“Our relationship with Permission goes back a long way because it works. They offer both a dependable service for online campaign management and a challenging perspective to help guide our strategy online.”

– Reece Zondag CEO Les Mills New Zealand

Les Mills New Zealand started working with Permission back in November 2004. They initially contacted the company looking for some advice on further developing a project they had running to automatically communicate with members via email. A previous solution had come across some unexpected problems and some independent advice was now required to find a new vendor and assist in getting the project back on track.

Permission was engaged and assisted with the selection of a new supplier. Work then followed to help support the project implementation and the post-go-live phase. This project was successfully completed and the solution is still working well and in operation today.

Subsequent to the success of this engagement, Permission was asked to provide advice and support on the supply of services for the ongoing ad hoc member email communication process. To start with, a ‘member get member’ campaign was chosen to trial Permission’s capabilities. Permission provided consulting on the strategy of the campaign, the design of the email and the necessary deployment services to successfully deliver the campaign.

All went well and later on in 2005 a regular member email communication strategy was settled upon and the highly successful Les Mills member newsletter was released. Initially called BodyLines, this campaign has passed through various iterations as the Les Mills brand developed. Throughout all this, it has continued to be one of the most actively read email newsletter campaigns that Permission manages.

Permission’s involvement with the company then moved from email to the highly popular website: www. lesmills.co.nz. This was re-launched mid-way through 2007 and Permission was tasked with installing and configuring Google Analytics to improve the site’s reporting capabilities. Les Mills head office staff were then trained by Permission on the use of the tool and are still supported in its use.

After running Google Analytics on the site for a few months it was noted that the site’s search engine rankings, while good, could do with some improvement. Permission was called upon to provide advice in this area too. They worked with the site’s web developer and the marketing manager at the time, making the necessary content structure changes, which produced a significant increase in rankings and subsequent search engine traffic.

Throughout this website work, email distribution carried on for both member and prospect communications. The content design and creation was supplied by a selection of suppliers – with Permission being able to accept creative input in a range of formats, converting all of these into an ISP – and email-friendly format.

As the growth in digital communications increased so did the marketing team at Les Mills to support its production and management. Permission was tasked with provided coaching support to these new staff, so much so that they took a more active role in managing their own Google AdWords campaign and ongoing Google Analytics reporting.

To provide some strategic balance to all this highly tactical work, Permission and the Les Mills marketing team meet on a quarterly and annual basis to a) review overall progress and b) map out the strategic focus points for the period ahead.

“SelectValet is definitely a start-up success story. Two things helped us achieve this. The first was our focus on presenting a great product to market – the second was Permission and their focus on supplying us a steady stream of leads. It’s one hell of a combination.”

– Mark Gilbert, SelectValet New Zealand

Launching a new business always comes with a fair amount of risk. The percentage of failures that don’t make it past year one is staggering and anything that can reduce the likelihood of this occurring can only be a good thing. And so it was with all this in mind that Mark Gilbert approached Permission to assist in the launch of his new mobile car valet service – SelectValet.

Mark, as the country master franchise for the SelectCleaning business, had seen firsthand the good work the team had done with growing this established business. But now he was more interested to hear how Permission could apply its skills to the launch phase of this new venture.

The team at Permission scoped out the work that was required, describing how this would help Mark achieve the objectives he had set for the business. This was met with approval and Permission was engaged.

Initial discussion centered on achieving some clarity on the needs and desires of the prospect audience. Mark’s team had a wealth of information on this subject but was still keen to learn more. Therefore, some additional online research was conducted by Permission to fill the gaps. Once this work was completed, the two teams worked together to produce the first draft sales copy for the site.

The Google AdWords system was seen as an ideal option to tap into a reliable and cost-effective stream of prospect traffic to ‘test’ this sales message with. Permission established an exploratory campaign and the lead flow began to build and provide a good base to kick-start the business.

After a few weeks, things started to gain momentum as the lead flow began to grow to a credible volume. While this was occurring, the valet service was also proving to be very popular with customers – repeat business volumes were above initial expectations. The project was still in its research phase and further tweaking of the sales page was completed as more information was collated on the needs of the online shopper.

Having proved that the system could convert paid traffic into leads at a profitable rate, the focus then moved to improving the site’s rankings within Google’s organic (or free) listings. This involved conducting some initial keyword research and then supplementing this with the keyword-based knowledge gained from their successful AdWords campaign. Out of this came a seed group of target keywords that were chosen for optimization improvements.

All this work had been focused on the Auckland region and, with this showing good positive signs, it was decided to roll out similar offerings to both Wellington and Christchurch. Different selling messages were crafted for each and, as before, were tested and proven on paid Google AdWords-generated traffic.

Now in its third year of operation, the business is well on track to become the largest mobile car cleaning company in New Zealand by mid this year. But when it comes to lead development, there is always room for improvement. So each month Mark meets with the team at Permission to review the stats from last month and to plan out the changes required to keep ‘polishing’ the system.