Tag: Email Marketing

Email marketing is the best way to deliver your content directly to your readers. But there’s a lot more to it than just firing off random emails! Sign up to our blog to discover all you need to know to get started with successful email marketing.

Is Instagram down? 3 ways you can still reach people

More and more businesses are using social media like Facebook and Instagram to communicate with and reach new customers. A lot of businesses are even choosing social media instead of going through the expense of building a website and the discipline of growing your email list. This is fine until one day you ask yourself, “Is Instagram down”?

There are good reasons for using social media for communicating with people. We often use social media in our spare time as a recreational activity. If you run a wellbeing business then what you offer is often an interest or even a passion for many people, like yoga, meditation, coaching or personal development. It’s something people want to do and they do it in their spare time.

Is Instagram down? 3 ways to keep the lights on

But, what happens when social media lets us down (as it’s likely to do more and more frequently)? Here are 3 things you can do to make sure you stay in control of your own business, even when the lights of social media go out.

Own your own website

Anyone who’s gone through the pain of creating a website for their business will know exactly how time consuming and frustrating it can be. Of course, everyone has a friend who builds websites these days, but while your friend might be able to build you a basic site, they won’t necessarily understand your business at a deep level or understand how marketing works.

Even if they do manage to nail your website for you, you’re unlikely to be able to easily make changes to your own site without going back to your friend for help. And there are only so many coffees or beers they can drink before your friendship starts to become strained. But don’t worry, our New Website Package solves all these problems for you perfectly!

So, if building a website is costly and time-consuming, why should you do it? Because, when you buy a domain name and build and host your own website, you own it yourself and have complete control over it. This means that anyone can find your business through your domain name and they can do this even if you’re asking “Is Instagram down?”

Besides having a clear message and easy-to-navigate structure, your website is also where you should invite people to join your email list. Read on to find out more about the often overlooked power of email marketing.

Grow your own email list

Like websites, email is not controlled by one mega-company, such as Facebook or Google. If you collect people’s emails you can still send them messages, even if there are issues with your own website, or when other services like Google go down. Sending focused emails to your audience is the best way to get them to take action. Email marketing is still way more effective than social media (as this recent Forbes article explains), mainly because of how distracting social media is designed to be.

But, growing your email list isn’t just about sending out a monthly newsletter; it’s about creating a community around your business. People who share your interests and passions. Email marketing is most effective when it becomes a two-way conversation rather than a one-way broadcast.

Focus on SEO

Google became the biggest company in the world through paid advertising. So, it makes sense to focus on choosing relevant keywords that matter for your business. For example, before we write a blog post at Wildheart, we choose a topic and then research the monthly search volumes and competition levels for specific phrases within that topic. This helps us to find the best performing phrases that are most likely to generate good traffic to our site.

You should make it a priority for your business to make sure it’s easy for search engines like Google to know what each of your web pages and posts is about. For this particular blog post, our focus keyword is “is instagram down”, because at the time we did the research this phrase had low competition but a lot of monthly searches. The chances are, if you’re reading this article you found it by searching for this or a related keyword. How cool is that?

The power of good SEO (search engine optimisation) is that you can write an article once and it keeps bringing you traffic over time. It’s good practice to keep an eye on the keywords that your website is performing for on a regular basis. SEO is a lot of work but it can really help your business long term. If you’re looking to get started, check out our SEO Package where we do all the hard work for you and get you set up so your website can perform well in organic search results.

Keeping up with the SEO times

Of course, Google has done an amazing job. I remember what the internet was like before Google and it was really hard to find anything twice. You had to be careful to keep bookmarks of websites you liked and wanted to remember. Google solved the problem of not being able to find things on the internet and, off the back of selling advertising to people using its search engine, it’s grown to be the biggest company in the world.

But, Google is also constantly tinkering with its search algorithm to improve it and to make sure it’s not hacked. This means it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your SEO, and to follow the latest trends to keep Google on your side.

Value-led marketing

Here’s the unpleasant truth of running a wellbeing business today: You need your own website, your own email list and you need to be using social media, on top of actually delivering your services.

I’m not recommending you start blasting people on all channels and see what happens. In fact, quite the opposite… Without a strategy, you could be wasting a lot of time. You need to stop and reflect on the kind of business you want to run, and what your values are, and then create a clear message that you communicate consistently to your audience.

Creating your unique message is something that’s best not done alone. We’re often just too close to our own business, or too caught up in the daily grind, to communicate clearly in our marketing. That’s why we created a Brand Strategy Package, which has been a real eye-opener for all our customers!

“My experience with Wildheart Media was fantastic. The Brand Strategy Meeting was very insightful, and offered me a whole new insight into the different possible directions I could take it in. It left me with plenty to think about, and excited about where I will be able to take it in the future.” – Mike Richards, The Travelling Ape

“Wildheart Media asked just the right questions, to bring different answers and therefore solutions to how I could move my business forward in a new light of awareness of who I really was and what my business was giving to my clients. The 2-hour session and the brilliant report that came back afterwards was invaluable. What other time do you get to talk to somebody for 2 hours about your business, which in itself was a marvellous experience!” – Julie Hanson

Take back control

Ideally, you want to be able to choose how and when you communicate with people to get the best results. If you get a good response from sending messages via Facebook or Instagram then you should use this as your channel of choice, but not at the expense of growing your email list. You should constantly be looping people back into your email list and sending them to your website where you control the content and the experience.

Stay independent

Big companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are all prime targets for cyber terrorism. They offer fantastic world-changing services, but do you want your business to be completely tied to their success or failure?

It’s important to bear in mind that, yes, we do live in an integrated world and you absolutely should be making use of all the great time-saving services and tools out there that help you get things done. But, you also want to maintain as much independence as you can and have some kind of contingency plan when things don’t go the way you want or expect. At the very least, you should be aware of the inter-dependencies that can affect your business and marketing so you can make informed decisions.

Is Instagram down? Conclusion

Hopefully, this post gives you a new perspective on how you can approach your marketing across different channels if there are disruptions in service. This should give you more confidence, allow you to make contingency plans and be more flexible when things go south. If this all feels overwhelming and you’d like some help, then why not book a free consultation?

Book a free consultation

Why you need more than social media to grow your yoga business

Do you feel a bit lost when it comes to social media? Or feel like you’re spending too much time on it, but are just spinning your wheels, wasting your time? This post is going to help you get unstuck and find a different way forward!

Just because everyone else seems to be using social media, it doesn’t mean they’re actually getting good results from it. Even if some people rave about how it’s the key to a successful business, we beg to differ. Granted, you could put some of your marketing efforts into social media but it’s definitely NOT where all your focus should be.

In this post we’ll explain why social media isn’t the be-all and end-all, and give you some tips on what you can do instead to take your business where you want it.

Why we don’t offer a social media package

The simple answer: we don’t rate social media as a truly effective marketing strategy. It’s far more important to focus on your website and email marketing. These are the real tools you need to pull yourself out of the digital ditch that social media has thrown you into.

Now, you might be thinking, “Surely there has to be some benefit to social media?” And we agree, there is. It can be great for real-time conversations, quick messaging, polls and content sharing, and is ultimately an easy way of reaching your audience. But it can take a huge amount of effort to maintain if it’s your only method of growth. As soon as you’re not there, that conversation ends. And that’s less than ideal.

Ok, we understand that what we’re saying is almost a form of blasphemy in today’s society, so here’s a few more reasons to help put our point across.

Why social media is NOT an effective marketing tool

1. It flattens your experience

Social media can leave you with a very 2D view of how everything works. Imagine your first handstand. Whilst the end result was a success (hopefully), it was the process that went into learning it that gave you the biggest lessons! The same goes with growing your business.

2. You don’t own your hard work

When you post to a social media platform – unlike on your own website – you’re practically giving away your content to that platform. So, publish your content on your own website and keep what’s rightfully yours. You deserve it.

3. It can be hard to communicate

The purpose of social media is to be quick and easy to consume, but this can be seriously limiting when you’re trying to really connect and discuss deeper issues with your audience through a tiny character limit and one small photo. After all, yoga isn’t something you can rush. It should be practised with mindful care and attention – just like your communications.

