Clair Abrey, Sterling Virtual Assistant Services: "I recommend Smart Messenger to anyone requiring a powerful email marketing system with unlimited, expert phone support from real people!"
Clair Abrey is the driving force behind Sterling Virtual Assistant Services, based in Norwich. A passionate advocate for small businesses across Norfolk, Clair has a proactive, can-do attitude that transforms clients’ administrative needs into her mission. With over two decades of admin and secretarial expertise and nine years of entrepreneurial experience, she offers a diverse range of services—from traditional administration and diary management, to email marketing support, Canva design, event management and more. She aims to slot smoothly into her clients’ organisations, freeing them up their time to focus on their core strengths while providing valuable virtual assistant (VA) support and fresh perspectives.
One of Sterling Virtual Assistant Services’ first clients was a Norfolk printing company, Norwich Print Solutions. When Clair began working with them in 2021, they were already using Smart Messenger. However, they wanted to put more focus on email marketing to provide regular customer updates and promote their products effectively to drive more business.
Clair explains: “My client chose Smart Messenger because they prefer working with local firms that offer personalised support. However, they had struggled to find time to make full use of the system. That's where my role came in – to help unlock the full power of Smart Messenger for their business.”
Another company sought Clair's expertise to help them with their email marketing strategy. As a leadership training and development company without an email marketing platform, their outreach efforts were limited. Clair recognised their challenges and recommended Smart Messenger to address these issues.
Clair continues: "When I first started working with this firm, they were using their regular office email system for email marketing. Without any campaign data around deliverability, opens and click-through rates, it was impossible to know how well their emails were performing. Managing opt-outs was also a cumbersome, manual process. I knew Smart Messenger would be the perfect solution for their email marketing needs.”
By refining Norwich Print Solutions’ email marketing approach and making use of Smart Messenger’s features to create targeted, well-constructed and eye-catching campaigns, Clair helped the firm to engage its audience more effectively.
“Norwich Print Solutions wanted to get more from their email marketing and my support, combined with the powerful Smart Messenger platform, has ensured they’ve achieved this,” Clair explains.
For Clair’s leadership training and development client, the introduction of Smart Messenger has transformed their approach to email marketing. The system’s comprehensive features, including detailed metrics and an automated unsubscribe feature, enable Clair to monitor campaign performance data and easily comply with data protection regulations.
Clair continues: “With Smart Messenger, my client has an effective email marketing system that allows us to send regular customer e-shots and easily measure the performance of each campaign. It’s also reassuring to know that any subscriber opt-outs are now dealt with automatically, preventing these people from being contacted in error when sending future campaigns.”
Email Marketing Training
Smart Messenger holds regular Email Marketing Training Courses. These are aimed at anyone responsible for email marketing, regardless of their email marketing platform. Clair attended one of these courses and found it very beneficial for her Virtual Assistant business.
"Smart Messenger’s email marketing workshop was incredibly helpful and offered excellent value," Clair remarks. "As a Virtual Assistant, it's vital to stay updated, and this course significantly boosted my skills. The knowledge I gained has directly improved the support I provide to my clients. Thanks to the training, I’m now equipped to create even better campaigns, ensuring I deliver great service that helps my customers grow their businesses,” she continued.
The standout advantage of Smart Messenger for Clair is their ‘Just Call Us’ support service. Unlike platforms such as Mailchimp, which often require expensive premium plans for similar assistance, Smart Messenger's Norwich-based team offers unlimited phone support to all its clients.
Clair explains, “As a professional email marketing system, it’s a given that the Smart Messenger platform will do what I need. For me, it’s the unlimited phone support from Smart Messenger’s team that’s the outstanding feature.”
Clair values this support highly, acknowledging its role in reducing downtime and enhancing productivity for both her VA business and her clients:
"Smart Messenger’s phone support is excellent. I know I can pick up the phone and get help any time I need it. That’s worth a lot,” says Clair. "For me and my clients, time is money. Unlimited access to Smart Messenger’s friendly experts minimises downtime, allowing me to complete tasks more quickly and efficiently. This level of support has also been a real selling point for me when marketing my services to clients,” she continues.
What Our Client Said
Clair has no hesitation in recommending Smart Messenger to other marketers and business owners:
“I recommend Smart Messenger to anyone requiring a powerful email marketing system that comes with unlimited, expert phone support from real people! Much like my clients, I value the benefits of working with local businesses. These specialist, smaller firms are typically more accessible and share my commitment to delivering exceptional customer service with a personal touch. That’s certainly the case with the fantastic team at Smart Messenger.”
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