Tag: The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

29 Inspiring Examples of Behaviorally-Targeted Emails You’ll Need to See to Believe

When it comes to creating behaviorally-targeted marketing emails, we could all use a little inspiration.

After all, there are so many potential actions a customer can take that would trigger an email – how do you decide which ones are worth investing the time to create? Below are some of our favorite examples from brands across a wide range of industries. In addition to the examples, you’ll also get invaluable tips on what makes them so appealing to the customer. Read on for all the details.

  1. Onboarding Email Examples

  2. Airbnb

  3. Runkeeper

  4. Kissmetrics

  5. Asana

  6. Cart Abandonment Email Examples

  7. Pinterest

  8. Chewy

  9. Adidas

  10. Upsell Email Examples

  11. Men’s Health

  12. Women’s Health

  13. Dropbox

  14. Spotify

  15. Harry’s

  16. Follow-up Email Examples

  17. MeetEdgar

  18. Airbnb

  19. OptinMonster

  20. Kickstarter

  21. Pinterest

  22. Codecademy

  23. Bodybuilding.com

  24. Upwork

  25. Notification Email Examples

  26. Slack

  27. Redfin

  28. Spotify

  29. Netflix

  30. Quora

  31. Facebook

  32. Trial Ended Email Examples

  33. Avocode

  34. Kissmetrics

  35. Shopify

Onboarding Email Example

Onboarding is the process of getting a user or customer acclimated to your brand and product. Although it’s most often used in human resources departments to get an employee up to speed on company culture and processes, it can also be used in email marketing to help prospects become more comfortable with your product or service and more receptive to an offer.

Airbnb

airbnb make yourself at home emailImage Source

Airbnb immediately tickles your travel fancy by showing you the average rate of places in a variety of cities that are perfect to visit in the fall. Whether you love the foliage of Vermont or the azure skies of New Mexico, you’ll be tempted to start clicking right away.

This is a great way for Airbnb and its hosts to make extra money during typical travel downtime. Since the summer rush is over, homeowners in popular areas may be looking for ways to keep up their earnings in the off-season. This onboarding email welcomes clicks with open arms while appealing to customers who want to avoid the summer crowds. The SuperHost mention also helps newcomers know what to look for when choosing a place, so they feel safer and more secure in their decision.

Runkeeper

Runkeeper is an app that helps you track and save your runs and other physical activity. But if you haven’t used the app or a fitness tracking device before, where do you start? Many people never take the time to start an activity even if they have the tools because getting started can be confusing and challenging.

RunKeeper’s onboarding email helps take all of the mystery out of logging fitness activities with this step-by-step example. Whether you decide to track and save your runs through the website or through the app, these simple instructions and the large call to action button will help make the process much simpler and easier to understand.

Kissmetrics

As an analytics and engagement platform, Kissmetrics requires a pretty extensive setup process – which makes onboarding crucial. There are a number of steps a user has to go through before they can really start using Kissmetrics and getting the full value out of it. The first step is installing the JavaScript. After a user does that, they receive this email:

javascript javascript installed email

They also include the progress bar, to see how far along they are in completing onboarding as well as the next steps they need to take.

Asana

Asana makes it clear how many emails the new will receive, and the CTA is unmissable – just click the Play button to get started.

asana new user onboarding email seriesImage Source

Cart Abandonment Email Examples

Cart abandonment reminders are one of the most common types of behaviorally targeted emails. But that doesn’t mean they have to be bland or canned-sounding responses. Check out what these companies have done to make their cart abandonment emails more enticing to the recipients:

Pinterest

pinterest cart emailImage Source

Pinterest always does a good job with their emails and this one is no exception. If you’ve pinned an item that’s for sale, but you ultimately don’t purchase it, Pinterest will notify you not only to remind you of the item, but when the price is lowered on it as well. So not only does the user get a reminder that one of their for-sale pinned items is still available, but that they can also get it at a discount — a win-win in the customer’s eyes!

Chewy

chewy saved your cart emailImage Source

Sometimes the simplest, most direct emails are the best — and Chewy.com demonstrates this perfectly with their saved cart emails. Not only do they give you one-click access to view your cart, but also let you know how you can save by enabling autoship.

They further help seal the deal with mentions of free shipping when you spend a certain amount, 24/7 customer service, easy returns and a satisfaction guarantee. And should the user have any questions, there’s a fully staffed customer service toll free number ready to lend a paw.

Adidas

adidas out of stock cart emailImage Source

Adidas has a unique spin on how they handle their shopping cart. Rather than leaving you empty handed when the item you’re looking at is out of stock or otherwise unavailable, they’ll send you an order update when the item is back in stock. You can then choose to continue shopping or browsing. But rather than keep you waiting forever, this email notification only updates you if the item is found within two weeks.

Upsell Email Examples

But wait, there’s more! Upsell emails are designed to make you an irresistible offer. These brands have learned that the more enticing the upsell, the more likely you’ll want to take advantage of it. Each one of these brands has approached it in their own unique way, however, that fits in perfectly with their end conversion goals.

Men’s Health

mens health upsell email

This email comes from a Men’s Health online program called MetaShred. It’s a free day-by-day workout plan delivered by email. This email, sent on day 1, showcases not just the steps to take, but why you should do them. Each day a new muscle group exercise is sent via email, so the user is never left feeling bored or uninspired.

On the last day of the free workout plan, an upsell to MetaShred Extreme is provided. But rather than the focus being all about the paid program, the author of the course still focuses on providing value through tips and suggestions:

The free offer is essentially designed to give readers a taste of what the Extreme version is like — without the hard sell on the paid version. Every email is all about delivering value, which in turn makes users more comfortable with taking them up on the offer to the more extreme version after they’ve seen results from a week of following the free plan. In the reader’s mind, if this is what the free version is like, the paid one must be even better!

Women’s Health

womens health magazine subscription email

Women’s Health magazine follows a more visually oriented approach – tempting users with a free issue first and foremost, along with a whopping 15 different guides on everything from eating better to better sex. When you load the free offer with other items of similar value, and no obligation to continue, people will often take the initiative to try things out — if only just to get the freebies.

