Delivering 70% response rates through SMS for Source PR’s client


The British Pipeline Agency (BPA) operates and manages underground oil, chemical and gas pipelines on behalf of its clients, who are some of the world’s leading petrochemical companies. In the UK, the company is responsible for more than 1000km of pipelines and each year contacts the landowners who have pipelines under their land to remind them of the best practice to follow if working in the vicinity of the pipelines as well as the safety procedures to follow in the event of an emergency.

Campaign overview

To improve the responses, they received from their ‘Know What’s Below’ campaign that targeted the 2000 landowners on their database, BPA appointed Source PR to help with its communications. Historically, BPA had achieved a response rate of around 40% to its traditional letter and so was looking to explore other opportunities to achieve greater engagement.

Having had exposure to the effectiveness of SMS campaigns, Source PR put forward the idea to specifically, target 400 of the landowners BPA had historically not received any communication from with a targeted SMS message. It was important that costs were also kept low as attempts had already been made to contact the landowners through a traditional letter and accompanying map.

To make the response as easy as possible for the landowners, a campaign was set up to prompt them to respond to the letter that had previously been sent or to simply reply to the text informing BPA as to whether the contact detail on the system were ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’.

With the SMS responses included, the ‘Know What’s Below campaign achieved a response rate of more than 70%, which led BPA to roll out a broader SMS campaign in 2019. Here they will test sending personalised SMS to their 2000 database with links to a website where landowners are able to review and update their details all via their smartphones

Campaign results

Louis Hill, Director at Source PR comments; “It was important also for us to try a different approach to contacting the landowners where more traditional means had failed. We were aware of the effectiveness of SMS campaigns and keen to keep costs low while we trialled it with this hard to reach sample. The campaign was quick and easy to set up with the team at Textlocal on hand to help guide us through the process.”

The responses to the SMS was almost instantaneous. Within a few hours Source PR had received more than fifty direct messages from landowners and within a week they had secured a response rate of more than 30% from landowners who had not previously responded to communications from the business.