Founded in 1991 by Colin Hammond – an agoraphobia sufferer with a desire to help others like him, No Panic began as a local support group in Shropshire. The charity quickly grew to operate nation-wide with increasing interest from anxiety suffers across the Midlands and word-of-mouth recommendations that reached far across Britain.
The 253 helpline calls in year one of No Panic’s inception now number over 75,000 calls each year. And the initial four volunteers has grown into a team of some 90 people, devoted to helping their 1,500+ members deal with anxiety-based disorders ranging from OCD to panic attacks.
As well as a national helpline, No Panic offers a membership to promote self-recovery through one-to-one mentoring, a befriending group service and a monthly support email.
For the past two years, those monthly support emails have been powered by EmailOctopus. So for 2020’s Mental Heath Awareness week, we caught up with Sarah Floyd, the social media co-ordinator at No Panic, to find out more.
It must be a tough time for anyone suffering with anxiety right now – how have things changed for No Panic since Covid-19 and the national lockdown?
You are correct. Since Covid-19 so many people have either got in touch because their anxiety has come back or because it has gotten much worse. We have also had a lot of new enquiries from people that have started suffering since the outbreak. The lockdown has also had a huge effect in many other ways. We’ve been receiving more emails, messages and calls to our helpline than ever before.
The No Panic blog was named one of the best anxiety blogs of 2020 by Healthline, which must help with awareness and website traffic. How does email fit into your overall marketing strategy?
We are really pleased with receiving this award – our blog is updated regularly with resources, articles and advice to provide as much support as possible to those that need it. We use email to give a more personal touch. People subscribe to our mailing list when they visit our website. They receive a welcome mail straight away and then we send out a monthly support mail to all subscribers. A more detailed email goes out to our members, also on a monthly basis. We also use emails to send out surveys.
EmailOctopus is a lifeline for us to reach out regularly to our audience.Sarah Floyd, No Panic
What made you choose EmailOctopus for your email marketing needs?
Before EmailOctopus we used MailChimp. We switched to EmailOctopus purely for financial reasons to begin with. You were a lot cheaper and also you offer a discount for charities like ours. We are a small charity and would much prefer to spend our money on helping others than on marketing. EmailOctopus is a lifeline for us to reach out regularly to our audience.
What are your favourite features of EmailOctopus?
The templates are easy to use, which is important as our time is valuable. The fact that hard bounces are automatically unsubscribed is also a time saver for us. The campaign reports are also a huge thing as we can see what works and what doesn’t.
What challenges do you face with your email marketing or marketing in general?
I guess keeping up with the times is the biggest challenge. Things move and change so quickly nowadays so it’s a challenge trying to stay on top of things and keep our content up to date. This also leads to keeping our audience interested, of course, and grabbing people’s attention. As for the email side of it, trying to avoid spam filters is a huge thing!
What are your goals for the next few months and how does email marketing fit into this?
Our goals are to continue to reach as many people as possible. Grow our subscribers lists and send out more surveys to see what people want from us. Obviously all this is done by email.
What tips would you give other charities and non-profits using email marketing?
I am still learning myself on this one. My one tip would be not to give up. Try different things and ALWAYS reply to emails – whoever they are from, whatever they are about (except spam of course!).
And finally, how can we all help people suffering from anxiety during these unsettling times?
This week is Mental Health Awareness week and the theme for this year is ‘kindness’. That says a lot in itself. Be kind to whoever you meet because you never know what people are going through. Kindness is 100% free and it doesn’t only make the receiver feel better, but also the giver.
No Panic is funded by donations so if you would like to support those suffering from anxiety disorders, donate today.