Case Study: Email Marketing Automation for a PR Agency
Any email marketer probably has some unusual case studies in their portfolio. The best part about them is the uniqueness which makes the working experience even more valuable. That's what we want to share with you in this article.
Our client: the PR agency High Profile Club that helps entrepreneurs build brand positioning.
The main focus of High Profile Club is to provide customers with the main components of a personal brand image: reputation and coverage.
To do this, High Profile Club does the following:
- finds and prepares posts and articles for industry-related, business and thematic media;
- hires professional journalists to write a biography of the entrepreneur;
- provides brand mentions in TV and online media stories;
- assists with TED speeches;
- helps organize speeches at seminars, exhibitions, and conferences;
- organizes and conducts networking events to expand communication and search for new opportunities.
To use these services and upgrade your brand image with the help of professionals, you need to become a member of High Profile Club. Different types of membership have different solutions, membership duration and pricing plans. Users can choose one of these memberships:
- establish the process of communication with customers and subscribers via email automation;
- help the company solve the problems they faced while working with the previous marketing automation platform (sending failures due to inaccurate workflows, which is critical for this business);
- teach the High Profile Club marketing team to do work in the eSputnik marketing automation service;
- collect new subscribers through the subscription form (the form on the website didn’t work as new leads got into the database only after registering for free events through the service Eventbrite).
Since the client had previously used another service, the first priority was to transfer contacts including:
- current club members (customers of High Profile Club);
- subscribers to upcoming events of the company, visitors to previous club meetings;
- people who provided their contacts in the registration forms on Eventbrite.
This stage was the most challenging. All processes, from registering for the first free event to buying the club membership, had to be automated. The workflow import was complicated by the difference in the functionality between the previous service (you need to assign tags to start a workflow) and eSputnik (you need to create an event or segment to start a workflow). That’s we had to start many things from scratch and implement some improvements to campaign automation.
Event registration workflow
The company attracts new leads through networking events, seminars and conferences. Therefore, this first stage of communication is extremely important for the business, and the cost of error is high.
The company publishes event previews at Eventbrite, and everyone can register for a visit. Contacts are then transferred from Eventbrite and should be reached immediately before the interest has gone.
Right at the start, it became clear that the workflow required a delay timer to the date in the future. Previously, in our system timers were used only to delay the time from the event that had already occurred (event entering the system, message being sent in any channel, etc.). Now it was necessary to do the opposite: delay the time before the event, scheduled for a certain date in the future.
We need to implement the following chain: a person registers in Eventbrite as a visitor for the High Profile Club event, after which they receive a thank-you-for-registration email, and new reminder emails are sent a week before the event, three days before the event, the day before and on the day of the event.
Specifically for this project, our developers created a countdown timer, and we built the following workflow:
1. Event registration:
The logic of the workflow is as follows: an event is received from Eventbrite > the system checks is this contact is added to the Club Members segment.
✔️If the contact is added, they receive the confirmation of the registration for the event.
❌ If not, the contact gets added to the segment New Leads, they also receive the confirmation of the registration for the event, and then two emails are added to the workflow: "Join us on Facebook" and "We are now friends".
These are the first steps in building long-term trusting relationships with newcomers.
Generation of the event that triggers this workflow, and the transfer of contact data was done by integrating Eventbrite and eSputnik through Zapier. The data could have been transmitted via API, but since the client has no programmer responsible for this type of task, we decided to use Zapier.
For a customer's business, it is advisable to choose a premium account because it allows to use more zaps and create integrations with more applications, which is what was did:
2. Event reminder:
This workflow required a countdown timer. The logic of the workflow is as follows: the previous workflow generates an event > the event triggers this workflow.
The system again checks whether contact is added to the Club Members segment. If yes, this contact is sent a reminder the day before the event. The rest of the contacts, who are not yet members of the club, receive the first reminder 7 days before the event, then 4 days before the event, and the day before.
The first two emails of the workflow for newcomers contain brief information about the benefits of High Profile Club. Since the members of the club already have such information, they weren’t sent these emails.
Subscription form setting and a welcome series launch
Prior to contacting eSputnik, the company did not use their website to collect contacts. We wanted to fix this, and our specialists created an adaptive subscription form:
Then, we launched a welcome series of 6 emails for new subscribers, telling about the benefits and options of membership in the club:
This increased the contact base. We also recommended the client to set up a subscription form on the corporate Facebook page. This task is still in progress.
