Integrated email and telemarketing campaign helps drives record registrations for launch campaign events
Essilor is the world leader for prescription lenses. Formed in 1972 with the amalgamation of two French companies Essel and Silor, the company now employs around 400 people in the UK and operates globally in around 100 countries. Essilor Ltd, based in Thornbury near Bristol, is the market leader in the UK and supplies ophthalmic spectacle lenses to independent opticians in the UK and Ireland.
The Communications Executive at Essilor Ltd contacted a number of agencies, including The Telemarketing Company, to seek support for a series of five launch events for their latest Crizal B2B2C proposition, to be held between January and February. Essilor was specifically looking for an agency to provide end-to-end event marketing support and management which could incorporate pre-event email marketing to secure attendance, as well as telemarketing. The launch events formed part of a multichannel online and offline communication plan incorporating primetime TV advertising, as well as online and print advertorial in major newspapers.
Given the significant investment and profile of the Crizal UV campaign launch, Essilor determined it would require a combination of both telemarketing and email marketing to secure the desired attendance numbers for each of the five regional events. Having only used internal resources previously to secure event attendance using the telephone, Essilor was keen to select an agency with strong event marketing experience who could project manage all pre and post event communications as well as tightly integrate an outbound telemarketing campaign to boost numbers where needed. Following a request for information and pitch process, The Telemarketing Company was appointed due to its extensive experience in events promotion, its ability to provide an integrated service and its detailed response in the campaign proposal.
The regional event plan to support the Crizal UV launch included a total of five proprietary events in five different cities across the United Kingdom, with an overall target attendance of 450, and specific attendance targets for each location. Format and agenda varied according to event objectives and/or venue constraints. For example, three events offered a key speaker, evening entertainment and overnight stay and two offered meeting and buffet only.
A project lead was appointed within The Telemarketing Company and a project plan was built using our collaboration and work management tool SmartSheets to assign tasks, track project progress, manage calendars, and share documents. Essilor completed both a written telemarketing and email marketing brief which gave valuable insight to the project team and greatly accelerated the on-boarding of the campaign. A kick off meeting was held shortly after contracts were exchanged, attended by members from both the email and telemarketing team to ensure tight integration of the various marketing channels. Customer data was supplied by Essilor and was segmented according to postcode before being uploaded into both the proprietary calling platform as well as the email marketing platform.
Design & Build
The email marketing campaign was fully managed through a bespoke instance of our marketing automation platform which allowed the teams to build automated programmes to schedule and manage email sends, giving the client complete visibility over the full email schedule from the outset. All emails and landing pages were built within the platform and adhered to Essilor’s brand guidelines and the campaign creative look and feel. The approach agreed with the client was to engage first through email invitations linked to registration / landing pages for each event, followed by regular ‘reminders to register’. Telemarketing was only to begin after all targets had received the initial invitation followed by a reminder to register. Through careful tracking and monitoring of registrations across all five regional events, the email marketing team was able to counsel the telemarketing team on which regional events needed most focus in terms of calling, which shifted continually throughout the three month project.
A weekly status call was held with the Communications Executive at Essilor to review registrations for each event and to share progress reports. Internal Essilor Account Managers were also given links to bespoke landing/registration sites where they could register key customers directly if required. Telemarketing agents were able to register individuals directly while they were on the phone capturing accommodation and dietary requirements which automatically added new registrants to one single master list. Call recordings were shared early in the process for client review to ensure that the proposition and messaging was in line with campaign requirements and the Essilor brand.
The Telemarketing Company also worked closely with Event Exchange an event management company responsible for delivery of the events. Real-time registration lists were shared regularly in the run-up to the events to ensure individual event accommodation targets could be managed effectively and that customers were allocated rooms matching their registered requirements.
After the initial brief, The Telemarketing Company was able to take complete ownership of the pre-event marketing outreach from design of landing pages, email templates, registration sites and feedback forms right up to the events themselves and continuing post event to ensure customers were surveyed for their feedback. This level of project management freed up management overhead within Essilor and enabled The Telemarketing Company to apply their event marketing expertise to maximise registrations.
Joint promotion through email and telemarketing produced 526 registrations for five events. Act-On marketing automation helped integrated multichannel communication programmes for each event and provided insight into click through, open and registration rates to help optimise the calling plan. One of the most interesting characteristics of the campaign was how the decision to use both telemarketing and email marketing from the outset was thoroughly justified and insightful. As the quality and quantity of data differed for each regional event different events benefited best from different channels. For example, we had much smaller datasets for Bristol and Belfast and for the latter in particular, there was a much greater dependency on telemarketing to generate event registrations, only 24% of all registrations were generated through email marketing. By contrast for the London event, we were able to generate 91% of all registrations through email marketing alone.
In addition, as part of the calling process, telemarketers captured new contact information, updated contact details as well as capturing email opt-ins with cleansed data returned to the client as an output at the end of the campaign.
For the Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester events, 86% of those surveyed rated the events very good or excellent overall, and 87% rated the pre-event organisation as very good or excellent. For the standalone events in Belfast and London, 87% of survey respondents rated both overall satisfaction and pre event organisation as very good or excellent.
As a side benefit of the use of Act-On Marketing Automation for this project, Essilor has been able to track and analyse the behaviour of visitors to their website via Act-On’s Website Prospector and the company is also evaluating full implementation of marketing automation software.
"This was a major campaign launch with a complex set of activities. From the outset we felt very secure working with The Telemarketing Company. Their experience in events marketing came to the fore very quickly, from the detailed project plan set up in SmartSheets, their insight into integrating the channels to best effect and their advice on maximising the data available. We have received a record number of campaign participation registrations, with a large number from those opticians who attended the events and early sales indicate that this could be our most successful campaign yet.. We wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them.”
Communications Executive, Essilor Ltd