4:1 return on ad spend for acquiring new members
4:1 return on ad spend for acquiring new members
Posted June 14, 2022
SHRM Earns a 4:1 ROI By Leaning Into Email as part of a Multi-Channel Strategy
Since 2016, Anteriad has been a trusted partner for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). SHRM promotes the role of HR as a profession and provides education, certification, and networking to its members, while lobbying Congress on issues pertinent to labor management. SHRM is always looking to recruit new members to their community of HR professionals.
At the end of 2018, Anteriad took a larger role in supporting SHRM marketing services. SHRM wanted to integrate online and offline touchpoints into a more seamless omnichannel approach including direct mail, email, digital, match back, analytics, and file processing. This omnichannel approach would prove to be paramount to SHRM’s success over the coming years.
Anteriad quickly became an extension of the SHRM marketing organization, driving significant performance enhancements. With a customer-centric approach, Anteriad not only supported SHRM marketing campaigns, but they also provided the data and processes needed to execute their larger omnichannel strategy. After huge success in 2019, 2020 was off to a great start – until the pandemic hit. SHRM proved to be vital to the success of organizations across the nation, but they needed to adapt their marketing approach in a variety of ways.
A Shift to Online Content
Like many organizations, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) was impacted considerably by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the early months of 2020, their value was extremely high as they provide expertise on workplace safety and compliance among many other timely topics including remote work. However, after an initial surge in activity, many people transitioned to long-term remote work, including HR professionals.
As more people started working remotely, communicating with members became more difficult. Reaching people across physical and digital channels became a guessing game as more people left the office.
To drive new growth, the SHRM team had to go back to the drawing board. They turned to Anteriad to help reconfigure their marketing approach to fit the “new normal.”
“As our core audience shifted to remote work, we turned to Anteriad to create an email-focused B2B marketing approach that could carry us forward,” said Yancey Burgess, Manager, Marketing Audience Segment at SHRM. “We understood the importance of making sure our off-line and on-line channels had a cohesive strategy. Not only did Anteriad deliver on their multi-channel marketing capabilities, they also dramatically increased our reach by uncovering new audiences.”
COVID initially became a huge driver of SHRM’s content, giving them fodder for fresh pieces daily. They needed to provide expertise for businesses across many important topics like testing to masking, PPE, staying open, or when to close. This content ultimately positioned SHRM as a leader in compliance topics. SHRM also provided thought leadership for organizations as they worked to help employees coping with a range of challenges, from work/life balance to mental health and isolation. The pandemic changed how they handled content, broadening the messaging to both members and nonmembers with insights, support, and guidance for individuals and organizations, setting the stage for continued innovation through 2021 and 2022.
Using Email To Engage With Content
Before the pandemic, SHRM used direct mail as a major acquisition driver, accounting for approximately 50 percent of new membership. With 18 direct-mail campaigns a year and millions of mail pieces sent, a large shift in marketing spend across channels would be a major undertaking.
In the initial months of the pandemic, it became clear that channel marketing would need to adapt.
As it became more difficult to understand where individuals were working, email emerged as the main channel. Anteriad recommended that SHRM rethink their email program to drive new leads and engage them, taking advantage of their successful content engine. Anteriad and SHRM created an approach to email that would deliver a more targeted engagement.
From 2019 to 2021, Anteriad helped SHRM increase their email output by 10X – reaching HR professionals wherever they were working.
Shifting to a digital-focused strategy provided a number of benefits for SHRM:
- Ability to test new audiences: SHRM was able to affordably branch out from HR professionals to “accountables” – those people who were responsible for HR as one part of their role, such as small business owners.
- New audience insights: Anteriad introduced new data such as intent signals that would help SHRM create and deliver more targeted and relevant campaigns.
- Ability to quickly test content: SHRM could easily send different content to different audiences and test content approaches via email compared to direct mail and other offline channels.
- Faster measurement: Email metrics provided immediate insights that SHRM could use to not only quickly optimize their next emails, but also inform other marketing efforts in other channels.
- Event marketing: SHRM was able to drive event sign ups at their annual events for both in-person and virtual attendance.
Anteriad created a systematic approach to testing audiences and content that helped SHRM quickly learn and improve. This included a four-level match-back attribution process that went beyond simply opens and clicks measurement. The data mined provided clear ROI measurement and delivers insights and audiences for SHRM’s multichannel marketing across media buying and more.
With the expansion of email marketing in 2020 and 2021, SHRM saw a significant lift in performance.
Email channel has generated a 4:1 return on ad spend for acquiring new members.
Email as a marketing channel has also helped to reduce SHRM’s baseline costs associated with paper, print, and postage. While direct mail is still an effective and important channel for SHRM to meet acquisition goals, it is now just one piece to the larger omnichannel puzzle.
“Anteriad delivered ROI and infused more agility into our acquisition program. SHRM now sends a personalized cadence of emails, communicating with HR professionals every 10-14 days, creating a membership journey based on the content to which the audience is most receptive.” said Burgess. “We can now test new content and get real-time engagement insights to determine more easily the strongest creative. This process is the catalyst for an agile marketing approach, as they can quickly identify the best performing content to roll out across channels, saving time and increasing performance.”
In addition, these marketing efforts have helped SHRM expand their content to not just help HR professionals, but a variety of roles in organizations across the nation. SHRM has become an irreplaceable voice in for modern businesses.
SHRM adapted during a very difficult time for organization leaders, HR professionals and employees, both professionally and personally. SHRM has evolved from a strong membership organization, into a voice for today’s workplace community. They are an extremely important resource today in the ‘new normal’ helping companies operate effectively and efficiently with the information they need to keep their doors open. The partnership with SHRM and Anteriad has helped to make sure that through adoption, SHRM’s message is stronger today than it has ever been.