Since 1996, InterImage Inc. has provided custom database and software applications to commercial, federal and municipal clients with the goal of delivering solutions that solve critical business problems effectively and affordably. Recently, the United States Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency came to InterImage looking for an effective method to market its Minority Enterprise Development Week event. The week-long event consists of a series of regionally held conferences, culminating in a national conference.
"InterImage looks for innovative solutions to provide the client the best possible value in their business. Being one of the first to offer EASE Maestro allowed us to serve the Commerce Department in ways no other information technology solution provider could."
InterImage recognized that today's business leaders prefer email and suggested promoting the Minority Enterprise Development Week conferences through email marketing, a more cost-effective method than the traditional direct mailings used previously. InterImage believed that an email marketing campaign was the most effective means of reaching the MBDA's goals of building awareness for the event, increasing traffic to its Web site, boosting conference attendance, increasing exhibitor registration and providing the same support for the regional conferences that the national conference maintained.
InterImage realized it needed an email marketing solution that could meet specific requirements for scalability and ease of use. Without sufficient personnel, servers and bandwidth in place, InterImage also decided that it required a hosted solution to carry out the campaign. After a thorough evaluation of email marketing solutions, InterImage concluded that L-Soft's EASESM Maestro hosting service met and exceeded its requirements. Leslie Steele, InterImage CEO, said, "We chose L-Soft's EASE Maestro Hosting service because of its competitive feature sets, ease of use, scalability and price points. L-Soft's EASE Maestro hosting solution required minimal training. In fact, we were up and going within an hour."
Using EASE Maestro hosting service, InterImage planned to execute five email campaigns over a six-month period to more than 137,000 opt-in recipients. The email messages included embedded links, images and promotional material. The first of the five messages was sent out on July 9, 2002, a date that was chosen based on one of the early registration deadlines for the event. Before the email campaign began, the MBDA received an average of 233 unique visitors to its Web site per day. The day of the campaign, the Web site had 45,000 unique visitors. The open-up and click-through rates of InterImage's MBDA campaign were also very positive. The July 9, 2002, mailing yielded an 86 percent open-up rate and a 3 percent click-through rate to the embedded MBDA Web site link.
The results of InterImage's first campaign clearly show that the MBDA's goals were being met at a much lower cost than the $75,000 it had spent on traditional direct mailings of the past. "Since July 9th," Steele said, "our client, MBDA, has seen a dramatic increase in Web site traffic, increased visitor and exhibitor registration, and decreased costs reaching people."
The success of the campaign was a result of the talents each organization was able to provide. "By focusing on our core competency of development and marketing," Steele said, "and letting L-Soft focus on its core competency of executing email campaigns of a very large scale, we could deliver a value to the Department of Commerce that was unmatched."
"InterImage looks for innovative solutions to provide the client the best possible value in their business," Steele said. "Being one of the first to offer EASE Maestro allowed us to serve the Commerce Department in ways no other information technology solution provider could."
Case study written on August 1, 2002, with the help of Leslie Steele, CEO of InterImage.
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