In 2005, StarChefs.com celebrated its tenth anniversary. As with most milestones, the decade of success also brought with it several growing pains, including how to manage and address the rapidly growing readership that the site and its events attracted. As the premiere online culinary insider magazine, StarChefs.com desperately needed to manage a large and continuously growing contact database of subscribers. A system was needed to handle a variety of mailings such as the StarChefs.com bi-weekly newsletter, a subscription-based recipe service, a weekly Job Board newsletter, and periodic event reminders.
This task was a tall order to handle internally. After researching a number of marketing services, StarChefs.com determined that Harland Clarke Digital, a leader in email marketing solutions with a high-touch approach to customer support and services, was best positioned to keep its readers engaged in relevant content.
Harland Clarke Digital helped the company plan, create, organize and manage an array of offerings. Its user-friendly product created an efficient manner in which to address the varied demands of a growing organization.
“With Harland Clarke Digital’s ever-friendly customer service team, we were able to build templates for all our different publications—from simple branded emails to newsletters that include multiple articles, recipes, chef bios and pantry lists. Although I have very little experience with HTML or coding, I am able to easily build newsletters on SubscriberMail. If I get stuck I just pick up the phone and know a helpful Harland Clarke Digital employee is there to walk me through the process.” — Laura Curtis, StarChefs.com’s Culinary Ambassador.
SubscriberMail’s powerful list management features allowed StarChefs.com to create data-rich recipient profiles. Using this data in conjunction with SubscriberMail’s dynamic list filtering capabilities made it easy to segment members of the StarChefs.com audience into targeted groups for event and editorial promotions. The platform’s reporting features offered valuable insight into the types of content that drove the highest response rates, allowing StarChefs.com to develop stronger, more relevant editorial content based on readers’ interests.
In the six years since, StarChefs.com has been more than happy with both the SubscriberMail platform and the guidance provided by the Harland Clarke Digital team. In addition to addressing the initial challenges of managing multiple mailings and a growing subscriber base, SubscriberMail’s list hygiene processes and Harland Clarke Digital’s delivery monitoring services helped StarChefs.com get more messages into recipients’ inboxes than ever before. The results have been mighty tasty.
“With Harland Clarke Digital’s help, we’ve grown our Dishrag Newsletter mailing list by 20% and our acceptance rate soared to 98% from 81%. Also, we’ve used information gathered from subscribers for targeted email campaigns and have been able to seriously grow our event ticket sales. For example, our 2011 Rising Stars event in Chicago generated 75% more in ticket revenue than our 2005 event in the same city. SubscriberMail has really helped us to effectively get our message out!”