We all know that email marketing has incredible reach but sometimes even I am surprised by just how powerful a medium it is. This is particularly true when you combine the power of email with the power of mobile.
I recently spent some time with the marketing manager of a charitable organization who talked me through how they were taking their first, tentative steps towards creating a more agile, mobile-centric email strategy that went far beyond their previous efforts — the traditional monthly fund-raising newsletter approach.
The charity works with individuals with alcohol and drug abuse-related problems. As a result of their issues, many of their clients lead fairly chaotic lives and can be incredibly difficult to maintain contact with. Because of this, most of the charity’s previous email output was primarily aimed at promoting activities and sharing news with their supporters and volunteers.
But then the charity noticed something.
While many of the charity’s clients didn’t have access to a computer (or even a permanent home address), many still owned smartphones and while they might never have the credit available to make calls, they could still use web-based services (such as email and social media) via free public Wi-fi hotspots.
The charity is now working to build new email lists of clients (segmented by their various and often intertwined support issues) and is already finding success in attracting (previously unreachable) individuals to events and support groups. Because their clients fall into many different categories (with many facing multiple problems) their segmentation strategy puts many “commercial” email marketers to shame.
Now when the charity has something to share they can be sure of reaching a significant number of their clients, who in the past might have missed out on vital services (such as health, education or financial support). Email is becoming a vital component in their outreach work, helping them to help more people help themselves out of addiction and back into regular society.
Who would have thought email marketing could have the power to reach such a disconnected community?
The moral of the story is that email marketing (particularly when enhanced by mobile technology) goes much deeper than you might think. How are you using email to reach further and keep in touch with clients that would otherwise be impossible to engage? Share your comments below:
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.