Superheroes deliver super results – 98% response
At the time I was working for Polyair, a company in the protective packaging business (bubble paper, foam, mailers, etc.)
Every two years the packaging industry has its major trade show called Pack Expo. It is the biggest show of the year.
The goal was to create a unique theme for the show and get Polyair and its customers excited about it.
What We Did
We came up with a Superhero theme and developed an entire program around it.
As part of our program we created actual Superheroes – Bubble Girl, Captain Foam, The Inflator, The Foil and Mailer Man. Outstanding artwork was created for the booth in comic book fashion. Each major section of the booth had a large screen depicting one of the heroes in a mini comic scene saving a packaged product from the evils of every day delivery.
After the success of our first email marketing program we decided we wanted to now try an email campaign targeted at our customers who would be at the show. The goal would would be to create some real excitement and build up to the show to ensure they visited the booth.
We created 4 email – The Teaser, Bubble Girl, Captain Foam and Mailer Man. We would start the campaign three weeks prior to the event. The first two emails ran one week apart and the last two ran during the week leading up to the show 3 days apart.
Each email linked back to the Polyair website where we had carved out a large “movie screen” area to play the respective ads. Below are the images for each email we sent. Click on any image to view the accompanying video and message.
Response was overwhelming. The average response rate was 80% with 98% of customers clicking through in the final week.
Perhaps even more pleasing was that the phones started ringing off the hook with customers calling to tell us how much they were enjoying the campaign!!
Turn out at the booth for the show was phenomenal with everyone wanting to meet Bubble Girl (she was the most popular). We had created life sized cut outs of the heroes for the booth – but for some it wasn’t enough…they really wanted to meet Bubble Girl!
But that is not all….by having our customers visit our website at least once a week for three weeks we actually created a behaviour change.
Our average weekly total site visits were up 20% even two weeks after the show.
First, I never thought I would ever get a 98% response rate – that’s nuts. And I have never, ever gotten close to that again. But it happened, and it wasn’t all a fluke. We did a bunch of things right to help along the way. And it’s pretty much what I laid out in the the first two posts of this series plus a few more things.
Here’s what we learned:
1. Getting better happens on purpose, and in steps.
We took the learning from our first campaign that produced strong results and took it further. Every campaign can get better. Take the good bits that work consistently and see how you can extend them to do even better. No way we would have hit 98% on this campaign without all the learning from the first.
2. Engage you audienc.
First, all our customers spent their every waking business hours dealing with bubble, foam and mailers. This was an execution they could relate to and enjoy because it was such a big part of what they did. At the same time, the superhero campaign extended to the physical at our booth that they were going to see. So everything in the entire campaign around the show carried through. That made everything more impactful.
3. It’s not about selling.
At the end of the day, it’s about building trust and relationships with your customers in a way that your competitors are not. This campaign was a breakthrough in that it started to transform our relationships with our customers simply because we started talking about packaging in a new way.
As I said, I’ve never come close to a 98% response rate again, but I sure do use the same principles and lessons learned to try to learn more, build and extend what does work into each and every new execution. And who knows…maybe there’s a 99%’er just waiting to happen!