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Find out how Sense used video content and an email marketing automation funnel to take their users on a learning journey.

Sense is a UK disability charity which helps people with complex disabilities or who are deafblind. The charity works to help people experience the world, as part of their belief that no one, no matter how complex their disabilities, should be isolated, left out, or unable to fulfil their potential.

People with complex disabilities are at an increased risk of isolation during a lockdown. In the midst of COVID-19, Sense wanted to teach British Sign Language (BSL) in order to bridge gaps in communication to help tackle the immense loneliness and isolation that many people with disabilities feel.

Sense created a digital learning journey with video and email components in order to create an accessible introduction to BSL.

To do this, they set up a series of videos to teach BSL and used YouTube to create free classes for people from all walks of life who could learn from the comfort of their own home.

Integrating User-Generated Content Into Your Story

The idea to feature 15-year-old, charismatic Tyrese Dibba as the teacher, was put forward to ensure that Sense works as collaboratively as possible with the people they support.

Tyrese, who has Charge Syndrome, which affects his vision and hearing, jumped at the idea to create a series of videos which are both informative and covered some of his favourite topics like movies and the summer holidays.

It was important to keep the story of Sense at the forefront of communications. The plan was to maximise on the capabilities of their email automation tool and create a learning journey consisting of five different emails with five different video classes.

By setting up an email automation tool with different nodes and journeys based on whether people were interacting with the emails sent, the charity was able to create a programme of learning. Once Sense brainstormed and planned out the journeys, figuring out the logic, the setting up was a fairly easy process.

Scaling for Success

The outcome from these series so far has exceeded Sense’s expectations. The original objective over three months was to gather approximately 1,700 contacts and to date over 30,000 people have signed up to learn to sign. The feedback that Sense has received about this learning journey has been phenomenal and Sense have also had children posting their sign skills on Twitter. Various stories were run recently in national newspapers, the BBC and ITV and on the back of this Sense have also seen a sharp uptake in people’s interest to sign.

“There’s a drive to learning in these extraordinary times and it’s having the right content at the right time”. - Adam O’Riley

Faced with such amazing and positive results, Sense has had to re-assess their email marketing strategies to accommodate the new challenges that have arisen. Armed with new ideas for a captive audience, Sense has now decided to create more post-email journeys based on real-life stories to reach out to an even wider audience to volunteers, donors and supporters and take the journeys to a higher level.

The use of this email technology has allowed Sense to automate a process which we would otherwise have been manual and very time-consuming. The filtering of contacts that go through conditions and decisions gave Sense more clarity to think about how they can use this again to be more targeted with future projects and campaigns and be the most efficient in accomplishing their mission and goals.

A Personalised Experience

Charity Digital has published guidance on creating successful email communications during COVID-19. Sense’s campaign highlights a number of these principles.

By combining email and video elements, the charity was able to create a more immersive and enjoyable learning journey. Through this combination of user-generated video and email automation, Sense were able to build a personalised experience that adds clear value without appearing intrusive or overzealous.

This case study was originally published by Charity Digital on 15th July.

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