Dogwood Adventure Play is a magical place for Dogs. Founder Katie Guastapaglia offers dog training, walking services, and private secure fields that include adventure play equipment and a sensory garden with dog-friendly plants.
Due to social distancing rules, Dogwood Adventure Play had to pivot their business when they could no longer offer their dog training services in person.
While other businesses transitioned to paid online programs, Dogwood Adventure Play didn’t feel this was a good option. They had a small, disengaged email list, which would make it difficult to sell an online program.
Guastapaglia knew she needed to come up with a creative solution to stand out in the inbox and build her list. So she decided to create a 30 Days of Dogwood Challenge to help her audience train their dogs and keep them active during COVID-19.
Her new email challenge was a huge success, growing her email list by 110% and earning average open rates of 70%. Armed with a highly engaged, larger email list, her business now sells an online experience package — Scentventure a new online dog training program.
Learn the simple steps she took to create her email challenge and see the strategies she used to get an average open rate on her emails of over 70%.
9 strategies to grow your email list and increase email engagement.
Strategy 1: Test out a concept by focusing on your audience’s pain point.
Dogwood Adventure Play has two customers: dogs and their owners. During the lockdown, Guastapaglia realized that dogs needed to keep moving despite being in a limited space, and their owners needed a structure to provide activities for their canine.
So she focused on the pain points her customers were experiencing and created a free 30 Days of Dogwood Challenge to help her customers and grow her list.
She used an AWeber sign up form on her blog to promote the free challenge and collect email subscribers.
Strategy 2: Consider creating a theme to make it entertaining.
To make her content more entertaining for humans, Guastapaglia creates a new theme every month for her email challenge. For April, she used an Easter egg hunt theme.
Strategy 3: Include additional valuable content with your emails.
For the 30 Days of Dogwood Challenge, each email contains links to content hosted on Guastapaglia’s website for users to complete their challenge.
If you create your own email challenge, your content doesn’t need to be elaborate. In her challenge, Guastapaglia includes simple PDFs her audience can download, shares video on YouTube, and connects with her audience on Facebook Live and webinars. All of these tools are inexpensive and easy to use.
Strategy 4: Create a reward system for engagement.
In the 30 Days of Dogwood Challenge, participants are encouraged to share their challenge successes for a reward.
To make it easy for users to post their successes, Gustopaglia created a private Facebook group.
Strategy 5: Add …read more
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