Making Content King and Emails The Queen Bee
With a rich history of first-party content, including beekeeper stories, recipes, fun facts about bees and more, it’s not a particularly challenging task to come up with stories and angles for Sioux Honey’s virtual HIVE magazine. But, with a request to cut time and budget from the current virtual magazine in place, we were tasked with developing a strategic way to repurpose the content in a more meaningful, cost-effective way.
Over the years, Sioux Honey worked to build its “Honey Club” Members – otherwise known as fans – to a notable 53,000 email subscriber list. Historically, Sioux Honey’s subscriber list was used as a means to provide a pathway to Sioux Honey’s periodical called HIVE Magazine. Published every two months, this custom-made publication was a beautifully designed digital magazine with beekeeper feature articles, facts, recipes and giveaways. But, while the content was engaging and viewers spent more than four minutes on the publication on average, there were a few challenges: 1) the time and expense to produce the content; 2) the return on investment; 3) the ability to remarket or convert the audience into a sale.
We quickly went to work identifying and understanding the consumer journey. How were they navigating the website and how did they become a Honey Club member? How were they currently experiencing and engaging with Sioux Honey’s content, both the email blasts and the magazine? What was missing from the interaction?
Based on our learnings, we put together an email marketing plan that captured the Honey Club member at every touchpoint – from the time they signed up via the website through a nurture email campaign to the time they made a purchase.
We moved the content into the email itself and housed the expanded content on the recipes and blog sections of SiouxHoney.com, which allowed us to successfully move consumers from the email directly to the website. Email also allowed us to experiment with A/B test subject lines and content so that each email we send gets more and more optimized. In addition, we learned that only 4% of our email Honey Club members were following us on our social channels, so we started to drive those members to social too so that they could consume even more content.
As for the content itself, we knew what we had with the HIVE was liquid gold. So in order to be more efficient with our time, we found ways to repurpose that content into smaller, bite-sized chunks while keeping our target audience closer to our website and a potential sale. We delivered valuable content on a regular and ongoing cadence, arming our advocates and leveraging their powerful word-of-mouth.
Our findings showed that email has been a key touchpoint in 83% of all customer interactions and e-commerce purchases over the course of the last 12 months. Overall, the email campaign approach has helped us be more cost efficient, build a loyal fan base and drive sales.
Specifically, we saw a dramatic increase in open rates, pages/sessions on the website, session duration and e-commerce revenue.