St. Jacques Fine-Tunes Animated Campaign for Higher Response

St. Jacques Marketing By Design will launch its second animated e-mail campaign this month after its first campaign last November netted the design agency five new clients.

The campaign will go out to the same 18,000 people in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut contacted for the first campaign. Though the Morristown, NJ-based firm was pleased with the five clients it attracted, it wants to improve the 1.25 percent response rate.

“With the last campaign, we were trying to find out the effectiveness of e-mail versus direct mail,” said Michael St. Jacques, the company's vice president of client services. “With this one, we are trying to get response rates up.”

The effort will build on the character of Jill introduced in November. It will have a Super Bowl theme and is titled “Super-Rush XI.” Jill has a big project that needs to get done quickly. When other agencies finally getting around to telling Jill they cannot make her deadline, she turns to St. Jacques, which naturally, can do it faster, better and cheaper.

The company will make some changes for this second campaign that it hopes will improve the response rate.

For example, St. Jacques found a number of recipients were not able to view the animated e-mails.

“The lack of technology got in the way of people seeing our animation,” St. Jacques said. The company this time plans to add links to the Macromedia site so people can download a Flash player if they need to.

With the original campaign, St. Jacques rented e-mail addresses from Cahners, VNU and Advanstar. This time, according to St. Jacques, the company dropped the Advanstar list. Though it pulled as well as the VNU list, it was more expensive.

“Cahners worked a bit better than VNU,” St. Jacques said. “They have a huge response list. They have a lot of finance and IT names, which is the target we're looking for.”

St. Jacques' first campaign featured an animated e-mail in the form of a cartoon. It was conceived because the Morristown, NJ, agency thought that most traditional e-mail campaigns are boring.

“E-mail correlates a lot to what we know about direct mail,” he said. “But e-mail allows much more precise measurement. There's a lot more flexibility and creativity in what we can offer.”

The company plans to do a follow up mail campaign to reinforce the e-mail, but is waiting to see how well the e-mail is received before designing the piece or deciding the size of the mailing.

One part of the previous campaign that works well for St. Jacques was the viral aspect of the animated e-mail. St. Jacques said that 25 percent of all recipients passed the e-mail along to friends.

“We were able to measure everyone who sent it along to a friend,” he said. “But we didn't think it would be as big as it was. We'll see if the click-through rate improves this time.”

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