How Earth Hour Uses Marketing Automation to Grow Its Worldwide Movement

What can turning off the lights for an hour teach you about amplifying your company’s brand and spreading its mission?

In this case study you’ll learn:

  • How Earth Hour utilized their existing contacts to acquire more contacts
  • How Earth Hour shared their content via different mediums post campaign send
  • How Earth Hour gained actionable insights based on their sending habits

Earth Hour began as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 to encourage people to turn off their lights for an hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. On Saturday, March 28th 2015 from 8:30pm to 9:30pm over 7,000 cities participated in the worldwide movement now under the umbrella of the World Wildlife Fund. This impressive growth was spurred by many factors ranging from celebrity involvement to viral marketing using YouTube.

The event has been growing steadily in size for nearly a decade. We’re left wondering: how can a business create this kind of viral growth? What specific strategies has Earth Hour used? In this case study, we’ll focus on how ActiveCampaign can be utilized to amplify your company’s brand and create viral growth.

Earth Hour used a variety of ActiveCampaign’s advanced features to drive its growth:

  • Automations based on form subscription source
  • Dynamic content & messaging
  • Sharing via social media
  • Sharing via campaign
  • Sharing of posters, tools, logos, and more.
  • Split Testing & Reports

Using ActiveCampaign to Expand the Movement

Defining its mission

Earth Hour has done a significant amount of marketing and brand building since its inception. Finding a message and goal that resonates globally (literally) is not for the faint of heart. They needed to distill their core purpose into a statement that could be shared and communicated easily from person to person. Hence, “I will if you will.” This core, simple message helped fuel the momentum and growth from one city to thousands. It’s a challenge that transcends borders, beliefs, and boardrooms.

To give an idea of the growth that Earth Hour has experienced since its first event in 2007, let’s take a look at it’s growth spectrum. Held in Sydney, Australia with approximately 2 million participants, the now global event has garnered corporate sponsorships, is now part of the WWF, and amassed just shy of 1M Facebook likes and 145K Twitter followers.

What aspects of the ActiveCampaign platform has Earth Hour used to build momentum for their movement and sustain this continual growth over time?

Dynamic content & messaging

Earth Hour must communicate to an incredibly diverse amount of potential stakeholders to make sure each year’s event goes off without a hitch. From corporate entities, to people just like you, communications must be tailored to the right audience for maximum impact.

Earth Hour deployed specialized opt-in forms for different areas of their website. Therefore, depending on what audience utilizes the form to opt-in, Earth Hour will be able to tailor their response accordingly.

This is done by creating an automation that, depending on the source of the submission, sends out targeted, pertinent communications for maximum effect. Automations can then be expanded with conditional logic to further push a new submission through a pre-built workflow. With numerous opt-in points, and easy to update automations, Earth Hour is able to provide timely, flexible followup communications to its ever-growing contacts.

Social & Collateral Sharing

Sharing is one of the most powerful tools any organization can incorporate into their strategy. When supporters are asked to share they are putting their stamp of approval on the organization and its initiatives. Word of mouth is a potent force that can easily create fantastic results when properly supported with traditional marketing.

Earth Hour wanted to enable the sharing of two distinct aspects of the movement. First, they wanted to motivate people to pass information to friends and family, and then second the distribution of logos, posters, and other media assets.

ActiveCampaign can assist with this in two ways. First, by encouraging supporters to forward campaigns and social media posts to their friends with an automation that helps facilitate Facebook shares, or by utilizing social blocks in the bottom of one’s campaign.

Second, integrations such as Dropbox allow one to send files through their campaigns. Facilitating the distribution of Earth Hour’s logos, posters, and other marketing materials was crucial to maintaining constant, sustained growth each year. By sending their starter kit resources by email, they were able to deliver these resources and people were able to use them to spread the word.

This is an example of the resources Earth Hour sent to help people advertise their initiative:

These two powerful strategies, encouraging sharing and providing shareable resources, though simple to set up, created a viral effect. People were sharing the message and sharing information about the cause. Each new person that was introduced to Earth Hour was given the same impactful messages and the growth snowballed.

Data Driving Decisions

ActiveCampaign’s reporting feature was utilized by Earth Hour to make key decisions.

From A/B split testing campaigns, to the identification of top contacts to deep analytics, Earth Hour utilizes numerous aspects of the ActiveCampaign platform to highlight key pieces of data that are crucial to the improvement of their marketing.

By identifying their highly engaged contacts, Earth Hour is able to identify what they refer to as “Earth Hour Champions,” who are heavily involved in maintaining the momentum outside of the “hour.”

Utilizing the analytics provided by Reports, Earth Hour is able to see what messaging and information is resonating with their participants so that their community gets the most relevant and inspiring stories.

The Results

ActiveCampaign has the powerful features a small team needs to create and sustain continual growth. By harnessing a captivating concept and utilizing email marketing to amplify that message, Earth Hour has grown from a local event to a global movement inspiring change and awareness.

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