To promote its new range of Slow Cooker Recipe Bases, McCormick offered consumers a free cookbook. The problem? The cookbook was more popular than anticipated, costing heavily in printing, postage costs, overhead hours and the opportunity to gather useful marketing data was going to waste.

As McCormick’s website was designed in line with the US Parent Company’s corporate guidelines, any solution had to leave the site intact. This left no flexibility to streamline the despatch process or record consumer data, allowing potential marketing opportunities to go to waste.

Brand: McCormick Slow Cooker Sauces
Client: McCormick
Creative Agency: Hard Hat Digital


Operating within the restriction of leaving the website intact, the objectives were to:

  • Deliver a streamlined distribution process for the cookbooks, and
  • Use this distribution process to create a database of interested McCormick customers.


Digital agency Hard Hat created a solution: a nanosite, sitting within the parent site mirroring the corporate design guidelines, with all the latest CRM and database management technology.


The cookbook was translated into a PDF, allowing consumers to choose a digital copy, physical copy or both: using the digital copy as a stopgap until the physical book arrived.

The new distribution process replaced the previous system of individually collating emails requesting the cookbook. The nanosite now managed it automatically, sending the PDF, databasing the individual (if they opted-in), generating a report and address labels for the hard copies.


The results were:

  • Helped consumers find relevant information on slow cooking
  • Over 20,000 cookbooks downloaded and over 25,000 physical books mailed with a hard cost saving of at least $40,000
  • Hundreds of administrative hours saved
  • Grew the opt-in database by over 13,000 within the first four weeks of the campaign, and
  • Developed CRM opportunities with McCormick providing opted-in consumers with recipes and cooking hints and tips through a monthly email. Open and click-through rates were double the industry average.