“ Agile data has always performed consistently, while our results with other vendors have been all over the board.”
You develop high-quality content educators want. Check. You deliver that content via multiple marketing channels you know educators value for product research. Check. You review and analyze the results of every campaign to inform and improve future deployments. Check.
You may follow all of these marketing best practices, but none of them matter if your messages don’t resonate with the right audience.
Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, knows the importance of audience. That’s why the company has leased Agile Education Marketing’s email, personnel and building data since 2013 for many of its email and direct mail marketing initiatives.
“Certiport is successful and sees impressive results with data because the team is extremely intelligent about the audience selection process,” explained Damon Carr, Agile Account Executive. “Certiport is hyper aware of what its products are, who the exact target is for those products and how to use data and structure campaigns to reach the most qualified educators with information about specific products that best fit their needs.”
Using this data-driven, analytical approach, Certiport recently deployed its largest and most successful campaign to-date, powered by Agile data. This campaign is a study in how to select and implement educator data to generate leads and fill the marketing and sales pipeline with highly qualified educator prospects.
The Challenge: Jump-starting the Buyer Journey
Audience development for the campaign began the same way Certiport launches all of its marketing initiatives: with a purpose.
“We are very specific about the titles of the educators that we target in the lists we rent,” said Certiport Field Marketing Manager Brian Nielson. “We are always looking carefully at titles to try to reach the right audience. Data is always leased for a specific purpose.”
In this case, that purpose was to promote the company’s Autodesk Certified User and Autodesk Certified Professional certification programs. Certiport had three goals:
- Let educators know that the certifications were available to them.
- Tout the benefits of the certifications, specifically their impact on employability.
- Explain how the certifications can be implemented within classrooms.
Nielson and his team knew Certiport’s audience needed to be nurtured before being sold to. “The objective was to increase awareness for and highlight the benefits of the Autodesk certifications to generate interest in the program and eventually increase adoption,” he said.
The Solution: Building a Lead Gen Campaign from Data
With these goals in mind, Certiport developed its Blueprints of Success campaign. One of the first tasks it completed before launching in February 2017 was selecting a data provider that could ensure messages would reach the right educators.
Ben Lambert, Certiport Director of Field Marketing, explained why the company considers Agile its main source for prospecting data. “Agile data has always performed consistently, while our results with other vendors have been all over the board. Agile provides quality contacts with high deliverability and open rates. In addition, Agile not only provides email addresses, but also the city, state, mailing address, institutional information, and more for individual educators. All of that information is relevant when planning a campaign and many other vendors are only able to provide an email address — that’s it.”
Certiport rented data specifically for the Blueprints campaign to ensure that it exclusively targeted educators suited for the Autodesk product. First, the team analyzed the thousands of contacts available, narrowing the list down to specific titles. Then they conducted a trial, which Nielson says is common practice to predict campaign success. “Damon is always willing to let us do trial runs to see if something will work before we make the decision to buy,” he said.
The final list for the Blueprints campaign consisted of K-12 high school and higher education teachers, professors, instructors, and deans who taught courses that could benefit from offering certifications to students. These individuals were then served the largest, most complex campaign Certiport has ever produced, consisting of 24 emails, 11 landing pages and a direct mail piece.
Certiport worked within its existing marketing technology tools, Oracle and Eloqua, to segment and target the list. The team then used marketing automation and triggers to increase campaign efficiency and improve the customer experience. They drew from historical data and A/B and multivariate testing outcomes to optimize deployment schedules and calls-to-action, thus boosting engagement and response.
Agile data was just one factor that helped Certiport produce performance results that were equally as impressive as the campaign itself.
Results: Proving the Impact
The Blueprints campaign is a lesson in email and marketing best practices. Strategic planning, audience selection, targeting, personalization, testing, and analysis all helped Certiport earn the best results it has ever achieved from a single campaign.
Certiport’s strategic thinking continues long after campaigns conclude. The marketing team de-dupes and updates its educator data regularly. And after every campaign launches, Certiport requests updated lists to account for the high rate of teacher turnover within the education market. “Agile’s ability to provide these updated lists, specifically, is what helped this particular campaign succeed,” Nielson said.
The results of the Blueprints of Success campaign were so impressive, it was selected as a finalist for Oracle’s Marketing Cloud 2018 Global Markie Awards for Best Email Marketing Campaign. Though it didn’t take home the title, it’s a winner in our book.
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