CalReply Powers Rio 2016 Olympic Calendars for Network Seven in Australia

With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games set to begin on August 5th, Seven has partnered with CalReply to deliver a ground-breaking CalReply solution where all audiences can synchronize their digital calendars to the Australian Olympic schedule and receive reminders in their native calendars minutes before important live Rio events begin.

Given the time-zone differences between Australia and Brazil, staying on top of all the Olympic Games schedule is a challenge. By syncing to the “Olympics on 7” calendar, users will have key events added directly into their mobile and desktop calendars so they can be reminded when events air on live television.  With prime time events taking place across mornings Australian time, CalReply calendar reminders will play an essential part in driving audiences to view key events.

The calendar events have been curated by Seven’s Olympic editorial team to ensure Australian fans receive notifications for the events that matter, including: 

  • Opening and closing ceremonies
  • Australian Gold Medal and Gold Medal hopeful events
  • Australian team events such as Hockey, Rugby, Basketball, Rowing and Swimming and Cycling
  • Popular events such as major Track and Field events, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, 100m Sprint, Cycling and more 

To subscribe to the Olympics on 7 calendar, visit https://www.seven.com.au/rioreminders and click “Add to My Calendar”, or watch this short clip to see how it works:

Each calendar event reminder contains a short synopsis of the event, world record and Olympic record statistics. Calendars will automatically be updated if last minute schedule changes occur.

In addition to the calendar offering, for the first time ever, Seven will be streaming all free-to-air events via the New Olympics on 7 app and via www.seven.com.au/olympics.  Each calendar reminder will contain a link to stream the event live from their mobile device or desktop computer. 

“The CalReply platform is a breakthrough for sporting events such as the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. With over 3,000 hours of live programming and 190 countries participating, having key Australian events in their calendars is extremely convenient, and better yet, being able to stream the events in a single click from within your calendar, on any mobile device is the ultimate user experience for anysports fan” said Brad Lindenberg, CEO of CalReply.

Clive Dickens, Seven’s Chief Digital Officer, said: “Our Olympics on 7 strategy aims to ensure all our Rio live coverage is truly unmissable by turning every connected screen into a Television. Our new partnership with CalReply is a significant digital development for us and we are delighted to be working with them.”

Commenting, Kurt Burnette, Seven’s Event Director, Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, and Chief Revenue Officer, said:  “Our vision is for these to be the truly unmissable Olympic Games. The calendar alert is a simple and effective tool to help consumers never miss their favourite event no matter where they are . Our partnership with CalReply allows for the delivery of a simple real-time reminder to watch Olympic events wherever you are: Australians are the winners.”

Mediaset España Integrates CalReply with their Facebook Messenger Bot

Mediaset Spain is the largest television network in Spain with a collection of channels reaching viewers with a variety of interests, from sports to children’s shows and more. Futbol Mediaset, their football channel, has partnered with CalReply to promote the Euro 2016 schedule.

Futbol Mediaset used a combination of television, Twitter, Facebook and website integrations to promote their calendar during Euro 2016, however, we wanted to highlight their use of the Facebook Messenger Bot as a new and innovative way to drive subscriber growth.

Facebook Messenger Bot Integration

Mediaset extended their existing Facebook Messenger Bot to include a new keyword that would reply with a link to their Euro 2016 CalReply calendar page. When users send a message containing the word “Calendario” (Calendar), the Bot was configured to automatically reply with a calendar URL, allowing them to sync their mobile calendar to the Euro 2016 schedule in 2 clicks.

Video Demonstration  

Mediaset created a short video which they posted on Facebook that demonstrates to their followers how to request the calendar from the Facebook messenger bot. The Facebook bot proved to be twice as effective as other reply-based strategies. Watch the video below to see how it works:

 
 

Easily accessible by users

In order to sync to calendar, users send a Facebook message to Futbol Mediaset’s messenger account with the word “calendario”. Instantly, the user receives a reply containing the calendar URL where they can click “Add to Calendar” and the games will appear in their calendar for the remainder of the Euro 2016. All in a matter of seconds!

