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Automation boosts email engagement by 15% and saves hours for the NSPCC

Objectives

  • Create a great email experience that supports fundraisers and helps them raise more money.
  • Increase communication touchpoints.
  • To do so in an efficient and sustainable way across 40+ events.

Brand

The NSPCC is the UK’s leading children’s charity, specializing in child protection and dedicated to the fight for every childhood. They’re the only UK children’s charity with statutory powers, meaning they can take action to safeguard children at risk of abuse.

The Challenge

The NSPCC runs over 40 events throughout the year including runs, treks, overseas challenges and even skydiving. Fundraisers sign up online and email is used to communicate essential information and fundraising support. Email sends prior to this project were increasingly time-consuming, and the NSPCC’s marketing team did not feel this was sustainable.

The charity wanted to create a great email experience for their supporters that would support and encourage them throughout the fundraising process. This process needed to be fully automated, cover multiple events and allow new participants to join at any time in the run up to an event, whilst still receiving a coherent journey.

The Solution

A set of multi-stage automated programs were created delivering the most appropriate journey for participants signing up to NSPCC events.

The NSPCC were already using dynamic content functionality to drive the same email templates across multiple events (content updates depending on which event participants have entered). Combined, this produced an ultra-efficient solution that removed the need to create new emails and a new email program every time an event was launched.

The journey now includes the following content:

  • Welcome.
  • Guidance on setting up your fundraising page.
  • Fundraising ideas and inspiration.
  • Help to create a training plan.
  • NSPCC fundraising tips and advice.

The number, timing and content of emails is tailored depending on when the participant signs up (ranging from 6 months to 3 weeks before the event).

At the end of this program participants are fed into a ‘Good Luck’ program to encourage their final fundraising efforts and then to congratulate them on completing the event.

Results

Using the Automation Program Builder, the NSPCC marketing team have fully automated the journey for event participants across 40+ events. It now takes just 30 minutes to set up a new event, create new filters and drop participants into the journey. Prior to the automation, it took the team upwards of 2 hours to sort the data lists and map sends alone. Across 40 events, we can estimate this has saved around 60 hours, which can be channelled into more important activities such as strategy and planning.

The engagement speaks for itself. Open rates across the program are as high as 62% for the last email in the series, with an average of 51% across the program. The click to open rate average is 17%.

Since automation, the average open rate across all six emails has improved by 15% (from 44.5% to 51.3%). This compares the same eight-month seasonal period from the previous year. As the email creative has stayed the same, we can infer that this improvement is most likely due to the more timely delivery of relevant content to participants. Due to better management of data, the bounce rate has also fallen from 1.5% to 0.9%.

Email example

46% average open rate.

39% average click-to-open rate (CTOR).

What are they planning next?

The NSPCC are exploring a further three automated journeys for event participants, with even more relevant content (one for running events, one for cycling events and one for other treks/challenges).