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People regularly ask us about the value in automatically sending email campaigns using RSS to Email. In addition to great site content, are regular email updates an effective way to reach out to customers and beneficial to the bottom line?

To find out, we got in touch with Scott Wickberg at Wick Creative, to find out how RSS to Email has helped his other project, SlyVinyl, drive return visits and create a community for music enthusiasts like himself. In this interview, we not only got our hands on his strategies and results, but as a bonus, some excellent recommendations for the audiophiles out there.

Hi Scott, you’ve had some amazing results from your RSS to Email
campaigns for SlyVinyl – an open rate hovering around 60% is almost unheard
of for any email campaign. What is it about your bi-weekly sends that makes
them so popular?

It’s interesting because we started out with a weekly
email, but our readers asked for bi-weekly so we switched.
We were initially hesitant as our general rule is no more than one email a
week to a single list, but they asked for it and we decided to give it a
go.

SlyVinyl's weekly RSS to Email update

Most sites have a “you come to us” mentality, this email
switches the relationship to “let us come to you”.
The bi-weekly email has been so popular because it meets the casual website reader where they are. We’ve found this to be important as engagement levels are vastly different between readers – some
readers find the bi-weekly email useless because they are on the site
multiple times a day, but as the email isn’t for them, they
usually don’t sign up for it. But for the casual reader, the bi-weekly email is
100% of the driver for their return visits. It allows us to switch the
relationship. Most sites have a “you come to us” mentality, this email
switches the relationship to “let us come to you”. Our readers love this
and therefore the emails have done so well.

How have you benefited from using RSS to Email on your site?

While catering to casual users is important, the true benefit we’ve found is in how RSS to Email has impacted our new user vs. return user traffic percentage. We’ve seen a 10-15% change in our return visitor numbers since starting and now, return users account for 58% of visitors, which is
exceptional. We have another client that is using RSS to Email and their return user percentage has also seen a boost.

We look at return users as the golden geese, and we like golden
geese.
For those not familiar with return user vs. new users stats, we focus on
return users as they are 2 to 3 times more likely to convert than new
users. We look at return users as the golden geese, and we like golden
geese. That being said, SlyVinyl isn’t eCommerce, it’s a community, but the
rule still applies. Communities aren’t built upon new users and so RSS to Email has been key to SlyVinyl’s continual growth.

Was RSS to Email part of SlyVinyl’s marketing plan, or did you
just ‘give it a go’?

I have to laugh when I get asked about marketing plans, as I truly have
never made one. Don’t get me wrong, they are great, but I personally just
don’t work that way on my own projects. In regards to SlyVinyl, no, it wasn’t in the initial roll-out. The RSS to Email came about as I
started hearing people say, “I love the site, I just don’t get around to
checking it, I’m so busy.” I understand where they’re at,
I run 2 companies and feel that strain. Besides, why should they have to make the
effort to visit the site consistently to stay up to date? As a result, I figured I’d
give RSS to Email a go, and it’s been a success. These readers can now see the
stories in brief and if they are interested they go get more info, on their terms.

The growth of subscribers has been
pretty consistent, I think it’s now to around 30-40 new signups a week. For a site or company that’s not even a year old, that’s pretty impressive.

This has started us experimenting with all kinds of casual reader
techniques, but nothing else we’ve tried has been near as successful. In half the time, email signups have outgrown our Twitter followers and are now double the number of Facebook likes we’ve received- very exciting stuff.

Finally, as the informant on all things vinyl, what’s your favourite
record? I’m gripping my copy of ‘Marquee Moon’ as we speak.

That’s awesome. That Television record eluded me for quite sometime, but I
finally got a sneaky repressed copy last year. It sounds so amazing on wax. That’s definitely a gem. (Kudos! – Ros)

Hmm, fav record. You know I’d probably go with ‘Live After Deaf’ by Ryan
Adams
. This is somewhat cheating as it’s a 15 LP box set, but it’s gotta be
this one for a few reasons.

Firstly, it’s the record release that prompted me to start SlyVinyl. It was a
super-limited release and sold out almost instantly; I had many friends
that missed it and now the set goes for $600 – $1,000 on Discogs or eBay.
Got me thinking about how much that sucked that they missed that
opportunity, as they would have gotten one if they only had the information.

Secondly, Ryan Adams fights with The National and Sufjan Stevens as my favorite
modern artist and I personally don’t believe there is a better
representation of his genius and raw talent than this set. It caught him at
a tough time – being told his hearing might go, moving into his 30’s and
finally having settled down some. When recording this set, he played at small venues and
laid it all out for fans and as a result, it’s not only truly great music, but a
snapshot of time and emotion for a truly great musician. It reminds me of Bob Dylan’s Royal Albert Hall bootlegs – also one of my favorites. In Dylan’s case, he almost died in a motorcycle accident, came back and brought a new sound. Similarly, ‘Live After Deaf’ captures a moment in history for one of my favorite artists and plays to the
fact that I’m a sucker for a good story of triumph.

Thank you so much for sharing your results, plus indulging the music fans.

I wanted to personally say thanks again for all the innovation that Campaign Monitor
continues to bring to the table. It helps us continue to bring smart and
effective solutions to a multitude of clients with a variety of needs. It’s
a very valuable arrow in our quiver. Thanks again.


A huge thank you to Scott for the marketing know-how and helping us decide what to put on the turntable next. To get wise to the latest quality releases on wax, visit the SlyVinyl site, or signup for updates.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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