Second City drives $14 million to pipeline in 6 months

Sojourn helped us strategize, build and launch a rather complex campaign series that’s resulted in significant pipeline impact and revenue results, plus a 2017 Markie Finalist Award. Their expertise in Eloqua accelerated our launch timeline, getting our messaging into market quickly and efficiently, generating ROI within 2 months.

Marilyn Cox, Vice President of Marketing and CRM


Second City Works (SCW) is the B2B side of The Second City, the world’s leading comedy theater and school of improvisation. Working in over 600 organizations each year, SCW uses improvisation and comedy to elevate messages so that they are heard, helping engage their workforce to win over customers.


SCW wanted to launch a new program into the market focused on Diversity and Inclusion. The aim was to surface topics around diversity and educate the workforce on the elements of a diverse ensemble, as well as offer practical skill building to promote inclusion. Previously the promotion mindset had been to send batch and blast emails, but SCW knew that this wasn’t going to give them the results they needed. Ultimately they needed to create an ongoing dialogue with their prospects and customers to educate and inform them over a period of time.

They had to think of it as a longer-term campaign rather than a simple one-off sales email. The ‘Got Your Back’ Diversity and Inclusion Campaign was born.

Answer: Personalized, dynamic nurture campaign using A/B testing


The ‘Got Your Back’ Campaign was a progressive dialogue of 8 different email communications that educated the audience on diversity and inclusion. SCW started the campaign with 3,426 email-able contacts. Prospects entered the campaign via segments based on a number of criteria such as: digital body language due to activity on tagged Diversity and Inclusion web pages, opt-in via their email subscription center, and opt-in by the sales team via an opt-in picklist found on the contact record in SFDC.

SCW A/B tested subject line impact on open rates for emails 1, 3, and 5. For emails 2, 4, and 6 they tested CTA impact on click-throughs. They tested 20% of the distribution list and then sent the successful subject line/offer piece to the remaining 80%.

The whole process from start to finish took less than 10 weeks. The campaign brief which was used to create and verify the strategy and messaging took 4 weeks. Then by using content marketing best practice and reusing a lot of content that had only been used once before, we built out the 8 campaign elements in less than a week.

This saved a lot of time and energy as did the ability to opt-in contacts directly from the contact record in SFDC. The task to create a verified list from the 3,426 email addresses only took a week. Eloqua build, SDFC coding and all the testing was completed in 4 weeks.

Sojourn Solutions helped SCW to whiteboard and then build the campaign in Eloqua. We also helped SCW define and build the feeder for the campaign including creating the opt-in process in SFDC for their Sales people to opt contacts into the campaign from within SFDC.


This campaign has been heralded as a great success for SCW. Not only was it delivered quickly and efficiently but it generated real ROI within 2 months of launch. To date, the campaign has resulted in:

  • 37 direct opportunities
  • $304K pipeline and $104k revenue
  • Average lead to closed revenue cycle < 40 days
  • 2017 Markie Finalist for ‘Best Emerging Company Marketing Campaign’

What’s more, the campaign built for this initiative has acted as a baseline for 14 other lead generation campaigns. Following this same template, they have resulted in over $14 million in pipeline and $2 million in recognized revenue, all within 6 months.


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