segmentation

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10 Signs You Should Work with an Email Marketing Agency

For small businesses, the decision to move from “do it yourself” to “do it for me” email marketing can be a major one. Working with an email marketing expert can help unlock hidden potential in your current audience and grow your business by reaching more contacts. How do you know when you’re ready to make the switch to working with an email marketing agency? Here are 10 signs you may be ready to reach out for a helping hand.

1. You’re Planning a Major Product Launch

Are you gearing up for a big product or service launch? Email marketing can be a powerful tool to create buzz and excitement among your audience. Try building up to the launch with scheduled campaigns that highlight the best features of your new product. Be strategic about your send frequency and be sure to announce the launch on your other marketing channels as well. An email marketing agency, like Pure Firefly, can help you craft product launch campaigns that drive engagement and encourage purchases.

2. Your Small Business is Growing

As small businesses expand, their email marketing strategies often become increasingly complex. To make the most of your growth, work with an email marketing agency to handle the burden of routine sending, automations, and segmentation. An email marketer can also provide the expertise you need to strategically scale your marketing with your growing audience.

3. This Year’s Big Sale is Coming Up

When an important sale or promotion is on the horizon, you want your email marketing efforts to be on point. An agency specializing in email marketing can help you strategize and execute high-impact campaigns that drive traffic and sales during your sales events. Many small businesses will work with an email marketer for their Black Friday promotions in order to maximize sales.

4. Your Campaigns Have Low Engagement

If your email campaigns are consistently met with low open and click rates, it’s time to reevaluate your approach. Email marketing agencies like Pure Firefly can analyze your current strategy, make necessary adjustments, and create content that resonates with your audience. Wondering how to assess your engagement? Check out our blog post on campaign analytics for more info!

5. Email Marketing Efforts are Not Converting to Revenue

It can be frustrating to spend hours on email marketing, only to find that your emails are not improving sales. Even engaging campaigns that generate lots of clicks may fail to lead subscribers to purchase. An email marketing agency can help optimize your strategy with tools like automation, segmentation, and personalized emails. Perfecting your email marketing strategy will give you the best shot at converting subscribers to happy customers.

6. Your Emails are Going to Spam

When your emails end up in the spam folder, you stand little chance of reaching engagement or revenue goals. There are many factors that can land you in spam, including problems with domain authentication, overuse of images, a lack of opt-in, or failure to follow CAN-SPAM & GDPR regulations. Resources online can list the common reasons genuine email marketing ends up in spam, but only an email marketing expert can take a look at your account and determine the individual factors that may impact your sender reputation.

7. You’re Spending Too Much Time on Emails

Many small business owners are surprised to find out how time-consuming email marketing can be. If you find yourself taking time away from critical tasks to focus on email marketing, it may be time to reach out for a helping hand. Email marketing agencies like Pure Firefly can assess your current marketing set-up and step in to strategize, design, and send your campaigns. If you don’t want to hand over the wheel entirely, an email marketer can set up automations to generate sales in the background while you focus on the day-to-day tasks of managing your business.

8. You Haven’t Been Using Automations

Email marketing automation can save you time and increase the relevance of your messages. If you haven’t implemented automation in your email strategy, an agency can help you set up and optimize automated email series. Some of the most popular automations for email marketing include:

  • Welcome emails
  • Re-engagement campaigns
  • Abandoned cart emails
  • Transactional emails
  • Review requests
  • Targeted automations

9. You Aren’t Segmenting Your Audience

Segmenting your email list allows you to send relevant content to different categories of subscribers. Many marketing platforms offer simple tools to make segmentation accessible. Mailchimp, for example, offers tags, groups, segments, and fields for segmentation. If you haven’t been segmenting your audience, you aren’t making the most of your contact list. An email marketing agency can guide you in segmenting your audience and targeting segments with relevant email campaigns.

10. You Haven’t Started Email Marketing Yet

If you’re a small business with any kind of online presence, email marketing should be a tool in your toolbox. According to Campaign Monitor, more than 64% of small businesses are already using email marketing to stay in touch with their consumers and maximize their revenue. There are many platforms offering beginner-friendly email marketing tools. To make sure you get started on the right foot, try booking a one-on-one consultation with a marketing agency like Pure Firefly.

