Keeping Users Engaged With Unique Original Content - Altos Case Study

by GCN Editor
One of the major challenges for any nonprofit is getting potential audiences engaged with their organization—but even harder than that is keeping them engaged later on down the road. Once a donor, volunteer, or neighbour has made that connection, it’s critical to keep them informed and engaged.

With the right content, marketers can help nonprofits do just that.
 
In our work with the Epilepsy New England Donation Center we found that by providing regular, unique, and refreshingly relevant content to users already connected to the brand, we could help bring users back into the fold of regular engagement. And, by adjusting our content distribution strategy to best meet user patterns, we’ve been able to keep them engaged at higher and higher levels, driving real results for the organization.
 
What We Did
One of the greatest assets that the client brought to the table when we started working together was a massive existing email list, containing just about every donor they’d worked with in the past few years. But much of this extensive list was underutilized, and engagement rates with their email strategy was low.

We saw an opportunity, and crafted a robust email content strategy to not only delight that audience, but to bring them back into regular
engagement - all while continuing to bring new users into the funnel. And because we also manage the client’s social media channels, we took many of the lessons and successes we’d learned from those channels and put them to use in email to great effect.
 
Why We Did It
Working with the client, we recognized the power of their existing email audience to not only build brand visibility, but also to drive real actions that would benefit the donation pipeline. We determined that engaging these users would drive the best results for the brand in terms of both driving up donations and increasing visibility, and the results have proven to net out exactly that.
 
How We Did It
We saw in the client’s large email a list a huge opportunity to engage a broad audience. But a relatively stagnant email strategy had built up a bit of brand blindness in those users, and we identified a need for fresh, unique, and even surprising content to “wake up” that existing audience.

We crafted a unique email strategy based on the concept of “microblogging”—making each email its own, unique, and insightful piece of content available only to those on the email list. Using the lessons we learned about what content had previously succeeded on social media, we crafted an email content strategy designed to offer real, useful advice that users would actually want to engage with - and that they did.

We also identified a key missing link in the client’s email distribution strategy: giving up on gaining engagement after the first initial send. Not all users are on email right when it is sent and, thus, do not click or engage—but that doesn’t mean they’re not interested, By identifying the best and most active times, and the re-sending emails to audience members who did not engage the first time, we have been able to significantly increase engagement rates with emails.
 
Where We Did It
We recognized the most opportunity for audience engagement on the client’s most established audience channels: social media (especially Facebook) and email. Here, we could guarantee with relative certainty that all audience members had at least some prior engagement with the brand, making it that much more sensible to try and appeal directly to the very reasons they first connected with the brand in the first place.

What Happened
By combining Shea’s content expertise with our expertise in putting in front of the right eyes, we’ve helped to push Shea as an industry leader with a niche content focus in an emerging format, connecting the brand with the industry to establish a firm spot as trailblazers.
Open rate increased to 34.55% (Industry average: 20%), CTR increased to 9.85% (Industry average: 2.8%) and Unsubscribe Rate dropped drastically. 

Credits: Altos Agency