eCornell Learning the Benefits of Email Marketing

Background

eCornell earns the highest grade in online educational resources. Offering web courses and University of Cornell certification, eCornell brings the classroom to the student with online professional and executive development programs. These programs help individuals boost their career and corporations with employee development.

Problem

Since 2001, eCornell has provided programs for students in a convenient web format. As eCornell expanded, it needed an email solution to help roll out new programs and start spreading the word to their student community. eCornell initially relied on the email capabilities that come standard with their Salesforce.com Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution to communicate with students and alumni. But as marketing needs grew, and they came to understand the importance of deliverability and reporting, eCornell recognized the need for a true Email Service Provider (ESP).

Discovery

Upon researching Email Service Providers, eCornell's VP of Development discovered VerticalResponse. Finding a solution that could easily integrate with Salesforce.com and offer the most important requirements for eCornell-ease of use and breadth of features. They chose VerticalResponse because it integrated with Salesforce.com very easily and found it to be the leading Email Service Provider on the Salesforce.com Appexchange.

Solution

eCornell NLSince 2006, eCornell has used VerticalResponse to keep all students and alumni informed of the latest news and offerings. Creating personalized and branded emails is now simple and fun. "The whole process is incredibly streamlined and easy-to-use. The interface makes it simple for us to teach other employees how to create emails. Even if you need to start from scratch, it doesn’t take long to build a really eye-catching email," said Eric Borgelt, Retail Sales Operations Manager for eCornell. They use a pre-designed template in VerticalResponse to consistently reach out to 150,000 people every month.

Email marketing helps eCornell reach customers in both of its divisions, individuals looking for business knowledge and corporations interested in offering programs to employees. Through VerticalResponse emails, individuals who sign up for online courses are offered new programs and educational resources. Corporations receive emails about implementing employee-training programs. VerticalResponse for Appexchange allows eCornell to track all customer interactions right from their Salesforce.com account, including the emails they’ve received, the ones they opened and whether or not they took action. "VerticalResponse is very valuable, not only in our broad email blasts to students, but also in terms of specific targeted emails to alumni. Because email marketing is such a big part of our marketing mix, it makes VerticalResponse a trusted partner for our company, helping us easily reach out to our students and clients more frequently," Borgelt added.

Without VerticalResponse, it would be very difficultfor eCornell to provide convenient educational resources to their students and customers. Email marketing is their bread and butter. Because they are an online company, eCornell relies on VerticalResponse to take care of their marketing with emails and newsletters.

Results

With a large mailing list, eCornell relies on VerticalResponse’s list segmentation and tracking capabilities. By tracking web analytics when emails are sent out, eCornell is able to determine the impact of its emails on website traffic. "We are always tracking what our users click on. We have been able to track the impact of different subject lines through A/B testing and list segmentation. We’ve used a lot of the features and the reporting is great," Borgelt noted. Since they began using VerticalResponse for Appexchange, eCornell averages open rates of 9-12% for its monthly email blasts to all students. Relevant messaging and segmenting lists result in even higher open rates. And when they’ve created highly specific offerings they’ve seen nearly 50% open rates for their email campaigns. Additionally, eCornell shows no sign of slowing down as their email list currently increases by 5,000 names per month.

eCornell often relies on the VerticalResponse customer support team when they need a little extra help. On top of the many great features, eCornell cites customer support via live chat as making the difference when trying to create a great looking email and needing a little assistance with a new feature or a design challenge.

With over two years of experience now, an ever-growing list of 150,000 satisfied customers and open-rates as high as 50% on email campaigns, eCornell has found an Email Service Provider to suit all of its needs. "It’s a great, intuitive application. I haven’t worked with any other company and I don't see myself going anywhere else. VerticalResponse does everything I need it to. I can’t see anyone else doing it any better," Borgelt said