When innocent’s subscribers grew as exponentially as the company, their marketing team realised that pasting 5,000 addresses into an email was not only impractical but they should really start finding out whether people were actually reading their newsletter.
Turning to the PureResponse they were able to begin to see how many people were opening their email marketing campaigns and how deep they were going.
The gang at innocent have led the way in engaging and very cool communications with their fans and customers. Usually email marketing can be dissected by examining issues such as incentivisation and ROI. The innocent drinks weekly email newsletter, however, reads more like a collection of cool stuff a friend might send you on a Friday afternoon.
Although product launches or company announcements do get mentions, you’ll also find links to models of ants' nests, the world's poshest treehouse, odd-shaped clouds and Labradors in tutus.
While some companies spend considerable sums of money ensuring the design, wording and mechanics of their email communications deliver a tangible return, innocent, for now, are far more pragmatic in their approach.
Tim Fowler, innocent's Digital Manager, and one of the three people who work on the newsletter together each week, isn't at all evasive on this point: 'At the moment, communications to our family members are all about ensuring we give people a window into what’s going on at Fruit Towers: a combination of news on what we’re up to, unusual things we’ve stumbled across as well as updates on what’s going on in the product kitchen.'
People really do want to know what's going on at innocent's Shepherds Bush HQ - on a daily basis enamoured consumers turn up for a tour of Fruit Towers and the company regularly receives gifts in the post – once 150 handmade cakes, one for every employee. It's this sort of devotion that innocent engenders, not just through its products, but through the dialogue it maintains with customers, something exemplified by the email newsletter.
As Tim points out: 'It's about making sure what we send people is the kind of content they want to receive; we want to make sure that what we communicate to family members is interesting, engaging and raises the occasional smile.'
This said, the team at Pure360 can remember a time when the innocent email newsletter was being produced in their outlook system, in plain text, manually adding the recipients into the 'BCC' field and sent out on a desktop.
When their subscribers grew as exponentially as the company, innocent realised that pasting 5,000 addresses into an email was not only impractical but they should really start finding out whether people were actually reading their newsletter. Turning to the PureResponse email software solution, they were able to begin to see how many people were opening their email marketing campaign and how deep they were going.
With a new and comprehensive insight into what content the family were engaging with, innocent were able to tailor future email campaigns to give people more of what they wanted.
This isn't quite the one-sided relationship it might sound. There's much to be gained from such a loyal and engaged audience. In the past they've canvassed the family for new flavours of smoothies, had them vote for the ad they'd most like to see on TV and are now using their opinions and responses to create new features and shape their promotional events. In return, innocent family members will be the first to know when certain events are taking place, for example when tickets for innocent's summer fete go live.
One day innocent asked if they should build a fete finder, to tie in with a proposed tour of the UK's fetes in the summer – 90% of people gave the idea the thumbs up – so they built it. This is the basis on which innocent make many of their decisions; by listening to what their consumers say.
The value of feedback from this audience of motivated consumers is immense. Why spend huge sums on market research when you've got an ever-increasing on-hand panel of switched on and engaged people, who actively want to help you?
This is partly why there hasn't been any rush to monetise their audience, Tim elaborates: 'We are planning a much more comprehensive strategy for communications to the family, but we’ll weigh up all the options first - we certainly won’t jump without thinking about ROI for some types of communications.
'Ultimately, it doesn’t cost any more money to send emails via the Pure360 system to another 10,000 people. However, we’ll want to make sure that we are more targeted and what we send people is going to delight them and be useful and interesting to them.'
He continues: 'What we're doing is using the best tools to do the job that give us an understanding of what people want to see but tread very carefully in terms of how we interact with our consumers.'
Clearly, whatever route innocent take with their email marketing, it seems a safe bet that it will receive a very warm welcome from the innocent family.
Most recently, innocent have appointed Pure360 to drive its email marketing activity across Europe.
innocent will be using Pure360 email marketing tools to integrate their email and social media activity. This includes increasing their contact database with the simple ‘Facebook register’ sign up functionality, as well as promoting their content to a wider audience by posting newsletters directly to Twitter.
innocent will be revamping their email creative in line with their new website and working closely with Pure360 to implement an improved welcome programme for new registrants.
Tim Fowler, Digital Manager at innocent, said: “We've used Pure360 since 2005 and have come to rely on its speed and functionality for all our eCRM activity, with the addition of their new social media tools it makes perfect sense to roll out Pure 360 across all our European territories."