Visit Northumberland wanted new, cost-effective ways to boost promotion of their visitor campaigns this summer, and so partnered with Rocketseed for their “Historical Northumberland” campaign. Rocketseed gave Visit Northumberland a unique way to include dynamic campaign messaging in every individual email sent by their employees, and a way to measure the engagement and results from this channel.
During the course of the campaign period, Visit Northumberland were able to promote multiple aspects of their campaigns, highlighting the wide range of attractions in the region, from the ancient battlefields, to historic castles and scenic coastline, reinforcing this message to over 30,000 people.
In addition to the emails that Visit Northumberland would send out themselves individually over the course of the campaign period, they also wanted to work with their hotel and attraction partners to help them promote their own businesses, and at the same time, leverage the power of this destination marketing campaign.
Research done recently by Visit England, showed that one of the key reasons why UK residents don’t take more staycations, is that they do not know enough about what there is to do in each destination. Visit Northumberland therefore wanted to support their hotels and attractions to inform their customers about opportunities in the region and help increase visitors.
Booking confirmations, personal replies to general queries and responses to availability or pricing requests are all email opportunities for a property or attraction to promote itself and increase revenue. And collectively, all these individual emails form a significant, over-looked marketing opportunity. What Rocketseed enabled Visit Northumberland and its partners to do was to create a joint marketing initiative, where every single email sent by employees of their partners helped promote both their own business, plus the Historical Northumberland destination campaign.
The joint campaigns were then set up for each partner with smart dynamic trackable links, to promote their own chosen messages, alongside the destination messaging. Once set up, the partners then continued to send their emails as usual, but now with e-banners optimised to engage customers.
Because these were relevant campaigns, reaching interested parties in a personal way, it is not surprising that the results were excellent. The average engagement rate overall was 22%, and the partner engagement rate achieved an average of 27% – both much higher than conversion typically delivered by other marketing channels. The top performing campaign also achieved an outstanding CTR of 48.7%.
The combination of destination and partner-specific messaging was also a success – the analytics from this campaign showed that of the links that were clicked 27% were on Northumberland destination links, and 63% were on partner links – so as well as helping the partners to promote their own offers and services, there was a genuine interest from guests in the destination campaign, and an increase in the audience that the tourist board were able to reach and engage with via their messaging.
By working in a smart way with a selection of their campaign partners, Visit Northumberland were able to dramatically expand the reach of their own campaigns, and to reach all potential visitors interacting with members, as well as those customers that they engaged with themselves. At the same time, their members benefited from a great new, cost-effective marketing tool that helped them drive direct business, with no commission costs, and helped them promote their special offers, menus and packages.