Whenever Air New Zealand wanted to send an email campaign out to their database a few years ago, it always involved engaging with four or five external suppliers. It was time-consuming, clunky and, of course, expensive. In 2011 they decided to streamline the process by bringing it in-house.
They selected a dedicated internal team, chose an email deployment platform called Responsys, and then started the search for a local company to help with the technical side of using it. Fly Buys, an Air NZ partner, suggested Ark Advance, the agency they use for their email campaigns. Two years on, Air NZ and Ark Advance are achieving great things says Nicky Ward, who heads up the dedicated in-house team in her role as Planning Manager of Direct Customer Communication, Customer Strategy and Analytics.
The airline company sends anywhere from 15 to 20 email campaigns a month to over 800,000 people. The campaigns are a mixture of retail (sales and promotions, such as flight deals to Australia) and loyalty-based ones, which include personalised Airpoints statements and engagement communications. Essentially, Air NZ comes up with the content and look of the email, Ark Advance codes their artwork to create an HTML file (the technical bit) and then uses the deployment platform Responsys to send it. Ark Advance also keeps an eye on email deliverability, ensuring the email content renders the same and gives a good viewing and customer experience no matter what device you use to open it, from your desktop PC to your tablet to your mobile phone.
Nicky says, “Since taking our email campaigns in-house and working with Ark Advance, the number of campaigns we’re deployed and the range of campaigns has increased. We can now provide relevant and personalised communications to our customers. Our return on investment has improved due to the cost efficiencies we’ve had from bringing it in-house, using Responsys and working with Ark Advance.
“I’d recommend Ark Advance to other businesses because they are experts on producing and deploying email campaigns, particularly using the Responsys platform. We’ve been impressed with their ability to help us implement a wide range of different campaign requests. They are smaller than some other agencies, which means they’re flexible, speedy and responsive to our changing business demands – it’s a real bonus.”