holi messages in their mail boxes and Facebook walls. However, this year as there are more smart marketers :) the empowered consumer is looking beyond elementary propositioning- So dont just write Holi Celebrations or, XY% off on Holi or, any such vague lines. Discuss it with your Client Success Manager or , just tell them what you want to sell or, what inventory is in excess this season ;).

For other marketers who are serious about their business but yet not with us- There is no excuse for missing an opportunity or, a bad job.

Things to consider:

  • What is a number of audience that fall in the category of states mentioned above?
  • Are they male or, female?
  • What are the cultural factors that affect their decisions?
  • What do you want them to feel reading you subject line?
  • And last but the most importantly why your Holi message?
So go ahead and make some killers sales this festive season :).
P.S. Holi also falls on international Women’s day.



The Missing Piece Among Indian Ecommerce Players : C.R.M.

Qn: When did Flipkart start sending emails (latest being valentine’s day offer) to its customers?
Ans: A few weeks back.

Qn:What about other ecommerce companies?
Ans:They took the extreme route and have sent mailers to those who never bought from or, never ever subscribed to their newsletter.

No focus has been given to understand the customer’s behavior or its affinity towards the marketer’s communication.

Current Metrics followed by Indian ecommerce companies

Transactions. And not repeat purchase, or returning customers.

An investor (of an ecommerce company) made an apt statement during an informal conversation that most of ecommerce players are focusing on ‘acquiring transaction’ and not on acquiring customer. In fact, very few actually are spending efforts in understanding the difference between the two.

Theoretically speaking, these companies are targeting repeat purchase (they are trying to), but practically speaking – the focus is more on getting ‘that one’ transaction from users – and this is obvious from the sleazy or misleading banner ad you will spot of ecommerce companies trying to sell anything in the name of ‘category expansion’. The trend has been the negative margin campaigns where the marketer literally shows the desperation to get that one time transaction happen.

For instance, Yebhi did a campaign to sell slippers at Re 1, yes Re 1. The result was great – they sold a lot of slippers for that cost, but how many of them later came back to buy shoes or,even socks? So who are these guys that Yebhi acquired with this revolutionary campaign?

One example is “Paras” – a college kid(from Delhi University) who recharges his prepaid cell phone from a particular shop near his home cause he gives him a free chewing gum each time. Paras has visited the website so many time after that just to find out if any thing else he can get at Re 1, as on today that was his first and last transaction with the retailer. Plus as he has been finding the emails irrelevant- he has been marking them spam. There are many other examples where the retailer is getting people like Paras on board in the name of acquisition and inflating the customer base to go back to the VC to show him growth and secure that next round of funding in the bank account.

Loyalty : The Ecommerce Way

Today the customer has so many options,so is it that make jump from one website to another? Is it only pricing?

Most of ecommerce companies have been busy playing the ‘hey! we are cheapest’ game but is that all that matters to the customer? You deliver the product in a bad shape the customer is annoyed, your customer care is rude the customer is annoyed, your delivery is late the customer is annoyed and there are many more things that affects the customer and it could result in change of mind to switch to your competition.

One of biggest thing that all these guys missed out is the fundamentals of why would a customer would buy from you and only from you. For this to happen the first step is that the consumer needs to like (oh! Please stop buying Facebook likes?) you and fall in love with you. What have you done to make this happen? Have you done anything special that the buyer is bound with “stickiness” to you? Have you shown him that you really care for him, or, have have you expressed that you really understand him and his needs? Unless you have done any of the above you have no right to complain that the customer only looks at pricing. And neither is pricing the only metric to pay with – unlike what most of the ecommerce companies like to think.

Real life example

(1) Boy reaches late on his date with his lady love and hands over a Rs 100 to buy herself an ice cream – By the way that is how your customer feels when you delay or, deliver the product that is not matching the customer’s satisfactory level and you have given them coupons/store credits.


(2) Boy reaches late on his date and takes out a red rose (Rs10/) from his inside pocket with a small note saying “I am sorry”- Have you tried sending them- be it a small gift saying sorry and appreciating their patience?

Now, take a look at how companies like Amazon have built customer loyalty.

The first thing that they took care was actually becoming a shopping destination rather than becoming a discounted shop. They actually reward loyalty! Case in point: FREE Super Saver Shipping, that gets you free shipping of products if you place at least $25 of eligible products in your Shopping Cart.

