In April, as we were getting ready for our launch, we focused our efforts on creating a delightful and welcoming experience for our collaborators. To ensure that our collaborators receive timely and informative pieces of content, we needed to develop our email marketing strategy.
First, we needed to identify the purpose for our email marketing. Our goals for email marketing included:
- Creating warm and welcoming emails for new users
- Helping them understand our value proposition
- Helping them understand what they can do with their accounts
- Helping new users understand the benefits for personalizing their profile
- Sending reminders
- Sending confirmation for action(s) taken (e.g. when a collaborator applies to volunteer for a project or when a collaborator donates to a project)
- Sharing recommended or featured projects and tasks
- Offering help if they need it
- Extending them an invite to follow us on social media
Once we established the goals for our email marketing strategy, we then worked to identify the key triggers and touch-points for when we needed to communicate with collaborators. Here are the first few use cases we identified for our email marketing needs:
- New collaborator signs up on GiveShop → Follow up with welcome email
- Collaborator has signed up but has not completed profile within 3 days of receiving welcome email → Send reminder stating benefits and action to complete their profile
- Volunteer form completed → Send thank-you and acknowledgement of application received
- Donation made → Send thank-you and acknowledgement of donation amount received
- Featured projects or tasks → Send list of featured projects or tasks to engage with collaborator
- Recommended projects/tasks (based on criteria specified by collaborator) → Send personalized recommendations to engage with collaborator
- Task complete → Send thank-you and confirmation of task completion
After identifying the key touch-points for our initial email marketing needs, we then defined the priority for these emails and proceeded to draft the content for each of these.
Since we were still fairly new to email marketing and wanted to evaluate our options for the best platform to use for email automation and one which would integrate well with our customer management database, we then spent time to research on the best solution that would meet our needs. Since we were already using Wix for our monthly newsletters and landing pages, we wanted to understand its capabilities for email automation. We were also interested in learning more about HubSpot, with its capabilities in customer management, email marketing, automation, and landing pages, in addition to what we knew about its ability to manage ad campaigns. With that in mind, we did research on the two platforms to better understand their advantages and disadvantages.
To better understand the capabilities of the two platforms, we also put our draft emails on both platforms. The goal was to test out the ease of creation and management of email marketing campaigns on both Wix and HubSpot. We then sent out test emails to our team so that they could help confirm receipt of the emails, make sure they weren’t ending up in their spam folders, and reviewed the content for each.
Here are some of our learnings:
- Both platforms support email automation and workflows
- Since neither platform has native integration with MongoDB, we’ll have to work with another API in order to connect our records to their CRM
While we are currently paid customers of Wix (we’re currently using it for our temporary website, our landing pages, and newsletters), we decided that what we need for our business in the long-run is a comprehensive digital marketing platform. So after careful evaluation of the two platforms, we ultimately decided to go with HubSpot for the following reasons:
- Wix offers an easy platform for no-code website design, but its other features are fairly limited. There are very few options for designing email marketing campaigns. HubSpot on the other hand offers a lot more control in designing, allowing you to create multiple columns of content, and even allowing you control the padding around each object.
- Secondly, while Wix does have a database, it does not feature an in-house customer relationship management system like HubSpot. With HubSpot, we’ll be able to leverage the capabilities to track leads and send personalized emails.
- With HubSpot, we’ll also be able to do A/B testing with our email marketing campaigns and get automation analytics.
We hope that by taking the time to understand the platforms and designing email marketing campaigns with content tailored to each phase of the user journey, we are able to create a delightful and welcoming experience for our community of collaborators.