Traverse City Perfects Their Marketing Automation Strategy with the Help of Act-On Partner, Simpleview

Industry: Tourism
Highlights:
  • Implemented a lead scoring program to aid in audience segmentation
  • Gained a better understanding of audience preferences through A/B testing
  • Improved ability to deliver targeted content

The Challenge

Traverse City Tourism is a nonprofit marketing organization with the mission to stimulate economic growth by promoting the use of the convention center and leisure tourism activities in the Traverse City area. To accomplish this goal, the organization tells Traverse City’s story through advertising, tradeshows, publications, sales, media relations, and more.

Although Traverse City Tourism boasts a list of over 200,000 subscribers, their low email open rates and click-through rates demonstrated that the organization’s marketing efforts were not meeting their full potential. Traverse City knew they needed to up their email game if they wanted to fully leverage their contact base. With this in mind, Traverse City Tourism’s Digital Marketing Manager Coryn Briggs embarked on the search for a solution that would help the marketing organization attract and engage their audience.

Looking for guidance regarding available solutions, Coryn reached out to Simpleview, who then put her in touch with Adam Nutting, their marketing automation specialist. Adam introduced Coryn to Act-On, and together they devised a plan to help Traverse City Tourism utilize the marketing automation platform, along with Simpleview’s CRM and DMS, to achieve their lofty goals.

The Solution

Traverse City Tourism was new to marketing automation, so Coryn wasn’t sure what to expect from Act-On. Using Simpleview’s Act-On managed services, she and Adam worked to create a dynamic, automated email campaign. Together, they mapped out three email blasts to be sent over a three-month period, beginning in October 2018. Their regular monthly newsletter served as the first email, sent in its usual format: three blocks that covered seasonal packages and deals, upcoming events, and restaurants and breweries.

Act-On’s lead-scoring capabilities enabled Simpleview’s marketing automation specialists to set up a system to help Traverse City track users and determine who was interacting with which content. In doing so, each block was assigned a certain number of points, and users were scored on a hot-warm-cold system based on their total point value. They also assigned a point value to landing pages and other site content to further determine the extent to which each user was engaging with the content — and to evaluate how users were moving through the site from the single point of entry.

“Thanks to the power of Act-On’s marketing automation, the team at Traverse City was able to enhance its marketing strategy and gain valuable insights to help the organization better understand customer preferences.”

Coryn and the simple view team A/B tested three variations of the second blast, which was sent in mid-November. The email only had one piece of content, as opposed to the usual three, and the email each user received was based on his/her initial point value.

In the final email, sent in December, the team reverted to the original three-block format, this time varying the order of the content based on the lead scoring numbers. For example, someone who scored highest in the upcoming events block would see that block first, followed by their second-highest block, and so on.

Traverse City Perfects Their Marketing Automation Strategy with the Help of Act-On Partner Simpleview

“Act-On’s lead-scoring capabilities enabled Simpleview’s marketing automation specialists to set up a system to help Traverse City track users and determine who was interacting with which content.”

The Result

Thanks to the power of Act-On’s marketing automation, the team at Traverse City was able to enhance its marketing strategy and gain valuable insights to help the organization better understand customer preferences. Coryn was surprised to find that the lodging packages, which they usually placed at the bottom of their newsletters, were the highest-converting content block. They also found that users were more likely to click through to read blog posts about local businesses and events over other types of content.

More importantly, the team at Traverse City finally had a way to classify and categorize their data. Using the lead scoring system, they were able to begin phase one of a months-long process. In this campaign, Adam and the team worked to create a segmented audience using top-level navigation. In the future, they’ll be able to further carve out those segments and create multiple audiences to target with customized content.

The lead scoring system could also potentially be useful in the Traverse City Tourism sales process. The team could create different types of evergreen content for users in various stages of the sales funnel — all the way from the first click on a blog post through to booking a hotel room with a partner.

Throughout the process, Coryn was glad to have had the help of Simpleview’s Marketing Automation team to create the lead-scoring strategies, provide editorial oversight, and help her navigate Act-On.

While the Traverse City Tourism team looks to create additional audience segments, they’ll also see an increase in their content creation as they begin to send more than just their usual one newsletter per month. Coryn and the team will be working closely with Simpleview as they develop multiple email campaigns for each audience in an attempt to improve their open rates and increase their conversions.

Traverse City Michigan

Organized in 1981 as the Traverse City Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Traverse City Tourism (TCT) is a nonprofit corporation that serves as the area’s official destination marketing organization. Traverse City Tourism’s focused mission is to stimulate economic growth through the attraction of convention business and leisure tourism development.

Simpleview

Simpleview is a travel and tourism’s leading provider of CRM, CMS and digital marketing technology for 900+ destinations.

Traverse City Perfects Their Marketing Automation Strategy with the Help of Act-On Partner Simpleview