How Asthma UK revamped their email program to deepen engagement

The Challenge

Asthma affects all agesAsthma UK works to stop asthma attacks and, ultimately, cure asthma by funding world-leading research and scientists, campaigning for change and supporting people with asthma to reduce their risk of a potentially life-threatening asthma attack.

Asthma UK has a huge untapped warm audience in the 2 million+ visitors to their eco-system each year. To put into context the size of the opportunity there are 5.4 million people with asthma translating to 1 in 5 households affected by asthma.

Asthma UK invested heavily in digital channels and stronger content to reach and engage with and grow engagement amongst people affected by asthma. As part of this, they built an email list of almost 40,000 supporters however conversion from signing up to receive email communications to becoming financial supporters remained low and open rates and click-through rates were in decline.

The Solution

Couple staying activeAsthma UK recognized that to deepen engagement with supporters they needed to review the supporter experience. This involved:

  • Stopping the monthly newsletter which had relied on a ‘batch and blast’ approach and introducing relevant and targeted communications that took supporters on a journey.
  • Moving from a double opt-in to single opt-in approach making it easier for people to sign up to hear more from the organisation.
  • Learning more about supporters and their connection to the cause and asking for this information at the point of signing up for the newsletter so they could receive an automated welcome series linked to their motivation.
  • Recognising that value needed to be added through the provision of useful and relevant content based around seasonal trends. In-house Dr. Andy started sending emails on how to use an inhaler, how to stay active with asthma and offering tips on how to stop the cold weather making asthma worse. They also launched ‘Research Uncovered’ a fun and interactive journey into the world of asthma research.
  • Revising the number of financial asks that were made of a supporter. The team worked to a ratio of three non-financial communications to every financial ask in order to ensure engagement was the priority.
  • Introducing action led supporter journeys. This involved the principle of having only one message and one action being conveyed in a single email. For example, ‘sign our petition to stop unfair asthma prescription charges’, or ‘send a letter to your MP’.

The Results

In just over a year the Asthma UK email list has doubled in size to 90,000.
General email comms CTR had increased to 2.97% and open rates averaged 26.79%, whilst the new audience-focused welcome series had average CTR of 8.87% and open rates of 40.63%.
Additionally, 19,032 number of people had shared their connection to Asthma UK. And, the Asthma Research Uncovered crowdfunding campaign raised over £5,000 in the first two months.
Our job is to firstly make sure that people with asthma are getting the help and support they need. We truly believe that if we provide a great experience and show how we are here to help them, this will be reciprocated so we can continue to advance our progress in beating asthma. This engagement first approach is something we are committed to and while early results are promising we believe this will ultimately increase the overall value of our fundraising portfolio in the longer term. – Joe Aldrich Senior Acquisition Manager at Asthma UK

At Engaging Networks, we take pride in serving and working with our community of clients to help make this world a better place. Many thanks to Asthma UK for sharing this case study. To learn more about Asthma UK visit their website or watch the video below.

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