However, what often happens is that the advice is helpful to the point where they’d like to continue receiving the magazine and learning even more tips — which in turn opens up the opportunity for even more upsells in the future.

Dropbox

This list would be remissed if it didn’t include a collection of emails from everyone’s favorite online storage service. And Dropbox doesn’t disappoint. When you first sign up, you’re encouraged to download the Dropbox app on your phone and computer:

dropbox onboarding email

But that’s only the beginning. Once you install Dropbox, you’re given the next step:

dropbox linked to computer email

The user can continue following the guided tour online, but even after finishing the setup process, Dropbox still nudges the user to install it on multiple computers – without being intrusive:

dropbox download email

As the user continues to work with the program, Dropbox will periodically send emails offering more space — either by referring friends, upgrading to the Business suite and so on. It only does this if the user’s existing Dropbox space is getting a little cramped, so these perfectly timed emails represent the perfect opportunity to gently guide the user from free to paid status.

Spotify

While Spotify receives the majority of their revenue from user subscriptions, they have another revenue channel – merchandise and concert sales. If you listen to any specific artist enough, you’ll receive offers when the artist goes on tour.

spotify lcd soundsystem early access email offer

These emails are behaviorally triggered because the user listens to a particular artist and receives an email based on their listening history. This makes them very targeted as well.

Harry’s

Harry’s, the shaving company competing with Dollar Shave Club, sends this upsell email to customers.

harrys foaming gel upsell emailImage Source

Since Harry’s sells shaving products, this foaming gel is relevant to 100% of their customer base. So when they release a new shaving product, they can email their entire customer base and know there will be interest. Or, to behaviorally target them, they can be sent to customers who recently purchased, or may have purchased a shaver without a shave gel.

Follow-up Email Examples

Not quite a cart abandonment email, but not quite an onboarding email, follow-ups fall somewhere in between — often teaching the user a new tip or trick to getting the most out of their favorite services. These can be sent to users who have signed up but not completed the process, requested an invitation but not followed through, or who simply haven’t logged in for awhile.

MeetEdgar

meetedgar follow up email

MeetEdgar is a social media management and integration suite, and they start off their onboarding process after you sign up by asking you a simple yes or no question about how you currently manage your social media updates. They follow up by letting you know how much Edgar will simplify your social media management, and the large call to action button makes it plain to see precisely which action they want you to take.

If you don’t respond, however, they follow up with another email – encouraging you to accept the invitation to “MeetEdgar” and then sprinkling in a few testimonials sharing how Edgar has helped others:

meetedgar drip email

If that still doesn’t encourage you, they decide to switch tactics a bit, and focus less on you meeting a digital cephalopod and more of you meeting and working with a human being:

meet edgar schedule demo drip email

With your Outreach Specialist, you can then schedule a demo to see how the platform works. Further follow-up emails invite you to participate in a Getting Started webinar, and so on — demonstrating that Edgar has his tentacles in a wide variety of channels to make users feel more comfortable and empowered in how they manage social media.

Airbnb

Been looking at a specific location on Airbnb? Expect to receive an email with top destinations at that location:

airbnb destinations triggered email

These types of retargeting emails will only work if you’re an Airbnb user and logged in while browsing those locations. Amazon sends similar emails when they email you about items that are similar to the ones you’ve been shopping for.

OptinMonster

This optin plugin has a very clever set of follow-up emails that bank on urgency to encourage the user to take action. The first is a simple check-in with the subject line – “is everything ok?”

optinmonster everything okay drip email

This follow-up email is a hybrid — it looks like an order fulfillment “oops!” at first glance, but mingles in elements of a typical abandoned cart message as well. If you don’t follow through with your purchase, however, things turn a bit more concerning:

account on hold optinmonster email

This type of “one on one approach” — that “I found your order” and that “your account is on hold” may be enough to spur action, but unlike other emails in the onboarding collection you’ll find here, there’s no compelling reason to want to continue with the order process. Where are the user testimonials? The demo or getting started video?

This should serve as a reminder that urgency alone isn’t often enough to seal the deal – even if it’s targeted by a customer’s behavior. OptinMonster makes another last ditch attempt with another compelling subject line:

optinmonster deleting account drip

“I’m deleting your account” sounds pretty harsh.The open rates on this email might be decent, but one has to wonder if this sense of “your account will be gone forever…but it can still be saved!” is a bit too dramatic. Remember, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

This set of follow-up emails was included in this list as it may be the right angle for some services. However, I’d suggest that if you are creating a follow-up sequence, to try out the Edgar approach over the OptinMonster one, as I personally wouldn’t be inclined to take any action if there was a risk of my account being deleted – even if it is a bluff.

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is great for getting funding for projects and ideas – but what happens after your idea is funded? To avoid people using the system once and leaving, Kickstarter sends this follow-up email when a user’s project is successfully funded. It not only provides tips and insights into what makes a successfully-funded project really shine, but also how to keep project backers in-the-loop.

kickstarter abandoned user emailImage Source

Pinterest

Pinterest’s emails are always a treat for the eyes, and the marketing brain. Here, they encourage users to follow up by starting a conversation around a pin (or sending one back). Many people who use Pinterest for the first time primarily use it to save pins to their pinboard for future inspiration. But there are many more uses for Pinterest, and this follow-up email encourages users to get back into the action and start conversations around their favorite pins.

pinterest followup emailImage Source

Codecademy

SaaS companies need their users to login and use the product. If they aren’t logging in, they aren’t using the product. And if they aren’t using the product, they aren’t getting value out of it, which means churn is inevitable.

Here’s the email Codecademy sends when a user stops logging in and taking a course:

codecademy follow up emailImage Source

This email encourages the user to “join the crowd” and keep coding.

Bodybuilding.com

As an e-commerce company, bodybuilding.com sends their customers emails if they haven’t ordered in a couple months:

bodybuilding.com come back 10 percent off order

While this email seems like it’s coming from the CEO, it’s actually triggered after their system sees that the customer hasn’t re-ordered.