Now, how many Indian ecommerce companies are even thinking of rewarding loyal users? Do they have the understanding of the individuality of the customer to reward them appropriately?

“Flipkart is now charging me Rs. 30 to ship any order in case the total order is lesser than 200.! Well, amongst the 230 odd books that i have purchased on flipkart, less than 5% of the books were of cost above 180..!! So, what i dont understand now is why is there a shipping cost?” [@Madani/ Forum]

The key to understand here is that customers are not always looking for cheapest price, but a lot more in terms of what efforts you take to make them feel cared and understood. In a brick and mortar world example,you don’t want to be the factory outlet that sells stuff at a discount throughout the year, you want to be the shop in downtown that the customers thinks of first when he wants to buy clothes.

Long story short, most of the ecommerce companies aren’t yet with the customer. They are more focused on the customer wallet than a customer’s preference and expect the bravehearts of the ecommerce space to come out and do a better job of building a solid CRM around the service.

Having said that, companies like Flipkart are doing a few things right. Like ensure timely delivery by their OWN logistics providers. Empowering call center executives to give refunds amongst a few customer focused actions. However its still the tip of the iceberg – and a long way to go for the community as a whole.

For now, customer relationship is invoked only when a customer tweets or puts up a blog post. Till then, it is assumed that everybody is happy.

What’s your take?

[Article jointly authored by Ashish Sinha, Sameer Shisodia and Saurav Patnaik (cofounder of kenscio).]

Click here to read the original article at


A solution, a saviour, your new best friend: Kenscio ListCleanr

Email marketers have quite something to look forward to this year, as some of their prayers will be answered.

If email marketing were the Garden of Eden, it would certainly have its share of snakes. There are dangers lurking at every corner. Spam traps, bounces, zombie addresses, costs, etc are some of the perils that top the list.

Kenscio Listcleanr

Kenscio ListCleanr is a solution that has been under development at Kenscio labs, to tackle this very challenge. Kenscio identified that a great deal of email marketers in India, get caught up with fixing reputation & deliverability issues, dodging spam traps, and they put quite a good bit of their time and resources struggling to get past spam filters. All of this can hinder a marketer’s ability to concentrate on factors such as engagement, subscriber loyalty, ROI etc.

In a growing market such as India, it is important for email marketers to be able to scale up at the opportune time. However, it is equally important to ensure that they do not end up being classified as spammers by ISPs, and never see the light of an inbox. So rather than being just another SAAS; Kenscio ListCleanr is a catalyst for email marketers in India.

Kenscio ListCleanr leaves almost no room for guess work. Probably this is why our clients have been able to consistently scale up and save upto 40% of their email marketing cost, while they benefit from an impeccable sender reputation.

To learn what ListCleanr can do for you, visit


5 Things that you need to make a career in Digital Marketing

At first everyone wanted to do something in web, people began with creating email Ids started chatting; browsing websites, there was sudden upsurge of people who wanted to spend time on web.

Then, everyone wanted to be on web for various reasons, to find information, to look for products and services, to sell products and services, to spread awareness among people and for variety of other reasons.

The market has evolved now, the organizations have realized the importance of meaningful communications and people on the web have realized the importance of filtering these communications to suit their needs.

Kenscio, who is the front runner in the Digital Direct Marketing space, has carved a niche for itself for helping organizations to reach their target audience directly to engage them in a these meaningful communications.

We are now actively looking for people who are excited to serve enterprise clients, who can become a reason for client’s success and who are passionate about Digital Direct Marketing

5 things the Kenscio team is excited about

Passion: It does not matter if you are an Engineer, MBA, MS…What matters the most to us is your passion in Digital Marketing…We are a firm believer that what shapes a successful team member is his passion to do and learn things…We have carefully picked up the talent across the country who proven the test of time. So if you are fresher/simple plain graduate or any degree you may you may have we are open to listen to you.

Attitude: Attitude is what defines your behaviour…We are constantly looking for people with a client servicing and client success bent of mind…We are serving the large enterprises for streamlining their direct communications and are responsible for their ROI. The attitude of the team is like of an extended team who would go an extra mile to make achieve the client’s objectives.

