Jonathan Barbato, senior director of strategic initiatives at Starz Encore, says that if he’s seen one theme running through the CTAM conference, it’s that the traditional marketing tactics of direct mail and cross-channel advertising “don’t work.” What does work, he says, is coupling those traditional methods with e-mail and unusual telephone campaigns, such as a recent “Customer Care” call campaign in which the company called customers and walked them through the steps needed to order on-demand movies. E-mail has also been successful for Starz, whether for tune-in e-mails highlighting a particular feature or for showcasing on-demand. “When you can show a movie clip fast-forwarding, it’s a clip that’s worth 1,000 words,” Barbato says. Working with e-mail marketing firm ColdSpark, which sends out rich media e-mails using Flash technology, Starz incorporated e-mail into its marketing campaign, showing people how to order Starz on Demand in simple steps. The e-mail was sent out in Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley, Calif. The upshot? Starz Superpak penetration rates over the monthlong campaign period jumped 47%, to 50% from 34%.

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