Before that email is sent, they send a follow-up email to get the customer re-engaged with the content area of their site:

bodybuilding.com promoting content

In some cases, they’ll point people a specific article that is related to their purchase:

bodybuilding.com follow up email

These customer service emails are great because they let the customer know that they care about their order, makes it easy to email them, and keeps them engaged with the company.

Upwork

Freelance marketplace Upwork (formerly known as oDesk) sends an email to users after they stop using the services for a few months.

upwork customer win back email

The subject line for this email was, “Save $100 when you come back to Upwork”. $100 in free work may seem like a lot, but it can be enough to entice an abandoned user to come back and try the service, and they may end up spending more that it makes up for the cost that Upwork has to expend up front.

Notification Email Examples

These emails are sent as a result of inactivity or simply when new things happen and the user hasn’t been seen it yet. These emails serve to alert your users of important activities going on in your app or store.

Slack

If you’re a Slack user, you’ve undoubtedly received the email notification when someone sends you a message that you haven’t read.

slack unread message sent email

These sort of “inactivity” emails are a very common triggered email. They’re similar to an e-commerce sending emails to customers who haven’t ordered in a while, or have abandoned their cart.

Redfin

Looking to buy a home? If you use Redfin and are looking in a specific area, Redfin will send you a monthly “market report” that contains all the market details for the area that you’re looking at.

redfin triggered email

They’ll also send you emails when new homes are available in the area you’ve been searching.

redfin new homes available triggered email

What’s great about this email is the format and CTAs. You have two options – view more details or go straight to scheduling a tour.

Spotify

For Spotify, a listening user is an engaged user. If they’re listening, they’re engaged and getting value out of the product. And part of staying engaged is listening to new music from their favorite artists. So when Spotify knows your most-listened to artists, they’ll send you an email when they release new music.

ryan adams prisoner spotify release email

The CTA “Listen Now” takes you straight to listening to the new album.

Netflix

Much like Spotify, Netflix will send you an email when a show you’ve been watching releases a new season.

netflix triggered email

They’ll also send a “suggested” show based on your viewing history and rating.

netflix adds new show you may like

And if you’re not interested in the new suggested show, they have popular options that just dropped.

Quora

Quora wants most or all of their users to be registered. And there’s a reason for this – they want to know who you are, what you’re reading, so they can send you emails with new threads that are relevant to your interests. If you’ve been reading about airplanes or have it as a topic of interest, they’ll send you emails to new threads, threads with new answers, or threads you haven’t read yet.

quora reading digest behavioral email

And this goes for all topics – it isn’t just airplanes. They may also send you more popular threads that may not be a topic of interest to you, but nevertheless get you to open the email and click through to the app or website.

Facebook

Been out of Facebook for a while? Prepare for a barrage of notifications and emails telling you what you’ve been missing. Facebook will do everything short of sending Mark Zuckerberg to knock on your door and ask you to log back in.

Facebook someone commented on someone's status email

These notifications, while annoying, often work for a company like Facebook. They exploit the fear of missing out in people, which causes them to log back and start using Facebook and being a part of the community once again.

Trial Ended Email Examples

Goodbye doesn’t have to mean forever – and these example behaviorally-targeted emails perfectly demonstrate that although the free trial is over, the really good stuff is just getting started.

Avocode

trial ended behaviorally triggered email

If you design layouts regularly in Adobe Photoshop and want to convert them to an app format, Avocode is an intuitive way to do just that. But if your trial ends, does that mean all your designs are gone too? Fortunately, that isn’t the case. After your trial ends at Avocode, you’re encouraged to continue the service and reinstate access to your designs by simply entering your billing information.

Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics’ email focuses on what the user will get if they don’t upgrade the plan.

kissmetrics upgrade plan email

The two CTAs make it clear what the next step is – upgrading the plan so they can keep using the analytics & engagement platform.

Shopify

store closed triggered email

Much like Avocode, online store platform Shopify follows a similar tactic in letting users know that their free trial store is closed, but that it’s easy to reopen and get back to selling as long as you enter your billing details and pick your plan. Should the user have any questions, a toll free number or online contact form are available within a single click to help.

With both of these trial ended options, the user’s data is kept intact at all times, and they only need to enter billing details to get back up and running. This is an excellent strategy not only for helping build customer goodwill and retention, but also one that demonstrates the company’s service in a way helps build trust and credibility.

Getting Started with Behaviorally Targeted Emails

By now you should be bursting at the seams with new ideas for your behaviorally targeted emails. But how do you get started?

Kissmetrics Campaigns is a great way to start creating behavior-based emails and improving customer engagement while increasing retention rates and lessening churn. Learn more about Kissmetrics Campaigns by watching the video below:

https://fast.wistia.net/assets/external/E-v1.js

And if you’re already using behaviorally targeted emails in your campaigns, tell us about it! Have you used any of the methods or strategies shown here in your own campaigns? How did they work out for you? We’d love to hear about your triumphs and success stories, so be sure to share them in the comments below!

About the Authors:
Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling copywriting, user-friendly design and smart analytics analysis. Learn more at iElectrify.com and download your free web copy tune-up and conversion checklist today!

Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is the Blog Manager for Kissmetrics.

from The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog https://blog.kissmetrics.com/behaviorally-targeted-emails-examples/

How to Use Facebook as Your PR Engine

A PR agency’s job is to get your story in front of the press and potential customers.

It might set you back $5,000 per month.

But what if you could get the same—if not better—results yourself, by using Facebook ads?

Facebook ads are one of your biggest business opportunities. The targeting capabilities, the tracking functionality and the low cost of getting started means they beat any other form of advertising hands down. If you’re not using Facebook ads as part of your overall marketing strategy, you’re missing a trick.

Facebook has a neat little feature called workplace targeting that many people don’t even know about—and from a PR perspective, it could save you thousands of dollars every month.

Let’s see how.

How to Target the Media on Facebook

When you think about Facebook targeting, you might think it’s all about location, age and interest-based targeting. But when you dive into the demographical data we can use to target people, it goes much deeper than that.

Let’s take a second to think about the data Facebook has. There are 1.94 billion active monthly users on Facebook, and over 1 billion people use the platform every single day.

