How a Viral Email Campaign Helped Juniper Networks Triple its Contact Base and Boost Advocacy

How a Viral Email Campaign Helped Juniper Networks Triple its Contact Base and Boost Advocacy
Stephanie Tilton - Tue Feb 02, 2010 @ 01:58PM
Comments: 98

In December of last year, Juniper Networks® announced that it had won the 2009 B2B Marketing Award for Best Use of Email with its Junos® Software campaign. Here Claire Macland, Senior Director of EMEA Marketing for Juniper Networks, shares a behind-the-scenes look at how the campaign came to be – and why it was ultimately so successful.

Q. What was the catalyst for the campaign?

A. Juniper Networks offers high-performance networking solutions, and one of our key technology differentiators – and key value propositions – is the ease of using our products due to our single operating system, called Junos. This OS runs on all of our products, be it our switches, security devices, routers, or any other offerings. To effectively market our solutions, it helps if there's a broad base of Junos skills within the organizations we're targeting.

The purpose of this campaign was to boost the number of Junos advocates within our target market. So in essence, this was a customer advocacy program aimed at making sure that technical folks who work with operating systems are aware of – and have positive feelings about – Junos.

Q. Was the campaign targeted at prospects, customers, or both?

A. We combined our prospect database and customer data and identified those already using our technologies, those who had certification in our technology, and those who had attended one of our training days. Regardless of the category, these people had two things in common: they were technical in focus and had at some point expressed interest in Junos.

Q. How did you cut through the inbox clutter?

A. We sent an email to this list of 4,000-4,500 contacts. The goal of the email was to understand what these recipients wanted us to develop so we could start an ongoing dialogue with them. We asked: "If you could have whatever you wanted from Juniper, what would it be?" And we offered them a technical book in exchange for their views: JUNOS Enterprise Routing published by O’Reilly.

Juniper email

This was a new, dialogue-based approach for us. Generally we take the traditional approach: we make an offer to our prospects and customers in exchange for their information so we can then target them with something else. Here we stepped back and said: "Since we want to build a base of advocates, we need to know exactly what our target market wants and deliver that so they'll have a positive experience and evangelize on our behalf."

Q. What was the response?

A. We got a virtually unheard-of response rate of 40%. An additional 10% of responses were from those who hadn't been original recipients of the email. In other words, the email had gone viral. We also became aware that the URL with our book offer was posted on blogs around the world. Though this campaign was focused on the EMEA region, people responded to us from all geographies, explaining what they wanted to learn about Junos. We aggregated all comments and distilled them into common requests.

Here's a sampling of what the respondents requested:

  • Virtual lab facilities to try out our equipment in a virtual setting
  • Online forum to chat with each other and Juniper experts
  • Webcasts and technical tutorials
  • Roadmap information
  • Education and certification programs

While we offer some of this as a matter of course, we don't necessarily offer it in a programmatic way. We designed the rest of our campaign around those interest areas, and created a portal, called J-Central, to serve as the main hosting platform for this Junos community.

Q. Content creation is often the most daunting aspect of a marketing campaign. Who created the content and portal, and what was the process?

A. Our EMEA marketing folks were responsible for finding and creating the content, and ultimately were pointed to our technical experts in the U.S. Based on responses to polls in J-Central, we found out which topics the program participants were most interested in. We then sent out invites for live events, featuring our chief engineering and technical experts. Our last event was oversubscribed by 200% within five hours of the invitations being sent.

The content was very compelling. We demonstrated our technology in real time, and participants in countries around the world could interact with the engineers behind our technology. The conversations went on long after the speakers had finished.

Q. The campaign ran from September 2008 through October 2009. How frequently did you reach out to the target audience?

A. We emailed alerts about site updates – such as online webinars, practice environments, online training, coding libraries, and software release updates – fairly frequently, sometimes every week. But remember, this was a strongly opted-in list because of the usefulness of the content. By the end, nearly all emails ended up going viral using the "forward-to-a-friend" mechanisms we embedded. We increased our contact base from 4,500 to over 15,000 by October 2009.

Even though the campaign was initially built off an email approach, we made great use of Web 2.0 technologies and social-media platforms, including YouTube, live chat, forums, and Twitter. While we were already involved in those channels, we had extra incentive to use them once we saw how much our audience grew due to viral activity. We made sure the right mechanisms were built into our communications to make it easy for recipients to pass them on. It was an opportunity to use these channels in a creative way. Plus, it was measurable – we could see how many contacts we had and how quickly they responded to various promotions.