4. It promotes addictive behaviour

In order for social media to really see major growth, it relies on you demanding the attention of an audience and creating a following for you and your brand. It may feel great while you’re riding the wave, but once you hop off, you’ll realise how caught up with ‘vanity metrics’ you’ve become. These likes, follows and shares may even start influencing what you do and how you teach.

5. It’s difficult to accurately measure

If you share an event for a yoga retreat or post a blog on social media, for example, it’s hard to know whether people who engage with your content become customers. There’s no real gauge of how effective your posts are, so you’re really just going on a hunch. Because of this it’s hard to improve, or see what can be improved, to help you focus your energy in the right places. Remember: if you’re not measuring it, it’s not marketing!

6. It’s a consciousness cul-de-sac!

As I’m sure you know, it feels real when you’re immersed in the virtual world, but it isn’t. People often use social media as a way of finding what they think is missing, or searching for an experience they’ll never find. It’s easy to get lost in the digital world and, unfortunately, this can lead to feelings of fatigue, unworthiness and even anxiety and depression.

It’s no coincidence that you’re having issues getting into the flow of using social media, when it’s made up of all the qualities that go against what we know and love about yoga and its philosophy. Quick and simple messages being chucked out thoughtlessly in the name of ‘growth’, but at the expense of your own mental state.

Ok, that got quite deep, but it’s important to know the truth behind the effects and downsides of social media before you commit so much more of your time to trying to make it work. On that note, have you seen The Social Dilemma yet? It’s definitely worth a watch!

So, let’s move on and look at what you can do to grow your yoga or wellbeing business without relying on social media for your growth.

What we recommend instead of social media

1. Perfect your messaging

It’s super important to be clear on what you’re offering and how you can help people. The best way to do this is to refine your messaging and communicate these aspects as clearly as possible.

Consider getting more personal with your audience. Social media leaves little room for personality within marketing and is often quite faceless. So, it’s a great idea to include your own journey and the story of how you got to where you are on your website. People love to know the story behind a brand, as it helps them connect to you in a more personal and relatable way. (But try to avoid navel gazing!)

If you need help getting clear on what you offer and how it helps people, take a look at our Brand Strategy Package. We’ll help you unpack your brand at a deeper level and refine your messaging to make sure you’re resonating with the right people in the right way.

2. Develop your branding

A strong brand is key for helping your audience remember you, whether they’re on your website, your emails, your social networks or any other marketing channel. Your brand needs to be instantly recognisable and consistent across all channels.

It may seem like a small detail, but your logo is absolutely crucial for creating a memorable impression of your brand in the blink of an eye.

Don’t forget: your logo needs a strapline and your business needs a ‘one-liner’ so that your potential customers can instantly see what you do. Check out our Logo & Style Guide Package if you need help developing your brand.

3. Blog to your heart’s content

As mentioned earlier, posting to your website means you’re publishing content that you own yourself, that will be there forever. In fact, if you aim to create at least some ‘evergreen’ content on your site, this means it will actually become more valuable over time.

You should aim to publish regular, high quality, original content in your blog that’ll stay relevant for years to come. This is a great way to keep people coming back to your website, and also gives you ready-made content to share in your email newsletters.

If you aim to publish posts that grow in relevance and popularity over time, this can be a great way of putting your time into something that can really help you grow, and is totally measurable.

4. Grow your email list

Once you’ve got your website set up right, with your messaging, branding and blogging all in place, then you can focus on email marketing.

Email marketing is still the most effective marketing channel and presents an awesome way to directly reach your audience. It even gives you an opportunity to personalise each email and add a nicer, more personal feel to your communications. As this recent Forbes article explains, “Email is the marketing channel most consumers say they want businesses to use to communicate with them.”

There’s no doubt that it’s more effective to promote yourself to engaged subscribers on your email list, than to send out a random social media post in the hopes that it might land in front of the right people. If they’re even paying attention…

The article goes on to say that “Email marketing still promises to deliver the highest ROI [return on investment] of all marketing channels.” Now, we don’t know about you, but if we’re putting a lot of time and effort into something, we want to be sure we’re getting the most out of it as possible!

So, go with what’s proven, start building your email list, and grow that community of engaged subscribers.

You’re on your way!

We know this might be a lot to take in, considering we’re often being told the perks of social media and how it’s all you need to be successful with your business!

But we think it’s so important not to lose sight of the other tried and tested marketing methods that are out there and ready for you to master. Plus, if you don’t feel comfortable using social media, you don’t have to!

As always, we’re just a click away if you need any help with your marketing efforts. So, book a free consultation and let’s get you set up.

Book a free consultation

Is Mailchimp’s free account still worth it?

If you’re a regular follower of our content, you’ll probably know by now that we rate Mailchimp as one of the best email marketing providers around. We explain why in our post 5 reasons why you should use MailChimp for your email marketing. It has loads of great features, is really easy to set up and use, and their Forever Free plan gives you everything you need – for free! Or, at least, that was the case until recently.

The Mailchimp evolution

Back in September 2017, Mailchimp announced they had a brand new look. They updated their logo, typeface, colors, and imagery, and even subtly changed their name from “MailChimp” to Mailchimp”. (I’m sure the lower case ‘c’ makes a lot of difference.)

I believe this marked the start of a bigger change for the company – at least publicly – as they started evolving from a simple email marketing provider to a much more comprehensive marketing platform. In May 2019, they officially announced that they’re now an “all-in-one Marketing Platform”.

Keeping up with the changes

As a marketing agency, we at Wildheart use a lot of different websites and online tools to help us in our work. These platforms are continually being updated and we often find ourselves logging in to a site to discover certain changes have been made. These are usually fairly minor changes, related to the design, layout or menu options, and are nearly always welcome improvements. If major changes are being rolled out to a site, the users and subscribers are usually notified.

But, what we’ve found with Mailchimp, is that over the course of a couple of years, lots of things started changing and evolving, so that almost every time we logged in we were discovering new features, changes in terminology, and updates we weren’t aware of. And, the more new accounts we started opening and managing on behalf of our clients, the more features we started realising were no longer included in the Forever Free plan. In fact, it’s no longer even called Forever Free anymore, as it’s highly likely that at some point you’ll need to upgrade to a paid account!

So, what’s changed in Mailchimp for the better?

So many minor changes have happened that it’s difficult to list them all. Some of the terminology has changed, for example Lists are now Audience, and much of the menu structure has been moved around. At one point the top menu was simply:

  • Campaigns
  • Templates
  • Audience
  • Reports
  • Content Studio

As of writing this, the top menu is now:

  • Create
    • Email
    • Ads
    • Website
    • Landing Page
    • Survey
    • Social Post
    • Signup Form
    • Postcard
  • Campaigns
  • Automate
    • Email
    • Ad
    • Postcard
  • Audience
  • Brand
    • Templates
    • Manage Website
    • Manage Domains
    • Content Studio
  • Reports

As you can see, they’ve had to completely update their site architecture to keep up with all the new features. You can now create websites, landing pages, ads, social posts, and even send printed postcards, all from your humble Mailchimp account!

This is all great news if you want your Mailchimp account to work harder for you and become a more rounded marketing tool. There are lots of other great improvements they’ve made too, such as: a more intuitive campaign builder; easier audience organisation using tags; improvements to their mobile app; the introduction of remarketing ads; organic social posting and scheduling; a marketing calendar; a subject line helper; and lots more.

Mailchimp changes we’re not so keen on

Of course, as marketers and yogis, we know that all things are impermanent. Products and services must continually adapt to keep up with demand, and none more so than in the digital realm.

However, as an agency that uses Mailchimp on a daily basis for our clients, there are certain changes we’re not so happy about too. Some features that were crucial to the way we work with our clients have now been removed from the free account. And these can create hurdles for our yoga and small-business clients…

No more scheduling

The biggest (and worst) change to Mailchimp’s free account – in our opinion – is that you can no longer schedule your email campaigns to be sent at a particular time. This seems like a huge oversight, as one of the main reasons for using email marketing software in the first place is to allow you to plan, and schedule, your emails!