That’s a lot of data. I’ve personally been on Facebook for over 10 years. During the course of those 10 years, Facebook will have amassed a huge amount of data about me: the pages I’ve liked, posts I’ve reacted to, photos I’ve uploaded, places I’ve checked in, links I’ve clicked on and sites I’ve visited, to name a few. They’ll understand how my behavior has changed over time. When we combine that with the data they have about my Instagram and Whatsapp usage (not to mention data from third-party partners), we’re starting to talk real big data.

As they say, if you don’t pay for a product, you are the product. This might sound slightly daunting to a user, but as a marketer, it’s a huge opportunity—an opportunity you need to be taking advantage of.

When we use workplace targeting to target people based on where they work, we’re simply using the data Facebook gathers when you create your profile.

It’s a targeting feature that many people don’t know about, but it’s one that can be super powerful. Here’s how to do it:

Using Facebook Workplace Targeting

Presuming you already have an advertising account, when you’re in the ads manager, click on create advert.

You’ll be taken here, where you need to choose your campaign objective. You can target the media through any objective, so what you choose here will be entirely dependent upon your goals.

For example, if you’re trying to get people to take a specific action, such as download an eBook, you’ll want to choose the conversions objective. If your goal is to drive traffic to a blog post, you might want to use the traffic objective.

The objective you choose will alter how Facebook optimizes your ads (if you choose conversions, Facebook will show your ad to the people it thinks are most likely to convert. If you choose traffic, Facebook will show your ad to the people it thinks are most likely to click through). Again, Facebook has data on what action you’re most likely to take, based on your user behavior.

Facebook auction advertising options

Name your campaign and click continue.

You’ll then be taken to the ad set level where you get to choose your targeting options. Your ad set is basically a place where you tell Facebook how you want your advertisement to run. Your options here include:

  • Targeting
  • Placement
  • Budget
  • Bidding
  • Scheduling

Targeting is what we’re interested in here. Find the detailed targeting box, then hit browse > demographics > work > employers.

Here, you can enter the names of the companies you want to target. This will target the employees of the companies you choose. If we’re looking to get some PR, we want to choose media companies as the employers.

targeting bbc facebook

You can go ahead and fill that detailed targeting box with as many companies as you’d like to target.

facebook targeting

I’d recommend creating a list of all the media companies you think might be interested in what you do and any stories you produce. You can then save that audience and come back to it whenever you want to target the media again. I’ll often target the media companies even when I don’t have anything to pitch them—just to keep myself top of their minds.

save audience Facebook ad manager

You’ll then have an audience you can target whenever you have something you feel is media-worthy! Here’s an audience I created of people who work for media companies:

employer targeting media Facebook advertising audience

As a marketer, getting into the media and onto podcasts, writing guest blog posts and connecting with influencers are all great ways to reach and provide value to new audiences. But the people with the power to get you onto these mediums (the owners, journalists, hosts etc.) are inundated every day by people requesting to be on their show or to write a guest post for them. Do you think they want to receive any more requests than they already do?

Definitely not.

Why not do something to stand out from the crowd? Jump on to Facebook, find the person who owns the podcast/blog you want to appear on, see what they’ve put as their company name and then create an ad targeting employees of that company.

In your ad copy, you can specify that you love their podcast/blog and would like to appear on it. What’s gonna stand out more—a boring email pitch or a creative ad?

The ad will win all day long—it’s fun, it’s different and it’s relevant.

Alternative benefits

Workplace targeting doesn’t just offer media/PR benefits. It can literally be used for anything, whether that’s lead generation, getting meetings with specific people or using it to get your next job.

I’ve used this tactic to get meetings with people many times. For example, I wanted to meet the team at Social Chain. After emailing a few times to no avail, I decided to run an ad targeting employees of Social Chain.

man targeting media through Facebook advertising

After only $.39 spend, I had a message from the CEO inviting me down to the office the next week. Crazy, right? Every marketer has a list of companies they want to meet/work with. Rather than sending them cold emails, why not create Facebook ads targeting the employees or CEO of that company?

Relevancy

Relevancy is the key to why this works so well. If you pinpoint an ad to someone and call them out based on how you targeted them—for example, by targeting people that work for ‘x’ company and using copy such as ‘work for ‘x’?’—of course they’re going to click on that ad! Why wouldn’t they when it’s so relevant to them?

But at the same time, just because you’ve used their workplace or job title as the identifier, it doesn’t mean the ad or message you’re trying to get across is interesting to them. There are more than 5 million advertisers on Facebook, of which a small percentage will be targeting you, trying to get their message in your feed. Some of them may have identified you by your job title, while others may have identified you by your interests.

This is where having great ad creative is important. The targeting functionality allows us to get our message in front of the right people with ease. But that doesn’t mean they’re automatically going to be interested in what we have to say. Great targeting can’t fix poor messaging. Understand the mindset of Facebook users and serve them an ad that is truly valuable and relevant to them.

Final Thoughts

How can a PR agency compete with results like this—instant results for a tiny spend? Now, the point of this article isn’t to suggest that PR agencies are dead. They still have a place, but if you’re looking to get into the media or to target specific companies, Facebook ads might be your best bet.

The great thing is, you don’t need huge budgets to get results. You can get started from as little as $1 a day. Once you’ve tested and played around with this method, you can scale your budget to as high as you like.

About the Author: Gavin Bell is an award winning entrepreneur and Facebook advertising expert. At just 21 years of age, he launched his social media agency, Blue Cliff Media. Fast forward two years and they’re working with brands across the world, helping them to transform the way they communicate and market themselves online. Also a vlogger, Gavin has a weekly vlog titled “The Journey” which follows his life through the world of entrepreneurship.

from The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog https://blog.kissmetrics.com/use-facebook-as-pr-engine/

Homepages vs Landing Pages: Where to Drive Paid Traffic for Higher Conversions

I’m going to give this to you straight. If you’re directing your hard-won PPC, Facebook, Twitter or banner ad traffic to your homepage…

There is a better way.

Conversion happens on landing pages.

