NASCAR drives sales through e-mail: DM Days' panel

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NEW YORK - Car-racing company NASCAR.com has increased its e-mail subscriptions though a testing campaign, according to a DM Days panel.

In her presentation, "Email in the Fast Lane: Email Marketing Case Study from NASCAR.com," Lana McGilvray, vice president of marketing at Datran Media, the e-mail marketing firm that works with NASCAR, discussed how NASCAR.com grew its e-mail subscription list during a Talledega Race campaign last year. It was NASCAR.com's most successful subscriber generation campaign in 2006.

"The end goal was to see how many subscribers would buy after the race," Ms. McGilvray said. "The campaign's call to action included an A/B test for a sampled offer versus the favorite driver of the customer."

The campaign was focused around the Track Pass Scanner, a NASCAR.com service that gives car fans a window into the racing world. It includes exclusive video footage and real-time event broadcasting.

E-mails were sent out before the race to one million customers that had signed up to receive e-mails at www.nascar.com. The e-mails tested a general free offer versus a personalized message that focused on the consumer's favorite driver. The test found that the personalized message worked best.

So the day after the race personalized e-mails were sent out to the entire population. The brand saw a 72 percent increase in subscribers over past campaigns, and tens of thousands of customers signed up for a free trial offer of the Track Pass Scanner.

The consumer engagement with e-mail is much more than with other channels," Ms. McGilvray said. "The ability for the consumer to respond is much higher because you are sending messaging that is contextual, behavioral and demographic. This campaign went after rabid fans and saw a huge response."

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