Email automation for small business
Work with the Existing Contact Base
All communication with the existing leads was also automated.
Follow-up after the event attendance
After the event, those participants who weren’t club members were sent one of the three chains depending on the number of the visited events (attendance of more than three free events is not allowed by the company's rules, and this is emphasized in the emails to encourage the guest to join the club).
The task of each email was to tell in detail about one aspect of the company's activities and convince the person to make a target action – order/schedule a call of the customer service manager. As soon as the date is set, the chain stops.
Below there is one of three workflows that was launched for newcomers after attending their first event:
Work with prospects
During a conversation with a prospect, the customer service manager tells them about the specifics of each type of membership and finds out the needs in order to determine how the company can help them and what additional services to offer.
The whole conversation is conducted according to the approved script, and the manager registers the data in a Google form. Using Zapier, the data is transmitted to eSputnik, and additional contact fields are updated:
Before contacting eSputnik, the client had one form that any representative of the company could fill out. At the moment, each manager has a separate form and a separate integration in order to accurately track the KPI of the manager's work.
A transfer of the event with the updated contact data (integration through Zapier) triggers a workflow with emails describing the benefits of the chosen membership.
Work with New Customers
The recipient of the previous workflow needs to take a target action – pay for the membership. When the payment is done, this series stops and a welcome series for new members gets launched:
The event that triggers this workflow is generated by integrating the Xero payment system and eSputnik through Zapier. It transmits payment data: the amount of payment, the type of membership, payment of additional services, the amount of VAT. This data is recorded in additional fields.
After the contact import and workflow setting, we needed to import emails for triggered chains. But in the previous service, they did not correspond to the corporate style, and our specialists made another template. Then all the copies were transferred to eSputnik, in the new template:
The new design was accepted by the client, all the emails got a single style that promotes brand recognition.
Although the client had used the email channel to communicate with their audience before, digital signatures were not configured, and emails often got into Spam. Having set up digital signatures, we resolved the problem.
Contact Base Segmentation
Added additional fields allowed the company to build segments based on different parameters:
- club membership (new leads and club members);
- sex (male/female);
- contact activity;
- professional activity (about 50 micro-segments);
- media (newspapers, magazines, TV, online media).
This enables to personalize triggered emails and bulk campaigns.
Prior to cooperation with eSputnik, the company did not use promo emails, but now this tool has been implemented and is used on a regular basis.
Some emails are sent to all contacts – discounts on a membership purchase, announcements of upcoming events.
The rest of the promos are personalized. The company prepares a digest on the new possibilities of the presentation in media channels and sends it only to those contacts who may be interested in the offer. For example, if a magazine is looking for experts to write an article about women in business, information about it will be sent to the segment “Women”.
The only difficulty in using this approach is that it’s hard to evaluate the results of a bulk campaign based on Open Rate. When the campaign is launched for all contacts, its Open Rate is much lower than that of the campaign sent to a certain segment: club members, entrepreneurs, men, etc. There is an example of the report below:
But since OR isn’t the only performance indicator, it didn't cause any problems. Efficiency was measured by other methods (number of targeted actions, for example, registrations for an event after the announcement).
So let's sum it up. We have developed a marketing automation strategy for the PR agency that specializes in building a brand image for entrepreneurs.
Why is this mission so important? In today's business, it is no longer enough to offer goods and services cheaper than those of competitors or to do their job better than others. Today, people buy from people, so a personal brand has become an effective tool for promotion.
The upgraded personal brand of the owner or manager allows the company to sell more by higher prices.
The topic significance and an innovative approach to business made this project special to us.
All the tasks set by the client were fulfilled. Our agency has done the following:
- redesign of the email template;
- adaptive subscription form for the website;
- digital signature setting;
- contact base segmentation;
- integration of Eventbrite, Xero and Google Forms with eSputnik via Zapier;
- review and improvement of workflows and campaign launch;
- workflows for each event and for each type of the High Profile Club membership;
- functionality adaptation – creation of a countdown timer;
- communication with subscribers from scratch (before, the communication was run only with customers);
- promotions for subscribers and customers;
- training for the staff to work with eSputnik.
At the end of our cooperation, the client was able to work in the system on their own. At the moment, High Profile Club continues to expand the email chains and build more personalized and deep communication not only with club members but also with new leads by introducing segmentation based on data from the additional fields.