And your homepage is not one of them.

Why?

Your homepage is a hub. It’s a jump off point to the rest of your site’s content. A landing page is a destination. It’s where you want visitors to end up.

Let me show you what this looks like.

Where to Go (and How You Get There)

Picture this:

You’ve decided to go on vacation. You call up your travel agent. You tell him you’re in the mood for tropical climates, white sand beaches, and public intoxication.

I know just the place, he says.

Your travel agent, who moonlights as an Uber driver, picks up you up and you’re away. Ready to soak up that mojito-laden air.

But, instead of taking you to a resort, he drops you off at the airport. He leaves you there — with no idea where you’re going or what to do next.

See where I’m going with this?

You are the prospect and your travel agent/Uber driver is your ad.

You had an idea of what you wanted and where you wanted to go. But instead of him taking you there — you’re left in a crowded terminal with only one question:

What now?

Sure, you may meander around for a bit. You might even stumble upon a flight to a coastal city.

But, odds are, you’ll find someone else who will actually send you somewhere. Someone who will set you on the path to a beautiful and exotic land—ing page.

It’s About Awareness, Intent, and Direction

Every visitor who clicks on an ad, comes to your site or buys from you, is in a certain stage of problem awareness.

Here’s a brief a rundown on the five stages:

  1. Unaware – The first stage The prospect doesn’t know they have a problem. Enter Dwight. The marketer who works his nine to five, five days a week without issue or complaint.
  2. Problem-Aware – This stage comes after something triggers a feeling of discontent. A disconnect between desire and reality. It’s Dwight at his desk at 9:37am, realizing he feels burnt-out. He doesn’t know what he needs. He only knows he has a problem.
  3. Solution AwareVacation. He needs a vacation. The solution stage is when a prospect identifies a way to solve their problem. But, still unaware of the options. He doesn’t know where he can go to get the relaxation he needs.
  4. Product-AwareIceland? Sydney? Hawaii? The next stage is awareness of the available options. It’s a prospect knowing your solution exists and what it can do.
  5. Most-Aware – Dwight likes Hawaii. The final stage is when the prospect is not only aware of your solution but when it’s also the top contender.

What does this have to do with paid traffic?

Two things.

First, the awareness stage dictates what they’re looking for, why they’re looking for it and how they got there.

In a word: Intent.

Second, knowing which stage a prospect is in allows you to write targeted ad copy. It’s the copywriting adage of joining the conversation that’s already going on in their head — in action.

And it’s not only your ads. Every page on your website addresses concerns at different levels of product awareness. The goal of paid ad campaigns is to prime for conversion by moving them through these stages.

So, which would better fulfil this goal? A homepage or a landing page?

If you answered homepage. Read on.

If you answered landing page. Nice. Read on.

Why Copywriters Hate Writing Homepages

I know what some of you are thinking:

Our homepage has the product on it. By sending traffic there, we’re making visitors product-aware. Plus, it’s littered with information about our value proposition. And THAT will move them into the most-aware stage. It’s the ultimate landing page. Bazinga.

Fair point. But, remember the ultimate goal is conversion. Convincing Dwight that Hawaii is the best place to be, doesn’t mean he’s booked the ticket. Getting to the final stage of awareness is still only awareness — not action.

And although visitors are “landing” on it, I’ll say this again:

A homepage is not a landing page.

Homepages are the gateway to the rest of your site. They are for visitors at every stage of awareness. This makes writing homepage copy a bit of a doozy.

But, landing pages are purpose-built conversion-machines. They follow an optimized set of design principles. Squeezing out every sign-up, opt-in and sale possible. They do this by adhering to a staple of conversion copywriting:

The Rule of One.

The Rule of One is to design each page with one reader and one big idea in mind. For example, Spotify’s landing page for a product-aware prospect (one-reader) with a free trial offer (one big idea):

spotify premiumNo more, no less.

The purpose of the Rule of One is to convert. It gives a single visitor a single path.

This is why homepages are troublesome for copywriters. A homepage is for everybody, and so, it converts nobody. Sure, you may have a CTA above the fold, smack-dab in the center. But, how many conversions do you get compared to a purpose-built landing page?

A lot less, I’d assume.

Focus Trumps Clutter

The real problem with sending visitors to your homepage is onus of responsibility. You make them responsible for navigating through your site. You make them responsible for finding your landing pages.

You make them responsible for your conversion rate.

Let’s go back to Dwight. He knows he has a problem. He needs a solution — so he Googles:

feel less stressed work google queryDwight’s problem aware search query

And this ad comes up. What do you think he’d prefer to see when he clicks on it? A solution to his workplace woes? Or a page cluttered with links and information that may or may not be relevant?

Directing paid traffic to conversion relies on visitor expectationjoin the conversation that’s already going on in their head.

If they’re in the problem stage, they’re expecting a solution. If they’re in the solution stage, they’re expecting a product.

Give it to them.

The first page they see plays a pivotal role in convincing them your offer is worth their time and attention — make it count.

There is already plenty of content out there on designing landing pages. So we won’t get into that here. But, there is one aspect of landing page design that makes it a conversion beast:

Variation.

As in, multiple, targeted and focused designs. Here’s an example: Instapage — a landing page building platform.

If anyone knows how to design landing pages, it should be them, right?

Now, here’s where you come in. You have a problem. You need landing pages. And you need them now.

You go on the Google machine and search for “how to build landing pages”. You scroll down and click a link to Instapage’s homepage:

instapage guaranteeNot a landing page.

Immediately you see menu items, a CTA button, and a video play button. There’s also “3 Brand New Design Features” to check out. You don’t even know the old features yet.

You’re at the airport.

Why are you here? Where do you go? What’s the next step?

Now for comparison, here is the landing page after clicking on the PPC ad for the same search query:

instapage landing pageTwo roads did not diverge in a yellow wood.

See the difference?

The landing page has a clear path for the visitor to “GET STARTED NOW”. Clicking either button takes you to a page with a simple signup form — and nothing else. Below the fold, you see the features most pertinent to your search query: how to build landing pages.

instapage below the fold landing pageShould you get started or get started?