Many brands and companies have very large audiences that are loyal to Facebook, so using a messenger bot mechanic can provide you with an innovative and accessible way for fans to request a calendar sync. If you’re new to Facebook Messenger Bots, you can read about the API they have available here

Introducing CalReply Browser Notifications: A New Way to Re-Engage your Audience

Enable Real-time Notifications and Engage Audiences at Scale

CalReply is thrilled to roll-out Browser Notifications, enabling you to drive real-time engagement by sending notifications to your users, even when they're not on your website. Browser notifications are just like mobile push notifications but without the need to have an app installed to receive them. This makes them an incredibly powerful way to communicate with your audience as you can message your subscribers anytime, bypassing the oversaturated consumer inbox.

For example, you can use notifications to inform your subscribers about a TV show, a new YouTube video, a sale, a new blog post or even notify users who have abandoned their shopping carts about a deal to secure a sale.

You can also link your browser notifications to your existing CalReply calendar schedules so that scheduled events are pushed to your audience when they begin, or manually compose and trigger browser notifications from the CalReply dashboard, as seen below:

4 Benefits of Using Browser Notifications to Communicate with your Audience

There are many advantages to using browser notifications as a marketing channel, especially when compared to some of the more conventional methods like email and app notifications.

Here are some of the major benefits of using Browser notifications:

  • 10x More Effective Than Email - On average, Browser notifications are 10x more effective than email, with click-thru rates of up to 20%. Consumer inboxes are already saturated with marketing emails, most of which go directly to their spam or trash folder without ever being opened. Browser notifications are much less messy than emails, as they are quick to deal with and manage. They are simple, uncomplicated messages that provide only the essential information, making them user friendly and effective. 

 

  • Message your Audience in Real-Time - Bypass the inbox by delivering real-time notifications, even if users are not on your website. Unlike email and other marketing channels, Browser notifications can be pushed out to your audience instantly, making them perfect for communicating time-sensitive or urgent information like a last minute sale or update to an event. Users do not have to be on your website to get the notifications, ensuring that  they see the message every time, in real-time.  

 

  • 25% Opt-in rates - Opt-in rates for Browser notifications are around 25%, which is 5x higher than standard opt-in rates. For example, the majority of users who download an app do not opt-in to receive notifications during the on-boarding process and if they do, over 60% eventually opt-out. Opt-in rates for browser notifications are almost 5x higher and the opt-out rates are very low, ensuring that consumers who want your notifications will always receive them.

 

  • Build a Mobile Audience - Build a mobile audience that you can message without an app. The major advantage of Browser notifications is that a user only needs to opt-in once from your website, as opposed to having to download an app.  Downloading an app can be a huge barrier for consumers, especially if it is behind a paywall. Browser notifications enable you to message your audience on mobile anytime, without a paying for or downloading app. That’s powerful.

Browser notifications are an incredibly valuable marketing channel for brands that want to stay connected and relevant to their audience.  If you’re not already using browser notifications, you should be, and CalReply is just the tool to help you do it.

Introducing the “Thank You” Page to Cross-Promote the Calendars in Your Account

CalReply is thrilled to roll-out a new feature that facilitates the cross-promotion of calendars, encouraging users who just subscribed to one calendar to subscribe to other calendars in your account. The “Thank You” page appears after a user subscribes to provide confirmation that the subscription was successful, and to list other calendars in the account so that users can discover and subscribe to other content.

The best way to grow your subscribe base is to turn users who subscribed to one calendar into users who subscribe to multiple calendars. If the user has already taken the action to subscribe, it is clear that they interested in your content and are willing to add your schedules to their calendar. Why not offer them the ability to add other calendars that they might be interested in as well? This cross-promotion goes a long way in increasing engagement and growing the subscriber numbers in your account.

From a user perspective, this feature is incredibly convenient as it enables fans to not only subscribe to more calendars, but to discover new and upcoming content as well. For example, a user may land on the FOX calendar for the popular and long-running show New Girl and after subscribing, see the calendar for an upcoming premiere like “Coupled.” If the show looks like something they would would be interested in, they may add it to their calendar as well, even though it has not premiered yet. For TV networks, it is incredibly important to create awareness and generate buzz and excitement for all of your shows, especially ones with upcoming premieres. There is no better way to ensure that viewers know about your new shows than by adding the date and time directly into their personal calendar. It’s a win win situation.