You can of course still design and prepare your email campaigns in advance. But now – if you have one of the new free accounts – you’ll have to physically go into your account at the time you want to send your email in order to hit the send button. Not difficult, but not always convenient either.

Only one user allowed

In the free account, Mailchimp has removed the ability to have more than one user. This may not be a problem for most small businesses but if, like our clients, you need to give access to your trusted marketing agency (that’s us), this is now very difficult.

Until now, we’ve been able to manage all our clients’ Mailchimp accounts through a single login for each user. So, when I login for example, I can access all our clients’ accounts from one place, and easily switch between them whilst still being logged in.

However, for any new Mailchimp accounts set up from now on, we can only login using our client’s own login credentials. This poses challenges, not only from a security point of view (having to share login details across the internet), but also from a remote working point of view. As our team members work in various different countries, trying to login as our clients usually results in OTP (one time password) codes needing to be shared instantly via mobile or email – and when you’re working in different time zones, this isn’t always easy!

Multiple mailing lists are out

The final change we’ve struggled with is that you can no longer have more than one list (now called audience) in the free account. If this is the case for you, you’ll see this message on the audience page:

There have been instances where our clients wanted to manage two or three completely separate lists, for a variety of reasons, but this is no longer possible. In the free account, you can now only have one audience, which you can then organise using groups and tags. If you want to add any more audiences, you’ll need to upgrade.

What if you have a legacy Mailchimp account?

The good news is that if you have a legacy Forever Free account, you should still have access to all these features.

Our advice: If you already have more than one user or audience, and you want to keep these, or might want to use them in future – don’t delete them! Once you remove any existing users or audiences, you won’t be able to add them back in again later.

Even if you’re no longer using your Forever Free Mailchimp account, we’d suggest keeping it, just in case you decide to use it again in future. If you delete it and re-sign up, you’ll lose all those great legacy features you’ve been enjoying.

Will Mailchimp’s free account work for you?

So, what if you don’t yet have a Mailchimp account? We suggest it’s still worth signing up for the free version if you answer yes to the questions below:

  • Are you looking for an easy-to-use, intuitive email marketing provider?
  • Do you want a comprehensive all-in-one marketing platform that’s constantly evolving and adding new features?
  • Are you happy to send out your emails manually at the time you want to send them?
  • Are you ok only having one user login for your account?
  • Are you ok only having one audience (list), and using groups and tags to organise/segment it?

And, if you need more features than the free account offers, you can always check out Mailchimp’s pricing options to find the plan that’s right for you.

More help with Mailchimp

To help you get the most out of your Mailchimp account, check out these other useful posts:

Marketing tip #3: How to save money with MailChimp
4 steps to cultivating a high quality email list with MailChimp
How to grow your yoga community with email marketing

Our Email Marketing Package

Marketing Tip #3: How to save money with MailChimp

Our new Marketing Tips category features a series of videos from Wildheart’s Content Queen, Hannah. We’ll be sharing hot marketing tips via screencast videos, so you can see exactly how to do it yourself – making your life just that little bit easier!

Saving money with MailChimp

In this month’s video Hannah shares a quick but very useful tip for how to save money with MailChimp. If you’re currently spending money on your email marketing – wait! You might find you don’t need to.

Watch our 3-minute video or read the transcript below.

Video transcript

[00:00] Hi, it’s Hannah from Wildheart Media here. In today’s video I’m going to share with you a very quick but very useful tip for how you can save money with MailChimp. Now, it’s surprising how many people we come across who don’t realise what I’m about to share with you.

[00:16] So, here I am in the Wildheart Media MailChimp account. Now, we don’t actually use MailChimp for our email marketing. We actually use Drip which is a marketing automation software, so this is really just a dummy account. But this is what your dashboard would look like, and if I just click up here into the account settings, it will take you into an overview page. And what you can see here is that we’re on the Forever Free plan.

[00:47] Now, if I click into Upgrade Account you can see the actual billing options available and you can see here that MailChimp have a Forever Free plan, which means if you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers, you can send up to 12,000 emails per month absolutely free. Now, this is the bit that a lot of people don’t know about – that if you do have fewer than 2,000 subscribers, you really shouldn’t be paying any money to MailChimp.

[01:18] Sometimes an account gets upgraded or you automatically get put on this monthly charge, and at the moment it’s saying that it would charge us £7.59, which is about $10 USD a month. So, it’s surprising how many people we find who are actually on this monthly payment scheme and don’t realise that they don’t need to be. And you can actually downgrade your account to Forever Free as long as you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers.

[01:50] So, this is also a great way to save money if you’re not currently using MailChimp. Perhaps you’re using another email marketing provider, or email automation provider, but you’re not actually making the most of all their features. And if you don’t need particularly sophisticated email marketing, then you may be better switching over to MailChimp, switching to their Forever Free plan, and also staying under 2,000 subscribers is a great way to clean your list. So, if you only have a few above 2,000 subscribers, you might want to do some list cleaning, some list pruning – I’ll add a link to our recent blog post about that in the text below (4 steps to cultivating a high quality email list with MailChimp). So, it’s a great way to stay below 2,000 subscribers, switch to Forever Free plan in MailChimp and you’ll be saving yourself some money each month.

[02:50] Ok, so I hope that’s been helpful and I’ll see you next time. If you have a marketing question or you’d like help or a tip with any aspect of marketing, do fill in the form below this video and we’ll make a video about it next time. Ok, thanks, bye!

GDPR and email marketing: What you need to know

Disclaimer: The information in this article does not constitute legal advice in any form. These are our recommendations based on our understanding of the GDPR. You should seek legal advice for accurate compliance based on your own business.

What is GDPR?

As you’re no doubt aware, new EU data laws come into force on 25th May 2018 under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This new law aims to standardise privacy rules across the EU, giving individuals more control over how their data is used. It’s the biggest change to privacy law in 20 years.

GDPR affects every company that processes personal data from EU citizens. So, if you collect and store names and email addresses from EU citizens, for example, you’ll need to comply with GDPR – no matter where you’re based.

How does GDPR affect email marketing?

One of the key requirements of the regulation is that consent must be “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous”. This means the way you collect and store people’s consent for sending them your marketing materials (such as your blogs, newsletters, bulletins and other updates) might need to change.

The main concerns around email marketing under GDPR are:

  • Collecting & storing consent for new and existing subscribers
  • Lead magnets
  • Pre-ticked opt-in boxes
  • Privacy policy
  • Website cookies
  • Google Analytics

We will look at each of these in turn.

Collecting & storing consent

One of the key requirements of GDPR is being able to prove that you have your subscribers’ consent – not only to email them but to store their personal data too. In MailChimp this is recorded in the ‘Source’ column of your mailing list. If your subscribers’ listed source is any of the following, then you should already be able to prove consent:

  • Facebook Signup Form
  • Hosted Signup Form (signup form in MailChimp)
  • Embed Form (signup form embedded on website)
  • API – Generic (website signup form via third party plugin, e.g. Gravity Forms)

However, if the source for any of your subscribers is listed as any of the following, then you’ll need to re-obtain their consent:

  • Admin Add
  • List Import from CSV
  • List Import from Copy/Pasted File

Don’t use MailChimp? Whichever email marketing provider you use, similar data should be recorded when each subscriber joins your list. However, if you cannot find this information in your account, or it’s not clear how/where each subscriber signed up, then you’ll need to follow the steps below to ensure you’re compliant.

New subscribers

If you use MailChimp to embed signup forms on your website, you can switch on their new GDPR-friendly fields and use list segmentation to make sure you only email subscribers who have explicitly consented to receiving your emails. Read this article for more on this.

If, like us and most of our clients, you use a third party WordPress plugin to manage your forms, e.g. Gravity Forms, then we suggest adding a checkbox to each form with wording such as “I consent to my submitted data being collected and stored”. As long as this is a required field, then you have explicit consent, as the subscriber cannot submit the form without ticking this box.

A word of warning if you do use a WordPress plugin to collect form data from your website (e.g. Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7, Formidable, etc.): this data is stored in your website database and in the email notifications that are sent to you, so the onus to safeguard that information is on your company. It’s therefore your responsibility to ensure your handling of that data is compliant with GDPR and any other current data handling laws. Ensuring your privacy policy is up-to-date will help with this (see below).