What’s more, every single clickable element leads to the same sign-up page as the first CTA button. Like Spotify’s landing page, it gives a single visitor a single path to conversion.

instapage customers tweetYes, even these testimonials at the bottom of the page are clickable.

The focus is on the visitor’s intent — anticipating their needs. And by presenting the right information, they meet their expectations.

Now, let’s see the search query: “high converting landing pages”. This is the PPC ad’s landing page:

instapage advertising landing pageNot only is the headline more ROI focused, but the hero image is also analytics-themed.

Again, above the fold there is a central focus — get started now. Below the fold are features relevant to the visitor’s intent and expectations. In comparison, the homepage now looks cluttered and directionless.

Targeted, focused, and relevant landing pages are the key to high conversions.

One company found their ad-specific landing pages outperformed their generic pages by 115%. And companies have seen a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.

This is the beauty of directing paid traffic to landing pages. You can create them based on exactly what the visitor needs to see at their stage of awareness.

Homepages are static — There can be only one.

The Bottom Line

If you’re directing paid traffic to your homepage — you’re wasting your marketing budget.

Your homepage was never meant to be more than a central hub. A starting point. Whereas landing pages have every single element designed, tested and optimized for conversion.

You are paying money for this traffic.

If you currently have ads directed to your homepage, direct them to a relevant landing page. Go, now.

If you already direct them to a landing page, ask yourself:

  • Is this the most optimized landing page for the intended reader’s stage of awareness?
  • Does the landing page present information that they’d expect to see?
  • If it doesn’t, can I build another landing page that would be better suited?

Remember, Dwight needs the vacation. Don’t leave him wandering through the airport.

If you show him the boarding gate — he’ll get on the plane.

About the Author: Andy Nguyen is a professional copywriter for hire. He helps B2B SaaS and marketing companies produce content their audience wants to read.

from The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog https://blog.kissmetrics.com/homepages-vs-landing-pages/

5 User Engagement Strategies for SaaS Product Marketers

Want to sustain growth?

It all starts with user engagement. SaaS businesses must aim to educate and entertain their users to boost satisfaction and retention.

For your team, that means building a marketing strategy that keeps users engaged. You want customers to feel compelled to login to your platform in the morning, during lunchtime, and even before bedtime. You want the stickiness factor.

“Once people start using your product, SaaS companies need to focus on making that product as sticky as possible. Your customers need to be using it in their day-to-day workflows,” says Paul Schmidt, a senior consultant at SmartBug Media.

Ready to engage more? Check out the following five user engagement strategies.

1. Send Triggered Messaging

Communication plays an integral role in customer relationships. You’re already emailing customers welcome messages, product updates, and the occasional thank you note.

Powered by data, it’s possible to send more relevant emails to your audience. Triggered messaging takes advantage of customer behavior to automatically deliver a personalized experience.

“Real-time triggered emails get good results because they respond to subscriber actions and are relevant to them, so they benefit from current high engagement. Whereas routine marketing emails can be more like interruptions and are sometimes rejected as irrelevant,” states Mike Austin, a technologist and email marketing expert.

Let’s imagine that new users who don’t take a significant action on your platform within 2 days of signing up are more likely to churn. You can set up a triggered message to nudge these users to login to their accounts.

Below is a triggered message I received from Buffer. Their system automatically emailed me when my social media post surpassed a specific audience reach.

Kissmetrics Campaigns can help you deliver behavior based, automated emails to keep customers engaged every step of the way. You also can build targeted segments and measure your campaign impact.

https://fast.wistia.net/assets/external/E-v1.js

Keep the conversations going beyond the routine emails. Take advantage of customer behavior to send timely messages.

2. Engage with In-App Chat

Over the years as a marketer, you’ve acquired a lot of knowledge about SaaS products. You understand how most platforms work, and you could probably navigate a new software within a couple of hours.

The same can’t be said for your customers. They don’t eat and sleep SaaS technology. Therefore, users will need ongoing assistance to achieve their desired outcomes.

“Simply establishing the fact that you are available makes your customers feel better. It makes them not just view the product as some pixels on the screen, but as an extension of the people behind it’s creation: you,” writes Ryan Angilly, CEO of Ramen.

In-app chat is an effective tool to provide one-on-one help to your customers. You’ll learn what features users find difficult, and you can ask users specific questions about their engagement. Your conversations might look the following image from Pipz:

pipz in app messagingImage Source

Some in-app chat platforms offer the capability to segment users. You could identify key behaviors hindering customers from achieving full product adoption. Then, initiate an in-app chat to guide users through their particular roadblocks.

You also want to remind your team to respond to chat messages quickly. Most people don’t like waiting for answers for long periods of time. Another good tip is to be personable on chat support. Emojis help break the monotony.

3. Garner Attention with Video Tutorials

After a customer makes a purchase, it’s important to provide continuing education. An informed customer is more likely to find success with the product, as a result increasing your retention rates.

While well-intentioned customers want to learn, your SaaS product continues to compete for their attention. There’s the everyday demands of work, family time, and several other random distractions vying for your customer’s time.

Blogs, ebooks, and guides are the most common forms of educational tools used by businesses. It’s cost-effective and gets the job done. However, text isn’t always an engaging content format.

Video tutorials are one way to compete for your customer’s attention. Videos are visually stimulating and convey your message faster.

Check out the example below from Wrike. The project management company created a video series of tutorials to walk users through their features and benefits.

wrike explainer videosImage Source

To produce captivating video tutorials, start with your customer in mind. What do they want to learn? Schedule time with your customer success team to match your content with users’ pain points.

Beyond the topic, the video should connect with your audience on an emotional level. Use storytelling tactics, like narrative patterns and conflicts, to draw people in and make the experience memorable.

4. Add User Incentives

The right incentive works as a catalyst to influence user behavior. Depending on your company’s goals, you want incentives to serve a real purpose for your customer.

Most companies fall into the trap of giving their customers superficial incentives. That might include a free key chain or the chance to enter a sweepstakes. While these incentives are useful, they might not correlate with growing your engagement.

