With a conversion rate of over 6%, responses for the Omega Hong Kong Open demonstrates how to put e-mail marketing and an integrated campaign to work.

If further proof is needed that sports event marketing works on the Internet, Omega Hong Kong Open’s integrated campaign might lay the case to rest. In order to build awareness and encourage sign-ups for a competition, interactive agency Activ8 Media worked with Omega and World Sports Group to create a high-profile online marketing campaign that ties in with TV, Radio and various other mediums for the event.

Activ8 Media was responsible for developing the online strategy, measurement criteria, and creatives – this included a micro-site (http:// omegahongkongopen.com), banners, a sweepstake, and a very targeted opt-in e-mail marketing programme.

Campaign Objective and Strategy

Omega was specific in its objectives; to generate awareness for the event and build up an internal database for future CRM activities. With this aim, a strategy to build awareness and drive sign-ups through sweepstakes entry was developed.

According to Matt Harty, Business Development Director at Activ8 Media, “It never makes sense to build a big, hefty website for sporting events. We created a micro-site that’s sleek, quick, and to the point.” The same philosophy spawned the in-banner sweepstakes entry form. “We were testing a concept: the thesis is that people are more likely to respond if they can enter sweepstakes and send referral e-mails to friends from within the HTML banners, rather than leaving the site they’re on.” All online campaign creatives mimicked the offline campaign.

E-mail Marketing Strategy

Targeted e-mails were sent out to users within Activ8’s database to inform them of the upcoming event.

According to Matt, all recipients are opt-in only: “You can remove yourself from the distribution list, and only your friends can refer you. The form also asks consumers if they mind receiving future brand promotions and information. If they are willing to receive information, Omega can send them messages in the future.”

The e-mail campaign provided a response rate of over 50% and a conversion rate of 6.1% against total online media bought.

Identifying the Right Target Audience

The campaign targeted both men and women from Hong Kong and South China with these profiles – Affluent Interests, Business & Finance, Investors and Sports (Golf). “It’s a fairly general buy, but it skews slightly male as golf is traditionally a men’s game,” said Matt.

Measurement Criteria

Activ8 Media measured the campaign’s performance by the conversions from click-through to sweepstakes entry. “We are able to provide Omega with a detailed post-click analysis, from the time a person responded to a creative, all the way to his registration,” says Matt.

Ms Ying Ying Chung, Events Director for World Sports Group, added, “I find the results from post-click analysis really useful as it demonstrates the click stream of a user, it shows their exit points and if they have successfully completed their registration.”

Finally, the first lesson that Omega has learned from this campaign: “Just because it’s a sporting event doesn’t mean it’s not a high-tech programme. The back-end system to support this form of measurement criteria has got to be very robust and sophisticated.”

Pleasantly surprised by the outcome, Ms Ying Ying Chung said, “This is what an integrated campaign should be, identifying different roles for each medium. A clever use of the online medium as an acquisition platform by Activ8 Media. We now consider the internet and e-mail marketing as vital customer acquisition tools and intend to use the database we built for better customer retention.”

Campaign Metrics (Duration: 4 weeks)

Online media bought – 60,000 targeted e-mails

Total responses from e-mail – 32,556 (Click through from mail to website)

Total users at registration page – 17,399

Total sign-ups for competition – 3,661

All EDMs are IP targeted at HK and South China eyeballs only.

Targets – Affluent Interests, Business & Finance, Investors and Sports profiles only