Small Businesses Maximize their Marketing with Pure Firefly

As a small business, Pure Firefly understands the unique challenges and opportunities small businesses face. We offer various email marketing services, including template design, campaign strategy, audience clean-up, and Mailchimp audits. Whether you’re a marketing pro looking to reach the next level, or a beginner ready to dip into your customers’ inboxes, we would be delighted to work with you. Contact us today for a free intro call, or book a one-on-one session with our specialists starting at $89.

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Top 3 Segments for Nonprofits

Without effective segmentation, sometimes sending emails can feel like screaming into the void. Each week, you send messages, only to see the same engagement. In 2023, sending every email to your full audience just doesn’t cut it anymore. To maximize effectiveness, nonprofits should use segmentation to ensure the right messages reach the right people. Here are our top 3 audience segments for nonprofits, plus some more guidance on segmentation.

Why is Segmentation Important?

Effective segmentation matches your emails’ messaging to the appropriate contacts. While some emails, like a monthly educational newsletter, can be safely sent to your full audience, the same is not true for every campaign. For example, you wouldn’t want to send a 50% off coupon on an online course to contacts who already purchased it at full price. Similarly, you shouldn’t send an email about an event in Georgia tomorrow to contacts in Norway tonight. 

With appropriate segmentation, you can ensure that contacts receive the emails that most appeal to them. Your audience is more likely to engage with these emails, and will appreciate being spared from emails they never opened in the first place. Segmentation is just one element of a smarter marketing strategy.

How Do You Implement Segmentation?

A segmentation strategy should always begin with setting a goal, then gathering the appropriate data on your audience. 

Many platforms offer predictive tools to help you estimate characteristics like location, age, and gender. Other audience info (like attendance at in-person events) may be stored on another platform. Using integrations to sync audience data across platforms can help keep your segmentation process simple.

Once you gather audience data, you can begin creating segments. Every email platform has their own tools for segmentation. However, most can be used to accomplish the same results. Mailchimp users, for example, can take advantage of tags, groups, segments, and fields. To learn more about creating segments, check out our blog post on Mailchimp’s segmentation tools.

Nonprofit Segment 1: The Diehard

Nonprofits looking to maximize engagement & donations shouldn’t let their most loyal supporters go unacknowledged. In many ways, the diehard segment is made up of your dream contacts. Maybe they open every email or have donated a cumulative amount over $3,000 dollars. The specifics of the diehard segment will vary depending on your organization’s size, reach, & goals. Here are some attributes which may make a contact match the diehard segment profile:

 

  • Opening all of your past 10 emails
  • Clicking on all of your past 5 emails
  • Donating more than 10 times
  • Donating over a certain cumulative amount
  • Donating on a monthly basis for over 3 months

However you slice and dice it, the diehard segment should be composed of your biggest supporters. These are the subscribers you should contact with special updates and invitations to your most exclusive events. Reward people for their generosity, and they are even more likely to keep coming back!

Need support with automating rewards to your most loyal supporters? Contact Pure Firefly to build a journey for you, including copywriting and template design.

Nonprofit Segment 2: The Local

Similar to the diehard, the local segment is likely to have relatively high engagement. These contacts may not be the most frequent donors, but they are closely tied to your organization’s goal. Local contacts are not necessarily geographically local (though they may be), but should have a close relationship to your organization in other ways. They may fit any of the following characteristics:

  • Lives within 50 miles of the community you serve
  • Has volunteered previously with your organization
  • Has connected with you via email replies or on other platforms
  • Is personally affected by the issue your organization addresses
  • Participates in organizations similar to your own

While these contacts may not be the most engaged or donate the largest amount, they play a valuable role in moving your organization toward its goals. Because these subscribers are likely to have a connection to your organization’s aims, they may appreciate personal stories and educational emails. 

Local subscribers are also more likely to engage with calls for volunteer support and may amplify your message to others in their community. To learn about Mailchimp’s segmentation tools, including predicted location, consider setting up a training call with Pure Firefly.