So let’s skip the swag bags for now. Instead, concentrate on activities that will create product stickiness and transform dormant users into habitual advocates.

Some of those activities may involve offering beta test opportunities for users to try out new features or inviting users into an elite community, like Sprout Social’s All Stars Program.

Sometimes, it can be as simple as creating a Facebook group for users to share tips and ask questions. That’s exactly what CoSchedule did!

coschedule Facebook group

Incentives should be highly valued by your users. Practice strategies of exclusivity or surprise and delight to get users excited about receiving an incentive. A customer who isn’t expecting your incentive will be even more thrilled to receive it.

5. Employ Gamification

The concept of engaging customers with games isn’t anything new. For decades, businesses have seduced customers with seasonal contests.

What’s different now is the method of implementation. The Internet is making it practical to employ gamification principles on a larger scale and at the customer’s convenience.

SaaS businesses see this an opportunity to remedy low customer engagement rates. With the right games, your team can persuade customers to stay on your platform longer.

“Can we do something about our users’ shrinking attention span? No. Can we try to keep them engaged and learning despite the dire circumstances? Absolutely. Gamification and interactive content (e.g. quizzes) are only part of the new dynamic content trend that is emerging in training documentation,” says Noa Dror, content manager at Iridize.

Quuu Promote showcases a great example of how SaaS companies can influence product usage. Their team uses loyalty badges to encourage users to promote more content. The badges are earned when a user’s content attains a specific number of clicks or shares. And as a bonus, the user can earn free credits toward their next purchase.

loyalty badge showcase

Not ready to scale gamification to all your customers? Run a beta program on a segment of your user base. Then, monitor your predetermined success metrics, like usage frequency, to see whether your program produces positive outcomes.

Start Engaging Your Users

Customers are the lifeblood of your business. To retain your users, experiment with different engagement strategies to improve retention.

You can send triggered messaging to remind users to login to your platform. Work with your SaaS team to deliver customer solutions with an in-app chat tool. Lastly, consider how user behavior coupled with gamification can increase engagement.

Engage to retain.

About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Connect with her on Twitter @shaylaprice.

from The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog https://blog.kissmetrics.com/5-user-engagement-strategies/

How to Sell Multiple Products Online: 12 Ways to Boost Sales without Jeopardizing the Experience

Steve Jobs wore one thing.

Zuckerberg started doing it. And even Obama caught the bug.

But why? (Beyond, you know, an apparent lack of fashion sense.)

One less decision to make for these powerful decision makers. More time for everything else, according to the Zuck himself in a Q&A session.

Outfit dilemma hit former Saatchi & Saatchi art director, Matilda Kahl, too. After arriving late to an important Monday morning meeting, her sweater inside out, she adopted the same approach.

Choices are good though, right? Yes and no.

On the plus side, more choice can help bring in more attention to your wares. But on the down side, more choice can also cause analysis paralysis. It can literally freeze people (and more importantly, buyers) right at the moment of truth.

So. What on Earth are you supposed to do if you have multiple products online? How do you sell them without putting your visitors on ice and jeopardizing sales?

Let’s find out.

How to Sell Multiple Products

The jam study is infamous.

It recounts one day in a Menlo Park grocery store. (No doubt surrounded by all sorts of vegan nuts and berries. Because vegans just basically eat nuts, right? Like chipmunks. Crazy California hippies.)

Twenty-four jam varietals were set out. Muchas people came over to check them all out. But the conversion rate (of lookers to buyers) wasn’t all that impressive.

Later, they reduced that number down to only six. Less people came over, but more people ended up buying.

The theory, so it goes, was that too many choices can actually reduce conversions. Now, not everyone is convinced. There are flaws. Biases. And other scientific-sounding things.

But it still presents an issue.

Ecommerce marketers have multiple products. Even a single product page has a TON of ‘variables’ that you have to get right. For example:

  • Descriptive product names
  • SEO-optimized product description
  • High-resolution product images
  • CTA buttons that are difficult to miss
  • Additional details such as price, size, availability, and cost savings
  • Reviews and testimonials
  • An option to buy later (or save searches) via an “Add to Wish List” button
  • Related products recommendation for cross-sell and upsell opportunities
  • Social media sharing buttons
  • Clear shipping and return information
  • Product videos
  • Live chat widget

Of course, there’s the copy as well. Which, when done right, can increase clickthrough rates by an astounding 93%.

So how do you sell multiple products again without compromising the sales experience?

Thankfully, MarketingExperiments.com ran a clinic on selling multiple products online. And they found three major takeaways after performing, you know, some marketing experiments:

  1. Reduce the number of choices
  2. Prioritize product presentation
  3. Communicate the product’s value proposition

Cool. Let’s see how those three work.

Step #1. Reduce the number of choices

Decision fatigue is a thing afterall. Too many choices, too much analysis required, and less purchases are made. (Yes, in that order.)

Too many choices can lead people to second-guess themselves. Question their decisions. Before finally throwing up their hands and exclaim, “Screw it. We’re eating eggs again tonight.”

Turns out, there is some data that backs up the “too many products backfire” claim.

MarketingExperiments.com found that reducing the products on a page from three down to one increased revenue by 24%. (Not conversions — revenue.)

Image Source

Ok… but how, exactly, do you do that? Especially when you’ve got a full product catalog with tons of inventory sitting in an expensive warehouse?

Here’s a few ideas they put forth.

✅ Tip #1: Prioritize the best selling products (duh)

Sounds trite and obvious. But it’s incredibly important. Funnel visitors to your best performing products.

Similar to how you’d ‘funnel’ visitors to your best converting pages or blog posts when trying to increase conversions.

But of course, you can only answer this if you actually have customer insight. Cold hard data. From analytics software. Like the one whose blog you’re reading right now.

Surveys also work. Kinda. Sorta. But only if you are asking the right questions.

✅ Tip #2: Visually streamline how people choose products

Just because you have three digits worth of products sitting on shelves somewhere (undoubtedly collecting dust), doesn’t mean you have to force all of those things onto the same page at one time.

Instead, group your products differently in order to not overwhelm people. That might apply to category (or even sub category pages). If possible, one page, one goal.

