A major goal for VigLink’s marketing team in 2015 was to start a blog recap email that went out every two weeks. With an increased focus on content and best practice sharing, this email is meant to recap the most popular stories each week while only very occasionally showcasing our product offering. The focus was on having the most interesting, on-brand, readable and (at times) fun content possible.
As our VP of Marketing Teryle Macdonald said, “VigLink loves all types of content and we work with publishers everyday who produce amazing content. We felt it was important to be a part of our own community by writing on our blog. Once we had great pieces on our blog, we wanted to make a point of sharing it alongside our own data and thought starters.” When asked why she pushed for our summary email to come together, Senior Marketing Manager Marianne Lontoc added, “we want our blog to be a go-to resource for our publishers. A ‘one-stop-shop’ where they can easily find best practices, data/insights, and actionable tips with the end goal of making our valuable partners more money in the long run. Putting the highlights of what we write into an easily consumed email made a lot of sense as a payoff.”
Email lists are more than just another opportunity to show off your content: emails are a way of reminding your community of things they might have missed but want to read, sharing partnerships and other news, and, of course, getting more links clicked.
We realized we would only be able to start our email after several other items were taken care of, namely:
- we created the amount of content necessary to support sending out fresh, top of mind content every other week
- we felt like our audience was big enough/would appreciate hearing from us on a frequent basis
- we consistently aggregated interesting information from other companies, blogs, marketers and experts in our space
- we had a deeper, optimized understanding of our email marketing provider
- we were able to create specific design assets, sign-up flows and a robust set of standards around making our blog more public
Once we had checked those boxes, we were ready to start sending our emails. We use Pardot’s automation system (part of the Salesforce suite of products) and have been impressed by the templating, testing and tracking capabilities therein. While we use the system mostly for sales, our blog recap emails also live on this platform and we’ve been excited to see some pretty quick subscriber growth alongside high open rates.
We’ve also learned a lot. We test two different formats of email every week to further understand which gets a higher click through rate and why. Below you can see the A/B test we are running (we highly reccomend testing everything and will write some more about this process in an upcoming post).
Both have tested well and we shaping up for our next test shortly.
So, how’s it actually gone?
For starters, our team really enjoys the process of putting the email together. “When we first started out, I thought that we’d always put articles in the wrapup email that we’d had already written and posted. Instead I find that sometimes we will actually write an article specifically because we want a stronger/more relevant email to be the main feature of the recap email,” Macdonald added. We meet as a team to look at the data and be sure different types of posts are represented. We also pay careful attention to the aesthetic of the Email B, as it has such a large focus on imagery.
We’ve seen a lot of traction on our more topical, of the moment articles, while also getting plenty of views on thematic holiday emails and weekly write-ups on customer success. Far more people visit our blog on an ongoing basis since we’ve started sending these emails, and we have gotten a lot of interaction from some of our biggest customers sending positive feedback our way and asking us to add their teams to our list. We have also really enjoyed hearing what people most want to read and why. Please keep the replies coming!
We will keep you updated as we learn, experiment and figure out our Blog Summary emails more, but for now, if you haven’t already, ….
… sign up by clicking below!