My favorite company blogs are the ones that share real information that not only promotes the product but teaches you something beyond the product. A recent MailChimp blog post by "Palmer" takes a look at how indie label Asthmatic Kitty uses their email newsletter service to identify fans for virtual street teams. These street teams are virtual not because their communication and work takes place via digital communication systems but because they aren't officially members.
Asthmatic Kitty then segments the list and does a follow-up email to active recipients. A sample can be viewed in Palmer's post at MailChimp with the full story.
In the campaign Palmer describes, the follow-up email shares news about one specific act on which newsletter readers clicked. Web visiting and social actions are recommended as the response to specific news bits.
Those who respond to the second email then had a 70% open rate for subsequent emails about that act. Related social media responses can also be dramatic given the inspired nature of such fans.
The email itself is meant to have a human touch and is written by "Grey, our album advocate" who seems to be a super-volunteer of some sort. But, as Asthmatic Kitty's project manager John Beeler revealed, the results are so strong that they want to turn it into a full-time role at the label.
While there are a variety of tools to do such work, from what I've seen over the last year or so of checking out various hosted email newsletter services, MailChimp seems to be in the forefront of developing and releasing new features. Beyond having cutting edge features, they do a good job of making them reasonably easy to use.
In addition to taking a solid but basic approach to segmenting email responses to identify superfans, Asthmatic Kitty reframes the concept as a virtual street team.
When street teams came online they were groups of people who identified themselves and then got various rewards including simple recognition.
Building a similar relationship with fans who exhibit street team-like behavior sounds like a really smart way to encourage a larger response. Not everybody who's supportive will sign-up for a street team so making it virtual in that sense is worth considering.
While there are plenty of reasons one might want an officially designated group, Asthmatic Kitty's approach is clearly outperforming.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) posts music crowdfunding news @CrowdfundingM. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.