Thursday, November 02, 2006

92% “Yes”

Let me tell you about Trevor Eade and his vision.

He’s Director of Marketing for EMS Group. He wanted to use targeted e-mail to send a series of “thought leadership” articles about the company’s capabilities to customers and prospects, and elevate the EMS brand worldwide.

His vision not only included the idea of positioning EMS Group on the leading edge of a critical sector of the energy industry, but the need to measure the results of the program. This is an “unusual” concept only to those people who don’t think measurement is an important component of marketing efforts.

Working with his management and colleagues, Eade created the corporate environment that supports this leadership approach. Working with Exact Target, an experienced provider of on-demand email marketing software, he put the structure in place to deliver these articles – and measure their impact on readers quickly.

Then he had to begin generating the articles themselves (which is where I come in). I worked with “Cutty” Cunningham, EMS Group’s Vice President of Operations, to write it. It was an outstanding experience because Cunningham has such extensive knowledge of the subject.

On October 17th (one week ahead of his original schedule) EMS sent out the first in the new series of “thought leadership” e-mails: an article about re-centralizing pipeline integrity management. The cover e-mail said:

Welcome to the first in a series of monthly e-mails you will receive from EMS!

Over the past couple of months we have conducted a series of interviews with senior members of EMS Operations Staff, with the intention of delivering to you technically rich articles which you can use in your day-to-day business. EMS Group delivered 1701 e-mails to its subscriber base (subscribers, meaning customers and potential customers – who have agreed to receive EMS e-mail). One week later, via an integrated Exact Target online survey, Eade was able to summarize initial results.

  • More than 575 of those e-mails have been opened (as of today), demonstrating at 34% open rate – higher than the national average.
  • Overall EMS received a “whopping” 7.1% click through rate (meaning the subscriber clicked on a link within the e-mail – they may have gone to the EMS website or opened the PDF of the article – again significantly higher than the national average of 4%.
  • Subscribers forwarded the content of the e-mail to co-workers (via the Exact Target Forward to a Friend button).
  • 92% of the readers answered “Yes” to the question, “Did you find the contents of this e-mail informative?” (I love saying that: ninety-two per cent.)

The great numbers came with a plus: respondents also suggested what they’d like to see as future topics – a great range of feedback that will guide further elements of this project.

Well, Eade wrote me, “Thanks for all your efforts, in pulling this together!”

I think the kudos go to him and his team for supporting this form of communications: a “new media” approach that is successful because every element – the vision, the mechanisms, the cooperation, the content of the article and the feedback – was assembled into a precisely targeted program.

This is also a powerful argument against people who keep saying “Nobody reads anymore.” The fact is, professionals read articles that are professionally valuable to them. It’s up to us to make certain that the value is built in each and every time.

Email me and I'll send back a pdf of this first article. Thanks to Trevor Eade and EMS Group for letting me post the results - great job!

No comments: