E-Mail Firm Boosts Searches With Offline Marketing

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While most search marketing experts recognize that search advertising is only a part of a holistic online and offline campaign, one firm's ability to drive offline prospects to search is driving that point home.

E-mail marketing provider Constant Contact, Waltham, MA, began perfecting its search advertising campaign a few months ago with search marketing firm iProspect. The Watertown, MA, company tweaked Constant Contact's keywords, optimized its site and improved its return on investment. The search firm increased Constant Contact's search spend by 140 percent but lowered its cost per acquisition, leading to better ROI.

Still, Constant Contact's search marketing efforts hit a plateau until the e-mail firm started an offline radio and print campaign promoting e-mail marketing for small businesses in late August.

The headline of one print effort stated, "Reach your customers so affordably your accountant will weep with joy," and it included Constant Contact's Web site.

The company simultaneously conducted a geographically targeted online campaign, focused on four regions.

"Suddenly, the search engine advertising campaign began to grow again," said Fredrick Marckini, president of iProspect. "Higher, more expensive positions in the search results were beginning to reap conversion rates that justified the increased price."

Constant Contact realized a 243 percent rise in customer signups per month, mainly related to increased searches for Constant Contact and e-mail marketing terms.

"These searchers recognized the Constant Contact brand in the search results and clicked on their listings with greater frequency and intent than they had previously," Marckini said.

But prospects also clicked on Constant Contact keywords because the company generated an overall awareness of e-mail marketing's benefits through the offline campaign, said Richard Turcott, chief marketing officer for Constant Contact.

"There was a lot of added success in our pay-per-click campaign, influenced heavily by the increased category awareness," Turcott said.

And that was one of Constant Contact's goals: to communicate the benefits of e-mail marketing to small businesses and associations, Constant Contact's primary clients.

"People think of spam when they think of e-mail marketing," Turcott said. "We're not about spam. E-mail marketing is the smart way to reach your customers."

Still, the boost in Constant Contact searches occurred because Constant Contact already was running a search marketing campaign, Marckini said.

"Their offline advertising campaign drove unbranded searches as well," Marckini said. "If Constant Contact had not been optimized in search, they would have been gifting new clients to competitors."

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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