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Best Ad Campaign in 3rd-party Email Newsletter
Forte's Think Inside the Box Campaign

Brand/Client Side Team:
Louie Hollmeyer, William Taylor

None Indicated

MarketingSherpa Summary - Why They Won:
Forte's marketing team created three different versions of this email ad campaign, which ran in 15 newsletters. Why three versions? No, it's not about creative specs, it's about audiences. They recognized even when you're placing ads in fairly targeted vertical media (in this case supply chain logistics-related), different newsletters serve different demographics. As the results prove, creative segmentation works.

From Their Nomination Form:
The audience of the campaign is supply chain, logistics and distribution professionals who are decision makers and/or influencers regarding their company's operations and capital investments (i.e. EVP/SVP/VP of operations/logistics/distribution as well as COO). Market research shows these people are typically responsible for the success of their distribution operations and are interested in implementing ways to make their facilities successful through software and technology such as our iOPTIMIZE software. The target audience works for companies that have $50 million-$1 billion in annual revenue and are manufacturers and distributors that supply products to 'big box' retailers, direct to consumers or their own retail stores. Our goal was to generate 300 qualified leads for our products and services within the eight-week email newsletter campaign. This required us to direct more and better traffic to the FORTE Web site and drive registrations (downloads) of the Measurement Matters whitepaper to capture our target audience's contact information and operational interest, thereby generating qualified leads for follow up by business development. Our ongoing marketing efforts show more qualified the contact, the higher the chance our sales team will find a project opportunity while also requiring fewer touch points. This campaign was solidly executed due to careful market research, insightful planning and skillful follow-through. Our email newsletter campaign offered something of value to attract our target audience. It had a methodical backend that sustained a visitor's attention with enticing, interactive content on a micro site. Our results data shows that our campaign was highly successful; a conversion rate of 37% is well above the industry average for email newsletter marketing campaigns (our definition of conversion will be discussed in the results section). Our goal of generating leads was achieved while educating visitors. The following explains our newsletter ad campaign process. Marketing research identified a number of email newsletter subscription lists that were comprised of our target audience. We sponsored 15 third-party email newsletter issues that enabled us to post an interactive banner ad on the dates of our choice. The campaign included three versions of the banner ad. The appropriate banner ad was posted according to the newsletter's audience. Each sponsorship ad posed a question or intriguing teaser statement that pertained to the perceived buying needs of our target audience. The banner ad then offered a microsite whitepaper download. This Measurement Matters whitepaper was accessed only if the reader clicked though the newsletter ad and downloaded it after filling out a registration form. Registrants submitted their contact information and provided high-level information about their operations and distribution-specific interests with each download representing a qualified lead. The microsite introduced visitors to our company's way of thinking and doing business ('Think Inside the Box'). It also offered a 'distribution performance calculator' to introduce visitors to KPI measurement and continuous optimization, which is discussed as a best practice in the whitepaper and the microsite. Our marketing outlets were chosen wisely and our message resonated with the readers sufficiently enough to drive a large number of them to action. It served as a cost-effective way to identify pre-qualified leads for our sales team to follow up. Our goal of generating qualified leads was met by our campaign. Our results data was derived from our Web analytics software used to track the campaign's clickthroughs and registrants. We placed 15 email newsletter sponsorship ads between Oct. 14, 2005, and Dec. 7, 2005. During that eight-week period we recorded the following results: Clickthroughs (visitors to our microsite): 1,555; Number of conversions directly from the banner ads: 568 -- this is the number of visitors who filled out the registration form and downloaded the Measurement Matters whitepaper. These were defined as qualified leads. Conversion rate directly from banner ads: 37% -- This is the amount of clickthroughs that turned into qualified leads by filling out the registration form and downloading the whitepaper. The number of clickthroughs and vast quantity of downloads are evidence for the campaign's success. Business Development follow-up has verified success because of the number of potential clients that were generated via the campaign that are currently working through the sales process. With multimillion-dollar capital investments, an 18-month sales cycle is not atypical. Nonetheless, this campaign has reduced the sales cycle to where one prospect has already come to fruition.

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