“Hi, I’m Arjan, co-founder of Feelingz. We’ve been around for 11 years now, and our standout offering is the end-of-year gift for companies, big and small. It’s not your typical holiday package; we take a different route. We’re all about giving employees the freedom to pick something they love from our customised web shop, using a unique QR code. It’s like having a personal shopping experience for everyone.
We cater to a diverse clientele—about 800 clients, from your dental practice around the corner with three employees to our biggest client, the Dutch Railways (NS), with a whopping 23,000 employees. We’re proud of the variety.
Our main avenues for customer acquisition are Google campaigns and SEO. For our existing customers, we rely on email marketing. Kotak Marketing has been our partner in this for a year now. It’s been a great fit.” – Arjan, Feelingz.
About Kotak Marketing
“And, I’m Niels, and I work as a business developer at Kotak Marketing. Kotak Marketing was founded in 2020, and today, we’re a team of 13 based in The Hague. At Kotak Marketing, we specialise in marketing automation, collaborating with renowned brands like ANWB, Delta, Bever, Landal, and, of course Feelingz.
Our forte lies in the intersection of data and technology. We’re all about ensuring that your data and technology work seamlessly to supercharge your marketing efforts. The goal? To extract the maximum value from your data, helping you reach your marketing objectives. It’s not just about optimising your marketing campaign; we also dive into integrations with other systems and tools, be it online marketing or CRM systems. Our focus is your success.
What sets us apart? We’re tool-independent. No one-size-fits-all approach here. Instead, we assess what works best for you. We’re not bound to a single tool; we’re committed to finding the perfect fit for your unique needs.” – Niels, Kotak Marketing.
The end-of-the-year gift campaign
“Previously, we used MailChimp for everything at Feelingz. Now, with the help of Kotak Marketing, we use Maileon. We send out different types of emails—sales emails, newsletters, and various concepts. We’re big on personalised communication. Our account managers send personalised emails. We use our CRM system for data, ensuring a seamless process. We can track when emails go out, and it’s fantastic to see the positive responses, quote requests, and demo inquiries.
One thing we do is create custom gift boxes, standard or tailored. For companies from 100 employees onwards, we personalise the webpage where employees can pick their gifts. We offer customised gift boxes for free if the company orders around 20,000 boxes at once, it’s more cost-effective that way, and a rather unique gift. The challenge of customisation involves printing, and deadlines are always tight.
All those boxes need to be made, filled, and shipped or delivered, we usually only have 3 to 4 weeks. Everyone wants it on the same day. The busiest week is December 7 to 14. Companies that have sent out their personalised web shops start redeeming codes. More than half are redeemed in those three weeks. It’s a hectic time in our Warehouse. Customer service handles inquiries about orders, while sales answers phones. It’s a really fun, busy week.
Our goal for this campaign was to expand our reach to companies with 50–100 employees.
The number of employees was a key factor in this campaign. The more employees, the earlier the decision. For smaller companies, the focus shifts to the web shop, encouraging online orders for a hassle-free experience. ” – Arjan, Feelingz.
“We crafted a journey with various touchpoints to separate new and returning customers with personalised messages. For returning customers, we emphasised Feelingz’s benefits and product selection and showed the different gift box looks. Prospects received a tailored message, all leading to a customisation deadline. The last email had a countdown timer to emphasise the urgency for customisation jobs on the gift boxes. We personalise everything, even the reply address, creating a more direct connection. We used each customer’s account manager as a reply address since they played a significant role in the customer’s journey.” – Niels, Kotak Marketing.
“Yep, and we get responses. Some decline but promise to reconsider next year. The decision on when to arrange these gifts varies. Larger companies decide even before the summer vacations, often going through tenders. Smaller ones start thinking about it from mid-August or after the summer break. When the temperatures start dropping, we start to feel the buzz.
Kotak Marketing handles most of the campaign’s inner workings, extracting data and occasionally providing creative texts. Our cooperation is smooth, especially with Maileon. It makes creating and personalising emails quick and easy.” – Arjan, Feelingz
“Yes indeed. The last email for customisation was sent out in early November. While they can still order, free customisation isn’t included. So, there will be continued contact moments in the weeks that follow. These will carry slightly different messages, mapped out on our calendar until year-end for various target groups. It’s mostly about the assortment, letting employees choose, guiding them through the steps, and showcasing the benefits. Very effective.” – Niels
“As I mentioned, the ability to personalise emails in Maileon is excellent. These options don’t exist in MailChimp. I’ve observed improvements in bounce rates and opening rates because of this. Back when we managed campaigns ourselves, we used Outlook, throwing everything into BCC. Not much came out of that. But now, with Maileon, we’re seeing significantly better results.” – Arjan, Feelingz.
