AT&T Floats Offer for Broadband Services

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AT&T Broadband begins the second component of an online acquisition program today, with floating ads appearing on sites within the company's 18 largest markets promoting its digital cable and high-speed Internet products.


The ads, created for AT&T by BaseSix, the interactive marketing agency handling the campaign, are on six sites including latimes.com, boston.com and denverpost.com. The ads appear in the middle of the screen when a visitor goes to one of the sites. By clicking on them, the user goes to a landing page and receives all the information on the product being offered. From the landing page, the user must click through to a page to check availability locally.


The floating ads join an e-mail campaign already under way. The first e-mails went out Nov. 1 to nearly 100,000 people to promote AT&T's high-speed Internet service. They generated a click-through rate of almost 5 percent.


The second group of e-mails began Nov. 15, going to 500,000 people. Half received promotions for digital cable, and half for the high-speed Internet connection. The digital cable mailing saw a click-through rate of just over 2 percent, and the high-speed connection got just over 3 percent.


"While the overall response rate compared to the first mailing was down, we also expanded the universe the mailing was sent to by quite a bit," said John Skolis, vice president and marketing director at BaseSix. "We are going to look at how the digital cable promotion does with this most recent mailing and determine if we will continue to split the mailings down the middle."


The goal is to generate 40,000 sales this quarter from the campaign.


AT&T has been using three to seven national list vendors and eight or 10 lists for the mailings.


A mailing sent last week went to nearly 1 million people. Skolis said it was too early to discuss any type of response numbers.


"We are still crunching the numbers on the acquired customers," he said. "When you compare the last three months of online sales to the last three weeks when we began running the campaign, online sales have gone up 62 percent."


The fourth and final mailing goes out Dec. 12 - again to about 1 million people.


AT&T is using eight themes for the e-mail campaign, including a genie theme and a scuba theme it is running with National Geographic. Skolis said the company is looking into similar joint marketing campaigns next year.


Some of the e-mails will allow forwarding to a friend.


The total cost of the fourth-quarter campaign is $1 million.


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