My Story of Getting into the World of Sevenly:
Unlike most people, I do not mind receiving myriad of email newsletters from the companies or the organizations that I have subscribed to. This is perhaps because I like to know what’s happening in the world I feel I belong to. However, not all the companies send emails worth having all the time. Among those companies, who send emails worth reading, Sevenly is one of my favorite.
There is one mantra which has always inspired me. Mahatma Gandhi said “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Yes, I believe that if everyone tries to change what they think is necessary to make the world a better place, someday our dream world will come to fruition. Although, I am studying marketing and communication, my primary focus is not learning the marketing strategies only to increase revenue for a company. I believe marketers are the ones who can make positive contribution to the world, by just spreading awareness about a cause of change and uniting people to make that change together. Nonetheless, after observing the continuous evolution of profit-oriented capitalism, I started thinking probably I am just a big dreamer. I also thought that it is quite difficult to blend cause and profit together, until I came to know about Sevenly. The importance to have the email newsletters of Sevenly lays there. If you are one of them, who wants to see what positive changes are happening in the world and also would like to contribute to them, then you must subscribe to Sevenly for their email newsletters.
It has been more than one year that I subscribed for Sevenly’s email newsletters. I went to the website and put my email address in the “Subscribe for offers and update” section. The site immediately sent a confirmation email in my email address. I had to confirm my subscription and also to give them permission to send me email newsletters. After clicking the confirmation link, I received the first email titled, “Let’s change the world together.” This probably was a simple welcome email, but it gave me a sense of belonging to the world of Sevenly. In my opinion, that is the beauty and uniqueness of the newsletters of this company. I personally find their emails very inspiring and positive. The newsletters mostly contain fresh pictures that are relevant to its weekly causes and campaigns. The team of Sevenly mentioned in their blog titled, “6 Social Media Marketing Tips By Sevenly”, that they focus on building image-heavy contents when communicating with the customers via email. However, I normally receive email newsletters of Sevenly twice a week. The email newsletters inform the subscribers about the chosen weekly cause of Sevenly. The newsletters also contain the pictures of their weekly product collection for that particular campaign.
The first thing I do when I start my day is check emails, while drinking a cup of warm tea. Ever since I started living alone, I discovered getting emails with personal touches make us feel adequate. I also believe, it is very important to start your day with positive feelings. I really like how the email newsletters I receive from Sevenly put a smile on my face in the morning. For instance, today I received an email from Sevenly that stated, this week the organization will give the donation to the female burn-survivors to help restore the self-image of adolescent girls suffering from burn/trauma injuries. Sevenly is raising both capital and awareness for these survivors. Being a woman myself, I can totally understand how this cause might change so many lives.
In my opinion Sevenly does a very good job at designing their email newsletters. The team of Sevenly put a lot of effort while designing the newsletter. Usually, the emails they send are very brief and image-heavy. Most of the newsletters do not include any details about the campaign.
However, the email newsletters they send do not emphasize on sharing further. I designed a newsletter for Sevenly concentrating on sharing specifically. The subject of the newsletter will be “Let’s fight the down syndrome together.” I believe, the phrase “lets do together” has a unique power to entice people to share it with their friends.
The newsletter shown in this blog has a call-to-action button that says “share now”. Customers will be able to share the campaign upon opening the email by clicking on that button. Thus, the campaign will be able to use the power of word of mouth. As we know pass-on rate indicates the effectiveness of email marketing, this strategy will help us to measure the result easily.
The newsletter also have two other CTAs, one is “shop to support” and the other one is “Shop for cause.” The objective of these two CTAs is to convince the viewer to make at least one transaction to support the cause.
Nevertheless, in the header section I tried to focus on the phrase “limited edition charity collection” followed by some pictures of that particular collection. This will help to gain initial attention from the viewers about the weekly campaign and its theme.