Existing subscribers

We suggest the safest way to ensure that every subscriber on your mailing list has given their consent for you to send them marketing materials – and to be able to prove this if you’re audited – is to do the following:

  • Start a brand new GDPR-compliant list in your email marketing account: you could call this “[Company Name] Mailing List (GDPR)” for example.
  • Remember to set up any groups in exactly the same way.
  • Send a re-consent campaign to everyone on your list, explaining that they need to re-subscribe to continue receiving your emails after 25th May (you may well have seen examples of these pop up in your inbox recently).
  • In that campaign include a link to your newly updated GDPR-compliant signup form (see above).
  • Send one or two follow-up campaigns reminding people to re-subscribe.
  • Just before 25th May, remove your old list from your account.
  • Use your new mailing list for all future email campaigns and enjoy peace of mind that you’ve explicitly gained consent from everyone on that list.

Don’t use MailChimp? The above steps are based on using MailChimp or similar email marketing software. If you use a different provider you’ll need to adapt the above process accordingly. For example, if you use Drip, you’ll need to re-organise your workflows and tags to ensure compliance, such as creating a ‘gdpr’ tag that gets applied to every new subscriber who submits your GDPR-friendly form.

Lead magnets

The GDPR will have a big effect on lead magnets – these are pieces of content you give away in return for an email address. You’ll no longer be legally allowed to add someone to your mailing list just because they’ve requested a download of your free eBook, PDF practice guide, or audio file, for example.

You can ask for their email address in order to send them the specific content you’re offering, but you cannot send them any further emails UNLESS they’ve specifically opted in. So, providing the free content has to be separate from opting in to your email list.

What we suggest is adding a checkbox to each lead magnet form inviting them to also sign up to your mailing list. This would need to be set as conditional logic on your form – if they don’t tick the box then they don’t get added to your mailing list. But you’ll still need a process for sending them the lead magnet they’ve requested.

Update: There’s some debate about whether this is strictly necessary. It may be ok to simply add some wording to your lead magnet form, explaining that by submitting the form they’re also opting in to your mailing list. Some further research is needed here.

Pre-ticked opt-in boxes

Under the GDPR, it’s not permissible to use pre-ticked opt-in boxes in online forms. For example, you might have a contact form with an additional checkbox for signing up to your mailing list. You should make sure this checkbox is not pre-ticked, as a person filling in the form might not notice and therefore be unaware that they’ve signed up.

Remember that consent has to be “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous”. Therefore, a person has to take an action in order to sign up and give consent, i.e. they have to tick the checkbox themselves.

Privacy policy

If you collect personal data, such as names and email addresses, via your website, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got an up-to-date GDPR-compliant privacy policy somewhere on your site. For more on this, here’s a useful article from TermsFeed.

At Wildheart we recently updated our own Privacy and Cookies Policy and believe this satisfies the requirements of GDPR.

Website cookies

Cookies are text files containing small amounts of information which are downloaded to your personal computer, mobile or other device when you visit a website. They’re useful because they can remember your preferences, improve your user experience and allow the website owner to collect important data about how their site is used.

Your website may already comply with the current EU Cookie Law, but you might need to make some changes in order to be fully compliant with GDPR.

The biggest change is that ‘soft opt-ins’ are no longer allowed. So, if your website cookie notice says something along the lines of “By using this website you agree to our use of cookies”, without providing a button or link to confirm consent, then this is NOT compliant with GDPR. You need to provide a button or link for your website visitors to click to explicitly confirm their consent.

Google Analytics

As we understand it, there are two main changes that would need to be made in your Google Analytics (GA) account, in order to be GDPR-compliant:

Anonymise IP addresses

If you’re not already anonymising your IP addresses in GA, you need to start doing so. As standard practice, customer IP addresses are not stored in your GA database, and they’re not accessible to any client specifically. However, technically speaking they can be accessed by a Google employee, and they do qualify as personal identifying information. So, even if you don’t have access to your visitors’ IP addresses, you need to make sure they’re anonymised.

Turn off User ID

If you use GA and you have User ID switched on, it’s best to switch this off in order to be compliant with GDPR, as this tracks individual users across devices and sessions. Google are rolling out various new Data Retention controls in line with GDPR, so you should be able to review and update these settings next time you log in.

At Wildheart Media we don’t use User IDs, we’ve anonymised our IP addresses, and we’ve reviewed all our GA settings accordingly.

How we can help

If you need help making sure your email marketing is GDPR compliant before 25th May, get in touch. We’ve put together a package that includes the following:

  • Mailing list:
    • Update signup forms (email signup forms, contact form, event booking forms)
    • Create and send consent campaign plus 2 follow-up campaigns
    • Reorganise/clean list
  • Review/update any other website forms
  • Review/update privacy policy
  • Install/configure GDPR-compliant cookies plugin
  • Google analytics – anonymise IP addresses & turn off User ID

Don’t take the risk – make sure you’re GDPR compliant before 25th May 2018.

Further reading

For more information about GDPR and how it affects email marketing, you might like to read these articles:

Contact us

How to attract more students to your yoga retreats and workshops

If you saw the last post in our Art of Marketing Your Yoga Business series, you’ll know that email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to build your yoga community. Building a community is really important, as your business will gain popularity and respect, and your students and visitors will be encouraged to keep coming back for more.

But, what else can you do to get more bums on mats, especially when it comes to yoga events? In this week’s post, we answer that all-important question every yoga teacher and studio owner needs to know – How do you sell more places on your workshops and retreats?

Standing out from the crowd

The problem these days is that everyone’s doing the same thing. You don’t need to look far online to find countless weekend workshops, multi-day intensives, retreats, holidays and other special yoga events being offered all over the world in any given month.

So, the trick is how to stand out. What do you offer that’s different? What’s your unique spin on this event? What makes your workshop special? Even if on the surface you don’t think your event is all that different, if you dig a little deeper, you’re bound to find the answer. As a teacher, you don’t teach in the same way as everyone else; you have your own unique style. Therefore, you naturally bring elements of your teaching style to your events.

We’d encourage you to spend a little time working out what makes your yoga business, or you as a yoga teacher, different. You’ll need these for your 3-pronged approach – all is about to be revealed!

The ‘trident’ approach to increasing yoga event bookings

In our experience, a single marketing method alone isn’t usually enough to reach a wide audience; that’s why we’ve developed a 3-pronged approach, aka the trident, to increasing your event bookings.

Remember our marketing cake? Well, our trident follows a very similar format. First, you need to have a good strong foundation in place for the base of your cake (your website and, more specifically, the page on your website for the event you want to promote); then you need to use the power of the email marketing icing to reach out to your loyal, engaged mailing list; and finally, you can pop the social media cherry on top, in the form of Facebook advertising:

  1. Event landing page on your website
  2. Email marketing campaign
  3. Facebook ad

So, let’s get baking and dive in a little deeper!

1. Event landing page

The first thing you need to do is create a strong landing page for your event. This is a page on your website that’s dedicated purely to this event, which has its own unique URL (web address) and includes all the details in a clear, easy-to-read format.

The best way to think of this page is as a sales page. Now, we know most people don’t like to think of ‘selling’ when it comes to yoga, but if you don’t see your yoga events as a service you’re selling, then you’re unlikely to be very successful.

Like any good sales page, your event landing page must focus on the WHY first. Most people tend to start with the WHAT and the HOW, but we think this is a mistake. In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to feature the most important element first – WHY should people book your event? This is a chance to capture their imagination and get them excited!

So, this is where you need to bring in your ‘stand out from the crowd’ points. You could use a strong ‘one-liner’ at the top of your page to explain what lies at the heart of your event; you could feature a list of reasons why this event is different; or you could simply include a paragraph of text giving people a feel for what they can expect when they book.

Your landing page should include clear, easy-to-read text, broken into short paragraphs, with striking images to help break up the text and give a visual flavour of the event. The important details, like dates, location and cost can appear at the top and bottom of the page, and must be accurate. It’s a good idea to include some testimonials if you have some, of previous similar events.

