St. Jacques Marketing By Design's first animated, business-to-business, e-mail marketing campaign last month increased Web site traffic 500 percent and pulled in about five clients for the small direct marketing agency.
“We're not looking to generate huge numbers,” said Michael St. Jacques, the firm's vice president of client services and co-founder with his twin brother, Philip. “We wanted to use ourselves as a guinea pig and establish our brand.”
The idea for the animated e-mail, which went to 18,000 prospects, came about because the Morristown, NJ, agency thought that most traditional e-mail campaigns are boring.
“We consider ourselves the anti-ad agency,” St. Jacques said. “We had a lot of clients shying away from e-mail. There's not a lot of great stuff out there, particularly when it comes to e-mail.”
So, the company — which has 10 employees and clients including ADP, Jupiter Media Metrix and Everest VIT — tried to devise a concept that would stand out. The decision was to use animation to tell the story of a business looking to create an e-mail campaign, and how St. Jacques could help the company achieve its goal.
The key to the campaign's success, St. Jacques said, was its creativity.
“Our prospect base is marketed to constantly,” he said. “If it's not enticing, if it's not cool, you won't get the time of day [from them].”
St. Jacques rented e-mail addresses for the mailing from Cahners, VNU and Advanstar. The e-mail was scheduled to go out Sept. 11, but the campaign was postponed for about six weeks because of the events of that day.
The company plans to launch another, more aggressive campaign in the second week of January, he said. It plans to follow up the e-mails with direct mail and telemarketing.
“The next time we'll do an integrated approach,” St. Jacques said, “with e-mail, phone and mail. To get better results, we'll have to be more proactive and follow up by phone and mail.”