E-mail marketing case study: improving revenue with e-mail
Case: HealthConnect One
How Four e-mails Boosted End of Year Revenue for a Non Profit by 50%
How e-mail marketing can improve your business, product or service's success will very wildly depending on your marketing goals and the purpose of e-mail in your marketing mix. However, what cannot be debated is that e-mail marketing and e-mail communications to customers absolutely deliver results. To get you started thinking about some of the many ways that e-mail marketing and e-mail communications can make a difference for you, we've provided one of our compelling e-mail marketing case studies about how e-mail marketing delivered results for an organization.
e-mail Marketing Case Study
How four e-mails boosted end of year revenue for a non profit by 50%
The following e-mail marketing case study was originally published in the July 26, 2011 edition of Marketing Sherpa. We strongly recommend Marketing Sherpa for always ongoing, up-to-date information on the latest in e-mail marketing regulations, techniques and new developments, as well as frequent e-mail marketing case studies on successful campaigns.
For any nonprofit organization, December is an important month to generate donations. People are in a holiday spirit and, in the United States, the realization that a nonprofit donation can be a last-minute tax write-off. For HealthConnect One, which promotes the health of mothers, infants and families. December is a critical month for donations that will fund the nonprofit organization for the next year. While many nonprofits send postal mailings in December, HealthConnect One was worried that their postal mailing would get lost in the shuffle of holiday mail. So, in order to reinforce the message of the postal mailing, HealthConnect One began its first full-scale e-mail marketing.
In this case, HealthConnect One planned a four-part e-mail series. The e-mails would get sent throughout the month of December. The first part of the e-mail series would be designed to supplement the postal mailer, which included information, a call to make a donation and was personalized by using the recipient's name and home address in the upper left corner.
The corresponding e-mail campaign, however, had the flexibility to be more emotive, and the marketing team settled on the theme "Have You Ever Been a Baby?" to show that everybody had a way to related to the important work that HealthConnect One was doing. It was also a theme that the marketing team believed would stand out both from the nonprofit's industry group (often focusing on heart-wrenching personal stories) and the flood of consumer e-mail that is delivered to inboxes during December, the heaviest e-mail marketing month of the year.
The team focused on the following keys in developing the e-mail campaign:
Keeping It Simple
Each e-mail template was simple. A large header graphic with a logo, a single picture of a baby, a headline, three to four sentences of copy and a link to donate (the only link in the e-mail). There was also a "P.S." statement to keep the e-mail feeling personal.
The Four e-mails
The four e-mails that the team sent in this case used the following e-mail subject lines: "Have you ever been a baby?", "Over 143,000 babies were born in the U.S. since our last e-mail!", "We were all babies once!" and "Happy New Year from HC One!". Though each e-mail had completely unique copy within the body of the e-mail, the copy all highlighted the same four points: many thousands of babies are born in the US each year, not all babies have the support that they need, HealthConnect One helps provide support to families, and that donating to the organization would help those families and babies get the support that they need. The "PS" statement enforced that all donations would be matched.
The HealthConnect One team then "scrubbed" their e-mail list and determined which portion of their database was best to select to send the e-mail to. They then developed an e-mail landing page exclusive to the e-mail campaign that reinforced the message of the campaign and included easy ways to donate money to the organization. Finally, they discussed and planned the proper timing of the sending of the e-mails, working both to space the e-mails out over time as well as to avoid holiday "slow periods" when people are not necessarily checking their e-mail.
The results of this well thought-out e-mail showed not only in the key metrics used to determine e-mail success rates, open rate and click-through rate (CTR). They also showed in the overall revenue gained. All of the e-mails except for the e-mail sent on December 23 received an open rate of greater than twenty percent and a click through rate of greater than four percent. More importantly, HealthConnect One exceeded its goal of $15,000 in donations and generated fifty percent more revenue in their December campaign than they had the year before. The ability to communicate multiple times with unique, personalized content that told a story and made donating simple resulted in a comfortable and successful December donations campaign for HealthConnect One.