It seems far less than four months since my last blog. In June, we were still looking forward to the summer holidays and the training department was looking forward to using the summer break as an opportunity to look ahead and alter our processes.
Our main change has been to our marketing strategy and, most essentially, our e-mail marketing. I became involved and interested in E-mail marketing quite early on in my role here at the Chamber. There was a process in place that involved calling a lot of companies about their training requirements which invariably resulted in my sending them an email outlining where we can assist. We also sent out e-shots bi-weekly with upcoming courses, but these were using a system that had been in place for a long time and was not at all user friendly and had no room for creative ideas.
Fast forward a couple of years with the implementation of a new system (Mailchimp) with much easier to use software and an e-shot service that we and our customers find useful up to the point that we no longer have to make individual calls to random companies, we now call the people who we know are interested and target our mailing lists to those who need the information we offer.
My journey with the implementation of Mailchimp has become a little obsessive and now spills over into my outside interests. I currently run email marketing campaigns for the International Art Movement “The Urban Sketchers”. With over 93,000 members worldwide, this is challenging. We have to consider the timings of information that is being written by an author in, for example, Singapore, Russia, Mexico, forwarded to a blog that is being created in Canada and an email Marketing person (me!) based in the UK who collates the information. As you can imagine, even the Skype conversations have to be carefully timed!
My other outside interest is as a member of the Marketing committee for the Worcester Music Festival, and what a year we’ve had! Anyone who attended the festival in September will realise the amount of time and dedication that goes into organising this event to highlight local and not so local music talent and raise money for charity (this year over £4000 for Acorns). Worcester is alive with free music playing from the venues who are part of this and awash with people enjoying the weekend. Again, I was instrumental (see what I did there?) in introducing Mailchimp to the committee , this time, not so smoothly! My idea was a good one; I would use Mailchimp to email the bands and ask certain questions about them to use in our marketing materials around the weekend. Unfortunately, I fell at the first hurdle and sent this to the wrong list, inadvertently emailing every band who had applied rather than just the ones who had been chosen to play. The result? Lots of questions from lots of people and hours of extra work explaining and apologising for the mistake...BIG lesson learned!
All in all, I now feel ready to offer help and advice for email marketing services to outside companies after training and advising people internally and externally. This is an area that is ever changing and ideas are always worth following up, some work better than others, but all, in the end are relevant.
I’m looking forward to including some specific Mailchimp training in our portfolio in the near future and would be happy to pass on our knowledge to the wider public soon.
Elsewhere, the training calendar is busy and varied. We hope to welcome you on a course either here at the Chamber, or in your own venue soon!
Suzi began her training in Fine Art and Textiles. She has held various roles, including working as a freelance artist and painter specialising in large pieces for corporate premises. She is also a Bridal wear designer and Seamstress.
15 years ago Suzi began working part time for the BBC Academy. She enjoyed her role in training so much that she decided to work full time and held various posts during her time there.
Suzi has been at the Chamber for two years, setting up and organising the Chamber’s training courses, enjoying the development of the training portfolio and researching what members require.