The Plan to obtain a list of Contacts:
Before designing an email newsletter it is very important to make a plan to obtain a list of contacts, to send the email to. Sevenly already has a database of the people who want to hear from them. As mentioned earlier, Sevenly uses the opt-in method to receive permission from the users. If you shop at Sevenly.org, you will be automatically subscribed to its email newsletters. The site will ask for your permission if you want to receive exclusive news and updates about Sevenly. If you do not check that box, they will not send you email newsletters. In my opinion, this is a very good practice.
In the article Ask Before You Blast – The Importance of Permission by MailChimp (2014), it has been stated that Opt-in method helps to identify the customers, who want to be added to the subscribers list. Sevenly also uses double opt-in method, which is giving confirmation by clicking a link in the email, to make sure the user is willing to subscribe for their newsletters. Nevertheless, I would like to have an automated process built in the site, by which I am able to add the confirmed subscribers to a complete database that will include the full name, gender, state, mobile number, and address of them.
However, the site of Sevenly does not give the option to sign up via social media accounts, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. In the article 10 Reasons Social Logins Could Be a Game Changer Vertical Response (2014) explained that social login could be very effective for the companies to collect data of the enthusiastic visitors. Therefore, I would like to recommend Sevenly to enable social log in sign up, so that we can collect the contacts directly from their social accounts.
The Plan to Measure the Results:
To measure the performance of the email campaign, I have made a comprehensive plan. At first I would like to count the number of emails that are delivered. However, in the article titled “Email Deliverability: Inbox Deliverability Rate Numbers and Their Meaning” the author, Kevin Gao, said that email deliverability rate is the number of emails that we sent that were successfully delivered to recipients. It is not a reflection of whether the email went into the spam or junk folder of the recipient. As long as the email is delivered, it is counted as a positive delivery no matter what folder it is placed in by the email service provider. Thus, it is very important to measure the number of emails that have been bounced. When an email is rejected by a subscriber’s email server, it’s called bounce. In this case it will be appropriate to measure both hard and soft bounces since it will tell us if the email is rejected permanently or temporarily by the server. It is also very important to know how many emails were actually opened. Finally, the pass-on rate and the click-through rate will give us the opportunity to measure the effectiveness of the email newsletter. The pass-on rate tells us if the recipient finds the newsletter effective enough to share it with his friends and family by forwarding it. According to Ayaz Nanji, “Click-through rate (CTR) was defined as the percentage of delivered email messages that drew at least one click.” CTR is a very effective tool to measure the results of email newsletters as it reveals which content or promotion was most enticing to the customers. I would like to use Click-through rate primarily to measure the performance of this email campaign. Nonetheless, I have decided to use MailChimp to calculate the CTR rate for this particular email newsletter.
Before planning the email newsletter for Sevenly, I tried to do a short internet research on the best practices of designing email newsletters. I came across an article of Entrepreneur magazine titled, “13 Ways to Get Your Emails Noticed and Opened” by Al Lautenslager. I found this article very helpful, as it explains what could be done to be successful in email marketing campaign. According to the author, the email message should be positive, and the subject line should be short and sweet. Although, the email messages of Sevenly are mostly positive but the subject line and the headers they use are a bit lengthy sometimes. Moreover, the article indicates that the timing for sending the emails could be crucial. It is very important to know what is the best time to send the email newsletters. Sevenly should check the email analytics or test different days and times to see how timing affects the open rates of the emails. The articles also talked about the words that should not be used in the subject line. The emails that contain some particular words and phrases, i.e. free, percent-off, please, help, etc., are considered as spam or pitchy. Sevenly should keep these words in mind while choosing the email subject lines. Nevertheless, according to Lautenslager (2014) requesting for donation or charity directly is also a bad practice for writing email newsletters. Therefore, Sevenly has to be very careful while writing the texts for the newsletters, as some of the emails from this company persuade the viewers to contribute in the charity. Shop for cause/charity is more appropriate for Sevenly to use in their newsletters.