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LifeWay’s e-business recognized for online Bible study marketing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–LifeWay Christian Resources’ e-business department has been recognized by two marketing associations for creatively getting the word out about Beth Moore’s first online Bible study, “Believing God,” which drew 35,000 participants.

The e-business department utilized a strategy called viral marketing to promote Moore’s September 2002 study to an online audience of about 1.5 million, said Gary McClure, e-business marketing manager.

Viral marketing is a strategy by which consumers spread the word using e-mail about a product, service or website they’ve used. “It can be very effective because people enjoy telling others about good things they have experienced,” McClure said.

For its online campaign, “Send a Message of Faith Around the World,” LifeWay’s e-business department received the “Leader Award” in the “Interactive Media” category of the Direct Marketing Association’s 2003 International ECHO Awards competition Oct. 12 in Orlando, Fla.

The department won the “Outstanding Achievement in Internet Advertising” award in the category of “Best Non-Profit Interaction Application” for the same campaign during the Web Marketing Association’s 2003 Internet Advertising Competition in July.

“LifeWay employees actually had an important part in helping launch the Beth Moore campaign,” McClure said. “The promotion involved sending encouraging electronic postcards via e-mail. Our employees were the first to use the tool and provided terrific feedback before we sent postcards to millions of people literally all over the world.”

McClure acknowledged that his department was only one part of the massive cross-divisional effort to bring LifeWay’s first online Bible study to market. “We were just privileged to coordinate the online marketing aspect,” he said.

MarketingSherpa, a media company that publishes case studies, best practices and other data about marketing, advertising and media relations, highlighted the Beth Moore online campaign in a case study. The campaign was featured both on MarketingSherpa.com and in the company’s new e-book “Proven Tactics in Viral Marketing” available for download at www.amazon.com.

LifeWay’s e-business department works with many LifeWay departments on projects using technology to reach specific audiences, such as building websites for Vacation Bible School, search engine marketing capabilities for LifeWay conference centers and multi-faceted online promotions for new Broadman & Holman book releases.

“The e-business team has done a wonderful job helping us develop custom promotional websites for some of our lead books,” said Paul Mikos, trade marketing manager for B&H, LifeWay’s trade books division.

Michael Utley, marketing coordinator for e-business at LifeWay, accepted the department’s award during the Direct Marketing Association’s ceremony in Florida.

“I was proud to see LifeWay so prominently featured among hundreds of secular organizations from all over the world,” he said. “Perhaps we’ve made a lasting positive ministry impression.”

Beth Moore’s newest online study, “Living Beyond Yourself,” launched in September 2003. So far, nearly 9,000 women have signed up to take the 11-session study. For more information, visit www.lifeway.com/lby.

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