Ownership: We respect and like to work with folks who take ownership of getting things done…It does not matter if you eat lot of food…Likes to come in your favourite jeans…browse social networking sites, only if you can get the things done!

Execution: Good you talk ideas but can you take it to the market, do you have what it takes to execute? We take ideas very seriously…and back our life in getting it done if it’s worth it!

Culture: Well, you may find our clothes casual, you may see beer cans in our office fridge…You may also see us relaxing on a given weekday…But when it comes to work, we are seriously aggressive :-) . The rule is very simple…Work Smart, Party Smarter!

Drop us a line at to start the conversation with us.
PS: We value your Emails, Subject Lines and Content too…Please be creative in sending us your resumes with good emails!


How to keep your team motivated and energetic all week- Kenscio Diet

1st Day Diet Plan

1) BREAKFAST: (8.30 AM – 9.00 AM)…If everyone has reached office!
Double Cheese Sandwich+ 1-2 Cups, FULL CREAM milk/tea/coffee/Bournvita….how can I forget Badam Milk

2) MID-MORNING: (10-30 AM – 11.00 AM)
Maggi- Ghee wala or, if you are calorie conscious you can have butter instead /Sandwich yet again/ Chips…Magic Masala + 1-2 glasses of high calorie Juices (Leeche Guava).

3) LUNCH: (1.00 PM – 1.30 PM)
All Tiffin boxes, Amritsari Naan, Paratha, Cholle Bhature (you know the rest) + 1 to 1-1/2 glasses water.

4) TEA: (4.00 PM – 4.30 PM)
Now everyone feels like losing weight so a green tea may be, otherwise Aerated drinks to give us a kick + Kebabs+ 1 to 1-1/2 glasses of water (enough of water please… :-/ )

5) EVENING: (6.00 PM – 6.30 PM)
2 Samosa/2 Gulab Jamun/2 Burgers/Large fries/…umm anything that is creamy and spicy:-P and has lot of oil.

6) DINNER: (8.30 PM – 9.00 PM)
Seriously does it even matter? (Ghar par jo bhi bana ho)

2nd Day Diet Plan

1) BREAKFAST: (8.30 AM – 9.00 AM)…Well….I think we will be in office.
Double Cheese Sandwich+ 1-2 Cups, FULL CREAM milk/tea/coffee

2) MID-MORNING: (10-30 AM – 11.00 AM)
Maggie, Aaj birthday kiska hai? + 1 to 1-1/2 glasses of water (God stop this water non-sense) #eyes rolling

3) LUNCH: (1.00 PM – 1.30 PM)
Happy birthday party (Call in butter chicken, Paneer Makahni, Dal Tadka, butter naans) + 1to 1-1/2 glasses of water (Not again!)

4) TEA: (4.00 PM – 4.30 PM)
Dairy milk/Maggi/chips/Bon-Bon + 1 to 1-1/2 glasses of water

5) EVENING: (6.00 PM – 6.30 PM)
2 Samosa/2 Gulab Jamun/2 Burgers/Large fries/…THE USUALs 😛

6) DINNER: (9.30 PM – 10.00 PM)
Do I have a choice? 😐

3rd Day Diet Plan

1) BREAKFAST: (8.30 AM – 9.00 AM)…Hmm we tried to reach office K
Haldiram Kachori+ 1-2 Cups, FULL CREAM milk/tea/coffee

2) MID-MORNING: (10-30 AM – 11.00 AM)
Who is the new Joinee, let’s have a fresher’s party:-D + 1 to 1-1/2 glasses of water (Come on stop it now…No water pls!)

3) LUNCH: (1.00 PM – 1.30 PM)
Fresher’s party with food called from Dominos/ Pizza Hut or anything that pleases the staff! + 1 to 1-1/2 coke.

4) TEA: (4.00 PM – 4.30 PM)
Who wants a tea…Get me a cold drink!

