Newsletter of the Future


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Learn the latest trends in association newsletters and how ASAE and NJSCPA are taking advantage of marketing automation via transactional messaging platforms.

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  • The New Jersey Society of CPAs is an individual member association with 15,000 members – consisting of CPAs, CPA candidates and college accounting students.

    We send approximately 1,800,000 email messages per year – which averages 120 messages per member per year = 10 messages per month = approx. one email every other work day. Way too much!!

    We also have too many email vehicles: Six email newsletters – two for all members and four for specific segments of members. In addition, we sent dozens of stand-alone emails per month to promote our events and services.

    With one exception, the emails were not responsively designed, leaving our mobile users with a less-than-desirable experience. Plus, we went through a rebranding last year, and the emails have not been updated to reflect that branding.
  • The desired solution was to consolidate several of the e-newsletters into a new, responsively designed, customizable publication. We didn’t know how we were going to pull it off until we saw a presentation by HighRoad last fall where they discussed a customized e-newsletter they were working on for ASAE. We knew we needed to be the next customer in line!
  • We identified three e-newsletters that could be eliminated, and instead that content could be included in a new, customized publication.

    E-NEWS was our all-member, bi-weekly e-newsletter that contained professional news, Society news and job postings.

    E-YoungCPA was a monthly e-newsletter for those age 35 and under containing career guidance, work/life balance tips and networking events.

    Tomorrow’s CPA was a monthly e-newsletter for student members and nonmember accounting students containing CPA Exam guidance, scholarship information and helpful articles.

    Every young CPA member received E-NEWS and E-YoungCPA. Every student member received E-NEWS and Tomorrow’s CPA. We knew we could do a better job of delivering all of this content to them in one package.

  • Here’s a quick visual of these three publications.
  • We kicked off the process with HighRoad in December. We concurrently worked on:

    The design. Our brand team had developed a design template which HighRoad converted to responsive HTML.
    The taxonomy. We had to develop a tagging system to identify which recipients should receive each content item. Categories of our taxonomy include:
    Member type
    Member segment
    Areas of Interest

    We then had to develop a content repository:
    For news items, we used our CMS, Sitefinity. We are able to enter each piece of content and tag it for the location in the newsletter as well as the audiences who should receive it.
    Our events are already in our AMS, Aptify, so we developed a process to deliver those events to HighRoad for inclusion in the newsletter.
    We developed a simple section in Aptify to house our job postings (via a third-party site) for inclusion in the newsletter.
    And we used Sitefinity to enter the banner ads that are to appear in each issue – along with their location within the issue.

    The next step in the process was to work out all the kinks with sharing the Sitefinity and Aptify data with HighRoad.

    Lastly, we had to come up with a name for this new publication. Those of you who have gone through a naming process with a publication or program can probably sympathize with the arduous process we went through. But we ultimately landed on a name we love: NJCPA Pulse.

  • We launched Pulse on May 8. It was sent to 15,200 people. The open rate of 23% is a little below what E-NEWS used to get. However, because it is a new publication, we did run into some blocking issues with members’ spam filters. Now that we’ve worked those issues out, we expect the next issue on May 22 to have a higher deliverability and open rate.

    We all know that members don’t rush out to compliment you on a program or service, so I was not expecting that. I consider the launch a success because we didn’t receive any complaints!

    We are super happy with the flexible platform we worked with HighRoad to develop. We are able to deliver customized content to each member, and we can even tailor how we present something based on member criteria. For instance, we can promote our annual convention to members in public practice one way and to young professionals another way.

    We also look forward to Pulse being a recruitment tool. E-NEWS was a members-only publication. But Pulse is open for anyone to subscribe to. We will be adjusting our member recruitment efforts to be a softer sell. Instead of immediately asking them to join the association, we’re going to invite them to subscribe to Pulse. We can then include recruitment messaging in Pulse, targeted specifically at nonmember CPAs.

    So, want to see what it looks like?
  • (Jump out to the full samples of the publication)

    The first section, Featured News, is for the most important professional news and information.
    The second section, Society News, is for NJSCPA programs and services.
    Next we have a banner ad spot.
    Then there’s More News. These for additional items that didn’t make the cut for the Featured News or Society News sections.
    After that is the Events section, followed by Talk – a section that we use to highlight social media content, conversations from our online community, live chat Q&As, etc.
    And last is the Jobs section. This is the only section that is not customized, since we have no way of knowing which members are looking for a job and what type of job they are seeking. So everyone gets the 8 most recently posted jobs.
  • Newsletter of the Future

