Thought you'd be interested in this case study, brought to us by eROI, a leading interactive agency headquartered right here in Portland. Not only is the case study quite interesting, but I wanted to share some 'link love' with eROI as a THANK YOU for inviting me to their awesome party last week. These folks know how to have fun--what a creative group!
You can download the entire case study at their website, but the following provides highlights of the emarketing/newsletter work that eROI did for Travel Oregon.
"Travel Oregon" E-newsletter
The Travel Oregon consumer marketing department has been publishing a monthly electronic newsletter since October, 2005. The newsletter's goal is to keep Oregon vacations top-of-mind with potential visitors across the country and worldwide by providing subscribers engaging features and editorials of unique Oregon experiences, all wrapped in an evocative creative design. The newsletter is an extension of the Travel Oregon brand, bridging the gap between the inspiration Travel Oregon Magazine provides and the trip planning assistance at TravelOregon.com.
Background - Cautious Optimism
Being this was a first time effort in consumer outreach, Travel Oregon remained cautious and conservative in its expectations. Even with confidence in its engaging content and evocative design, it was unknown how consumers would react to a previously non-existent communication channel from Travel Oregon. In addition, Travel Oregon expected to lose upwards of 30% of its subscriber list due to "bad" email addresses or lack of interest. It is with great pleasure that we provide the following observations from the October, 2005, Travel Oregon newsletter.
October 2005 Issue - The Beginning
The October newsletter marked the first active direct communication with consumers. Its goals were to:
- Introduce the 'Travel Oregon Newsletter' and request consumers update their preferences, including contact information and interests.
- Provide information on timely fall events, with a focus on the Oregon Bounty campaign and the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial celebration.
- Determine "best day" to communicate with interested consumers.
- Update and "clean" database to only communicate with people interested in Oregon as a vacation destination.
Download the case study at eROI's site for full Bounce, Unsubscribe, Read and Click rates, by day sent. Here is a summary:
Overall, Travel Oregon Open rates (ranged from 14-31%) are slightly higher than the industry (based on a recent industry study performed by eROI). Click rates (ranged from 7-9%) appear to be close to double on Wednesday, slightly higher on Thursday and Friday and over twice as high on Sunday compared to the eROI study.
The October issue appears to have resonated exceedingly well with consumers both from tangible and intangible observations.
Tangible Observations: One of the toughest challenges facing marketing today is that consumers are inundated with a barrage of advertising in every medium--from print to TV to email. The ability to stand out and build a long term relationship with consumers thus becomes increasingly difficult and even more important.
Intangible Observations: Measuring consumers' subjective reactions to the content and creative is often the best measure of a campaign--it is also the most difficult measurement to ascertain. however, based on what consumers are saying about the newsletter (when forwarding it to friendds), it is evident that the newsletter is a hit!
As stated before, consumers are being bombarded by marketing messages from many different channels. Travel Oregon and eROI work together to execute on their shared belief that the best way to cultivate a sustainable long term relationship with a consumer is to provide them with information based on their interests.
Segmenting and disseminating information based solely on an individual's preferences makes the newsletter highly relevant and enables Travel Oregon to meaningfully engage those "hand raisers" to sell them their Oregon dream.
Kudos to both eROI and Travel Oregon for making the first newsletter a success, and for being strategic to implement testing within the first edition!