BDUmedia is a publisher of local news titles in the centre and west of the Netherlands, with around 60 news publications to its name. These reach more than 1.5 million households and around 3.75 million people each week. The news websites reach 750,000 readers per month.
Along with the offline publications, direct website visitors, traffic via search engines and social media, e-mail is also an important channel through which BDUmedia brings news to people’s attention in different regions and through different titles. In order to continue keeping people up to date with the latest news in the best and fastest way possible, advertising revenues are important to the publisher. To increase the conversion rate of advertisements on the website, as many visitors as possible must be tempted to visit the website. But how can e-mail contribute to this goal? To solve this issue, Webpower was engaged as an advisor and implementer.
Leading role for RSS in marketing automation
Putting together newsletters and writing content can be a time-consuming task, certainly when it involves many different regions, titles and news items. As a news website, you also have the important task of reporting breaking news as quickly as possible. Webpower’s e-mail marketing automation supports BDUmedia in this by distributing automated newsletters based on RSS feeds. To create a sound basis for this, the customer database was first connected to the e-mail software in the correct way.
An RSS feed makes it possible to fill newsletters with news items quickly and automatically. These are then distributed by the system in three different categories: daily, weekly (both automated) and breaking news (no fixed schedule, put together and sent manually). The newsletters are sent to more than 15,000 subscribers. This enables content produced by The Content House to be re-used efficiently and the assembly of newsletters takes no time at all.
BDUmedia recently added another 30 new titles to its portfolio. These websites all needed to be connected to (new) Webpower-generated newsletters based on RSS news feeds and distributed as quickly as possible. The long-term nature of Webpower and BDUmedia’s collaboration means that new projects can be quickly, efficiently and successfully managed and completed.
Personalised marketing newsletters
Alongside the automated newsletters, BDUmedia’s own marketing department also distributes e-mails. These can easily be produced by BDUmedia’s content team using the Webpower drag & drop-editor.
The e-mails bring various advertising-related themes to the attention of different groups of recipients. The e-mail channel is also supported by flyers, social media and advertisements in the newspapers distributed by the publisher. But e-mail remains the most important channel, because advertising offers are push messages, which need to be brought to people’s attention proactively.
The central question at BDUmedia is how marketing/sales can generate an even higher conversion rate through the e-mail channel. Among other things, personalisation offers the solution. The first step in this direction has already been taken together with Webpower, by not only personalising the opening (e.g. Dear Mark) but also the end greeting. This means that the offer is mailed by the relevant advertiser’s contact person, the effect of which is to make the offer more personalised and, therefore, more appealing to the recipient.
Measuring is knowing
The Webpower platform offers the possibility to send test mails easily. This makes it simple to test the effect of personalisation and, later, to send conditional content.
The Webpower platform also offers the possibility to view statistics quickly. The test mailing showed that personalising campaigns works better than sending impersonal e-mails under the BDUmedia name. The step towards personalisation appears to have been the right one.
The statistics also show that the newsletter is best opened on a mobile device. The responsive template of the Webpower platform works very well for the publisher. The design and content is displayed in the most optimal way on all types of device.
The statistics also enable BDUmedia to take specific action, such as sending a reminder message to the group of recipients that has not (yet) opened the e-mail.
Martijn Pater – marketing manager BDU: ”The platform is easy to use and practical: we benefit greatly from the responsive template, the ability to test quickly and easily, and the statistics, which offer quick insights.”
More website traffic and leads through e-mail marketing
BDUmedia has found that, on average, newsletter readers stay on the website longer than other website visitors. The advertisements are therefore displayed for longer. The marketing department has also found that e-mails sent under the name of account managers generate more leads/conversions.
Further steps for BDUmedia and e-mail marketing
BDUmedia is actively trying to increase its number of e-mail subscribers. It would like to personalise the newsletters even further in terms of content, based on age/gender/content or the frequency of opening, for example. BDUmedia would also like to increase the personalisation of e-mails aimed at advertisers, for example by including dynamic content. This could include a special offer targeting clients that always take out a ¼-page advertisement with a good offer for a ½-page advertisement. Finally, the news organisation wants to carry out more A/B testing and 50/50 testing, to gain further insights leading to measures that increase the conversion rate.