Nonprofit Segment 3: The Newbie

When subscribers first join your audience, they present you with a major opportunity. These contacts are likely to be expecting emails and may be highly motivated to support your cause. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by: Use automated emails to Newbie segments to reach subscribers at key moments.

The Newbie segment should include characteristics like:

  • Just joined your audience
  • Recently attended their first event
  • Donated for the first time

Whenever a subscriber has a “first” with your organization, another opportunity for interaction opens up. Let your Newbies know how much they’re appreciated, and they may become diehard subscribers. This is what makes welcome automations such a key part of email marketing strategy!

Pure Firefly Can Help Level Up Your Segmentation

When it comes to segmentation, the possibilities are almost endless. The Diehard, the Local, and the Newbie are only 3 potential segments nonprofits should target with special messaging. Building segments tailored to your specific organization takes time and careful thought, so consider working with an email expert who can guide you through the process. 

Pure Firefly’s team of email specialists has years of experience in marketing, IT, & design. To take the first step towards more effective segmentation, book a strategy call with one of our team members, or contact us for more information.

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How a Mailchimp Audit Can Enhance Email Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses looking to connect with their audience and drive conversions. However, not all email marketing campaigns are created equal. In order to truly optimize your email marketing efforts, it’s important to start with a comprehensive review of your Mailchimp account. That’s where Pure Firefly’s Mailchimp Audits come in.

What is a Mailchimp Audit?

A Mailchimp Audit is an in-depth review of a client’s Mailchimp account, including everything from deliverability to campaign strategy. At Pure Firefly, we take a holistic approach to our audits. We begin with high-level concerns, including audience organization, deliverability, and legal compliance. A holistic Mailchimp audit also addresses more detail-oriented concerns, including template design, individual campaign setup, and automations strategy. Pure Firefly’s audits even include suggestions that can help save money on your monthly Mailchimp bill.

Mailchimp Audits Can Improve Deliverability

One of the most important aspects of any email marketing campaign is deliverability. Even the most well-designed campaign will have limited reach if your emails aren’t making it to your subscribers’ inboxes. 

Pure Firefly’s Mailchimp audit closely examines domain authentication and list hygiene. For every report, we also run one campaign through a spam checker which tests a client’s email content & preheader text against 19 of the most common B2B & B2C spam filters.

Optimize Your Audience Organization

A well-organized audience is essential to successful email marketing. In an audit, Pure Firefly’s team analyzes all the segmentation options used on any Mailchimp account. This may include audience lists as well as tags, groups, and fields. 

We also study the ways contacts flow into your account in order to ensure data collection is streamlined and compliant with Mailchimp’s regulations.

Get Your Design on Track with Template Recommendations

Regardless of your industry, email template design can have a big impact on engagement and conversions. In the design section of an audit, Pure Firefly’s team closely analyzes the template for one recent campaign. We then make recommendations to help optimize typography, CTAs, accessibility, and overall visual appeal. Our design comments focus on one specific template, but include guidance that can be applied more broadly to any client’s email marketing design.

If design is your major concern, Pure Firefly also offers template design as a standalone service, or on a retainer basis. Contact us to learn more.

Comply with Email Laws & Regulations

Email marketing is subject to a number of laws and regulations, such as CAN-SPAM and GDPR. Our audit’s legal compliance section ensures your email marketing is following these laws and helps you avoid a permanent block on your account. Pure Firefly’s holistic audit checks for the following elements to help ensure your emails are above board:

  • CAN-SPAM-compliant footers
  • GDPR-compliant sign-up forms
  • Accurate campaign defaults
  • Legitimate opt-ins

Audits Help You Strategize

The campaign strategy section of our audit looks at how you’re using Mailchimp to achieve your marketing goals. The days of email blasts to a whole audience at once are behind us, so we dig into the details of email frequency, segmentation, and automation. Our campaign recommendations can ensure your campaigns are effective and efficient. Following an audit, Pure Firefly is also available to create unique journeys and campaigns for your organization.

Why Start with a Mailchimp Audit?

Starting your email marketing project with a Mailchimp audit has a number of benefits. First and foremost, it ensures that all your email marketing is built on a solid foundation. By addressing any issues with deliverability, audience organization, and legal compliance, you can improve the likelihood that contacts will receive and open your emails.

