Roadify augments mobile app with email newsletter

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Roadify augments mobile app with email newsletter
Roadify augments mobile app with email newsletter

Client: Roadify

Vendor: Mad Mimi

Objective: To supplement its NYC commuter mass transit mobile app with an e-newsletter of major service disruptions.

Roadify updates New York City commuters about mass transit delays via its mobile app, but consumers must sift through a scroll of service changes to find those most pertinent to them.

"What we've experienced is that a lot of people are interested in knowing what's going on, but [the complete list of service changes] is too dense to understand. There's too much information being spat at [consumers]," says Dylan Goelz, manager of public outreach at Roadify. 

STRATEGY: Roadify's mobile app supplies consumers with a full rundown of mass transit service updates that can be accessed anytime. However, the company wanted to supplement the app with an easily digestible synopsis of the major service disruptions.

Developed by email service provider Mad Mimi, and launched on July 29, the "Weekend Disruptions in Plain English" email newsletter is sent out every Friday and is limited to weekend service changes (the time of week often featuring the most changes). The Roadify team focuses the newsletter's content on changes most likely to impact the largest share of subscribers. For example, the newsletter for the weekend of Sept. 11 focused on widespread problems related to the anniversary in addition to a handful of other notifications for major subway lines. Extenuating circumstances, such as an August hurricane that shut down the entire subway system, trigger additional newsletters.

Goelz says Roadify chose to simplify the content contained in each email because it serves as a supplement to the mobile app. "Every time we alert folks, we say all the information is in the app, including information not in the email," says Goelz.

Because Apple doesn't track attribution for iTunes downloads, Goelz says Roadify is unable to tie app downloads to the e-newsletter, but he notes that the company is using the newsletter "to engage with the customers we already have more than anything."

"As a marketer, it's another touchpoint that's important to keep Roadify top of mind," says Goelz. He adds that the weekly email newsletter's routine delivery schedule has helped with subscriber retention. "We had an unorganized email campaign before where users wouldn't know what was coming at them," he says. "Now there's an expectation." 

RESULTS: Within two months of launching the "Weekend Disruptions in Plain English" email newsletter, Roadify grew its email subscriber base from 3,000 to more than 12,000, says Goelz. He says the company also improved its average open rates, which went from 20% pre-newsletter to consistently delivering around 25%.

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