video services company's first e-mail campaign produced
in-house was a twofold success, turning a profit and revealing
the types of e-mail messages that work best.
321Cam.com, Arden Hills, MN, spent $2,995 on e-mail
campaign software and $5,500 on two rented e-mail lists from
Equifax. The overall effort to more than 65,000 names resulted
in 64 software purchases totaling $12,000 and four hardware
purchases totaling $2,000. Website is for family
friendly live video webcams running 24/7/365 http://www.321cam.com
The company targeted several groups, testing different
"I learned that text e-mail doesn't do as good as a
picture, graphic or video," said Steve Cook, president of
321Cam.com, which provides real-time Web conferencing and
video monitoring services. "People don't want to read a lot in
an e-mail. They want to be entertained."
A single-image e-mail went Aug. 25 to 26,244 recipients
within 70 miles of Minneapolis-St. Paul based on ZIP codes
provided by the company to Equifax, along with 25,000 18- to
24-year-olds nationwide whose e-mail addresses were obtained
in the past 90 days by Equifax.
The e-mail urged them to "shoot interactive web cam
messages, dising your friends who aren't there." From the
total of 51,244 e-mails sent in this part of the campaign,
7,102 clicked on the link. The e-mail produced 32 software
purchases and one hardware purchase.
"I made the whole image clickable so they could click
anything," Cook said. "People's attention spans are short, and
they didn't have to read anything. They just saw a
cool-looking graphic and said, 'Let's click it.' They went to
the actual home page. Once you get people to your Web site,
they could stick around and express an interest."
A text-based e-mail that told of a dog owner who used
321cam's products to check on his pet while he was away went
Aug. 29-30 to the same recipients.
Of the e-mail to the 26,244 recipients, a little more than
8,000 were bounced back as invalid addresses or not accepted
due to the use of a spam filter. From the group of 25,000, a
little more than 11,000 were bounced back or not delivered.
The company didn't track bouncebacks on the Aug. 25
mailing, Cook said, "because I was new to the software."
For the text-based e-mail to the 26,244 recipients, 965
clicked one of its links, and nine software purchases were
made. Of the 25,000 18- to 24-year-olds, 422 clicked on a
link, generating three software purchases and one hardware
"That was terrible," he said. "I only expected 5,000 to
bounce back within each group. I was expecting more from the
young adults since they have disposable income. I wanted to
see how text e-mails would work."
Less successful was an e-mail sent to 14,082 names of pet
lovers, 18- to 25-year-olds and IT support professionals
obtained from software company IX Corp., which is involved in
software development and e-mail marketing. This group received
two newsletter-format e-mails sent Aug. 20 and 27.
The first one mentioned the opportunity to "lower your
bandwidth video conferencing solution" since "bandwidth is
expensive." The second e-mail described the features and
benefits of 321Cam.com.
Only 287 recipients clicked on a link in the first,
generating no purchases. The second newsletter e-mail produced
303 click-throughs for two software buys and one hardware
"A newsletter format for somebody who has never heard of
our company didn't work since they don't want to read about a
company they've never heard of," he said. "The newsletter
format would work better for people who are current clients or
who have expressed interest in us, or in order to provide a
weekly or monthly update on service enhancements."
An "e-mercial video" sent Sept. 5-7 targeted everyone who
had received e-mails previously in the campaign. A link
directing recipients to the company's home page touted
benefits such as chat rooms with instant messenger; live
video; whiteboard, paint and draw; observe your home, children
and pets while at work; check on your child's day care; and
share special events with family who cannot attend.
From the more than 65,000 e-mails sent, 1,888 clicked to
one of the links, producing 18 software purchases and one
"It was a moving video short with sound, professionally
made, with hired actors, and showed the capabilities of our
software in use," Cook said.
The video showed scenes of a woman making a presentation, a
warehouse worker stealing items from shelves and a child in