With growing competition in a typically commoditised sector, EDF Energy faced a challenge to increase its brand affinity.
To tackle this, the energy company launched a campaign – ‘Supersize Energy Health Check’ – that aimed to make the functional request to provide meter readings more personalised and interactive, in order to boost engagement and get more people sending their own readings.
EDF Energy used its customer data, plus demographic data from agency CACI, to develop 7,200 variants of the email it would usually send to customers. These included variations in creative, content and tone to best suit different segments.
The strategy led to email open rates of more than 80% – more than three times the KPI – clickthrough rates of 50% and dwell time 10% higher than its normal emails.
The campaign had two objectives. The first was to build relationships beyond the functional and therefore improve customer loyalty. The second was to increase customer value by moving people to self-serve online, paperless billing, payment by direct debit and self-management of tariff renewal.
To do that required three components to the strategy. The first was to segment the audience, using a quantitative survey to capture attitudes to energy provision, and then use demographic data to overlay this on life-stage and lifestyle traits.
The second involved personalising the emails using demographic data overlaid with postcode data to inform customers of the number of smart devices installed in their area, and use ‘next best action’.
Finally, the campaign used ongoing data capture to optimise messaging around information such as moving dates. The campaign made use of animated gifts, interactive polls and illustrations to engage and add a dynamic aspect to the emails.
While the effectiveness of emails increased, EDF also saw an improvement in customer value. There was an 11-fold increase in conversion on the number of ‘My Account’ registrations compared to the KPI, while paperless billing registrations were 230% above KPI.
The campaign’s success has also led to key elements being integrated and rolled out across other areas of marketing at EDF Energy.
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