Multichannel strategy works to inform diverse customers

The launch of US Cellular’s “The Belief Project” campaign required a multi-message approach from our direct marketing team. The Belief Project is an array of programs and services designed to reward loyal customers and attract potential ones to our brand. It was important to create relevant messages and use the best channels to reach both current and future customers.

Our strategy was to use an integrated channel mix to educate our customers about the new benefits, draw new customers, and migrate our current customers to our new rate plans.

The main channel we chose to educate our customer base was our monthly newsletter and the web. Every customer received a two-page newsletter with his or her October bill. This format allowed us to present a detailed overview of the multiple program components, using a vehicle and voice that was familiar to the customer. In terms of the Web, we transformed our company home page to make it far more interactive. Content included program descriptions and videos that highlight elements of the project.

Direct mail also played a significant role in our communications strategy because it is versatile and could easily be adapted to fit our various messaging needs. Our main objectives for these pieces were also customer acquisition and customer migration to our new plans. We kept our acquisition messaging extremely simple, featuring a handset offer in tandem with high-level information about our new rewards program and “One and Done Contracts.”

Customer migration mail campaigns followed a different strategy. We segmented our customer base into several distinct categories, which allowed us to utilize relevant messaging, highlight specific facets of the program, and entice customers to take immediate action. We also ran messaging tests within our campaigns to study the effects of including a large amount of detail, verses minimal detail, and additional tests to determine whether messaging with a strong, emotional edge was received better than simple, direct messaging.

In addition, we used large-scale e-mail to generate excitement with customers through teaser messaging designed to ignite the viral component that is critical for effective word-of-mouth campaigning. We also used it as the workhorse supporting “The Belief Project” customer communications. We limited messaging through this channel to a single subject to ensure its effectiveness and included a strong push to the US Cellular website. This strategy aligned with the overall marketing strategy, promoting online engagement and leveraging the breadth of information provided on our content rich website,

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