WaterBear inspires subscribers to take action with SAP Emarsys

How do you get subscribers to sign a petition after watching an impressive documentary? Or donate to a good cause, for example? Using SAP Emarsys, among others, WaterBear encourages inspired viewers to take action.

WaterBear is a streaming platform and publisher that brings together inspiration and action. It offers award-winning films in the fields of environment and humanitarian issues that you can stream for free anytime and on any device. In collaboration with hundreds of planet partners, both brands and NGOs, WaterBear produces original content that entertains people in an effortlessly simple way while encouraging action.

For example, the new original docufiction Matar shows the hostile conditions faced by asylum seekers and refugees in the United Kingdom. Inspired to act by the images? The streaming platform offers UK viewers the opportunity to write to their MPs against the proposed ‘Refugee Ban Bill’, which will make the lives of asylum seekers and refugees even harder, at the touch of a button.

Another example is the documentary SLAY, which raises the question of whether it is acceptable to kill animals for fashion. Through ‘Learn more’ the viewer learns even more about the subject that is central to the documentary. For example, information is shared about the alternatives available for leather and exotic hides. Because ‘we can’t do better until we know better’.


The step from inspiration to action is not easy, as WaterBear discovered quite quickly after the start of the streaming platform in December 2020. For each project there was a page with the film or documentary, a page with information about the project and a page with the possibilities to take action. The vast majority of subscribers only viewed the ‘main page’ with the video and did not access the other pages.

In 2022, WaterBear therefore decided to ‘re-platform’ both the front-end and the back-end. “To support a richer front-end, you also need a flexible and scalable back-end,” says Christina Hink, product manager at WaterBear. The re-platform led to the launch of ‘WaterBear 2.0’ in the spring of 2023.

“We wanted to bring the video and the action closer together, so that you can immediately see which actions you can take on the page where you can watch the video,” Hink looks back. “We also wanted to make the user experience better and more personal. We do this with, among other things, Single Sign-on, personal user profiles and personal recommendations based on the subscribers interest.”

Customer Engagement

The marketing platform – an important tool for increasing involvement in the streaming service – was also renewed. On the advice of partner Elision, WaterBear chose the SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement Platform. “From the very beginning, Elision has been our trusted partner, who continues to exceed our expectations. The same applies to the implementation of Emarsys,” says Hink.

According to Hink, SAP Emarsys is intuitive and easy to use. “It took our teams very little time to master the system. Moreover, it offers a lot of personalization options, a lot of data and a lot of insights. The progress of a campaign can be followed in detail and in real time via the dashboard. This makes SAP Emarsys a valuable addition to our company and to our customers.”

Artificial intelligence

WaterBear uses SAP Emarsys for trigger-based email campaigns, among other things; when sending emails based on subscriber actions. It is also used for sending personalized e-mails and collecting data. Hink: “We use the inbox to encourage our subscribers to take action and create more involvement with the platform and our partners’ projects.”

“We have now implemented SAP Emarsys in its simplest form and are expanding the possibilities for WaterBear step by step,” says Raymond van de Steeg, account manager at Elision. Among other things, the built-in artificial intelligence offers WaterBear opportunities. “Think about building automated campaigns using AI, or a recommendation system that learns from user behavior.”

Watch the video here!