United Methodist Communications Awarded for Excellence in Marketing Optimization

September 19, 2008

User-Specific Content Provides Optimal Constituent Experience

WASHINGTON DC (UMCOM): United Methodist Communications has received a bronze award from Gartner & 1to1 Customer Awards for excellence in the use of marketing automation to enhance its constituent strategy. The awards were presented on September 8 in Washington, DC at the Gartner Customer Relationship Management Summit.
United Methodist Communications’ “I-Opt” project was recognized by Gartner, Inc. and 1to1 Media for delivering outstanding constituent experiences through marketing technology in their first joint customer awards.
Nashville-based United Methodist Communications is the global communications agency for The United Methodist Church. One of its functions is to provide marketing and communications resources, tip and tools for approximately 35,000 local churches.
“We strive to provide communication tools that effectively meet users' needs, and we are continually evaluating our products and services to see how we can integrate new technology to create a better experience for those we serve,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief agency executive.
“I-Opt” was developed in order to centralize all of United Methodist Communications’ marketing related e-mail communications, and to allow users to opt-in for topical areas that were relevant to their needs based on their job roles and interests. The effect was to provide relevant content for audiences and reduce unwanted e-mails to constituents. Most electronic marketing pieces are now created and delivered under a single brand through a new centralized system that provides tracking and analytics as well.
A part of the project was the development of an e-newsletter titled MyCom-Your Source for Communications Tips and Tools. Content is provided by all of the various teams within the organization around the pre-selected interest areas of the target audience. Articles are practical and tips oriented to ensure they are applicable and usable by the target audience. In its first six months, the number of subscribers has grown from 500 to 2,300, and high click-through rates indicate that readers’ needs are being met.
United Methodist Communications was also chosen to make a presentation about the project to attendees at the summit. 
The award winners are featured in the September/October 2008 issue of 1to1 Magazine, in a special issue of 1to1 Weekly and on both the Gartner Events and 1to1 Media web sites.