We also offered the email address of one of our employees so program participants could submit feedback. While it was extremely time-consuming for this employee to respond, she ultimately built up a large Twitter following. It was a prime example of how these social-media platforms work – if people see value, they'll use them.

Q. Did your channel get involved in the campaign?

A. Our channel got involved because it's interested in learning about Junos. While we facilitated different ways for the channel to participate, we haven't passed on contacts as leads – that's not in the spirit of what we originally promised to the audience. Plus, the fact that a large number of prospects and customers responded so enthusiastically to our events and content doesn't mean we have lots of hot leads for our channel reps. After all, in an advocacy program, you're not selling anything. But you're building ongoing advocacy, respect, and appreciation for the Juniper brand within the hearts and minds of those people, which goes a long way. That said, if the channel is involved in the same events, chats, real-time polls, and other activities as the program participants, they have an opportunity to engage with potential customers.

Q. How did you measure the success of this campaign?

A. If we measure campaign success based on whether or not we're building advocacy, we can clearly see that we've been successful. We've heard from prospects, customers, and partners how pleased they are with their experience of the brand. That's like gold dust for a marketer. And these are just the ones we're aware of. Out on the Internet, we're confident when people talk about their experience of this campaign, they'll say it has been very positive.

Q. Have the results of this campaign changed Juniper's approach to marketing?

A. It hasn't altered our approach but it has given us the extra incentive we needed to build a program that helps expand our technical advocacy programs. What we did with this campaign is what good B2B marketers know they should be doing. Having said that, I know it's easy to lose sight of this best practice. When you sell technical solutions, it's easy to get lost in details about speeds and feeds and have one-way communication with your audience, telling them what they should be interested in, and that if they fill out this form with 15 fields, you'll send them a white paper. The great marketing happens when you step back from that. I'm not claiming we don't fall into this mindset from time to time, but we do step back once in a while to think more strategically about what the customer wants to hear. With this campaign, we managed to deliver on that.

While this is a great approach for building advocacy, a different approach is needed when you are trying to market and sell your solutions. Monetizing your marketing efforts and driving leads is still crucial. On a conceptual level, social media has changed that. Juniper actively embraces a number of social media efforts that are not about lead creation but are about conversational marketing and going on a journey with prospects and customers. Ideally you want to bridge the different approaches.

Q. What are your plans for building on the success of this campaign?

A. Because the number of advocates enrolled and involved in this program is so large, the campaign and program has been adopted globally within Juniper. Now Juniper's U.S. headquarters is responsible for nurturing the program, delivering additional resources, and finding more interactive ways to engage with advocates, such as via live chat, Twitter, and YouTube.

Q. What lessons can you share with other B2B marketers?

  • It's all about the content – give people what they really want, not what you want them to have.
  • People want their voices to be heard so provide a platform to allow this dialogue to happen.
  • Build your activities so that they can easily be passed on – encourage your customers to take your messages viral.
  • Once you have a solid group of advocates, don’t be tempted to start selling hard to them. They will unsubscribe super-fast!

About the author: Stephanie Tilton is a freelance marketing writer who helps B2B companies craft content that nurtures leads and advances the buying cycle. You can follow her on Twitter or read more of her posts on Savvy B2B.

Read more Savvy B2B posts from Stephanie.

Comments: 98

Comments

51. translation services Philippines  |  my website   |   Sun Sep 13, 2015 @ 09:24PM

Elite Translations is a Philippine based company that provides communication services such as Translations, transcription, copywriting and proof reading in more than 70 major languages. http://translations.ph/

52. Just Do It  |  my website   |   Mon Sep 14, 2015 @ 10:16AM

Recently, I did not give lots of consideration to leaving responses on site page reports and have positioned responses even less. Reading through by way of your enjoyable article, will assist me to do so sometimes. http://beugame.com/coc-cheat/

53. Just Do It  |  my website   |   Mon Sep 14, 2015 @ 10:17AM

Recently, I did not give lots of consideration to leaving responses on site page reports and have positioned responses even less. Reading through by way of your enjoyable article, will assist me to do so sometimes. http://beugame.com/coc-cheat/

