Sunday, February 10, 2008
Case Study Monday: Hay House and Lyris
Welcome to another edition of Case Study Monday. This week, we are featuring e-mail marketing specialists Lyris Technologies and their client, Hay House. We hope you enjoy their success story as much as we did!
Hay House publishing was launched in 1984 by Louise Hay with the printing of her seminal book entitled, “You Can Heal Your Life.” The book, a collection of affirmation philosophies written to support people with AIDS, was sold initially via word of mouth. It eventually made it to the New York Times bestsellers list where it remained for 12 weeks. To date, the little blue book (as it became known) has sold over 42 million copies. Thus, Hay House was borne along with the entire genre of Self Help titles, now one of the biggest-selling sections in most bookstores. Today, Hay House publishes more than 300 books and 450 audio titles on health,
spirituality, and self-improvement, and this year they expect to gross over $80 million in sales.
Hay House reached another milestone in March of 2006, when it had not one, not two, but four titles on the New York Times bestseller list at the same time. Along with the little blue book,
Louise Hay’s foray into self help also came about through an event she organized: the Hayride—literally a hayride for people suffering from AIDS. This event was more than just a fun
outing. It was a support group that promoted the concept of healing yourself and loving yourself. And it is this message which is the foundation for everything Hay House does.
Goals and Challenges
In 2003, Hay House relaunched its main website focusing on e-commerce to market their books and other products and also provide information about events. In 2004, Hay House wanted to begin doing email marketing, having established a strong web presence. That year, Hay House hired Roberta Grace, Internet Marketing Specialist, to manage their email and other online marketing. They needed an email solution provider that they could bring in-house to help them increase their email lists and improve their market presence. Grace started to look for a service that could accommodate all their needs, and she evaluated and even tested quite a number of email vendors. She recalls that, “Lyris seemed to be the most professional, had the best tech support, and seemed to be the one that had the best white-listing program. That was one of the key reasons to choose Lyris; I needed to know that if I was sending out thousands of emails, they wouldn’t end up in spam folders. That’s just a waste of time. So, I picked Lyris and our email lists have grown exponentially ever since. It’s amazing the difference! We’ve been really happy with Lyris.”
In the past year, Hay House has seen their list size increase by 11%, and since they began with Lyris, their list size has increased 200%! In early 2006, they also launched Hay House radio, an online audio program of hosts, many of whom are Hay House authors. It’s become an important email marketing tool, on par with the Hay House commerce site, and the two sites compliment each other very nicely. Emails are collected on the home page via a weekly newsletter that provides a detailed radio guide for the week. Subscribers to the newsletter can also opt-in to other Hay House emails and lists.
For Hay House, email marketing takes many forms. For example, Hay House sponsors events
for their authors, for which they sell tickets. These events are marketed through email, TV, and
radio and are proving to be very successful. And of course, Hay House provides their books for
sale at these events. They also send follow-up emails to the people that come to their
events and conferences, directing them to specials and discounts. And recently, they’ve begun to
manage their authors’ emails lists for them, becoming more of a full-service publisher.
Email is really a huge part of Hay House’s business. And they are finding that the more they are able to integrate their email campaigns with the other marketing they do, the more successful they’ve become.
The numbers tell the story: in just the last two quarters, Hay House’s average daily sales volume has increased by 20%. For Hay House, they see their email program as a way for them to have human contact with their members. Many of their authors have their own very strong following, and they stay in touch with their readers via newsletters. These are very successful. Hay House’s monthly newsletter is beautifully produced in HTML and includes excerpts from the authors’ books—usually very compassionate and inspirational pieces. Grace knows that people genuinely appreciate receiving these because oftentimes, people will actually reply back to the outbound mailbox with comments like “this really made my day – I loved getting this note from you.” For Hay House, this is just the kind of marketing they want to do --soft marketing that will build their business and at the same time provide meaningful content to their readers and email subscribers.