SCB’s Journey to Automated Campaigns

June 8, 2016

One of my clients, the Society for Conservation Biology, recently approached me with questions about how they could maximize their iMIS integration with Informz. Among the tools recommended for their email marketing tool box was the powerful Campaign Designer – part of the Informz Marketing Automation Suite.

Decision for First Campaign to Automate

A key task that Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) performed on a monthly basis were membership renewal mailing campaigns. Their process involved identifying members whose membership was set to expire in the next 30, 60, or 90 days. They then created the appropriate messages to send their audience that would inspire them to renew. This process worked well enough, but they wanted to see better results and better efficiency.

After seeing demonstrations of Informz Marketing Automation they realized the potential benefits quickly. Since SCB is a relatively small organization, the staff wears many different hats. From an efficiency standpoint, the Informz Campaign Designer intrigued them. They began to see how they could easily construct a complex messaging flow that would be very manageable and likely very effective.

The automated dues renewal campaign is among one of the “Starter Kits” included with the Campaign Designer feature. It was an ideal fit for SCB since it was designed specifically with an association in mind. The campaign leverages target groups created in their iMIS association management system.

As subscribers receive a mailing from the campaign their action, or inaction, is noted and the campaign takes care of the next step. If they paid their dues, they receive an automatic thank you mailing confirmation. If they did not renew at 90 days, they continue down a predetermined path and receive 60-day and 30-day reminder mailings.

There are many benefits to having an automated renewal campaign. From an efficiency view, you can plan ahead of time and set the campaign up to run, saving time on the back-end. Once activated, the campaign continuously processes new subscribers that flow in via the target group. And every step of the campaign provides visibility as to what subscriber is at that step.

Setting Up the Campaign

Step One: Create the mailings used in the campaign.

Each mailing contains the appropriate language to emphasize how much time is left in their current membership and what benefits they’ve experienced via the membership.

  • Dues Renewal – 90 days
  • Dues Renewal – 60 days
  • Dues Renewal – 30 days
  • Dues Paid – Thank You Letter

Step Two: Create the target groups.

The flow of this campaign is based upon how much time is left before the membership expires. As the member gets closer and closer to expiration, the campaign branches them down one path or another. To do this, three target groups were needed:

  • Dues are going to expire in 90 days AND has not paid
  • Dues are going to expire in 60 days AND has not paid
  • Dues are going to expire in 30 days AND has not paid

Step Three: Create the Campaign

Begin by selecting the Starter Kit that best matches the campaign type – this provides you the outline of your campaign.

This was a great campaign because each decision step is an SQL View Target group. As someone meets this target group criterion they are “funneled” though the Renewal Campaign.

Step Four: Customize the Campaign

Update the Decision steps for the new SQL target groups and update the mailing steps with their mailing they have created. For the Society of Conservation Biology, they didn’t need a “notify” feature so we simply removed that step from the work flow.

After the Campaign

Now that the campaign is set up, this automated process is going to save SCB a significant amount of time. They are no longer going to have to work into their busy schedule when they are going to work on dues renewals for the month. Now with this process being automated, they will have the opportunity to see the benefit for any future reoccurring revenue to come in earlier on the 90, 60, and 30-day reminder notifications. In the reporting, they can see and track which stages various subscribers are at in the campaign. With the extra time, they are going to be proactively working on their next automated nurture type of campaign.