Cablevision debuts on-screen email opt-in

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Cable TV provider Cablevision rolled out a tool June 14 that allows marketers to tag their TV ads with email opt-ins. The Optimum Select RFI with email fulfillment lets consumers sign up to receive emailed product information, coupons, e-brochures and other offers through a TV ad.

To opt in, customers of Cablevision's iO TV service who are viewing an ad with a call-to-action can click a prompt to receive more information. The consumer's Cablevision email address is the default account, but consumers can edit the address to receive the message through another account.

“This leverages off the 30-second ad, but it makes that 30-second ad work harder for advertisers,” said David Kline, president and COO of Rainbow Advertising Sales Corp., Cablevision's sales organization.

Consumers who opt in through the Optimum Select RFI will only receive an email about the advertised product or service, said Kline. He added that marketers can include an opt-in to their email marketing programs within the requested email.

After consumers click to sign up, the on-screen call-to-action will display as an overlay with the televised programming continuing to air in the screen's upper-right-hand corner, similar to how a program guide appears.

Kline said Cablevision has signed up “four or five” advertisers to use the service, including Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln brand, Benjamin Moore & Co. and the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council. Cablevision began testing the program with Royal Caribbean Cruises “a few weeks ago,” he said.

Royal Caribbean's two-week test campaign promoted a “two for the price of one” travel offer. The campaign garnered 3,000 email opt-ins with 24% redemption rates, according to a statement from Cablevision.

Participating advertisers can view the number of impressions, clicks, interactions and opt-ins an ad receives, but Cablevision will not share contextual information, such as when an ad was shown or against which program it appeared, said Kline. He said Cablevision may choose to release that information to advertisers in the future.

Later this year, Cablevision will expand the Optimum Select program to let consumers opt in via a TV ad to receive phone calls from an advertiser's customer service team, said Kline. Cablevision will also launch Optimum Select Commerce, allowing consumers to buy products through an ad, in the fourth quarter.

“That's the endgame for us,” said Kline. “People will be able to transact right on their TV set.”

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