Posted 17th August 2011 by APSIS

Clio, a historic book club

 Clio is a book club for those interested in history. It revolves around books, of course, but it also offers its members series of lectures, it arranges travel to places of interest and every year, together with the daily Svenska Dagbladet, it awards the Clio Prize to a young Swedish-speaking historian. The publishing house Atlantis and Norstedts Publishing Group are behind Clio.


• Strengthen the existing traditional marketing
• Increase flexibility and gain opportunities for targeted action
• Learn more about members’ wishes


• Production and mailing of newsletters from Apsis Newsletter Pro
• Surveys created in Apsis Survey Pro


• Increased opportunities for sending reminders about lectures and activities
• Increased knowledge of members by conducting surveys
• Increased opportunities to market the titles and events

Newsletters provide opportunities for flexible communication

A modern communication channel to target a group of people whose greatest interest is history? This may not be as strange as it sounds. After all, we all live in the present and email is a strong channel for providing information on current events. But, surely, history fans are a bit of a special target group?

- Our members’ magazine is our primary marketing channel, let there be no doubt about that, explains Annika Törnquist. We publish it eight times a year and, in each magazine, we present books and authors. We also offer invitations to various events, such as meet-and-greets with authors. Our members’ magazine is popular – but it doesn’t meet all needs. So, when we started thinking about email marketing, it was primarily as a supplement to the magazine.

Clio turned to its book distributor, who had a relatively simple email marketing system. It was functional, but it was perhaps inadequate when it came to working systematically, flexibly and permanently.

- We wanted to pitch specific titles, as well as send invitations to members’ evenings and reminders about events. So, we needed a more flexible solution. And we met with a good response straightaway; we noticed that email marketing could really help create interest in lectures. We were able to get some fifty people to register after the magazine was mailed, and when we followed this up with email marketing, we were able to get another thirty to register in a very short time. We would never have been able to attract the additional people otherwise.

An important support for other channels

Today, Clio uses email as an integral part of the marketing process, often as an aid to other channels or as reminders.

– We send out the magazine eight times a year and are aiming to send out the newsletter as often. But we definitely don’t want to send stuff if we don’t have anything to say; it’s important for us to have good content, says Annika Törnquist. On the other hand, sending out a newsletter with a reminder of general activities such as lectures is a good solution because, at the same time, we can remind people about personal matters such as membership questions and orders. So, email is an important tool for us when it comes to maintaining contact with our members.

Surveys provide us with valuable information

Up until now, Clio has used the basic functions of Apsis Newsletter Pro. On a few occasions, we have filtered the mailings – i.e. sent to selected recipients in the address list – and would like to develop this further, perhaps by categorising recipients by their previous orders. But the situation is complicated by the fact that we have data in several places – a membership directory, a mailing list for books and a directory of email addresses.

- Ideally, we would like to have all our information in one place, says Annika Törnquist. But we haven’t reached that stage yet. We need to find a structure that will allow us to integrate our systems!

If we are to be able to send out more advanced mailings, we need information – the more we know about the people behind the addresses, the more able we will be to send out better and more personalised newsletters. But Clio is working to learn more about its members’ wishes.

- Yes, we have just carried out a large survey, using Apsis Survey Pro from start to finish. We’ve received over a thousand answers and we decided to formulate a lot of questions so they can be answered open-endedly. There was therefore a lot of material to read through, but we learned a lot of valuable information in so doing, says Annika Törnquist. I had the impression that the survey tool was very flexible. It was easy to create the survey and to test various versions and change the questions around. We’d be happy to do that again!