Best use of FastStats® 2016 Award Finalist

Adapting email content based on individual favourites, viewed formats, usage time, viewing duration and devices used

Company overview

RTL interactive pools Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland’s digital, interactive and transaction-based lines of business, beyond traditional, ad-financed free TV. The company develops innovative topics, products and platforms that are attractive both for the public and for advertisers. The company includes the Online/Mobile/Teletext / IPTV, Media Services (value-added telephone services) and Licensing businesses. RTL interactive also includes the subsidiaries Smart Shopping and Saving and Econa Shopping GmbH. 

artegic AG

RTL interactive license FastStats via their chosen Apteco approved reseller in Germany - artegic AG.


The TV NOW video-on-demand service by RTL interactive launched a new offer in the beginning of 2016. With the launch of TV NOW PLUS, RTL interactive merged their six program specific platforms with various payment models into one comprehensive platform with a single payment model.Via the TV NOW portal and app, subscribers have access to a broad variety of broadcast formats of the Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland's TV channels. TV NOW Plus customers experience the offer in high quality, as well as with exclusive previews of popular series such as "Gute Zeiten schlechte Zeiten" or "Alles was zählt".

The most successful email achieved an open rate of 46.6%, a click rate of 8.8% and a conversion rate of 2%.


Prior to the launch of TV NOW, RTL interactive offered different interactive video portals and subscription models for individual channels and even individual formats. The target was to migrate all subscribers of the former product to these offers to the new portal via a launch campaign, i.e. to persuade them to subscribe to TV NOW. Furthermore, the contacts from the former products of the Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, e.g. newsletter recipients, were also to be persuaded to subscribe to TV NOW Plus. The data and learnings from the launch campaign were to be integrated in the regular communication with TV NOW users.


For the migration of existing subscribers and acquisition of new subscribers, as well as the generation of learnings for the regular communication, a six-level, multi-variate email marketing campaign was designed. In the context of this campaign, the following email parameters were to be tested and optimised: communicative approach (e.g. promotional, personal, service-orientated, etc.), salutation (formal vs informal), colour of call-to-action buttons, action prompts in the subject line (please open, icons, customer information, personalisation, etc.), benefits of the subscription (image quality, variety, flat rate, mobile access, etc.) and design (image motives, HTML or text, etc.). With this multitude of factors, factor characteristics and thus different email variants, the challenge consisted in identifying the truly decision-relevant criteria for a successful mailing, not only on the total distribution level but also for individual target groups. Furthermore, the processes involved had to be automated so that the expense of the campaign could be reduced to an economically justifiable extent.

Another challenge came from the complexity of the target groups. Not only subscribers of the former product and non-subscribers had to be distinguished, but the existing subscribers also had to be segregated according to type and state of the existing subscriptions. Independent from the existing portal or format subscription or the remaining term of the existing subscription, the target groups were to be addressed differently. Another consideration to bear in mind, was whether the contact had installed an RTL app since app users were to be contacted via app push notification in addition to the email marketing campaign. In order to individually address these target groups, a complex target group selection was generated in FastStats.

To further refine the addressing, in addition to the target group selection and the multi-variate testing, all available user data from portals was to be included. This means, customer profiles include which formats the customer viewed how often, which he has selected as favourites or created in his playlist, at what time during the day he used the offers, for how long he viewed a format, etc. This enabled RTL interactive to create very complex selections according to the principle "Which person has viewed which format for how long?". These selections were used, e.g. to tailor the email content to the customer's favourite formats so that, for example, every customer can view the trailer of his favourite format.

Mostly viewed formats


For the technical basis of the communication, a customer-centred 360° database was established where data from customer profiles, subscriptions and the video usage behaviour of customers was merged, as well as a marketing automation which output individualised communication based on this data. The solution is technically based on a FastStats data warehouse application which is integrated seamlessly with artegic's ELAINE Marketing Automation. ELAINE has been used by RTL interactive for a while now. Through the integration, RTL interactive can transfer behaviour and profile-based findings directly in the automated campaigns via email and mobile push.

The launch campaign ran between 07 March and 22 April 2016 in six levels as previously mentioned. On each level, different parameters were tested. The segmentation according to existing subscription model as well as individualisation according to behavioural data was applied on each level. On the first level, different subject lines, individualisation in email content as well as call-to-action variants were tested. In total, 48 different variants were sent on the first level.

All contacts who did not migrate during the first level, were re-targeted after one week with the second level. The findings from the first level were applied, e.g. that formulations regarding the user's account work much better than promotional formulations in all target groups. With each wave, other factors and combinations were tested (see different graphic variants in screenshots), through the whole campaign over 150 variants. The communication could then successively be optimised. The mechanics used as well as the findings obtained were not only applied in the context of the launch campaign but directly in the regular communication with TV NOW subscribers.


Throughout all levels, 72% of existing subscribers and 5% of non-subscribers could be converted. In total 222% of the total stock of customers at the time of the campaign end have been acquired. On average, a result uplift of 322% could be achieved through the multi-variate testing. The most successful email achieved an open rate of 46.6%, a click rate of 8.8% and a conversion rate of 2%.

Three Best Mails