I recently had the opportunity to serve as a mentor in KWSM’s internal Mentorship Program. This creative learning program is designed to build collaborative relationships while developing new skills. I was selected to mentor Content Editor Ivana Hermida from KWSM Orange County as she learned more about email marketing.
The Role of the Mentor
An effective mentor provides guidance and direction, but they do not have to provide all of the answers. Mentors help their mentees define a problem, identify resources to develop a solution, consider potential consequences of their choices, and analyze the effectiveness of their efforts. As a mentor, I often asked more questions than I provided answers. As a result, Ivana had the chance to be creative and innovative throughout the learning process.
Getting to Know You
Based in KWSM Atlanta, I have never met Ivana in person. We had worked together, but we knew very little about one another. Before embarking on a 4-month creative journey together, we decided to spend our first session getting to know each other. We met via video conference and discussed our life outside of work, backgrounds, and interests. While this was not directly related to the project, it laid the social and communicative groundwork necessary for effective one-on-one collaboration.
Understanding the Mechanics
Ivana wanted to learn more about automated drip campaigns and incorporate this dynamic resource into an existing email marketing strategy for an e-commerce client. Her client was using Constant Contact to distribute rotating special offers on a monthly basis. I researched drip campaign functionality on this platform and shared several tutorial articles with Ivana.
Ivana learned the basic elements of an automated email campaign.
- Trigger – A specific action that initiates the drip
- Series – A collection of emails released through the drip
- Variable Time Delay – The waiting period between each email in the series
Once we established the mechanics of a drip campaign and how to apply them within Constant Contact, we started brainstorming.
Goals, Objectives, and Tactics
Our overall goal was to encourage readers to make a purchase by keeping the client’s brand, products, and special offers top-of-mind through frequent emails. After entering their contact information in an ad or on the website, the reader would automatically receive a welcome email. The welcome email would be followed by two emails on a time delay – one to promote a special offer and one to gather feedback from the reader. Subscribers would also be added to an ongoing list to receive weekly emails that promoted a different deal every month.
Over the next few sessions, Ivana crafted unique graphics in Canva and added additional perks like blog links, tips, and examples of customized products. I edited her work and helped her incorporate the graphics into the email templates. At the same time, we tested the functionality of the drip campaign and experimented with features like early stop dates and mid-launch edits.
Learning as We Go
During the testing process, I discovered that some emails were being directed to the “Promotions” folder within Gmail. We added a whitelist request to the welcome email encouraging readers to direct future emails to their primary inbox.
While experimenting with the automated drip options, Ivana found Click Segmentation by accident. An extension of click tracking, this feature allowed her to create sub-lists of readers based on a specific click engagement for remarketing purposes.
Sharing What We Learned
After testing was complete, Ivana compiled all of the resources and research we had gathered over four months into a tools list and shared it with the KWSM Team. The list serves as a step-by-step guide for building an automated drip campaign. I thought sharing what she had learned was an appropriate conclusion to the mentorship project – Ivana’s final step as a mentee was effectively her first step as a mentor.
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