So far, conversion rates on the “Thank You” pages across all CalReply accounts have been very high, indicating that there is high user engagement and strong demand for this type of cross-promotion. At CalReply, our goal is to continually improve the product and add new features that make your account more successful and the “Thank You” page is a great new addition that does just that.

Starbucks Chooses CalReply to Power the National Frappuccino Happy Hour Campaign

 
 

On May 3rd, Starbucks launched a national Frappuccino Happy Hour campaign that offers consumers half-off Frappuccino's everyday from May 3rd-15th between 3pm-5pm. Given the event based nature of this campaign, Starbucks turned to CalReply to hinge the entire marketing campaign around the “Add to Calendar” functionality, enabling consumers to set calendar reminders for when the happy hour begins, instead of relying on them to commit the dates to memory.

It’s no secret that traditional day/date/time marketing is both inefficient and ineffective, as consumers have busy lives and do not have the time to memorize arbitrary dates of sales and promotions. That’s why CalReply’s platform is so powerful for QSR’s and retailers like Starbucks, as it gives consumers the ability to add these promotions to their calendar so they can plan their day around these events, and be reminded in real-time when it begins. It’s a win-win situation for both the brand and the consumer. The Starbucks campaign has been seeing enormous engagement and high conversion rates, proving just how effective this “Add to Calendar” model can be at driving real-time engagement with a brand.

Promotion Strategy

Starbucks is sending all paid and organic traffic for this campaign to CalReply’s customized calendar landing page, as seen here:

Starbucks has taken a multi-faceted approach to promoting this campaign, utilizing their digital properties, social media pages and paid ads to generate subscribers, which is playing a key role in their success.

Website “Add to Calendar” Button

When a user lands on the Starbucks.com homepage, the first thing they see is a prominent feature about the Happy Hour campaign, with an “Add to Calendar” button as the call-to-action for participating in the event. When users click the button, they are redirected to the CalReply landing page, where they can subscribe.

Social Media Promotion

Starbucks is also leveraging their enormous social media following to drive engagement to the page, posting about it regularly from the official Starbucks and Frappuccino Twitter pages. See an example below:

Starbucks had also added the ability to set reminder from their posts on Tumblr, like the one below:

Paid Media

Starbucks is putting a large amount of paid media spend behind the campaign, running numerous banner ads across web and mobile properties. See an example below:

Starbucks Creatives | Moat.png

In-Store PROMOTION

The online campaign is working hand-in-hand with the in-store promotions for the Happy Hour, which Starbucks is advertising in their physical locations. They have placed numerous banners and stickers around their stores like the one below:

This integrated marketing strategy closes the loop between in-store and online promotions, as consumers may learn about the campaign in-store while grabbing their coffee and then click an ad to add it to their calendar to ensure they don’t forget. This is an extremely effective way of keeping consumers in-the-know about your brand’s offerings, as it gives them a tangible way to remember a promotion they may have seen or heard about in passing.

So far, the Starbucks Frappuccino Happy Hour campaign has been a smashing success, with thousands of consumers around the country signing up to receive reminders. The Starbucks campaign is proving that CalReply’s platform is the ideal solution for QSR and retailers that want to supercharge the effectiveness of their marketing and drive real-time engagement with their brand.

 

CalReply + TheSkimm Team Up To Future Proof Your Life With Skimm Ahead

On April 18th, popular daily newsletter publisher theSkimm launched their new calendar app,  Skimm Ahead, which is powered by CalReply’s dynamic calendaring technology. The app keeps consumers up-to-date with everything important going on in the world by syncing curated content and upcoming events right into their mobile calendar. This includes everything from political debates, to Netflix premiere dates, to Beyonce tickets going on sale - anything and everything that informed millennials want to know about to stay on top of pop culture and current events.

theSkimm approached CalReply to power the app by building an API that enables consumers to subscribe and unsubscribe directly from the app. By integrating with CalReply’s API, Skimm Ahead users are asked to subscribe during the app’s on-boarding process and all events are automatically synced into their calendar. theSkimm is using CalReply’s easy-to-use CMS to manage and publish curated content into subscriber calendars, allowing them to continually add new events and update events on the fly.

theSkimm is also using CalReply's paywall feature to ensure that the subscriptions are individually gated so that users can only subscribe after paying the $2.99/month subscription fee. The protected subscription also ensures that subscriptions cannot be shared between users, as each subscription requires a unique ID.

Since launch, the app has been met with an overwhelmingly positive reception from the both the media and public alike. The app is being hailed as an innovative and revolutionary new product in numerous publications including Vogue Magazine, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and Business Insider. Celebrities are also embracing the app and encouraging all of their fans on social media to download it, heightening the buzz and excitement around the new offering. See some examples below: 

Consumers who have downloaded the app are leaving positive reviews on the app store, saying things like “where has this been all my life?” and “simply amazing”.

Needless to say, CalReply’s partnership with theSkimm has already been a smashing success and the Skimm Ahead subscriber base continues to grow every day. Skimm Ahead is proving that CalReply’s model of delivering curated content through calendar alerts is incredibly valuable to publishers, offering a powerful new way to engage audiences.

FOX Partners with CalReply to Deliver Fans Calendar Reminders for their Full Season Line-­up

FOX has partnered with CalReply to enable viewers to set reminders for their full  lineup of over 15 shows and one-­off special events. Using CalReply’s technology, viewers can add the entire season of a FOX show to their mobile calendar and receive an alert to tune­-in 15 minutes before new episodes air. Fans also know exactly which channel to go to since every reminder includes channel ID, a CalReply feature that enables the channel number to come through with the reminder based on zip code and cable TV provider.  In less than a year, CalReply has sent over 7 million event reminders, proving TV viewers are eager for a solution that reminds them to tune-­in to their favorite shows.

 

FOX NOW Catch-­up Alerts with Deep Links to Stream

In addition to providing tune-­in reminders before new episodes, FOX has also introduced catch-­up alerts into subscriber calendars, which notify viewers when the full episode is available to watch online. Each reminder includes a deep link to stream the episode on the FOX NOW app, or a user can open the event to begin watching the episode instantly on whatever device they are on (mobile, tablet, or desktop).

Given that consumers are increasingly likely to consume content online as opposed to on television, providing links to watch the episodes in the FOX NOW app is extremely convenient and encourages fans to stay up-­to-­date, even if they missed the episode the night before. It also drives app engagement and downloads for fans who don’t already have the FOX NOW app installed.

PROMOTION STRATEGY

FOX has taken a comprehensive and multi­-faceted approach to promoting their calendars, which has played a crucial role in their success with CalReply. FOX is promoting their calendars across all marketing channels including digital, social media and YouTube, and has seen high engagement and conversion rates across all verticals.

DIGITAL INTEGRATIONS

FOX has placed “Remind Me to Watch” buttons on all of their website show pages, right under the date and time of each show. 

FOX has also included the “Remind Me to Watch” buttons on the schedule page of their website. 

The FOX website buttons are also optimized for mobile, allowing FOX to capitalize on the majority of CalReply’s traffic, which comes from mobile. Based on the subscriber analytics that come as part of the standard CalReply package, we can see that 47% of FOX’s subscribers subscribed via mobile (iOS). 

SOCIAL MEDIA

FOX has been regularly promoting their show calendars on their official social media pages, including Twitter and Facebook. Every post includes a “Set Reminder” or “Add to Calendar” call-­to­-action, an engaging image and a calendar URL that fans can click to  subscribe.

YouTube Annotations

FOX also used YouTube annotations to convert viewers into calendar subscribers from show trailers and clips on YouTube. For example, in the weeks leading up to the  premiere of the X­-Files reboot, FOX added a call-to-action on all official trailers that said  “Set a Reminder for the Premiere!”

This enabled fans to take an action and set a reminder right from the trailer, which was an ideal point of conversion. The analytics show that almost 60% of users who clicked on the YouTube annotation converted into calendar subscribers, which is an incredibly strong conversion rate.

What the fans are saying

Fan feedback for the FOX calendars has been overwhelmingly positive and many fans have taken to social media to express their gratitude for the ability to set reminders for their favorite shows. Fans have also used CalReply’s “share” functionality to share the calendar link on their own social media pages, encouraging their friends and family to download the calendars as well. Read some feedback below:

FOX has utilized all that CalReply’s technology has to offer, integrating it at every marketing touch point including digital, mobile and social media. Now, with over 7 million event reminders seeded into user calendars, FOX can ensure that viewers are tuning into their programming for every episode, every season, with just one click.