AAA Ups E-Mail Tracking and Delivery

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Auto club giant AAA is producing more relevant online newsletters for its 60,000-member e-mail database by tracking the articles and areas of the Web site in which members show the most interest.

"We have the ability to track visits on various articles and advertisements in our e-newsletters and reconnect with those specific users," said Iam Bennett, administrator, Web & Child Safety Program, AAA, Heathrow, FL.

Though AAA has worked with digital marketing firm Bluestreak, Providence, RI, for about a year, the company recently upgraded to Bluestreak's ionMX 2.0 messaging platform, formally launched at ad:tech San Francisco last week.

The new platform is designed to increase e-mail relevance, deliverability and performance. In addition to e-mail, ionMX 2.0 lets marketers send messages across SMS and RSS feeds.

AAA executives aim to send more relevant e-mails and get new members interested in its various services. Though AAA is known for its Emergency Roadside Assistance service, the organization is involved in several other categories, including travel-related sales, insurance and driver training, Mr. Bennett said.

"We are making a big push to not only inform our current members of the various types of services that we offer, but also to draw in new members that are aware of and will fully utilize our services," he said.

By upgrading its e-mail marketing to ionMX 2.0, Mr. Bennett said, AAA can track not only what its users are doing online, but also track users by custom fields that are relevant to AAA, such as membership number and ZIP code.

AAA plans to segment its e-mail lists, targeting members within a certain distance from regional offices about local promotions and events. An AAA office in New Jersey, for example, can get a subdirectory in the ionMX system. While that office can manage its own e-mails separately, "they can share the benefits of common marketing from the head office," said Eamon O'Neill, director of product management at Bluestreak.

"This allows for a seamless look and feel to the e-mails that we send out, while including specifically catered information for each member," Mr. Bennett said.

Bluestreak's ionMX 2.0, which is based on the company's ionMail e-mail marketing solution, provides "unlimited fields" for segmenting lists, said Mr. O'Neill, such as the top 10 percent of customers, consumers' credit scores and various psychographic and demographic data.

The delivery and appearance of AAA's e-newsletters also has improved, Mr. Bennett said. With its previous e-mail marketing provider, AAA received "numerous complaints about how the HTML formatting would come through. That was costing us subscriptions."

In addition, its previous e-mail service could not track site visits, or articles read, in the e-newsletters effectively.

"This made it impossible for us to evaluate what our users were interested in and left us with a guessing game as to what our end users wanted to see," he said.

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