CoreNet boosts event signups with remarketing campaign

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CoreNet Global is a professional association for corporate real estate and workplace executives, many of whom work at Fortune 1,000 and Global 1,000 companies. The association’s more than 7,000 members manage $1.2 trillion in real estate and workplace assets. CoreNet Global hosts annual summits in locations around the world; this year’s locations include Australia, Germany, India and the U.S. The company publicizes the events using e-mail marketing; about a dozen e-mail blasts go out for each event over a 20-week period.

Last fall CoreNet Global wanted to publicize its U.S. summit, which took place Oct. 28-31. The company, with help from its e-mail marketing provider, BrightWave Marketing, sent out an e-mail blast to about 10,000 people, including a segment of its members and membership prospects. That e-mail resulted in 118 registrations for the summit. Still, there were many people who clicked on the original e-mail but did not sign up.

"In September, we sent out 10,000 e-mails," said Eric Bowles, VP of CoreNet Global. “Of those, we had a 13% open rate and a 2% click-through rate,” he said.

Looking to pull in those people who had clicked but not acted, BrightWave redesigned the original template, changing the color of the e-mail from gray to white, placing bulleted links at the top of the e-mail (rather than simply mixing them into the text )and creating two specific calls to action: “Expand your knowledge” and “Extend your network.” This redesigned e-mail was sent out to 6,000 people.

“They would have gotten a regular e-mail [before the remarketing effort]—one of the 12—but in this case they got the remarketing e-mail,” Bowles said. “I think intuitively it made sense because it was a campaign targeted at people who had taken action and had a serious interest. The timing of the additional e-mail and targeting was exceptionally good.”

The remarketing campaign had a 35% open rate and a 30% click-through rate, Bowles said. “Furthermore, we know we got more than that because people are opening e-mails on a BlackBerry. We know there are people who acted even though their e-mail didn’t show up [as] being an open,” he said.

The remarketing campaign resulted in an additional 133 signups valued at $119,567 in revenue—an ROI of $39 for every $1 spent, which translates to a 3,886% return, Bowles said.

The campaign was so successful, he said, that it has changed the way CoreNet Global does e-mail marketing.

“It confirms that what we need to do is to use this type of remarketing campaign for all our major events,” he said. “Now the remarketing campaign is part of our standard campaign. We have taken this, based on the pilot, and will be doing it for all our campaigns going forward.”

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