Accelerate Course Registrations With E-Mail

Marketing corporate training sessions used to be a paper-intensive business with long promotion cycles — which involved creating course catalogs, brochures, and direct mail. E-mail accelerates all that, as you’ll see in this third column of our back-to-school series.

Today’s case study takes a look at Productivity Point International, one of the largest IT training companies in North America. The company provides IT training in its own classrooms, at client sites, and through distance learning.

Productivity Point realized the value of email marketing very early and has advanced along the email marketing curve quickly. It started with a third-party email vendor, but the solution didn’t allow for highly customized content. The company clearly needed to send messages with dynamic content while allowing marketing to perform all aspects of campaign creation. To make this happen, Productivity Point turned to Socketware’s Accucast Accelerator.

Identifying Warm Leads Through E-Mail

Productivity Point knows its customers need more than one touch point before enrolling in a multiday IT class. Before spending hundreds to thousands of dollars per seminar, students need a personal follow-up and short consulting session to ensure the class is appropriate for their learning goals. Using this knowledge, the company integrated email into its marketing campaign as an inexpensive way to initially reach prospects and identify warm leads for follow-up phone calls.

Each campaign integrates email, direct mail, and telemarketing. As part of the marketing program, Productivity Point uses Accucast to send highly customized messages based on class availability, location, and upcoming events, as well as stated preferences, class history, and background. You can view a sample email here.

Once the messages are sent, Productivity Point analyzes real-time reports and identifies hot leads for sales team follow up. Since all class registrations are done over the phone, this email/call strategy prompts potential attendees to enroll while Productivity Point’s message is still fresh in their minds. The multichannel approach has achieved outstanding click-throughs, class registrations, and return on investment (ROI).

The Results

Productivity Point’s holistic approach to marketing has paid off with impressive ROI. Its targeted email messages have achieved outstanding success, with registrations garnering tens of thousands of dollars.

Using personalization and custom content, messages are now specifically targeted, increasing recipient satisfaction and sales. Since implementing Accucast, Productivity Point has never seen unsubscribe rates top 1 percent. Overall, it averages 40 percent open rates, compared to 8 percent before using Accucast Accelerator — a 32-percentage-point increase.

In the eight months since implementing Accucast Accelerator, Productivity Point has logged hundreds of registrations, representing a significant portion of its revenue during that period. Sales department close rates have increased because they have qualified leads that are already knowledgeable about the company’s offerings.

The company can now also use advanced reporting features to gauge interest level in course offerings. CTRs are analyzed to determine recipient interest based on demographics, date, course location, course length, and curriculum. “Accucast is the cornerstone of our integrated marketing strategy. It gives us the ability to analyze and extract the information we need to make educated marketing decisions,” said Ann Biro, e-marketing manager at Productivity Point. “This information allows us to create courses that our customers value and attend again and again.”

By transferring technical duties such as database querying and list management from IT to marketing, Productivity Point has saved time and resources. One person can now manage data, copy, creative, and campaign execution in significantly shorter time than previously. Dependence on the database administrator has decreased because data management is now straightforward and easy.

The Future

Productivity Point’s time to market has shortened dramatically, causing it to rethink its catalog options. In the future, it will reduce catalog mailing frequency by converting content into PDFs linked in email messages. The company will save thousands of dollars in printing and postage costs. Accountability is an added bonus. “Now that we have advanced reporting capabilities, we can see who opens, forwards, and clicks through on a message,” says Biro.

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