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Building an Email Marketing System


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A case study about creating a successful e-newsletter campaign averaging between 40% - 50% open rates, using MailChimp.

Published in: Marketing
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Building an Email Marketing System

  1. 1. Building an Email Marketing System A Little Case Study Liam Dempsey @liamdempsey
  2. 2. Liam Dempsey Director + Designer at LBDesign Online marketing + design consultant @liamdempsey
  4. 4. %$@+! It’s a newsletter?
  5. 5. NEWSLETTERS Fun for about three months Then, it’s only pain, pain and more pain
  6. 6. There MUST Be A Way!
  7. 7. I really wanted a newsletter that … • Readers would find interesting and engaging • Would deliver value to readers • Would deliver value to me and my business • Would be manageable from a small business perspective • Would be fun to produce!
  8. 8. KEY DECISIONS To enable my newsletter to work for my readers … … and for me and my business
  9. 9. Focus on other people • A newsletter is an opportunity to network – let the newsletter connect others • Highlighting clients, partners, vendors, friends and even competitors • Generating promotional content about ourselves is tough
  10. 10. Keep it short. Keep it tight. • Two client-focused articles – highlighting their work • An “Introducing Our Friends” article – talking about partners, vendors and competitors • Each article no more than 100 words • Only a single image per article • Brief reviews (1-2 sentences) with links to 3 interesting articles
  11. 11. Distribution list: keep it relevant • Only chose people – not businesses – that I believed would be genuinely interested in receiving the newsletter • My entire personal + business contact list: 849 • Hand-selected 109 people for the list
  12. 12. Shipping schedule: keep it predictable • The last Friday of the month • Every month • Email ships at 6:30 am EST
  13. 13. Mailchimp is the tool of choice • Very easy to use • Powerful functionality with templates • Great (read simple) reporting tools • Cost effective
  14. 14. So, that’s nice. But, did it work?
  15. 15. SHOW ME THE MONEY!
  16. 16. Let’s get into The Wins
  17. 17. Counting the wins Open rates: 43% - 51.3% Compared to an industry-average open rate of 20.3%, according to Mailchimp.
  18. 18. Counting the wins Click rates: 3.5% - 11.5% Compared to an industry-average click rate of 2.9%, according to Mailchimp.
  19. 19. Counting the wins Loads of compliments Receive 1-3 complimentary replies to each and every newsletter. Replies via email, Twitter and in conversations.
  20. 20. Counting the wins Client interaction The chief executive of one of our non-profit clients asked to be introduced to the same of the non-profit organization featured in the newsletter.
  21. 21. Counting the wins A charitable donation One of our clients – the managing partner of a law firm – asked for donation information about a client charity featured in an issue.
  22. 22. Counting the wins Discovered a new partner One of our readers has become a valued business partner, providing services that complements our own offerings. We’ve already worked together on a number of projects.
  23. 23. Counting the wins Picked up a new client We were invited to deliver creative services to the client of a contact. We’ve since converted that contact’s client into one of our own – with the support of our contact.
  24. 24. Counting the wins Strengthened partnership After we featured a partner in our newsletter, we were invited to be featured on that partner’s website.
  25. 25. Counting the wins Recruitment tool We received an application for a recent job opening that came from someone who was forwarded our newsletter.
  26. 26. Counting the wins Growing distribution list Our list has grown by 22% in just 9 months. We’re up to 132 people. We add 1-3 per month, mostly by inviting clients, partners, vendors and friends to subscribe – if it would be of interest and value to them. We have a few unsolicited sign-ups.
  27. 27. Counting the wins Only 3 unsubscribes ever One of which was because someone on the list left the client company.
  28. 28. SHOW ME THE MONEY!
  29. 29. Counting the wins More than $5,000 in work We can draw a straight line from our newsletter to a full 40 hours of paid work, charged at our top hourly rate.
  30. 30. Counting the wins Pitching for a big project We’ve been asked to pitch for a $20,000 web project for a non-profit with an internationally recognized brand.
  31. 31. Counting the wins Flipping bigger projects We were asked by a client to consult on an on-going basis – 1 to 3 hours per month. Since featuring that client in our newsletter, we were handed a much bigger project.
  32. 32. Ok, I see the value. How much work does it take?
  34. 34. Let’s talk about The Costs
  35. 35. Counting the costs 2 to 4 hours per month From soup to nuts, it takes us two to four hours per month to produce and ship the newsletter.
  36. 36. Counting the costs Mailchimp is free For a distribution list of under 2,000 with a limit of 12,000 emails per month.
  37. 37. Counting the costs Newsletters as paid work Given the success we’ve had with our newsletter, we might be asked to offer such services to our clients.
  38. 38. That’s reasonable. What’s next for your newsletter?
  39. 39. WHERE YA GOING?
  40. 40. Taking next steps Changing delivery times Given the success we’ve had with our newsletter, we might be asked to offer such services to our clients.
  41. 41. Taking next steps Segmenting the list Given the success we’ve had with our newsletter, we might be asked to offer such services to our clients.
  42. 42. Thanks! Archive: Subscribe: @liamdempsey @lbdesign