July 2017 | Departing from the usual charity content strategy, Blue Cross created a free advice program to highlight their expertise and help their subscribers with challenges they might be facing
Brand: Blue Cross
Designed and developed by: Craig Billing
Subject line: Welcome to Blue Cross pet advice
Opens: 43% for the dog program and 48% for the cat program
Clicks-of-opens: 11% for the dog program and 17% for the cat program
What data was used?
People who had signed up to receive advice about pets, specifically cats and dogs.
- Offer valuable content to Blue Cross subscribers
- Highlight the charity’s expertise in pet knowledge
What makes this a performing campaign?
This pet advice automation program is a fantastic example of how charities can offer varied, valuable content to their subscribers without specifically focusing on raising donations. Rather than using the ubiquitous tactic of showing a suffering subject (in this case, cats and dogs) and asking for support, Blue Cross took the opportunity to share information on how owners can care for their cats or dogs and tackle potential challenges. An option to donate to the charity is still included in the campaigns, though the suggested amount is a more accessible £1 and it is not the main focus on the email.
Built using Adestra’s Automation Program Builder, the advice program is based on five campaigns each sent one week apart and covering the following:
- an introduction explaining what the subscriber should expect and a short description of what Blue Cross does
- advice on caring for your cat or dog in early life, adulthood and old age
- what you need to know about neutering your pet
- advice on dealing with behavioural challenges like chewing or scratching and clawing
- tips for introducing new cats and dealing with separation anxiety for dogs
As subscribers sign up to receive this type of content via the preference centre, they are automatically added to the advice list and sent the first campaign of the program. Subscribers were also directed to the campaign from Facebook retargeting ads and welcome emails for first-time donors. The email design and layout are simple but modern to let the content be the star of the campaign.
The departure from the usual type of content shared by charities was a very well received by Blue Cross subscribers. The programs achieved really good average open rates with a slight preference for the cat advice campaigns, which achieved a 48% open rate compared to 43% for the dog campaigns. This was also consistent with the click-through rates of 17% and 11% respectively.
Blue Cross are very pleased with the engagement results of this value-added content program and they have also seen an uplift in donations off the back of it.
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