54. siva   |   Wed Sep 23, 2015 @ 02:23AM
55. Rehman Sk  |  my website   |   Sat Sep 26, 2015 @ 03:10PM

download the best app to watch movies online for free. http://www.alltechfeed.com/movie-hd-app-apk-android/

57. aline   |   Sun Nov 08, 2015 @ 04:53PM

very good article that deserves all the praise, congratulations.
http://alynnefariaadvogado.com.br

58. aline   |   Sun Nov 08, 2015 @ 04:54PM
59. androwindows  |  my website   |   Tue Dec 08, 2015 @ 12:12PM

very well said post i must say... thank you so much for providing this with us.
http://androwindows.com/download-snaptube-for-pc-laptop-windows-8-7-10/

61. rghjrghi   |   Fri Jan 08, 2016 @ 02:09AM

our feed to my rss reader as i need to obDiscount vapor code
http://discountvaporcode.com
Vape mods
http://discountvaporcode.com/vape-mods/
Vape pen
http://discountvaporcode.com/vape-pen/
Vape eliquid
http://discountvaporcode.com/eliquid/

62. iloginova97  |  my website   |   Sun Jan 24, 2016 @ 02:29PM

Thanks for the article, once again the one with no knowledge of technology making stupid rules to restrict technology advancement.

63. iloginova97  |  my website   |   Sun Jan 24, 2016 @ 02:30PM

Thanks for the article, once again the one with no knowledge of technology making stupid rules to restrict technology advancement.

64. khan   |   Sun Feb 14, 2016 @ 11:54PM

The main part to top high quality writing is that when a viewers places on your material and seems that you have provided them with the product or information they were looking for, they will basically simply choose the weblink that back-link assistance experts provided them to get to your web website. http://milkshakez.snack.ws/

65. shahrukh   |   Mon Mar 14, 2016 @ 06:15AM

The main part to top high quality writing is that when a viewers places on your material and seems that you have provided them with the product or information they were looking for, they will basically simply choose the weblink that back-link assistance experts provided them to get to your web website www.tumblr.com

66. Dolly mathews  |  my website   |   Tue Mar 15, 2016 @ 09:16AM

I have tried myself ,good that it works
https://www.facebook.com/8ballspoolhacks

67. Click Here  |  my website   |   Fri May 06, 2016 @ 04:13AM

Hey there,
Thanks for good information!

68. klester   |   Thu May 19, 2016 @ 02:21AM

leased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great re

Survival Life Deals
http://survivallifedeals.com
Survive the end days
http://survivallifedeals.com/product/survive-the-end-days/
Surviving the final bubble
http://survivallifedeals.com/product/surviving-the-final-bubble/
Survival Md
http://survivallifedeals.com/product/survival-md/
Family Survival System
http://survivallifedeals.com/product/family-survival-system/

70. Rosea Webs  |  my website   |   Sun Sep 18, 2016 @ 09:43PM

Do you want to read best flashlight review?
Check here: http://besttacticalflashlightreview.com/

71. Jack  |  my website   |   Wed Oct 05, 2016 @ 06:30AM

Viral emails are very painful to anyone they are easily go live when their programs are started once. Reading through by way of your enjoyable article, will assist me to do so sometimes. Thanks for sharing this artilce Check my website. http://cricbuzzlivescore.com/

72. Charles Dan  |  my website   |   Mon Oct 17, 2016 @ 07:16AM

Really great post, Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place.

73. sb game hacker  |  my website   |   Tue Oct 18, 2016 @ 04:35AM
74. 8 Ball Pool   |  my website   |   Wed Jan 25, 2017 @ 12:13PM

You love 8 Ball Pool Game? Definitely, this game has grabbed millions of online gamers including girls and boys of all aged. For this reason we have come up with a serious opportunity to handle this game according to you.
http://www.8ballpoolhacktools.xyz/

75. ios tricks  |  my website   |   Fri Jan 27, 2017 @ 12:18PM

Hey guy's here i did vey interesting posts on various blogs. I found few interesting posts to share with you. I used many http://iphoneipadtrick.com/best-vpn-apps-iphone-ipad-unblock-school-wifi-restrictions/ to access other country blogs for their students to unblock blocked websites. I found this very useful and worthy sharable.

