Financial digital publication Investopedia has revamped its email marketing strategy over the past two years to build relationships with power users and drive readers back to the publication’s website.
Janine Silva, director of email and integrated marketing at Investopedia, chatted about the steps taken to revamp Ivestopedia’s email strategy in a conversation with Email Marketing Daily.
“Every publisher gets set back when Google or Facebook changes an algorithm,” says Silva. “To combat that, we invested heavily in email.”
Two years ago Investopedia’s newsletter was just something that ran in the background, but Silva says that email is now one of the main drivers to the publication’s Web site. Investopedia hosts a dozen newsletters with varying send times and types of financial content, and now has close to two million active subscribers and 27 million unique monthly visitors.
Silva shared three recommended stages for optimizing email marketing programs with data.
Step 1: Automation
When Silva first took up the reins of Investopedia’s email program, everything was done manually. From the creation of HTML to scheduling email sends, email consumed a lot of time and resources. Furthermore, Investopedia had little visibility into email deliverability or engagement.
“Automation is a friend to marketers -- robots are not taking their job,” says Silva. “Automation allows you to have the freedom, time, and space to lead more strategic initiatives.”
Step 2: Data Organization
Silva says marketers need to get their data in order to optimize marketing initiatives.
Investopedia has the luxury of having help from a data scientist team when the publication cleaned up its content management system (CMS), but Silva says marketers can also partner with their ESP for more personalized marketing.
Organization and management has helped Investopedia leverage its huge library of evergreen content, and determine the best time for certain articles to rise to the surface.
Step 3: Testing
Investopedia has several different buckets of emails, including six editorial newsletters of “content we feel strongly about and think our users need to know and stay informed by reading,” says Silva. Other Investopedia newsletters are 100% personalized, including a company news round-up of organizations that readers have selected to be kept updated on.
Investopedia has also begun testing different types of email series, or campaigns with several triggered email components. For example, a subscriber might receive a series of emails about investment basics, such as managing a portfolio are how to seek help from a financial adviser. Silva says she hopes to expand this program, and test new types of serial email campaigns.
Step 4: Trust
Silva says Investopedia is trusted because it focuses on what’s happening in the news and how it impacts the reader.
“We stay away from trade recommendations, but we still have a point of view as a digest,” says Silva. “People have a lot of distrust of banks and Wall Street."
She says that consumers are weary about being sold to, but that Investopedia doesn't have that incentive as an education source.
Looking ahead at future marketing initiatives, Silva says she wants to do more with Investopedia’s robust database.
“The future is in data and leveraging data in a smart way,” says Silva.