Third Party Email – A case study

Posted: August 30, 2010 in Digital Marketing, Email Marketing, Third Party Email
Tags: , ,

Third party email providers provide access to members who have opted-in to receive third party offers (hence the name). The members provided demographic information to allow advertisers to target advertising, and can also be asked direct questions from advertisers.

The strength of an eDM campaign is in targeting. Users provide precise demographic information, so messages can be targeted by age, gender, location (down to postcode), occupation, industry, and more.

Third party email offers:

  • High degree of targeting delivers very high click through rates (25% – 40%)
  • High conversion rates (2% – 10%)
  • Results can be on par or even exceed Search Engine Marketing
  • All activity is 100% trackable
  • Transparent and accountable
  • All providers conform to Australian privacy legislation

Examples of third party emails:

Third Party Email Examples

Third Party Email Case Study – RMIT


RMIT Business needed to attract applicants to a new type of degree – the Associate Degree in Business – that was being offered for the first time.

The degree had no established history or audience, and thus had no existing awareness among students. It was also commencing enrollments mid year, when the numbers of students seeking new courses is much lower.

Only a small budget was available to promote the degree, and digital marketing was selected as the most cost effective option to generate enrollments.

RMIT Business needed to fill 25 placements in the new course.


CLD recommended the use of electronic direct marketing (eDM) or targeted email to attract students to the new degree. The strategy was recommended because of its ability to provide highly granular targeting and cost effective, trackable results.

CLD developed a two phase email marketing strategy that was executed using third party email supplier, Rewards Central.

Phase 1 – Pre-Qualification

Members of Rewards Central were presented with a Poll Question to identify those respondents that had missed out on a university placement (or new someone who had) and were interested in a business or commerce degree.

By using this strategy, CLD was able to pre-qualify an audience that was actively looking for a higher education placement, or were a gatekeeper / influencer (commonly a parent or guardian).

The question posed and statistics recorded were:

1319. Did you or someone you know miss out on a place for university or TAFE? Total Response:  56573
Total User:   53563
No Answers Response Percentage Graph
1 Yes, for business/commerce 1255 2.22 %
2 Yes, for arts/humanities 1019 1.80 %
3 Yes, for engineering 990 1.75 %
4 Yes, for science 916 1.62 %
5 Yes, for information technology 1071 1.89 %
6 Yes, for medicine/health 2306 4.08 %
7 Yes, for education 1578 2.79 %
8 Yes, for another course 2422 4.28 %
9 No, I do not know anyone who has missed out 42612 75.32 %
10 I prefer not to answer this question 2404 4.25 %

As can be seen above, this poll question identified 1,255 people that had missed out on a placement for a business or commerce degree, or who knew someone who had missed out on such a degree.

Phase 2 – Email Blast

The audience of 1,255 respondents pre-qualified in Phase 1 were then targeted with an email blast.

CLD worked with RMIT Business to design and build the HTML email communication.

The email was developed to:

  • Explain and promote the new Associate degree
  • Explain and promote the pathway into a Management Degree
  • Reinforce the RMIT message of work integrated learning
  • Consistently support RMIT’s brand positioning

RMIT Third Party Email

The Results

The eDM delivered the following results:

Broadcast Date 3-May-10
Cost (Design, Build & Send) $2,000
Total Emails Sent 2,034
Total Opened 2,291
Total Open Rate 112.64%
Unique (by Member ID) Opened 1693
Unique Open Rate 83.24%
Total Clicks 1,879
Total Click Through Rate (CTR) 92.38%
Unique Clicks 1,726
Unique Click Through Rate (CTR) 84.86%
Total Open to Click Rate 82.02%
Pass Along Rate 8.86%

Key Results:

  • 1,693 unique recipients (83.24%) opened the e-mail
  • 598 recipients read the e-mail multiple times
  • 1726 unique people (82.02%) clicked through to the site
  • 153 people visited the site multiple times
  • 150 recipients (8.86%) forwarded the e-mail to others


The email strategy employed by CLD was extremely successful, delivering over 1,700 pre-qualified people through to the course landing page. The cost of acquiring each person was just $1.18.

The strategy to target gate keepers / influencers was also successful, with an open rate above 100% and over 150 recipients forwarding the email on to someone else. Such forwards are extremely valuable, as they represent endorsements from someone know by the ultimate recipient.


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