At the bottom of the page you need a very strong call to action. How do people book? Is there a booking form? Should they contact you directly? How do they pay? Is there a deposit? How and when do they pay the remainder? Make sure this information is very clear and that all links and forms have been sufficiently tested. It’s surprising how the smallest of obstacles – like missing information, a broken link or a button that doesn’t work – can stop people booking.

And don’t forget the elements of the page that you don’t actually see on the front end. We’re referring to the SEO data, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Your website should have an SEO plugin that allows you to set elements such as a focus keyword, SEO title, SEO description and social media images. If it doesn’t, we recommend installing The SEO Framework. This is particularly important if your event is several months away, as your landing page can be a great source of organic search traffic, i.e. people naturally discovering the event through searching online.

So, in summary, each event that you want to promote should have its own landing page with the following features:

  • Unique URL
  • Striking images
  • Event details – the WHY, the WHAT, the HOW
  • Location/dates/price
  • Testimonials
  • Strong call to action – how to book
  • Accurate and relevant SEO data (in the back-end)

Here’s one we made earlier…
We recently did some work with Heather Elton of Elton Yoga to help promote her Teacher Training programmes. Here’s part of the landing page we created for her Teacher Training in London:

Elton Yoga - landing page

2. Email marketing campaign

Once you have your dedicated landing page in place, you can now start shouting about it! A good place to start is with your mailing list, as your subscribers are already engaged with your yoga business and interested in what you offer.

You can create an email campaign either for your entire list, or for a relevant group if you’ve set up opt-in groups. You should include a brief outline of the event – again, the WHY is the most important element here – with a clear call to action, i.e. a link to the landing page.

The subject line of the email should be enticing enough to encourage people to want to open the email to find out more. For help with this, check out How to write email subject lines that get results.

Your email should be short and sweet – don’t go into too much detail about the event here, as the action you really want people to take is to click through to your landing page. So, think of your email campaign as the teaser trailer and your landing page as the main feature. It’s a good idea to use the same image and other design elements as the landing page, as this visually ties the two together and helps to set people’s expectations when they land on the page.

If you have more than one event to promote, it’s fine to include them in the same email. But make sure you include the correct link to each landing page, and make sure the differences between the events are super clear.

In summary, your email campaign should include:

  • Compelling subject line
  • Brief summary of the event, primarily the WHY
  • Similar design elements to the landing page
  • Clear call to action – link to the landing page

The double tap
For bonus points… If you’re using MailChimp or Drip, you can duplicate your campaign and send it to a segment of your audience 2-3 days after you first sent it, i.e. only to the people who didn’t open your last campaign. This should give you around 10-20% extra opens. Remember this is not spam – your audience are just busy and it’s easy to miss an email, so they’ll probably appreciate the reminder. It’s a good idea to tweak the subject line so it’s not exactly the same as the first email, e.g. “In case you didn’t get this…” or “Have you seen this event yet…?”

Here’s one we made earlier…
Here’s a screenshot of the email campaign we sent to Heather Elton’s mailing list to promote her London Teacher Training programme. The ‘Book Now’ button takes people straight to the landing page we showed you above:

Elton Yoga - email campaign

3. Facebook ad

The final prong of your approach is to send out a Facebook advert, promoting your event to a far wider audience than your mailing list alone. We would recommend only focussing on Facebook for this, as it’s by far the largest social network and their advertising capabilities are actually very sophisticated.

In order to start creating adverts, you need to have a company Facebook page set up. This is a dedicated business page, which is completely separate from your own personal profile. If you don’t already have one, this is your first step. And something we’d highly recommend.

Again, when creating your advert, you should keep the copy short and sweet, but compelling – always focus on the WHY. Attracting more bookings for your event is even harder here because you’re trying to appeal to complete strangers, rather than your loyal, already engaged, email subscribers.

It’s important to get your targeting right, so think about the locations in the world where people are likely to book. Where do most of your bookings come from? Start there, then widen the reach if necessary. Think about the interests you want to include. If you only include people who are interested in ‘yoga’, your reach will be far too wide. So, come back to your USPs again and think about your niche offerings. Are there categories that cover these?

You can also schedule your advert to go out at certain times of day. So, thinking about your target audience, what are their movements likely to be? Are you trying to attract people who tend to work a 9-5 day and are therefore more likely to be looking at Facebook during their commute or at lunchtime? Or are you appealing to people who are likely to have a regular, early morning yoga practice? Perhaps around breakfast time, late morning, or early evening would be better for them?

It’s important to keep checking in on your advert and tweaking it if it’s not performing as well as you’d like. If you do make changes, we’d recommend only changing one element at a time, so you can test whether it makes a difference to the results.

For a more detailed guide to creating Facebook adverts, read How to create targeted Facebook ads for your business. And remember: social media is an important part of your marketing strategy, but you shouldn’t rely on this alone. The main purpose of social media is to drive traffic back to your website; in this case, specifically your event landing page.

In summary, your Facebook ad should:

  • Focus on the WHY
  • Include an amazing image
  • Link people to your landing page
  • Have the right targeting
  • Be frequently tested, reviewed and tweaked

Here’s one we made earlier…
This is the Facebook ad we created for Heather Elton’s London Yoga Teacher Training. Again, the ‘Learn More’ button takes people straight to the landing page:

Elton Yoga - FB ad

How Wildheart can help

Does this all sound like too much hard work? We can work on an hourly consulting basis, delivering exactly what you need. We’ll work closely with you to work out your priorities and goals, then get to work implementing these as efficiently as possible.

See how we’ve helped our clients

Read the next post in this series

Creating landing pages, sending email campaigns and posting Facebook ads is all well and good, but how do you know if your yoga marketing is actually working? That’s the question we’ll be answering in our next post of this series, as we get into some serious number crunching – because if you’re not measuring it, it’s not marketing!

Or go back to Blog series: The art of marketing your yoga business.

How to grow your yoga community with email marketing

The latest post in our Art of Marketing Your Yoga Business series looks at the next stage of the process, once you’ve got a great website set up with striking images, and have started blogging regularly – how to grow your yoga community through email marketing.

Why do you need to build a community?

As an independent yoga teacher or owner of a yoga studio or retreat centre, you know how important the teacher-student relationship is; you know how important word-of-mouth is; and you know that you need a steady flow of regular practitioners for your business to be a success. But it’s not all bums on mats, is it?

You probably know that there’s a lot more to running your business than what happens on the mat. That positive, supportive, uplifting energy you create inside the studio is just as important for what you need to do outside the studio. And that’s where the power of community comes in.

When you create and grow a yoga community, it takes on a life of its own. Your students become inspired and engaged; they feel connected, part of something meaningful. And this is self-perpetuating. The more people join the community and the more interaction they have with each other, the more the energy and excitement builds. Ultimately, this will result in your business gaining popularity and respect, and your students coming back again and again.

How can email marketing help?

Did you know that email marketing is still 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined, when it comes to acquiring new customers (McKinsey & Co)? You can blast out updates across your social media channels all you want, but there’s a very grey area around who owns the content you share, and it’s still pretty difficult to track real results.

With email marketing on the other hand, you can send targeted campaigns with relevant content to the right people, plus you can track who opens your emails and which links are clicked most often. By sending out special offers or early booking privileges, you can also create an air of exclusivity, which will help to build a list of loyal subscribers who are fully engaged with you and your brand.

As we explained in Are you ready to market your yoga business?, email marketing is like the icing on top of your website cake. The cake (your website) has to come first, as this is the foundation, or heart, of your marketing. You want it to be moist and fluffy – or, in the case of a website, well structured with clear navigation and calls to action!

But, no cake is complete without icing, right? So, you need to spread that delicious email marketing on top, to make sure your audience keeps coming back to your website. Social media is like the cherry on top – it’s a nice-to-have and is great for brand awareness and community, but it’s not so effective when it comes to converting visitors into customers (and can be hard to swallow if you don’t like cherries!)

The benefits of building your mailing list

Depending whether you’re an independent yoga teacher or you run a studio or retreat centre, your goals and aspirations will be different. Let’s take a look at each of these in turn.