5) EVENING: (6.00 PM – 6.30 PM)
Burgers/ Patties/Pastries/Gulab jamun 😛

6) DINNER: (9.30 PM – 10.00 PM)
Home food

4th Day Diet Plan

1) BREAKFAST: (8.30 AM – 9.00 AM)…Hmm we tried to reach office
Anything + 1-2 Cups, FULL CREAM milk/tea/coffee

2) MID-MORNING: (10-30 AM – 11.00 AM)
Saurav Making Chicken….waiting for the Lunch

3) LUNCH: (1.00 PM – 1.30 PM)
Yummy Chicken and all tiffin boxes + 1 to 1-1/2 glasses of water (someone please get me a coke)

4) TEA: (4.00 PM – 4.30 PM)
Nah….Coffee today

5) EVENING: – Nitin sir on client call….so now we have Chur Chur Naan 😀
N yeah…water

6) DINNER: (9.30 PM – 10.00 PM)
Home food

5th Day Diet Plan (Its Friday)
Bone Chilling cold in Delhi

1) BREAKFAST: (8.30 AM – 9.00 AM)…not reached office yet….because of fog
Anything + 1-2 Cups, FULL CREAM milk/tea/coffee

2) MID-MORNING: (10-30 AM – 11.00 AM)
Glasses of Masala Rum (Captain Morgan) till you can feel your legs, with peanuts and other snacks

3) LUNCH: (1.00 PM – 1.30 PM)
Tiffin boxes and called for sarson ka sag from “Punjab 0 Km” (Restaurant) + 1 to 1-1/2 glasses of water (Band karo yea water business)

4) TEA: (4.00 PM – 4.30 PM)
Can someone fry smileys? And saath mein Amit sir ke Faridabad wale kabab bhi dal dena.

No water….don’t talk about it….kitna rum baki hai abhi bottle mein?

6) DINNER: (2 AM)
Parathas at Sec 18

Day 6 and Day 7 are usually boring because we dont work on Saturdays and Sundays….so not much to talk about

NOTE: This Kenscio diet helps in reducing the stress and keep environment happy!!
Credits: Vikas and Geetika- the Dietitians

World Famous Kenscio Diet Planners

Vikas and Geetika- Kenscio Dietitians


How to survive the eCommerce bubble burst?

Already there have been quite a number of articles and open letters written about Taggle shutting their shop and what direction the existing online retailers are moving.

I was not surprised learning about the burn rates for Myntra, Snapdeal( etc. Not too sure about the margins that they make on the each sale. Considering the price of acquisitions for each customer coming in the range of Rs. 1200 to Rs. 2500, I am sure about the revenue generated by that customer must be some thing out of this world – yeah right!

ecommerce bubble burst

The Ad Networks and the Publishers are having their best sales year. Have few friends (Media Sales) who had completed their annual sales target by the end of the second quarter of this year. Dot com players have been pushing hard to earn and grow their marketing lists.

Essentially, it has been a competition among the players to get more and more buyers to register on their website. Considering the current situation every player has been able collect huge numbers. However if we look a bit deeper the calculation of revenue per user has gone for a complete toss. Loyalty towards a retailer means nothing to the consumer as everyone’s initial proposition was and is that I am cheaper than the other guy. In the greed to sell more every retailer took up more orders than they could actually deliver resulting in order cancellations, irritated customers, bad customer reviews.

Net Result – One-night stands or, sour relationships.

The price of acquisition per customer increases many fold the moment you have new customers who are irate. Because, they are not likely to shop again. They are Lost Customers.
How many orders can i fulfill ensuring customer delight in at least 90% cases? This is the math, which needs to be done each morning & not how many orders can I ship today and which ones?

If this is the scenario than maybe we are venturing a decade back when dot coms tried to “Get BIG fast” and crashed by the dozen. According to dot-com theory, an Internet company’s survival depended on expanding its customer base as rapidly as possible, even if it produced large annual losses. For instance, Google and Amazon did not see any profit in their first years. But their timing was impeccable and they made it. Both the companies also ensured Customer satisfaction, which brought loyal customers to them.

A backward calculation of the ROI expected per sale SKU can help determine the maximum cost per acquisition which can be invested. Going beyond this figure would mean eating away not only the marketing bucks but also the operational cost to ensure smoother operations.

It is also a fact that the cost per acquisition is not going to be the same at all times. Infact it is going to be lower- The primary reason being either few players would crash or dry up their marketing bucks :). As it is going to be the last man standing who shall reap the benefits of calculated spends and ensuring customer satisfaction.

Timely interventions bundled with relevant communication to the right audience are always a killer combo. Yes it does require some efforts but it pays having the right mix of Profitability and Growth.

Soon we will be posting more strategic initiatives that a marketer could take up to achieve the mix.


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