Dow email effort leads audience to water solutions

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Explaining what Dow Water and Process Solutions does can be difficult. So the unit of Dow Chemical Co., which markets commercial water filtration and purification technologies, created a cross-platform campaign around United Nations World Water Day this year, March 22. It used an email program that went out to the company's list of 10,000 to get the word out about the importance of water conservation and the company's support of those efforts.

The program was one of 12 email campaigns the company has run this year. It manages its database internally, purchasing lists in areas "where we aren't as knowledgeable about the audience," said Kimberly Kupiecki, global communications director. The main objective of the campaign was to launch a new digital platform to promote increased understanding of water usage. The campaign included a social media component, a video, an infographic, public relations efforts and a dedicated section within Dow Water and Process Solutions' website. The social media component explained how water challenges affect developed countries, targeting audiences on Twitter and Facebook from March 18–24.

"We positioned ourselves as thought leaders and knowledge experts in the area of water treatment and cooperation," Kupiecki said. "What we didn't do is use [social media] to promote our products. The intent was to be a part of the conversation, not to leverage World Water Day to talk about our great technologies," she said. "We wanted to engage the audience and reach out to those who maybe don't necessarily associate Dow with water topics."

The email component included specific calls to action, such as downloading the latest edition of the company's Ideum, an online publication focused on water issues; sharing the infographic, which showed how Dow forged a public-private partnership in the Netherlands to reuse water for a plant there; and clicking through to the DW&PS website. The overall campaign resulted in the company driving five times the number of impressions of the 2012 campaign without the use of paid advertising. The email campaign was responsible for much of the traffic to a dedicated section within Dow Water and Process Solutions' website, Kupiecki said.

"There were 418 unique page views, of which 82% were generated by the email marketing campaign," she said. "The average visitor spent almost 11 minutes on the site, indicating high engagement. There were 47 people talking about #H2OME (on Twitter), generating 141,451 impressions."

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