Maccel Group Replaces DM With E-Mail to Drive Seminar Participation

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Marketing consultancy Maccel Group saw a 270 percent rise in attendance at its latest educational seminar after it replaced direct mail with e-mail marketing. The switch also lowered costs about 43 percent.


The company, based in Colorado, uses a series of free seminars as a business development vehicle and for lead generation. Topics include market strategy and messaging, brand development and market planning.


Before joining with Blue Ink Solutions and launching its first e-mail marketing campaign earlier this year, Maccel Group used direct mail to drive attendance at its seminars. Direct mail for a recent seminar drew 24 attendees. After moving to e-mail to promote a seminar in February, 89 people attended.


"We previously used direct mail to generate interest, with pretty dismal results," said Jeff Wiss, a principal at Maccel Group. "E-mail is cost-effective, about half the cost of paper mail."


Blue Ink Solutions, a Denver e-mail marketing consulting firm, helped Maccel Group optimize its e-mail messaging, which was targeted to an audience of marketing and high-tech executives with decision-making authority working at companies within driving distance of Denver. Blue Ink Solutions used opt-in business-to-business lists to send about 6,100 messages promoting the seminar.


"It was a very niche audience," said Clint Kaiser, co-founder and chief solutions officer of Blue Ink Solutions. "We supplemented it with rented lists."


Maccel Group sent a series of four e-mails before the Feb. 28 seminar. The original mailing explained what topics would be covered. A confirmation message to those who signed up to attend was then sent. A follow-up message was e-mailed before the seminar took place listing the companies that were attending. And just prior to the start of the seminar, a message reminded registrants they had signed up to attend.


After the seminar, Maccel Group sent a thank-you message to attendees that offered them a free marketing assessment.


Within four days of sending the first e-mail, Wiss said, Maccel Group knew how many people planned to attend.


"We expected a 25 percent attrition rate," he said. "But the vast majority showed up."


The company plans a second e-mail campaign for an upcoming seminar, Wiss said. It also plans to expand its list to include more business-to-business names and some biotechnology executives.


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