Case Study

Essex County Council

Using Display to help Essex County Council find a more efficient way to communicate with their residents.

With budgets being tight for local councils, many are looking for ways to reduce costs. One way to do this is to find more efficient ways to communicate with their residents.

Essex County Council came up with an email newsletter called ‘Keep Me Posted’, which residents could sign up to for updates with news and information relevant to them. This included information about events, things to do, education, careers and much more, specific to the county.

Essex County Council approached Coast Digital for help in building awareness of the ‘Keep Me Posted’ newsletter and to increase the number of subscribers. This campaign was to target residents from the Essex area, avoiding the younger demographic.

Building the Campaign

We determined that a display campaign that also made use of Facebook would be the most effective way to reach the target audience and make the most of their budget. We created a suite of display creative, using imagery and messaging promoting the valuable insights the newsletter offers to residents.

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ECC banners

Targeting the 25-65+ age range in Essex, the campaign was structured around using display banners to build awareness of the Keep Me Posted newsletter, bringing the user into the consideration stage of the conversion funnel.

We then layered Facebook onto this, which worked as a direct response ad unit to convert users that had been warmed up through the display banners outside of the Facebook platform (on local news sites and other relevant placements).

For the landing page we recommended including some supporting information for the user about the insight they would gain from the newsletter subscription, but also information on what the user will experience once they click submit. This helped to avoid any frustration from users not expecting to have to fill out various lengthy forms, thus reducing the likelihood of abandonment.

A Small Change Sees Big Gains

When the campaign started, the display creative used a standard single image which performed well. We suggested that we change the creative after a month to a carousel format, to enable us to showcase visually the content and updates the users can expect to receive within the email updates.

Once this was implemented, engagement shot up, with the click through rate growing by 157% from that delivered by the original single image ad unit.

We also made use of real-time engagement metrics which displayed the images within the carousel in a particular order, reflecting what is more important to users by automatically displaying the image in order of high to low click through rates. This meant that users were served creative in an order that resonated and was most important to them.

Since launch (and in just a month) Essex County Council saw a 900% increase in subscribers. The campaign was so successful that steps were taken to extend its lifetime.

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Whether you’ve got a quick question or you want to run through the details of your next big project, we can help. Speak to one of our experts on 0844 644 2950 or send us a message.