76. aptoide apk  |  my website   |   Sat Feb 04, 2017 @ 06:08AM
77. aptoide apk  |  my website   |   Sat Feb 04, 2017 @ 06:11AM
79. subway surfers game hack  |  my website   |   Sun Mar 26, 2017 @ 09:34AM

get unlimited coins and keys with our subway surfers hack tool at http://subwaysurfershackedapk.blogspot.com

80. Axel  |  my website   |   Mon Apr 03, 2017 @ 06:16AM

you can't grow your business without Digital Marketing

81. hari  |  my website   |   Sat Apr 08, 2017 @ 08:33AM

Hey, I recently read you blog It really good and actually I very liked It. Because I am learning the blogging.Thank please post some latest data for us
I also write a blog related to tech niche See it and suggest me.
<a href=http://windowspctrendz.com/how-to-download-and-install-widevine-content-decryption-module-chrome-for-windows/>widevine content decryption module chrome</a>

84. hari  |  my website   |   Wed Apr 26, 2017 @ 04:24AM

Hey, I recently read your post and I really liked It. Because I am learning about blogging.Thank you and please post latest data for us.
I am also writing a blog related to tech niche See it and suggest me.<a href=http://windowspctrendz.com/dll-suite-download-free/>Free DLL Suite Crack</a>

85. montress  |  my website   |   Thu Jul 06, 2017 @ 04:30AM

La meilleure replique de montres http://www.nowmontres.fr boutique de France. Delicieusement fait et Rolex,Omega,Breitling,Hublot repliques de copie de qualite a vendre

86. gesa  |  my website   |   Thu Jul 06, 2017 @ 04:32AM

Omega compose le jour, les heures, les minutes et les secondes à Rio 2016, les premiers Jeux olympiques en Amérique latine. Pour la 27ème fois depuis 1932, pour toujours Omega http://www.tsmontre.fr/omega

87. hamster cages   |   Thu Aug 24, 2017 @ 04:32AM

This guide will help to get the best hamster cage for the money https://besthamstercages.wordpress.com/

88. jasa furniture bandung  |  my website   |   Sat Oct 21, 2017 @ 02:46AM

I say thanks a lot. Both 'a lot' and 'lots' are considered to be informal terms, though I would tend towards 'lots' being the more informal.

89. Merry Christmas  |  my website   |   Wed Nov 15, 2017 @ 08:47AM

I appreciate everything you have added to my knowledge base.Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.Thanks.
https://happynewyear-merrychristmas.tech/christmas-xmas-customs-traditions-celebration-of-christmas-xmas.html

90. James Allen   |   Sat Feb 24, 2018 @ 10:45PM

It's always a lot of problem in our life. It's the good source for an email solution. You did a great job.

92. Himanshu  |  my website   |   Mon Mar 19, 2018 @ 03:10AM

The excellent knowledge you shared here....this helped me in my business.
Lots of businesses facing the issue in the payment gateway. we provide the solution to them.

93. African Daisy  |  my website   |   Tue Apr 10, 2018 @ 01:10PM

Die Tochter kann zusätzlich zu den Fantasien Geschenke an Ihre Mutter senden. Der heutige Muttertag wird zu verschiedenen Zeiten in vielen Gegenden der Erde gefeiert, viele im März, April oder Mai, um Mütter und Mutterschaft zu ehren. In Deutschland und Österreich folgt es den Gebräuchen des Muttertages. https://www-muttertag.org/

94. Festa della mamma   |   Wed Apr 11, 2018 @ 02:45AM

In Italia, la Giornata nazionale della Madre e del Fanciullo fu celebrata il 24 dicembre 1933, nel quadro della politica della famiglia del governo fascista. https://www-festadellamamma.com/

95. Martin  |  my website   |   Thu May 03, 2018 @ 08:47AM

Great article, thanks!

96. ranjith  |  my website   |   Tue Jul 31, 2018 @ 03:22AM

After see this blog post i got lot of information about e mail marketing thank you so much share this blog post

97. Rasam Technology  |  my website   |   Tue Jul 31, 2018 @ 04:27AM

Rasam Technology is the best & affordable <a href="http://rasamtechnologies.com/
">Software Development Company in Mumbai</a> .Rasam Technlogy is the best automation software development company in India.

98. iMedia Solutions  |  my website   |   Wed Aug 08, 2018 @ 06:09AM

I clearly remember that last time when I visited your site I was so impressed and this time very very impressed, thanks for the good content.

Previous 1 2 Next
powered by Doodlekit™ Free Website Builder