“Indeed, we’ve recently added a new target group to our email campaigns this week. Maileon has a handy feature for this—the address check. It allows us to check new addresses before mailing through Maileon. We can quickly see if the email address exists and if we can send to it. This has helped clean up the list, and we’ve noticed super low bounce rates in our recent sends. It’s a great feature.” – Niels, Kotak Marketing.
“Something that has surprisingly helped us out in tenders is having a whitelisting for our email addresses. A question that often comes up for us in tenders is how can we prevent bounces, especially when emailing staff since we are sending them personalised codes for the web shop to their business email addresses. This is where whitelisting the sender’s email address comes in as a solution. We even make it a unique selling proposition, mentioning in tenders that with tools like Maileon, you can efficiently handle mass mailings to companies.
We also plan to send a service mail to all our customers in early January, seeking feedback and providing a progress update on orders. While we currently handle this manually, Maileon could potentially streamline this process with its capabilities. We want to offer customers a login to a service portal where they can track the progress of their orders, view open items, and get an overview of the top 10 gifts chosen. We aim to send this out in January.” – Arjan, Feelingz.
“We’ve laid an excellent foundation for current campaigns and a great basis to build on next year. As we’re approaching the end of the year, busy with Christmas campaigns, we see great opportunities to stay connected with Feelingz. We have a calendar with various events throughout the year, and with personalised monthly newsletters, we aim to maintain engagement. This will make it easier to reconnect during Christmas and continue the relationship.” – Niels, Kotak Marketing.
Challenges of Privacy
“Data repair is the main task now, and it’s on our agenda for next year. We’re looking into integrating data between PerfectView CRM and Maileon for smoother operations, including automatic data exchange and status updates.
Privacy is a significant concern, especially for some of our government clients. They don’t want any names or addresses linked to them. We’ve been working on this for a while, figuring out the best approach. Often, we receive email addresses securely or through an FTP server, process them, link them to the code, send via MailChimp, and promptly delete all data. It’s a moment of concern, wondering if these details linger.”- Arjan, Feelingz.
“I see potential in using Maileon, as you can import lists easily, mark them on import, and delete them after. It’s a must for this client. It’s something we hadn’t considered much until recently, but it’s crucial.” – Niels, Kotak Marketing.
“I had a demo with Maileon this week, and Menno showcased the ‘right to be forgotten’ feature built into Maileon by default. It generates a report of what has been removed from the system. Additionally, Maileon is fully AVG compliant and meets BRT and Deutsche Kundigkeit standards. We haven’t explored all the privacy possibilities but in many respects, it seems better than MailChimp.” – Arjan, Feelingz.
Onboarding within a partnership
“The onboarding process went smoothly, despite switching between three parties, which can sometimes take time. Maileon was accessible, open to questions, and welcomed feedback, working collaboratively on solutions. I appreciate this aspect of working with Maileon compared to other tools where you end up in log ticket portals with a less personalised experience.
Especially with support, we established a cool base email template for Feelingz. This allows Feelingz to set up emails only once, despite sending them to twenty different companies, each in the style of that specific company. The template has logic built in for personalisation based on data, creating a super cool and personalised experience.”- Niels, Kotak Marketing.
“In terms of newsletters, we have plans to become more independent in creating and managing them. Training is on the agenda for January, and while external expertise is often sought, we aim to use the templates in Maileon to create newsletters ourselves, with Kotak Marketing providing support on technical challenges or data integration questions.” – Arjan, Feelingz.
“Exactly, and where needed, we are here to support you.” – Niels, Kotak Marketing.
Training with Maileon at Kotak Marketing
“Maileon is an excellent tool to acquaint individuals with the field, teaching them about possibilities, data management, email marketing, and personalisation. They also offer monthly training sessions.
I initiated contact, purchased the tool, gave employees a tour of it, and immediately emphasized, ‘Attend the training sessions Maileon offers.’ These sessions are conducted on-site, providing a physical and hands-on experience. Additionally, I encouraged participation in the summer schools and other special sessions that Maileon organises. I sent a colleague to one of them. These training schools delve into specific topics, offering valuable knowledge.
Apart from the considerable online documentation and information available, the training sessions are a valuable addition to daily work. And it’s wonderful that they are free and easy to attend, making them accessible for everyone.” – Niels, Kotak Marketing.
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Explore some of our other client cases such as Offspring Media or the partner client relationship with Spare Rib Express and Bikkelheart.