UNESCO & Email Marketing — A Positive Digital Marketing Case Study

Everybody’s heard of UNESCO. Yet not everybody knows just how much good this nonprofit does around the world. To clarify, UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It’s a specialized agency of the United Nations that contributes to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences, culture, and communication/information.

Currently, UNESCO has 193 member states and 11 associate members. Since the nonprofit has offices all over the world, they need to ensure consistency in global messages while also responding to the interests of local audiences. Given the scope of UNESCO’s mission, and its diverse audiences and programs, the organization’s Bangkok office was looking for a way to use digital marketing to engage constituents in Asia.

The marketing team at UNESCO’s Bangkok office set out to raise public awareness of its work in the region and its on-the-ground impact on the local population. To do this, they knew they needed a digital marketing solution that would help them engage a wide audience including Ministers of Education, Science and Culture, NGOs, the general public, policy makers, academics, partners, and stakeholders.

Since these diverse audiences have different interests and levels of knowledge about UNESCO’s work, it heightened the need to segment the subscriber base. This way, they can deliver tailored and relevant content based on the segment’s particular interests and needs, while also be consistent in the way they reinforce the global brand, policy programs and strategic messages. However, the language and depth of content used to engage these audiences varies.

After evaluating several types of digital marketing solutions, UNESCO focused its efforts on email marketing as the right digital marketing solution for its organization. As an effective low cost marketing channel with high ROI, it allows them to quickly reach a wide range of subscribers. It’s also easy to create, curate and distribute educational content including press releases, infographics, and informational videos.

In the search for an email service provider, they required eye-catching design, a simple to use distribution function, and the ability to easily segment audiences. Also, while email is their primary marketing channel, they wanted flexibility and the option to use a variety of marketing tools along with email to reach audiences through CRM and webinars. Like any information officer at a nonprofit today, UNESCO strives for an intended multiplier effect driven by subscribers sharing content through their own networks.

Therefore, to ensure a closed-loop approach to email marketing, UNESCO Bangkok uses marketing analytics provided throughout the digital marketing platform. This enables them to measure and consistently improve open rates and engagement.

Today, UNESCO’s — A Getresponse client — average open rate is 27.05 percent and the click through rate is 7.16 percent. These results are well above regional averages, which hover around 22.11 percent for open rates and 3.2 percent for click through rates. By regularly tracking results, they’re able to tweak content based on audience feedback.

UNESCO Bangkok now relies on email marketing as part of an integrated communications strategy because it offers efficient and effective distribution and enables them to keep their focus where it needs to be – developing content.

Contributed by: Kathy Keating, GetResponse