Successfully building brand awareness with email marketing

When folks ask us about how to justify spending money on email marketing, we’re pretty quick to respond with two words - it works. With email returning $42 on every dollar spent in 2010 (by far out-performing catalogs and direct mail), it’s a very attractive marketing tactic with immediate impact. However, hip pockets aside, what’s largely overlooked is its ability to develop brand awareness.

Astute Class submarine

We recently were reminded of this by UK agency and Campaign Monitor customer, Forepoint, who were put in charge of announcing the arrival of a state-of-the-art nuclear submarine for client, BAE Systems. Shaun from Forepoint explained the brief:

“The overall objective (was to) raise the profile of BAE Systems’ Submarine Solutions division. This division of BAE Systems is relatively unknown both internally and externally. BAE Systems is mainly known as an aircraft manufacturer… However, Submarine Solutions is one of the oldest and most experienced divisions.” (they have been building submarines for over 50 years - in 2003 they joined BAE Systems)

In order to achieve this, Forepoint created a holding page, then microsite to showcase the launch of the Astute Class submarine. What’s revealing to us email folk is that the initial holding page featured an email subscribe form, which converted more than 10% of all site visitors into signups. From Forepoint:

“…we produced a holding page which counted down to the launch date and also allowed users to subscribe to email updates and notifications. In the short time (it was up), it received over 4,000 visitors and gained some 400+ subscribers.”

Not bad. However, that was only the beginning. Bring it on, email:

“Using Campaign Monitor, we delivered a series of targeted email campaigns in order to highlight the launch of the microsite… The statistics of these campaigns speak for themselves with 70% open rates and 80% click though rates.”

The BAE Systems microsite launch email campaign

If that wasn’t indicative of an excited crowd, then there’s also the results: post-launch, the traffic to the microsite peaked at around 3000 hits a day, or the equivalent of nearly a month’s worth of traffic to some of BAE Systems’ other microsites. Undoubtedly, the email campaigns played a massive part in this traffic drive.

Once the word was out, there was no denying that Forepoint were on to a good thing. After receiving massive amounts of praise and recognition internally from BAE Systems’ staff, interested parties and the web community, Forepoint have gone on to be nominated for a national design & communications award for their work on this multi-channel campaign. But more relevant to the bottom line is the ‘ongoing work factor’. As mentioned by Shaun:

“Due to the success of these initial email campaigns, we are now looking to deliver further email campaigns… to highlight other key milestones.”

Many thanks to Shaun at Forepoint for sharing this brand awareness success story with us. Finally, it’s over to you - what has been your experience when using email to generate awareness for your clients? Let us know in the comments below.

Posted by Ros Hodgekiss

3 Comments

  • jPurchs
    3rd May

    Was the increase in traffic proven to be due to the email campaign? I.e, did the use tracking? It couldn’t have been due to the 400 emails they collected..

  • John
    4th May

    This article is more marketing than actual case study. It’s unlikely that te email
    Marketing had a big part to play in any of this.

  • lewismc
    4th May

    I think the point is more that by including a marketing campaign strategy in your overall process you will maximise your subscribers (10% of visitors in this case) and achieve really high open rates and click through rates on your campaigns.

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