E-Brochures Save Time, Money for Phoenix Visitors Bureau

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The Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau developed a faster, less expensive response to potential tourists by e-mailing them brochures tailored to their interests rather than using standard brochures sent by postal mail.

The bureau approached interactive agency Mighty Interactive, a division of Off Madison Ave., Tempe, AZ, after executives realized they were missing opportunities to market to visitors because it took up to eight weeks to send them free Phoenix travel guides by mail.

"By the time the brochure arrived, either the trip was over or the desire was gone," Mighty Interactive founder Jason Baer said. "We believe that people who come to the site from Internet ads and search ads are going to want instantaneous information because they are online."

The agency partnered with e-mail marketing solutions firm ExactTarget, Indianapolis, to provide e-brochures in real time. ExactTarget's technology allows the automatic creation of brochures based on which set of categories users choose to receive. Each box that is check-marked feeds into a dynamic content box in ExactTarget's e-mail template.

Consumers can choose from eight categories of interest including dining/nightlife, shopping, major sports and outdoors adventure. Based on their choices, they are e-mailed a custom brochure in seven to 10 seconds.

Ads on the site tease about the brochures. Once users click on the ads, choose their categories and enter their e-mail addresses and ZIP codes, the bureau promises to send a "customized electronic brochure with information just for you, as well as special offers, events and accommodations."

The e-brochures include links to relevant information on the visitphoenix.com Web site, a feature popular with site visitors. The site contains extensive content for users to sort through. The e-brochures boast a 70 percent open rate and a 35 percent click-through rate, Baer said.

"What started as a test program proved to be so successful that we have incorporated the e-brochure onto nearly every page of our Web site," said Cindy Winkelman, director of marketing at the convention bureau.

The bureau has sent about 6,000 e-brochures since the pilot began in February, when banner ads drove people to a microsite, Baer said. The program went on visitphoenix.com in May.

With an estimated savings of $10 per brochure, the bureau has saved about $60,000 versus the mailed brochures, he said.

The tailored e-brochures also have helped Mighty Interactive choose more effective advertising for the bureau.

"If everybody is checking sports, for example, maybe we ought to be running more ads about sports," Baer said. And if visitors from certain ZIP codes tend to choose information on a particular topic, that may be a "noteworthy thing to inform offline marketing about."

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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