In addition, a Mailchimp audit can help you save time and money in the long run. By identifying and addressing issues early on, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure your campaigns are running smoothly from the start. Plus, an audit may uncover issues with audience organization that have inflated a client’s Mailchimp bill.

Finally, a Mailchimp audit can help you achieve your marketing goals. By optimizing your audience organization, template design, and campaign strategy, you can improve engagement and drive conversions. Guidance from Pure Firefly’s audit can help advise ongoing decision-making about your email marketing strategy. It’s the next best thing to having an email expert on your team!

Audit with Pure Firefly to Maximize Your Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes, but it’s important to start with a solid foundation. By reviewing your Mailchimp account in detail, Pure Firefly can help you ensure that your campaigns are set up for success. We’re here to help you achieve your marketing goals – Contact us today to learn more about our Mailchimp Audits.

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Mailchimp Segmentation: Tags, Groups, and Segments

Many new email marketers wonder what the difference is between tags, groups, and segments. All three are Mailchimp segmentation tools for audience organization. However, each tool is slightly different and is best suited to unique applications. Here’s a basic breakdown of all Mailchimp segmentation options.

Mailchimp Tags are Labels for Your Contacts

Tags are Mailchimp’s simplest segmentation tool. Tags can be added automatically through imports, integrations, and automated journeys. They can also be assigned to contacts manually from the audience page. 

When you add a tag to a subscriber, Mailchimp attaches it to the contact’s records like a label. Then, you can send targeted campaigns to all contacts who have that label attached. Tags can also be used to trigger automations, or as a simple way to store & organize data about your contacts.

Some example uses for tags could be: 

  • Manually tagging all contacts who attended an event 
  • Tagging any contacts who purchased a particular type of product
  • Automatically tagging subscribers that sign up through a particular form

Need help creating your tags? Try a strategy call with one of our email experts.

Create Categories with Mailchimp Groups

Similar to tags, Mailchimp groups can identify your contacts based on their interests or characteristics. However, groups are organized into categories, while tags have no hierarchical organization. 

It can be helpful to visualize groups as a multiple choice question: the group category is the “question” subscribers answer by selecting one (or more) of your group options. Visible groups allow contacts to opt into the kinds of emails that interest them. However, groups can also be hidden and used internally to organize an audience into general categories. At Pure Firefly, we often use groups during audience consolidation projects. Contact us to learn more!

One example of a hidden group would be a category for “State Employees” with the groups: State Representative, Senator, and Staffer. 

Segments Are Filters: They Change with Your Audience

A Mailchimp segment is a filter composed of a series of logical statements. When you set up a segment from your All Contacts page, segment page, or campaign builder, you choose the characteristics the filter should search for. Then, Mailchimp continuously updates your saved segment with any audience members who match these characteristics.

These characteristics may include any of the following elements:

  • Information about your contacts: Name, email, location, etc.
  • What contacts have done: Campaign activity, e-commerce purchases, etc.
  • Groups and Tags

Compared to groups and tags, segments are “stretchy.” They adjust with your audience. For example, a segment with the conditions: “Campaign activity > Has opened > All of the last 5 campaigns” will continuously change as different contacts open your emails. The segment may contain 100 contacts, and then drop to 80 if you have deliverability issues on newer campaigns.

Mailchimp’s segment builder is updated frequently, so keep an eye out for new segmentation options or set up a call with one of our email specialists to step up your segmentation game.

Pure Firefly Can Help You Set Up Effective Segmentation

If all of Mailchimp’s segmentation options make your head spin, don’t worry! Pro Partners like Pure Firefly can help you set up segments, tags, and groups to maximize your potential engagement. Schedule a quick training call for one-time segmentation concerns. For more extensive projects, contact us any time.

Our Mailchimp audit is a great way to check that all your segmentation options are used to their highest potential.

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Nonprofit Email Marketing: Where to Start

Nonprofits on a tight budget should never overlook the potential of email marketing for their work. By harnessing the particularities of email marketing for nonprofits, you can effectively boost engagement, attendance, and donations.

