It’s fair to say that most businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and owners are growing increasingly concerned with the challenge of sustaining their firms and staying connected with their audiences during these uncertain times. While there is no digital marketing and digital pr solution for surviving the ever-evolving, COVID-19 pandemic, one thing remains true: clear, consistent and open communication is essential if brands are to remain connected with their audiences online.
A great way to do this is by using Mailchimp, an integrated email marketing platform used by more than 400,000 businesses today. Here is a brief guide to building, and maintaining, an online audience using MailChimp:
1. Use a master audience
Mailchimp gives organizations the option to maintain multiple audiences on each account. While this may seem useful, it is actually more pragmatic to rely on a single audience organized by tags, groups or segments. Moreover, Mailchimp bills companies based on the total number of subscribed contacts across all audiences; if an account has duplicate contacts across several audiences, they will be billed as if they are separate contacts- a good thing to avoid!
2. Re-engage inactive contacts
This is true of online audience members across the entirety of a brand’s digital presence. Businesses should periodically re-engage inactive contacts to confirm their interest in a product or service, and follow-up as strategically as possible. This can lead to additional sales or, if the user is inactive for a reason, a more accurate picture of a brand’s existing audience.
3. Give contacts the option to update their profiles
For brands that use Mailchimp for email marketing, a good practice is to include an “update profile link” in email campaigns so audience members can update their personal information and subscription preferences. This is an important step for brands keen to keep their audience information as updated as possible.
4. Choose the right opt-in method
When building audiences for email marketing and digital pr purposes, businesses have the option to use a single or double opt-in method. A double opt-in requires users to confirm that they want to sign-up to an email list before they are added to a business’ Mailchimp audience. While a single opt-in method can help build audiences more quickly, a double opt-in can help ensure that subscribed contacts are actually interested in the businesses- and not just clicking “subscribe” on a whim.
5. Make the most out of social media advertising
A great way to grow a brand’s email audience is to create a special promotion on Facebook, Instagram or Google. For example, this could be a marketing campaign showcasing a soon-to-be released product, inviting interested users to subscribe for future updates. In this way, businesses can be sure that they are building their email audience with users who are genuinely interested in the products on offer, and reach out to these users when new products hit the website.
The future of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is no doubt an unpredictable one, but this does not mean brands should wring their hands. This is a chance to get on top of a host of digital marketing goals, with email marketing as a main priority.
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Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals.
Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 250 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions.
Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR.
Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller.
A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities