What were the results of the project?
One of the strengths in working with Excela is that they're willing to think outside the box and help me through that analysis stage. I tend to look at business unconventionally, and they're willing to follow me on these flights of fancy, whether it's in the formation of a campaign or coming up with hypotheses about why things work, and then testing whether those hypotheses were correct.
Do you have any statistics or metrics on the project?
Most of that is fairly privileged, and I can't share a lot. I will say that in some of the more recent email marketing campaigns, now that we have built up a sizable audience, we're starting to really engage in some deep, direct response complains. We're seeing some conversion rates in those direct campaigns that are much higher than what I'm used to. A recent campaign, where we created a sales message that was in response to a rain check from six months before, we saw more than a 50 percent open rate and click-through the campaign page, which I've never seen before. That was phenomenal.
Is there anything unique or special about Excela Creative that really makes them stand out?
They are closer to the work – nothing is outsourced. They don't use a team of contractors. For the most part, everyone is an in-house resource. There's very few new hands on deck, so you should expect to have a fairly seasoned crew working with you. Excela Creative has the ability and willingness to try new things, to stay on top of this very fast-moving social media world, where the rules get rewritten constantly. We are in the middle of a huge shift away from traditional distribution platforms, and in favor of influencers and taste makers. I think they are looking at that very closely, and constantly trying new things, rather than productizing, packaging up something that worked for a client three to five years ago, and just reselling that cookie-cutter style repeatedly.
Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or something that you might do differently?
Resources are always a challenge because they are a bit of a small, nimble staff. I would like to have limitless art resources, technical resources. I think what they could improve on is really just the ability to staff more weekend hours, longer hours, and things like that.
What advice would you give a future client of theirs?
I don't think this is respective to Excela, but you always get out of it what you bring to it. Although they are more than capable and happy to brainstorm with you, and bring ideas to you that refine what you already had, or take it in directions you weren't expecting, I think every client really needs to sit down and formulate a realistic plan for how they're going to achieve their goals. The more you can solidify and codify that, and make it real prior to sitting down, you're gain that in multiples when you actually go into design, production, and execution.