One feed to rule them all

August 24, 2009

Earlier this month, we sent out our first email newsletter, Up to Here.

Pretty normal for an organization to send out a periodic newsletter. What’s cool about this one however, is that we didn’t actually do anything to send it. No one in the office compiled articles, edited them, formatted the HTML, and hit send in our email marketing software (we’re using MailChimp: though it’s known as ‘Coco’ or ‘MonkeyChimp’ around the office).

It sent itself automatically. It drew 2-3 posts from each of the feeds we have up on our site, chose the ones that were most popular over the last 31 days, and sent it out. And, it’ll continue to do so, every month without interaction from us, though decidedly with tweaks here and there.

Mailchimp is integrated with our Google Analytics account, so, we can pretty easily see the effect of traffic from the first issue of Up to Here on our website: that’s what the screen shot shows: we’ve had 333 visits to our website as a result of the email, 14 per cent or so our total traffic over the past month. Not to shabby.

The greatest benefit is that it allows us in the office to put more time into our programs and, thus, more time into making them successful. We all know how much time a simple task like a newsletter can require: a meeting to brainstorm some ideas, followup meetings to monitor progress of content, tracking it down, formatting it, figuring out the list, printing it, stuffing the envelopes. Up to Here requires none of those; we just need to be focused on communicating our programs well on the web, something that we’d have to do regardless.

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