Independent yoga teacher

If you’re a yoga teacher based in one or two locations, attracting regular students to your classes is key. You need to convey what you offer that’s different from other teachers around you. What’s your teaching style? What’s your approach to the practice? What tradition or philosophy do you follow and why? Sending out regular news, updates and links to your blog posts will help to get this information across to your audience. You’ll be able to develop a strong following of local students who are interested in your unique style and want to keep coming to your classes.

If you’re a travelling yoga teacher, your focus will be slightly different. You’ll need to think wider and appeal to a more global audience. Which areas of the world do you travel to most? What content would appeal to people in those areas? It’s super important to plan ahead for your events and make sure you communicate clearly to your audience about where you’ll be, on what dates, what you’ll be offering and how they can book. It’s surprising how the smallest of obstacles – like missing information, a broken link or a button that doesn’t work – can stop people booking. Through email marketing you can build a loyal following of students around the world who will be eager to travel to wherever you’re teaching next.

Yoga studio owner

If you run a yoga studio in a physical location, you need to build your email list to attract regular students to your classes. It’s super important to build a loyal audience, as you want them to come to your studio above all others. This means asking for regular feedback, listening to their concerns and making changes wherever you can.

Your email list is crucial for communicating with your customers, as it’s the most direct way to let people know about any changes to your class schedule, any news updates and any new services you might be offering. You can ask your subscribers for testimonials via email, or ask them to leave a review on your Facebook page. You can also send out special offers and priority booking opportunities to keep your audience engaged and help them feel part of an exclusive community.

If you run a retreat centre, you also want to build a community for returning visitors. The centre has a physical location and you want to inspire people to see it as a special destination for them to return to again and again. Getting feedback from your visitors via email is important. Social proof, testimonials and recommendations via word-of-mouth will all be key factors in the success of your business, all of which you can encourage via your mailing list.

Which email marketing provider should I use?

There are many options to choose from when it comes to email marketing, but one of our favourites is MailChimp. Find out why in 5 reasons why you should use MailChimp for your email marketing, which includes a free video we made showing you how to get started. You can easily set up a free account and this will remain free until you go over 2,000 subscribers, after which you might want to do some list pruning – see below!

Another provider we use regularly is Drip. Drip doesn’t have an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor like MailChimp, but they are masters of email marketing automation! To put it simply, email marketing automation is led by your audience’s behaviour – they receive emails from you based on actions they take, e.g. web pages they view; emails they open or don’t open; and links they click in emails and on your website. This means you can create email campaigns and workflows that will ‘drip-feed’ your content to your audience at the right time, so you can ‘set and forget’ – once it’s set up it’ll keep working for you. For more on this, read our Comprehensive guide to marketing automation.

If you’re a digital yoga business offering online courses and other digital products, you’re going to want a provider with good automation features. This way, you’ll be able to set up a series of emails to go to your customers when they buy a product, if they add a product to their cart but don’t buy, to ask for their feedback, to send special offers and to send re-engagement campaigns if they haven’t bought from you in a while.

Segmenting your email list

Whichever email marketing provider you use, it’s important to keep your mailing list neat, tody and up-to-date. One way to do this is to prune your email list from time to time, to make sure the subscribers on your list are still engaged with your content and your brand.

It’s also important to nurture your community by segmenting your email list. You can use opt-in groups to divide up your subscribers and then send out even more targeted email campaigns to those groups, with only the information they’ve asked for.

As a teacher attached to a particular location, you might decide to set up groups for beginners and more experienced practitioners, or for different types of classes. If you’re a travelling teacher, you might want groups for different areas of the world in which you teach, or for different types of events you offer. A yoga studio could have opt-in groups for the various services offered, e.g. types of classes, times of day, therapies, etc.

Some real-life examples

We’ve helped many of our customers grow their yoga businesses through blogging and email marketing.

Working closely with Yoganatomy, a well established US yoga business with a global audience, we restructured their website and helped them launch new digital products using their website and email marketing. Their email open and click-through rates are now way above average for their sector, they continue to receive an average of 300 new subscribers a month, and currently have an email list of over 15,000 subscribers.

We’ve been building a trusted and successful working relationship over many years with Stillpoint Yoga London, a busy Ashtanga yoga studio based at London Bridge. Recently we’ve been focussed on helping them build a valued community. Relaunching a monthly blog – and sharing it across their email marketing and social media – has given their audience a reason to keep coming back to their site. As a result, the number of returning visitors has increased to 40%.

Over the past year we’ve been working with Maria Boox, a travelling yoga teacher from Sweden, creating a new website, helping her launch a blog and sending out her newsletter each month. This has been very successful and she now has over 1,000 subscribers. Each month we resend her monthly email to all subscribers who haven’t yet opened it. This has proved a very worthwhile tactic for engaging her mailing list and driving good traffic back to her website.

How can Wildheart help?

When you sign up to our Email Marketing Package, we’ll set up your email marketing account or refine your existing one. We’ll set up your mailing list, or carry out important maintenance on your existing list. We’ll create a beautiful branded email template. And we’ll even send out your first email campaign for you.

And that’s not all! We’ll also design and create a lead magnet for you. This is a useful piece of content you give away in exchange for an email address, which is one of the best ways to start building your list. Plus, we’ll make you a tutorial video so you can learn how to do your own email marketing moving forward.

See how we’ve helped our clients

Read the next post in this series

In the next post of this series we’ll be answering that all-important question every yoga teacher needs to know: How do you sell more places on your yoga retreats and workshops? You won’t want to miss this one!

Or go back to Blog series: The art of marketing your yoga business.

A comprehensive guide to marketing automation

In our latest Content Kitchen video, Guy tackles the question What is email marketing automation and do I need it? He introduces email marketing automation and offers 3 tips for getting started with it in your business.

Email marketing automation is a complex subject and you won’t really know if it’s right for your business until you understand more about it and what it can do. So, in this post we share 3 practical examples with results, so you can get an idea of what’s involved.

What’s the difference between email marketing and marketing automation?

In its simplest form, email marketing means sending email campaigns to your mailing list at times of your choosing. Email marketing automation, however, is led by your audience’s behaviour – they receive emails from you based on links they click or web pages they view.

Email marketing could be referred to as ‘push marketing’ because you push your content to your audience according to your own schedule. Marketing automation, on the other hand, could be called ‘pull marketing’ because your audience pulls the content towards themselves by taking some action that triggers the automation.

Why is this important? Because it makes your emails highly relevant – they’re delivered when people are already looking for something or interacting with your business. This relevance in turn leads to higher conversion rates and engagement.

So, email marketing automation shouldn’t be seen as something completely different to email marketing. Instead, it should be considered an evolution in email marketing; how email marketing is re-inventing itself. Pretty much all email marketing software now offers at least a few automation features so automation is definitely here to stay.

Core concepts of email marketing automation

So, what exactly can marketing automation do? Well, email automation software does two things:

1. Create emails

All the tools you’d expect in traditional email marketing software. This includes creation of one-off emails, email sequences, email templates and merge tags or shortcodes that include personalised information, e.g. first name and email address. This is typically what is delivered to your audience.

2. Automation

This is the brains of email marketing automation and includes triggers and workflows. Triggers are actions that your audience takes which cause something to happen. Workflows are collections of triggers, emails and decisions that represent the steps in a specific journey your audience is following. This is how your content is delivered to your audience.

Decisions, decisions

At its heart, automation consists of conditional logic. This is also at the heart of computer programming and it goes like this:

If (something) then do X
if (something else) then do Y

So, the ‘if’ is the trigger and the X or Y is the action performed based on that trigger.

Here are 3 examples of triggers:

  • Visited a page: triggered when a subscriber visits the desired web page.
  • Performed a custom event: triggered when a subscriber performs a custom event you specify.
  • Made a purchase: starts a workflow when the subscriber makes a purchase through a payment platform.

If you’d like to know more about triggers and see more examples, check out the Drip Triggers knowledge base.

Email marketing automation in action

To give you an idea of the kinds of things you can do with marketing automation, and how it could benefit your business, we set out below 3 real-life case studies from our work here at Wildheart Media.

