In 2009, Melissa Urban started a self-designed, life-changing, 30-day dietary experiment — and blogged about it.

Since then, millions of people have transformed their health, habits, and relationship with food through Melissa’s Whole30 program. Whole30 focuses on eliminating cravings, improving energy and sleep, relieving symptoms, and discovering lasting food freedom.

The Whole30 website currently serves millions of visitors a month, with readers checking in from more than 100 different countries, and has a combined social media base of more than 3 million fans and followers. Their flagship book, The Whole30, has sold more than 2 million copies.

Melissa and the Whole30 team are committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive Whole30 community, where everyone who wants to be a part of the Whole30 movement feels represented, welcomed, and included. This means building out experiences tailored to each community member — starting from the very first welcome email.

Keep reading to learn how Whole30:

  • Found an intuitive platform (and supportive partner) in ActiveCampaign
  • Provides a personalized experience to their community of over 400k members
  • Uses segmentation and Facebook Custom Audiences to reach community members beyond email
  • Wins back time to focus on supporting and growing their community

Finding an intuitive platform (and a supportive partner)

The Whole30 team used to use Mailchimp to reach their community via email. As their email list grew, Whole30 needed more opportunities to expand with automations and segmentation. They also wanted dedicated support; the Whole30 team takes pride in their dedication to human touch and making sure that their community feels values.

With the rapid growth that Whole30 experienced, they soon realized that they needed a new marketing automation platform that could help them achieve their goals of being smarter with email and growing their email program exponentially.

When it came time to look for that new platform, there were 3 main things that the Whole30 team wanted:

  1. A dedicated account manager that would partner with them and help them grow. If something went wrong, the Whole30 wanted to easily connect with someone that could provide that human touch.
  2. A platform that would allow them to grow their automations and get smarter with their segmentation.
  3. A more intuitive platform. They wanted to be able to run reports and dig deeper into the data and trends — how many new users signed up each month, what that information tells them, and what the lifecycle of a user looks like over time.

This led Whole30 to ActiveCampaign — a partnership that lets them build a better experience for community members and achieve their most important goals.

“We wanted a platform we could go into for reporting and dig deeper. With ActiveCampaign, we can go in and look to see how many new users we are getting a month, what trends we are seeing, and the lifecycle of a user over time. This helps us be smarter with our emails and make changes if need be.” – Mike Kontomanolis Lear, Email Marketing Manager

Combining automation and a personal touch for a better community experience

With ActiveCampaign, Whole30 has created a more personal and complete experience for every member of the Whole30 community.

Here’s how it works:

  1. New members sign up for Whole30 through the website or a referral
  2. Members are put into a 3-part welcome series that introduces Whole30, shares community testimonials, and offers community and meal-planning insights
  3. After about a week, the new member enters the regular email list, which receives emails ranging from newsletters to partner-specific messaging

The Whole30 team wants these emails — and all touchpoints of the member journey — to make community members feel like they are a part of something, not just getting emails.

Going beyond email with Facebook Custom Audiences and segmentation

To take the experience beyond email, the Whole30 team started by integrating ActiveCampaign with Facebook Custom Audiences. Now, when someone signs up for Whole30 emails, they also see ads on Facebook to sign up for specific types of content.

This lets Whole30 segment their lists to create a more personal experience for their community members. Community members are tagged in different ways for smarter segmentation. For example, some members are tagged as mothers, so they’ll receive the “Whole Mamas” newsletter.

In the future, Whole30 plans to gather accurate demographic information about each member when they sign up. By collecting birthdays or locations, Whole30 can send automated birthday messages and local partner promotions. To further understand their customers, they also want to start tagging members based on their email responses, like the type of question a member asked, or whether they volunteered to help with an activity. This information will be used to help shape future content and the way the community is engaged.

All of this segmentation helps Whole30 create a more personalized customer experience. ActiveCampaign lets Whole30 use automation to send localized, personalized communications — and save time doing so.

From one welcome series to 15+ automations

The most important personal touch for every member at Whole30 is a simple note included in every email. That note reassures community members that if they reply to the email with an issue or question, the Whole30 team will get back to them personally. These personalized experiences and customer journeys are powered by automations within ActiveCampaign.

When the Whole30 team first started, they only had a welcome series automation. Now, the team has over 15 automations, including a re-engagement automation and a revamped welcome automation. Looking ahead, Whole30 plans to set up a rewards automation that sends emails to their most engaged members. They’ll use ActiveCampaign’s contact scoring feature to track who the most engaged and dedicated members are — then automatically send them special content once they reach a certain level of engagement.

“ActiveCampaign has helped us be smarter with our emails and become closer to our Whole30 community. Partnering with our account team, we’ve launched several new automation initiatives and utilize user scoring to gain better insight into our email audience.” – Mike Kontomanolis Lear, Email Marketing Manager

More time to support their community (and change lives)

Whole30 saw a 10% increase in email open rates after just 3 months with ActiveCampaign. They’re now running a “smarter and tighter ship” when it comes to their email programs and work closely with Account Manager Christina Hart, who is “always super responsive and a partner in their success.”

The Whole30 team also wins back something priceless: time. By spending less time trying to solve email-sending problems or get into contact with support, they can give back more to their community. With support from ActiveCampaign, they’re able to “focus their time and support on their community” — and keep changing lives.