The possibilities are vast, and starting is simple. Here’s our beginner’s guide in 5 simple steps.

1. Curate Your Email Marketing Audience

Before you start sending, you need an audience! The good news is that nonprofit organizations often have a head start on audience building through in-person events and volunteer connections. You may grow your audience through any of the following tactics:

  • Have people sign up using pen & paper at your next in-person event
  • Invite past volunteers to subscribe to your list
  • Include an opt-in form wherever you collect donations
  • Share a signup form with your social media network
  • Add signup forms to your website using popups or landing pages

To start email marketing on the right foot, focus on organic growth. Start with your most loyal community members, and make opting in and out simple. Be sure to clean any large audience list before importing.

Above all else, never buy, rent, or “scrape” an audience. If you send to contacts who haven’t agreed to receive your emails, you may see a spike in unsubscribes and spam reports and run the risk of sending to spam traps. Spam traps are false email addresses that service providers use to keep spammers at bay.

If Mailchimp detects spam traps in your audience or sees a spike in abuse reports, your account will be put under investigation and may be terminated. It’s better to start small than to lose your progress altogether because of poor audience acquisition practices.

2. Plan Out Your Email Marketing Strategy

Once you have an email marketing audience, it’s time to brainstorm about what email updates you’d like to send. Take a moment to think over the following questions as they relate to your nonprofit:

  1. What’s one key action I want subscribers to take?
  2. What does my organization offer to subscribers & the world at large?
  3. How does my organization serve the present moment? (day, year, or decade)

Your organization’s core goals and values should drive any email marketing campaign. They make up the “why” of your email strategy: Why am I sending this email? 

Once you know why you’re sending, consider what you’re sending. Monthly newsletters are a common place to start for nonprofits. A monthly newsletter provides space to share the latest updates on your work, as well as a calendar of events, relevant news articles, and more.

Consider how you can use segmentation in your email marketing strategy. Many organizations now are leaning towards targeted emails over longer general updates. Consider creating different kinds of emails for different portions of your audience. For example, event invitations could be a great fit for local community members, but less relevant to donors overseas.

Most email marketers send a mix of segmented & unsegmented emails to engage their full audience effectively. Try starting with one general newsletter and one targeted campaign to build your experience in both areas.

3. Build Your First Email Marketing Campaign

Designing your first email campaign doesn’t have to be daunting. Email marketing services like Mailchimp provide no-code options for building any email. You may even contract an agency or designer to create mobile responsive templates you can customize with updated content.

Whether you work with a designer or build your first template yourself, always keep in mind that people tend to skim emails, and over 40% of subscribers now open emails on mobile devices. This makes concise text, large headers, and relevant images essential. Use a hierarchy of information to plan your first email design, and direct subscribers toward a specific call to action.

For your first email design, consider creating a welcome email. Welcome automations are essential for any organization with an email list, as they provide an opportunity to connect with subscribers as soon as they sign up. Some other options for your first email could be a simple “hello” letting your audience know what you’ll be sending or a first newsletter with your most important updates from the past year.

4. Test, Test, Test

Once your first campaign has been sent, set aside some time to review its performance. For Mailchimp users, a report is generated on every campaign and updated in real-time. Consider these key metrics to analyze the success of your email campaigns:

  • Open Rate: Shows % of subscribers who opened an email. This can measure subject line & preview text efficacy, as well as send date & time.
  • Click Rate & Clicks per Unique Open: Click rate shows the % of subscribers who clicked on any link in an email, while clicks per unique open (also known as click-to-open rate) shows the % of openers who went on to click on an email’s links. These metrics are helpful for measuring the effectiveness of an email’s content and design.
  • Bounces & Unsubscribes: Track the health of your audience by following trends in your bounces and unsubscribes. A sudden spike in either of these metrics indicates that your audience needs to be cleaned.

5. Develop Your Nonprofit’s Email Marketing with Pure Firefly

If you’d like a hand with starting an effective email marketing strategy, consider working with Pure Firefly. We offer one-on-one strategy calls, copywriting & design, and in-depth audits to ensure you’re making the most of your Mailchimp account. Check out our services to learn more, and contact us anytime for a quote!

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