We were delighted to hear that Auto Trader UK, who recently became a new Return Path client, came up trumps at last week’s DMA awards, with silver in the Automotive category (see http://www.dmaawards.org.uk/2014-silver-automotive).
This was a great multi-channel campaign that illustrated the simplicity of saying ‘Hello, Goodbye.’ The core TV ad showed people leaping from car to car to in a choreographed manner, energetically demonstrating how quick and easy buying and selling is with Auto Trader. An interactive microsite allowed consumers to enter their car’s registration plate for a free valuation and to tell Auto Trader what car they wanted to say hello to. Consumers were also encouraged to #sayhello to their next car on social media, which translated the creative idea into conversation online.
Email played a central role in this campaign, with Auto Trader customers receiving the following creative as part of the push to drive traffic to the microsite:
As we can see from the following graph (sourced from Return Path’s Inbox Insight competitor intelligence solution), these emails were highly effective, and the Read rates generated were some of the highest that Auto Trader saw in 2014.
January is a key month in the motoring calendar, with many people looking to sell their old cars and upgrade to a better one as they look to improve their lifestyles. At the time that Auto Trader emails were achieving their award-winning performance, their average Inbox Placement Rates (IPR) was still only 82% – roughly equivalent to the European average shown in Return Path’s recent Inbox Placement Benchmark Report 2014
The importance of optimising email program performance has been recognised by Auto Trader, and it is currently working with Return Path’s Professional Services consulting team to carry out a full audit of the program. In turn, this will ensure Auto Trader’s readiness to apply for Return Path Certification. This is the world’s leading email white-list, and accredited senders see significantly improved performance as a result of being recognised as best-in-class senders by many of the world’s major mailbox providers.
Rachid Riffi, CRM Manager at Auto Trader UK, comments: “The Return Path Professional Services team has spent time listening to our business requirements and aligning their services to create a customized engagement with a clear project roadmap. Consequently, the recommendations we are receiving are already having a positive influence on our program’s performance, and positioning us for a successful Certification application.”
From Return Path’s side, we believe there is a real opportunity to work in partnership with Auto Trader, using Return Path’s data and expertise to unlock significant additional value from their email program. Once we’ve had a chance to measure the uplift, maybe we’ll be going back to the DMA awards committee with another great marketing program improvement story, and maybe it will be gold this time . . .