M2 Partners brings expertise and a personal touch to implementation
HBR chose M2 Partners to lead the implementation of Adobe Campaign, citing its deep expertise and hands-on approach as a boutique consulting firm. M2Partners worked closely with the technical team at HBR, Adobe Customer Solutions, and 33 Sticks—the consulting firm that helps HBR continue to mature in its use of Adobe Analytics and with its digital strategy.
“As we evaluated different implementation partners, it became obvious that M2 Partners was the best match for us,” says Bourke. “With the company’s extensive experience in Adobe Campaign and highly personal approach, we felt comfortable and confident that all our requirements would be met.”
M2 Partners jumped right into the project, working to understand campaign requirements and building a comprehensive data model. An aggressive rollout schedule kept the implementation team moving quickly, but with careful due diligence around quality control, as HBR prepared to launch its first set of 21 campaigns using Adobe Campaign.
Engaging email campaigns—better results, less work
Using Adobe Campaign, HBR transformed its routine email campaigns running daily, weekly, and monthly—with newsletters among the most valuable content. The company delivers 13 newsletters to 900,000 unique subscribers, generating higher open rates versus most campaigns and exerting a strong influence on the decision to purchase a subscription.
“Thanks to Adobe Campaign, we continue to increase the impact of our newsletters through greater targeting and segmentation,” says Bourke. “For example, we started an 8-week newsletter series for subscribers interested in AI and machine learning. Through Adobe Campaign, the series started whenever the user subscribed, so that in any given week, some subscribers are receiving their first issues, others their second, and so on.”
For HBR, one of the most beneficial aspects of Adobe Campaign is its ability to automate campaigns based on behavioral triggers such as site registrations and abandoned shopping carts. Triggers allow the team to send timely, targeted emails that make sense to readers in context, while alleviating the day-to-day work of segmenting, testing, and optimizing batch campaigns.
“With Adobe Campaign, we’ve sent out 4.5 million triggered emails with an average open rate of 28% and a click-through rate of 5%,” says Bourke. “We’re making campaigns more targeted and expanding our volumes to reach a wider range of audiences.”
For instance, the team uses triggers to make the onboarding experience more intuitive for new subscribers. As part of their subscriber benefits, a new subscriber receives the weekly Insider newsletter from HBR.org. Rather than entering the new subscriber directly into The Insider flow, on the day following subscribing, they receive a version of The Insider welcoming them to HBR. This approach eases subscribers into the weekly stream by starting with a welcome email.
“Using triggers through Adobe Campaign and Adobe Analytics, open rates for The Insider are as high as 50%,” says Bourke. “With the ability to suppress other campaigns while welcoming new subscribers, we can deliver a much cleaner onboarding experience for customers.”
As HBR builds more behavioral triggers into its batch campaigns, it aims to drive more revenue with fewer touches. “We’re managing batch emails in a more integrated way, layering in personalization and applying detailed segmentation so we can control campaigns with greater precision,” says Bourke. “The goal is to hit revenue numbers without overloading readers.”