Email Marketing Strategy

  • A master list with well-defined groups eliminates duplicate subscribers and allows better tracking of campaign results and subscriber engagement

The Challenge

A large, nonprofit was using MailChimp as their Email Service Provider (ESP) but they had no agency-wide email marketing strategy. They were concerned that their account would be canceled for not adhering to list management protocols.

They had multiple users across various departments with varying levels of training on how to build and manage their lists. Some users imported emails into fresh lists for each campaign. Others manually added users to “their” departmental list. Still others added subscribers into a separate departmental list utilizing groups based on that department’s needs.

The account grew to house over 50 lists with approximately 15,000 subscribers nearly a third of which were duplicates.

This resulted in an inability to track metrics such as open and click rates. Additionally, since the subscription rate for the account is based on the number of subscribers, and they had so many duplicates, they were overpaying each month.

They were – rightly – concerned about the status of the account since managing the lists in this manner made it virtually impossible to respect opt-outs.

Project Scope

Westchester Marketing Cafe LLC was tasked with;

  • Interviewing staff to suss out the needs of various departments, specifically,
    • how they communicated with their constituencies, and
    • how they added new subscribers;
  • Developing an agency-wide list development strategy;
  • Scrubbing the existing lists to eliminate duplicates; and
  • Training 20 staff members on best practices for list & campaign management and how to use MailChimp.

The Result

After speaking with staff members across all 5 departments we were able to outline a detailed list management strategy for the agency.  We boiled down the number of lists to two with eight segments between them. The segments were closely aligned with the departments’ needs and those of their constituents. After scrubbing the old lists we were able to remove over 5000 duplicate email addresses and cut account fees by 50%.

By providing onsite training for staff we were able to increase their overall comfort level in using MailChimp and managing their subscribers using industry best-practices.

In designing a single template for the agency we were able to improve their brand presence and create a consistent look and feel across departments.


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