Investopedia Takes a New Marketing Tack with Sailthru

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Financial content website Investopedia, which focuses on investing and financial news, recently was saddled with an email newsletter program that needed fixing. The program consisted of six email newsletters that all required manual template editing and content selection and had no visibility into email subscriber interests, no automation capabilities, limited personalization, and segmentation limited to behavioral data.

Streamlining and updating the program required switching email technology providers, but Investopedia needed to do so without sacrificing the speed of its marketing efforts. And so it turned to customer retention platform Sailthru, which Investopedia identified as a partner that could match its pace and deliver significant results as opposed to incremental changes. Using Investopedia’s data, Sailthru redesigned the site’s entire email marketing program, combining its multiple newsletters into a single, automated, and dynamic email.

Before implementing Sailthru, the site’s newsletters “would go out at a variety of frequencies, and the creation of those was done very manually,” says Janine Silva, director of email and integrated marketing at Investopedia. “We decided to use Sailthru because it was so much easier to automate that process.”

The vendor’s technology enables Investopedia to tag its various pieces of content and use the tags to match content to the site’s users, according to their interests, Silva says. “So someone who’s interested in retirement content will get retirement content versus somebody who is interested in investing content. They’ll get that content, and that’s their interest.”

Silva also notes how Investopedia’s partnership with Sailthru was the impetus for paring down the complexity of its marketing efforts. “We rolled [our newsletters] into one newsletter that used the data on somebody’s profile based on their engagement with our site but also what they were telling us they were interested in,” she adds. “It took a lot of time and a lot of testing to get that balance right; we did a lot of work on our end to clean up our CMS system and the way we tag our content.”

The site’s data scientists created an algorithm that could quickly determine what each piece of the site’s content was about, which paved the way for “a really robust tagging system,” Silva says. Then, “Sailthru’s technology allows us to match a person to the piece of content that suits them.”

All the hard work paid off: Investopedia now has a single newsletter based on a tested template with dynamic content population, detailed customer profiles with behavioral, interest, and predictive data readily available to generate insights and engagement, and automation that can engage at scale without manual management. Moreover, Investopedia has seen year-over-year increases of 114 percent in page views from email and 81 percent in sessions from email, and it has shifted its focus from tactical execution to strategic advancement.

And this success came from a true partnership, with critical contributions from both teams, Silva says. “It was really a two-sided project: We had to use our internal resources and technologies as well as Sailthru to deliver the product.”

The Payoff

Since enlisting Sailthru to redesign its email marketing program, Investopedia has been able to:

  • condense its six newsletters into one with dynamic content population;
  • see a 114 percent increase in page views from email, year over year;
  • achieve an 81 percent increase in sessions from email, year over year; and
  • shift its focus from tactical execution to strategic advancement.

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