These examples are only the tip of the iceberg – there’s lots of very cool stuff you can do! But hopefully they’ll give you a little flavour of and better insight into the power of email marketing automation.

1. Automated welcome email

This is a great place to start if you’re new to email marketing automation and involves sending an automatic welcome email to your subscribers when they sign up to your blog.

As an example, this is the welcome email you get when you sign up to the Wildheart content marketing blog:

Wildheart welcome email

Why do we do this? Because it allows us to set expectations, introduce our categories and give away our lead magnets all in one place. It also enables us to engage with our audience and help them feel valued.

The following metrics demonstrate how effective welcome emails can be. The higher the open and click-through rates, the more relevant your content is for your audience.

Welcome email metrics for Wildheart Media:

Wildheart welcome metricsWelcome email metrics for one of our clients:

Client welcome metricsAs you can see, the open and click-through rates for both these campaigns are very high, indicating a very good level of audience engagement and proving the value of sending an automated welcome email.

2. 30-day free trial sequence

This is essential for anyone offering free trials of online courses, digital products or Software as a Service (SAAS). This sequence of lead nurturing emails is aimed at the leads who’ve signed up to your free trial. It’s designed to keep them coming back and, ultimately, encourage them to convert to the full paying product.

In this example we send 6 emails over 31 days:

30-day trial client campaign

Notice the increase in replies in the last 3 emails. This means the audience is replying to these emails – exactly the kind of behaviour we want before people make a final buying decision.

The metrics for this entire email sequence are consistently high for this type of campaign, as you can see in the averages below:

30-day trial metrics3. Customer re-engagement sequence

This is great for getting product suggestions, feedback or testimonials from your audience.

In our example we use 2 campaigns in a workflow. The first campaign is a series of 5 emails:

Customer re-engagement campaign

Once completed, this is followed up by a single email that’s delivered every 6 weeks in a loop, as you can see from this workflow:

Customer re-engagement workflow

This allows you to keep in touch with your existing customers and prompts them to re-engage with your business.


Hopefully these 3 examples have given you some ideas of how you might be able to use email marketing automation to benefit your business and better engage with your audience.

Before you get started, check out our top tips:

  • Defensive design: This is the most important tip we’ve learned when designing automations. Defensive design means that any break in the logic chain results in a stop, so that no actions get triggered. In most cases it’s better for your audience to receive nothing than to continue receiving incorrect emails until they unsubscribe in frustration.
  • Start simple: This is a rich and complex landscape. Start small and build up slowly over time with lots of testing.
  • Warning: Watch out for dependencies. This means combining automation with manual actions that your team or customer has to take. For example, we had a renewal sequence that relied on a customer being manually tagged in order for them to continue on a workflow. So what would happen if we forgot to tag them? At best the customer would get no emails from us; at worst they’d get an incorrect email saying ‘sorry to see you go’. Oops, not great marketing! So, follow our tip on defensive design.

Who you gonna call?

Ready to get started with marketing automation? Your existing email marketing provider may already have automation features built in. If not, or if you’re new to email marketing, you might want to check out these providers:

Good luck on your email automation journey! If you get stuck, contact us and we’ll let you know how we can help.

Contact us

Content Kitchen 11: What is email marketing automation and do I need it?

Brought to you on the first Friday of each month, Content Kitchen is a series of videos in which our co-founder Guy answers your content marketing questions. Why Content Kitchen? Because they’re recorded in Guy’s kitchen of course!

What is email marketing automation and do I need it?

You probably already know about email marketing, but have you heard of email marketing automation? What’s the difference? Do you need to automate your email marketing? And if so, why?

This month Guy introduces the topic of email marketing automation and offers 3 tips for how you can start using it to benefit your business.

What next?

This month’s video is just the tip of the iceberg. In our follow-up post we offer a comprehensive guide to email marketing automation, looking at different providers, best practices and real-life examples. Check it out here.

How to nurture your community by segmenting your email list

]If you’re an avid reader of our yoga marketing blog or a subscriber to our email list, you’ll know by now how important email marketing is. In fact, it “remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media – nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined” (McKinsey & Company).

You’ll also know that you need to quickly grab the attention of your subscribers in order to stand out above the noise of email traffic in most people’s inboxes. And you can do that by learning how to write email subject lines that get results.

Your email campaigns also need to include links to fresh and relevant content on your own website. So it’s a good idea to learn how to write a great blog post too.

But sending emails is only half the story.

What about your email list?

Most businesses spend so much time thinking about the emails they want to send, they forget who they’re actually sending them to!

Remember your audience!

It’s a good idea to regularly review your email list. It’ll need a little care and attention from time to time, as we saw in our recent article 4 steps to cultivating a high quality email list with MailChimp. This involves cleaning, or pruning, your list to ensure high quality growth, i.e. growing it with people who are actually engaged and interested in your content, not with people who never open your emails and just haven’t bothered unsubscribing.

The second reason to review your list is to make use of segmentation. When we talk about segmenting your list, this is basically marketing speak for reorganising it in a useful way. Just as it’s useful to divide an orange into bite-size segments, you also need to divide your subscribers in a relevant and meaningful way. In fact, segmenting your email list is essential for nurturing your community.

How should you reorganise your email list?

There are 2 ways you can reorganise your email list in MailChimp: using groups and segments. Let’s take a closer look…


A group is a category within your list that organises your subscribers by their interests and preferences.

You can invite subscribers to opt-in to certain groups on your signup form, to ensure they only receive the information they’re interested in.

So, groups are categories you set in advance that subscribers can join themselves.


A segment is a specific set of subscribers from your list that have common qualities. For example, you might want to create segments according to location, engagement or activity criteria.

Subscribers don’t opt-in to segments; they can only be created internally in MailChimp. So, you create segments from your list in order to send more targeted email campaigns.

As MailChimp explains “Subscribers can join groups when they sign up for your newsletter, and you can segment by those groups when you’re ready to send. Add hidden groups if you want to segment by internal data.”

Using groups and segments

To get your head around this, it’s helpful to use some real life examples. Here are some examples of how we’ve helped businesses use groups and segments to better engage with their audience.

Case study #1

We set up a simple group structure for this busy London yoga studio offering classes and workshops, as follows:

Group title:

  • What are you interested in?

Group names:

  • Regular practitioners
  • Workshop notifications

These groups are displayed on the signup form and subscribers are invited to opt-in to one or both groups. When we send email campaigns we segment by these groups, depending on the content of the email – updates on regular classes or information about upcoming workshops.

Segmenting your email list works very well for events and workshops, because events generate revenue. Your email marketing will start making you money because you know that when you send out an email you’re sending it to people who’ve expressed an interest in those events, so you’re far more likely to get people signing up.

Remember: you must have your landing pages in place before you send out your emails. So, if you’re sending an email about a workshop, make sure you’ve created a page for the event that you can link to from your email.

Case study #2

We also set up a simple group structure for a Sussex-based organic, ethical clothing company:

Group title:

  • What are you interested in?

Group names:

  • Womenswear
  • Menswear

And in addition to these groups we also segment the data when we send out email campaigns, e.g.:

Segment 1: Subscribers who have never purchased (new customers)

Segment 2: Subscribers who have purchased (existing customers)

We then send different content to these segments, for example, special offers, product updates, company news, etc.

If you’re a retail business, segmenting your list is crucial for getting the right products in front of the right people. If your subscribers have expressed an interest in certain products, they’re far more likely to buy from you when you send them promotional emails about those products.

Again, make sure you have the content in place to support your segments – you should always include a link to every product you feature in your email.

How to create groups from your MailChimp list

Follow our step-by-step guide to creating groups from your email list.

  1. From your MailChimp account, go to Lists and select the list you want to work with.
  2. From the ‘Manage Subscribers’ menu, select Groups:

    MailChimp screengrab - selecting groups

  3. Click ‘Create Groups’ on the next screen and you’ll see the following options:

    MailChimp screengrab - creating groups

  4. You can decide whether to show these groups on your signup form, or whether they’re for internal use only. You can also decide how the groups will be displayed.
  5. Enter a group title and the names of the groups you want to create.
  6. Click Save.

These groups will now be displayed on your signup form, if requested. You can view, edit and import subscribers into your groups by selecting Groups from the Manage Subscribers menu within your list.

How to create segments from your MailChimp list

There are 2 ways to create a segment from your email list:

  1. From a list
    • Go to your list > Manage Subscribers > Segments > Create Segment.
    • Set the criteria, preview and save.
    • When saving, there’s an option to auto-update your segment, which means all subscribers matching your criteria are pulled into the segment before each send. If you don’t select auto-update you’ll create a static segment that includes only those subscribers in the list at the time of creation.
  2. From a campaign
    • Go to Campaigns > Create Campaign.
    • In the Recipients tab, choose your list and you’ll be presented with 3 options: Entire list; Saved or pre-built segment; Group or new segment.
    • You can choose a segment that’s pre-built in MailChimp, or set your own criteria, including any groups you’ve created.
    • Click ‘Update Recipient Count’ to see how many subscribers your campaign will go to based on your segmentation.

Updating subscriber preferences

If you’re adding groups to an existing email list, it’s a good idea to send a re-engagement campaign asking your subscribers to update their preferences. Otherwise, only new subscribers will be able to opt-in to your new groups.

We’d suggest sending an email campaign to your entire list explaining that you’re making some changes and that you want to make sure they only receive the information they’re interested in. This way, your subscribers will understand that it’s in their best interests to opt-in to the relevant groups.

In your email you can use the merge tag *|UPDATE_PROFILE|* instead of a URL for your button link and MailChimp will handle the rest.

Sound like too much hard work?

Don’t panic! When you sign up for our Email Marketing Package we’ll take care of all this for you.

We’ll set up your MailChimp account if you don’t have one, create or review your email list and work with you to create relevant and meaningful groups and segments for your email campaigns. We’ll even create and send a re-engagement campaign to all your contacts asking them to update their preferences.

So you can rest in the knowledge that your newly organised email list will be helping to nurture your community.

See how we’ve helped our clients

4 steps to cultivating a high quality email list with MailChimp

Did you watch this month’s Content Kitchen video What’s the best way to grow my audience online? If you did, then you’ll know that email marketing is still by far the best way to grow your audience – in fact, it’s almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined (McKinsey & Co).

But your email list can’t grow on its own. As well as giving away lead magnets, writing great email subject lines and creating awesome images for your campaigns, your email list also needs a bit of care and attention from time to time – we call this pruning.

Why your email list needs pruning

You’re probably aware that many people frequently change their email address. They want different addresses for different purposes, they might be assigned a new account by their work or for a new project they’re involved with, or their account might have been hacked and they need to close it down and start again.

With all these different email addresses flying around it’s no wonder people forget to check them all, forget what they’ve signed up to, and don’t always remember to unsubscribe from mailing lists that no longer interest them. And to add insult to injury, Gmail’s tabbed inbox tries to filter out email marketing into the Promotions tab – making email marketing engagement just that little bit harder.

So you need to periodically prune your email list to improve your open and click-through rates. Just as you need to remove the dead wood from a tree to help it grow, you also need to remove the ‘dead’ subscribers from your email list to keep your delivery rate high.

Wondering what a high delivery rate is? As a benchmark, at Wildheart we get average open rates of around 50% and click-through rates of around 15% – these are both very good figures to aim for.

But surely the bigger the list, the better?

Actually, no. When it comes to both your email list and your web traffic, quality is far more important than quantity.

There’s no point having subscribers on your list if they’re not opening any of your emails. You need people to be engaging with your content, otherwise why email them?

Pruning your list will slow down its growth but it will also refine it. So, just like focussing on helping the healthy branches of the tree to grow stronger, you’re focussing only on your engaged audience so that you’re marketing to people who are actually interested in what you have to say.

So, how big should your list be before pruning? We would recommend starting to prune your email list when you have around 1,000-1,500 subscribers.

How to prune your MailChimp email list

So, how do you go about pruning your list? Simply follow our 4-step guide below.

1. Back it up

The first thing you should do before carrying out any list maintenance is to make a backup of your entire list. That way, if anything goes wrong, you still have the original data on file.

  • Login to your MailChimp account, go to Lists and select your main mailing list.
  • Click Export List just above the list of subscribers:

MailChimp screengrab: Export List

  • MailChimp will let you know once the export is ready and you can then download it as a csv file.

2. Create a segment

Next, you need to create a segment of the subscribers you want to prune. As a guide, we would suggest you remove all subscribers who haven’t opened your last 5 campaigns. Not opening 1 or 2 might mean they were away or very busy, but not opening the last 5 indicates they’re no longer interested in your content.

  • From the list page in MailChimp select Manage subscribers, then Segments.
  • Click Create Segment and you’ll be shown a number of options in dropdown lists.
  • Select ‘Campaign Activity’ from the 1st dropdown, ‘did not open’ from the 2nd and ‘All of the Last 5 Campaigns’ from the 3rd:

MailChimp screengrab: create segment

  • You can then preview your segment to see how many subscribers it contains.
  • In the dark grey toolbar above the list of subscribers, click Save as segment. You should untick the Auto-update option on the next screen, as we want to create a static segment, rather than a continually updating one:

MailChimp screengrab: save segment

3. Back up your segment

Again, it’s a good idea to create a backup of your new segment before you completely delete these subscribers from your list.

  • From your segmented list, just click Export Segment and follow the instructions as you did for exporting your list.

4. Delete your segmented subscribers

The final stage is to completely remove the subscribers you’ve segmented from your mailing list. However, simply deleting the segment will only remove the segment conditions, it won’t remove the actual subscribers. So here’s what you need to do:

  • Go into your segmented list (Manage subscribers > Segments > select segment).
  • Scroll to the bottom and change the view to 100 per page.
  • Scroll back up and click the arrow to the top left of the list, then Select Visible:

MailChimp screengrab: select visible

  • This will select all the subscribers on the page and you can now click the Delete button which will have appeared above the dark grey toolbar.
  • Repeat this process, deleting each page of 100 subscribers at a time, until the entire segment has gone.

And, hey presto, you’ve pruned your list!

What if you make a mistake?

Don’t worry! As long you’ve exported both your original list and your segment, you’ll be able to restore these to how they were by going to Add subscribers > Import subscribers and re-uploading the csv file.

How often should you prune your email list?

This depends on 2 things:

  1. how often you send out emails, and
  2. your open and click-through rates.

If you send monthly emails and your average open rate is less than 40% then we’d suggest it’s time to prune. On average, most people should prune their list once or twice a year.

How does Wildheart help?

As part of our Email Marketing Package we’ll review your existing mailing list and carry out any required pruning and other maintenance to keep your delivery rate as high as possible. So you can rest safe in the knowledge that your list will gain long-term growth with an audience that’s actually engaged in your content.

What next?

The next stage in maintaining your email list is more detailed segmenting – so that you can send targeted emails to sections of your audience who’ve expressed an interest in specific topics. This results in even better audience engagement, and therefore raises the quality of your list even further.

In our follow-up post we’ll be sharing how you can nurture your community by segmenting your email list, so keep an eye on our yoga marketing blog.

Better still, why not sign up to our mailing list? You’ll get a series of 9 curated emails packed with everything you need to know to grow your business with content marketing, followed by our regular blog posts as soon as they’re published on our website.

GDPR Update

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a great opportunity to do some all-important pruning of your email list. Read our article GDPR and email marketing: What you need to know to find out more.

Content Kitchen 8: What’s the best way to grow my audience online?

Brought to you on the first Friday of each month, Content Kitchen is a series of videos in which our co-founder Guy answers your content marketing questions. Why Content Kitchen? Because they’re recorded in Guy’s kitchen of course!

What’s the best way to grow my audience?

If you want to grow your business using your website, your main focus should be growing your audience. But what’s the best way to do that?

In this month’s Content Kitchen video, Guy shares the proven marketing method that’s 40 times more effective than social media for growing your audience. Plus, he offers 3 top tips to remember when using this form of marketing.

Want to know the No.1 way to grow your audience? Watch the video to find out!