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How We Exceeded a Year-Long Marketing Goal in Three Months

Posted by Alyssa Zingaro

FirstEnergy’s Ohio utilities includes Ohio Edison, Toledo Edison and The Illuminating Company. At the end of 2019, they approached AM Conservation Group to achieve savings throughout 2020 with a year-long opt-in kit campaign. The goal? 123,250 kit orders by the end of the year.

However, there were a few challenges to contend with, including:

  • The kit program must target customers who had not received a kit in previous years.
  • Per brand standards, marketing materials must not use the word “free.”
  • Due to pending regulatory changes, the original timeline was accelerated shortly before the program launch.

We segmented FirstEnergy Ohio utility’s eligible customer lists and deployed outreach tactics based on communication preferences and past participation data. Our digital-first campaign incorporated a wide variety of tactics that included:

  • Emails and behavior-based email nurture workflows with dynamic content
  • Facebook and Google retargeting ads
  • Postcards
  • Business reply cards (BRC)
  • Various cross-program marketing print materials

We used tracking URLs, pixels and tracking phone numbers on every tactic and integrated them all into a reporting dashboard for real-time transparency into lead attribution and conversion rates.

What were we marketing exactly? We created two custom-designed kits based on each customer’s hot water heat source (electric or gas) which were filled with energy efficiency measures and a product installation guide. The kits contained a combination of the following products:

Customers were able to request the kits via online order form, phone orders with live agents, or mail-in BRCs. Once the orders were received, the kits were shipped directly to the customers’ doorsteps by AM Conservation Group.

Are you curious about how each of our marketing tactics performed? Email was the highest converting and lowest cost tactic, accounting for more than 42% of all orders. While postcards were a lower cost tactic than BRCs, they converted at a lower rate and resulted in a higher volume of calls to the call center, ultimately increasing their overall cost. Social media ad order volume was only in the hundreds, but these ads generated hundreds of likes, comments and shares, which ultimately created a leverage effect and increased the conversion rates of other tactics through social proof.

Due to the rapid success of the program, First Energy’s Ohio utilities increased their kit order goal to 184,000.

Not only did we achieve this final goal, but we did it within three months! Thanks to our dedicated marketing services, we satisfied the utility, engaged customers across the service territory and helped them achieve savings. To learn more about our process, download the case study.

Download Case Study