Email Marketing
Award Winners 2006
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Email Marketing Award Winner
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Best Postcard-Style Campaign:
Hotel Indigo Reconnect Email

Brand/Client Side Team:
Erin Hake


MarketingSherpa Summary - Why They Won:
This is actually the fourth award Hotel Indigo campaigns won at this year's awards, and no one else won more than two. We were swept away by results metrics, which unfortunately we can't show you. But, if you ever doubted something so pretty could be a click-generating powerhouse, doubt no more.

From Their Nomination Form:
After collecting emails for over 10 months without communicating to that list, one of the objectives of this campaign was to ensure the open rate would be high so that people would be exposed to the brand. There was a concern that the open rate would be lower than normal because of the delayed response. The baseline set for the open rate was 25%. There was a goal set for the clickthrough rate at 10%, which is typical of a successful email in the hotel industry. As there were only two Hotel Indigos at the time of the campaign (Atlanta and Chicago), it was important that people connected with the brand and referred it to their friends. Another concern was the delivery rates and the fact that after so much time had passed people may have changed jobs, changed email addresses or forgotten that they subscribed. Strategy: As this initial email was going to a list of people that had signed up and not been communicated with over a 10-month period, the From Address and the Subject Line had to be very clear and influential so that it would be obvious who it was from and why it was being sent. The interface of the email and the layout were going to be instrumental to achieving a high clickthrough rate. The email had to convey both the brand essence of Hotel Indigo as well as providing a suggestive call-to-action. After going through a User Analysis, Spunlogic's Online Behavior Team produced a layout for the email that would ensure a high clickthrough rate. After receiving the layout design from the Online Behavior Team, the creative team then worked with the brand to capture the essence of Hotel Indigo and reflect it in the email. Tactics: The chosen From Line was 'Hotel Indigo' with the hope being that even people who had signed up on the list 10 months previously would have some recall of the brand name, as well as the fact that there was likely only one location at the time they signed up. The chosen Subject Line was 'Hotel Indigo ' Now Two to Tempt You.' This Subject Line re-enforces the brand as well as provides a level of curiosity to the user to open the email. The interface of the email was designed to highlight the first location, Atlanta, and introduce the newly-opened Chicago location, as well as visually communicate the brand essence of Hotel Indigo. The very sparse haiku-only copy of the email also addressed the fact that the list had not been communicated with for a long period of time, 'It has been a while since we last shared a moment.' This reminds the user that they had previously signed up for the list to alleviate any confusion. The call-to-action was also placed in the line of vision of the user to ensure that it was one of the first things they would see. This campaign accomplished something that is very difficult to do -- reconnect with a list that is no longer fresh -- and was highly successful. Of course, the elements of the email, the postcard style, the haiku and the extension of the Hotel Indigo brand, all make this campaign unique. They all set this apart from the email campaigns others in the hospitality industry send to their guests. The results of the campaign were higher than expected across the board. Below are the key results as compared to the goals: Open Rate -- actual was 58%; goal was 25% Clickthrough Rate -- actual was 36%; goal was 10%; Viral Factor -- actual was 10%. Although the open rate was much higher than the goal, the clickthrough rate was the most impressive. For hotel-related emails, it is very difficult to get a high clickthrough rate as people typically only click through if they have a need at that moment. To have over a third of the people click through shows that the strategy and creative of the campaign was well received. The most shocking result was the percentage of people that referred the email to a friend. This email was not necessarily intended to have a large viral effect, but achieving a 10% referral rate was a great plus to an already successful campaign.

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