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Trendline Interactive is a proud participant in the first ever Email Marketing Agency Buyer’s Guide, published by The Relevancy Group (TRG). As a researcher myself, I was impressed by the measures taken to ensure the report was both fair and accurate. (Free Download Below)
Most comparative evaluations of agencies come down to a few key things that are very tangible: How many clients does the agency have? What is the concentration of their clients? (i.e., industry focus, size of clients, marquee brands, etc.) How many employees does the agency have? And what do the agency financials look like?
TRG went well beyond these basic facts by including client interviews, an industry survey, extensive questionnaires completed by each agency, and a small RFP with a comprehensive pitch to the new non-profit foundation A Chance in the World™.
While I am proud to say that Trendline Interactive was included in the “Leader’s Ring,” I am even more proud of our client satisfaction scores.
In the report, this data is recorded for each of the participating agencies. However, since customer satisfaction data is not presented in a manner that is easy to digest, we decided to put it into a simple format that shows the scores side by side and highlights the top-scoring agency in each of the eight measured categories.
As the report states, “Out of all the agencies, Trendline Interactive had the highest customer satisfaction scores.” Not only that, Trendline recorded the highest client satisfaction scores in 6 of the 8 categories:
Account Management – We are a high-touch agency and all of our clients have at least one named account manager assigned to their business. Our clients know exactly who to call when they need something, and our team is very focused on providing the highest level of service.
Customer Support – This is an overall company effort that I attribute primarily to the culture of service that runs across departments. Everyone understands that from time to time, things will go wrong. That is to be expected. However, a willing attitude and commitment to fixing things quickly is what makes for great customer support.
Strategic Services – This is our core. The report scored Trendline 4.7 out of 5 in this area, the highest score in any category in the study. We believe this is the result of three factors. First, our heritage as a strategic consultancy. Second, our investments in analytics that allow us to perform comprehensive analysis of client programs and garner relevant insights. Third, a philosophy of starting simply and adding complexity over time as insights emerge and programs evolve.
Creative Services – Our creative team is incredibly knowledgeable about email design. They are experts at responsive design (100% of emails produced by Trendline are responsive), so they know what can and cannot be done in email. They also know what gets people to take action. They receive constant feedback on performance so they can continually iterate, test, and design emails that drive results.
Production Services – Email production is managed across departments with our email operations team ensuring that all information is provided to team members in time. We also have a world-class QA team whose performance is measured by the company’s “error-free” rate. Over the past 2 years, we have recorded error-free rates higher than 99.6%.
Technical Services – Our technical team is comprised almost exclusively of people that have run sophisticated email programs on the client side. This gives them the distinct advantage of being able to understand the challenges our clients face, and allows them to attack those challenges in the most pragmatic and elegant manner possible. Their “can do” attitude is rooted in real-world experience, not “pie-in-the-sky” thinking. Our clients appreciate our team’s consultative approach, and the results continually surprise and delight.
Admittedly, we have not put a lot of emphasis on Educational Resources and Omnichannel Services, and we agree with the findings that suggest other agencies have an advantage in these areas. However, these have been strategic decisions on our part as we have focused on managing full-service email programs with strategic and operational excellence.
Educational Resources – Our education efforts have an internal focus. We have a very robust internal training program that we may decide to roll out as a service offering should demand increase and/or a sizable business opportunity present itself.
Omnichannel Services – More than 90% of our business is email. While we manage multiple programs that interact extensively with other channels, leverage other channels to capture email addresses, and capture the cross-channel impact of the emails we deliver, we do not currently focus on the creation or delivery of marketing programs via other channels. When the need arises, we elect to partner with other highly specialized agencies.
Our culture and our intense focus on email are the keys to our success thus far. We started Trendline with the idea that if we could find people who were truly passionate about email marketing and give them an environment where they could work on interesting and challenging programs, we could create the world’s premier email agency. This report helps validate that we are on the right path, but we also know that we still have a ways to go in meeting our own goals.