    1. 1. Newsletter of the Future Wednesday, July 9th 12:00pm – 12:45pm EDT #asaewebinar This complimentary webinar is brought to you by HighRoad Solutions and ASAE-Endorsed Business Solutions. Presented by: Suzanne Carawan Marketing, HighRoad Solution
    2. 2. Your Presenter: 2 Suzanne has been an ASAE member for many moons. Always working in high-tech marketing, Suzanne strives to “humanize” tech through focusing on user adoption and demand creation. A product and brand marketer by thought, word & deed, Suzanne has worked on many well- known brands within the association community including Advanced Solution International, Higher Logic, Intuitive Business Concepts, Reed Exhibitions, etouches and (C) Systems Global. She is a frequent industry speaker on the topics of brand, lead generation & digital marketing. She has spearheaded too many integrated marketing campaigns to count & loves HighRoad because they make email marketing & webinars easy. Suzanne Carawan Marketing
    3. 3. • Captain Caveman Approach • Intro to Automation • Leveraging Your People Data • Designing & Delivering for the User Today’s Content 3
    4. 4. Email Approach Circa 20th & 21st Century:
    5. 5. Current Challenges • Too many emails • Too much pressure to sell • Same look & feel • Too much time: – Cutting & pasting – Formatting – Scheduling & discussing
    6. 6. What We’re Not Doing • Testing • Being Creative • Triggered Campaigns • Being Strategic • Using What We’ve Got • Reallocating Time for All of the Above!
    7. 7. New Method for 2014: • CIA Method: – Consolidate – Integrate – Automate (Tracking is inherent in the name!)
    8. 8. Time Out for Theory Stop Pushing Buttons. Push the Right Buttons.
    9. 9. Tripod Principles of Modern Marketing • Multi-channel • Multi-touchpoint • User-centric Requires: • Time • Creativity • Subject-Matter Expertise • Download:
    10. 10. Integration & Automation -Private social -Public social media channels (Pinterest, Fb, Twitter…) -Publication sites -Other databases -PR databases -Blogs
    11. 11. Needed Elements
    12. 12. Element #1: Preference Centers • Language Preferences • Sending Time Preferences • Time Zone Preferences • Zip Code Location • Screen/Device-Independence
    13. 13. Element #1: Preference Centers • Moving into using individual-level specific data for targeting & automated delivery • Using multiple source systems for content • Using established tagging systems across content • User-dictated preference levels & selections • No staff involvement in production, distribution or delivery
    14. 14. Element #1: Preference Centers Utilizing Taxonomies (Tagging)
    15. 15. Element #2: Responsive Design
    16. 16. Element #3: Hyper-Personalization
    17. 17. Element #4: Educational Sales
    18. 18. Element #5: Integrated Systems (CMS)
    19. 19. Element #6: Transactional Platform
    20. 20. Element #6: Transactional Platform • Different network send structure • Email newsletters dynamically compiled for each individual at time of send based on preferences, smarty tags, etc. • Can’t preview as a test • Fully automated and scheduled based on user’s input
    21. 21. Newsletter of Today
    22. 22. Member 1
    23. 23. Member 1
    24. 24. Member 2
    25. 25. Member 2
    26. 26. Responsive
    27. 27. Responsive
    28. 28. Email Analytics
    29. 29. New Jersey Society of CPAs
    30. 30. The Problem • 15,000 individual members • 1,800,000 emails per year • 6 e-newsletters; dozens of stand-alone emails • Emails were not responsive • No brand continuity • TOO MANY EMAILS!
    31. 31. The Solution • Rebrand • Consolidate several e-newsletters • Deliver customized content in a single e-newsletter based on each member’s demographics and interests
    32. 32. On the Chopping Block • E-NEWS – bi-weekly e-newsletter for all members • E-YoungCPA – monthly e-newsletter for members and subscribers age 35 and under • Tomorrow’s CPA – monthly e-newsletter for student members and nonmember accounting students
    33. 33. The Process • Design • Taxonomy • Content repository – Sitefinity, Aptify • Data sharing • Naming the publication
    34. 34. The Result • Launched May 8 • Sent to 15,200 people – 23% open rate. No complaints! • Flexible platform • Tons of time savings! • More revenue because of targeting • Dual purpose – Recruitment tool
    35. 35. NJSCPA Pulse
    36. 36. • Move towards automation • Leverage AMS and CMS data • Use transactional messaging • Save time & get your life back! Summary
    37. 37. Questions? 3939 Suzanne Carawan Marketing
    38. 38. 40 Thank you! Other questions for Jenny? Contact ASAE Business Services, Inc. Email: Call 202.626.2880 Tweet us at #asaewebinar