That can even apply to the entire conversion funnel on your site.

Helix is one of my favorite examples. They sell mattresses. Boring, right? Not exactly unique or different. You can’t throw a rock in a city without hitting some rundown mattress factory.

So what’s so special about them? Well, for one, they make buying a mattress sexy as hell.

Their Shop page condenses multiple mattresses down into a ‘single’ product.

helix mattress product selection

Then from there, you go into a customization builder to select, add, or remove different attributes.

build helix mattress

The result is a simplified, streamlined, approach. You only have one or two decisions to make on each section at a time.

✅ Tip #3: Eliminate (or deprioritize) ‘extra’ products

You can. And you should.

While the goal is to not allow them to overthink and bounce off the page or abandon the cart, you also want to make sure that the product page carries what they came there to buy.

We just saw that in the last Helix example. And here’s another similar one from EvoDesk.

You can literally add almost anything to their stand-up desks. But once again, they remove a lot of the headache and only present you with one option at a time.

evodesk shape selection

The result is that they end up de-prioritizing a lot of the ‘minor’ but cool decisions (like do you want speakers mounted to the top or not) so that they don’t get in the way of the ultimate decision: plopping down a G or two for a desk.

✅ Tip #4: Segment your traffic to tailor what they see

Personalization, yo! Buzzwords! Growth Hacking! Jargon!

Jokes aside, don’t treat everyone the same (if you’re juggling tons of products). Show them what they’d be most interested in. Based on previous visits or purchases.

That’s what Amazon does right on their homepage:

amazon suggested selling from homepage

And that’s what the high-converting QVC does, too.

You can try to personalize based on different segments of the market (i.e., financial, marketing, project management sectors, etc.), Or get more granular through targeting: behavioral, location, referring URL, ad content, device, search keywords, customer history, sessions behavior, date and even time of day.

If you can’t personalize pages like this, turn to inbound funnel segmentation. Line up the specific product pages with the source, medium, or channel someone’s coming from.

Step #2. Prioritize Product Presentation

Sometimes you can’t (or don’t want to) eliminate products from a page.

So reducing the number of choices is out.

But… your hands aren’t tied completely. You can still use a few tricks in order to prioritize products. That would give people a visual hierarchy of what’s most important through a series of images, shapes, text, etc.

Once again, MarketingExperiments.com comes through in the clutch. Through a series of product presentation prioritization points (holy Ps), they were able to increase conversions by 66%.

marketing experiments emphasize important productsImage Source

And once again, here are a few tips they outlined so you can adopt the same approach.

✅ Tip #1: Size does matter.

Product page sizing depends on a few factors. Like:

  1. How many products are you featuring?
  2. How high up the priority list is the product?
  3. What other elements of focus will the page contain (i.e., text, buttons, menus, etc.?)

It also depends on the site aesthetic that works for your site. But here’s a good example from the Dollar Shave Club:

dollar shave club product sizing

First, they’ve reduced the number of options. That much is true. But then they also have used product sizing to help you prioritize which one to go with.

✅ Tip #2: Shape can also play a role.

“Packaged products incorporating more natural shapes or motifs” are more likely to be successful, according one consumer buying study on the impact of shapes.

Shapes can mean many things online. For example, check out these product shots on Amazon:

amazon canon product

Sure. The Best Seller tags jump out. But otherwise, the product images loaded with stuff do, too.

Because as a red blooded American, your first instinct is MOAR.

Seriously though, one store saw a 320% increase in sales by making tweaks to their Amazon SEO. And what is ‘Amazon SEO’ you ask?

Basically you’re optimizing for visibility, relevance, and conversions by optimizing product pages just like you would on your own site. So title tags, images, reviews, etc.

✅ Tip #3: Time to gif.

You should probably have a video. People like product videos. According to stats.

But otherwise, design elements like blurring, motion lines, or wave effects can help add a little motion to your ocean.

Check out this Bonobos example to see how motion catches your eye:

bonobos animated shortsImage Source

Obviously though, use a little discretion here. The simpler, the better.

✅ Tip #4: Use color contrasts

Colors also play a huge role on buying decisions. But how do you emphasize a product using colors alone? Answer: contrast.

For example, the first image of the three below has the least amount of reviews. But it catches your eye because of the different background image.

mens chukka boots color contrasts

✅ Tip #5: Emphasize eyeliner.

Here’s how people view websites:

  1. The top-left corner gets people’s attention first and foremost
  2. People then scan in F-patterns.
  3. The left side of the page gets more attention than the right.

Fortunately, you can use this information to your advantage. You can use it to define your visitors’ eye path. Just remember the following:

  • Media instantly attracts.
  • Use the “compare and contrast principle” (example: full price vs. discounted price).
  • Use directional cues (example: use arrows.)
  • Be mindful of your typography (example: relevant H1/H2 tags).
  • Frame/encapsulate what’s important.

Expedia excels at these:

expedia las vegas hotels

Step #3. Communicate the Product’s Value Proposition

Last but certainly not least, a clear value prop can make all the difference.

MarketingExperiments.com generated a 93% conversion increase by helping customers better understand why they should buy a particular product.

product value ab testImage Source

Why is your product worth buying? What are its benefits? How will it help the buyer? Your answer to those questions should be the ‘end result’ that will ultimately make someone’s life better.

Your value proposition should “boil down” your sales pitch (and all the complexities associated with it) into something the buyer can easily understand and remember, grab their attention and eventually say, “Yes, that’s the one for me.”

Because “if you’re the best in at least one way, you’re the best option for the people who value that aspect.”

Cases in point: Apple, not the largest selection of products; QVC, not necessarily prestigious; Tiffany, definitely not the cheapest. But people still buy from them.

SaaS companies regularly have good value props. Because they only have a single product to sell. They’re not burned — unencumbered — by the same flaws of those with multiple. So here are a few lessons you can draw on from SaaS companies.

✅ Tip #1: Emphasize what matters most.

Value props aren’t taglines per se, but they should still be succinct; communicating everything that needs to be said in just a few words. (Irony in action: run-on sentences touting “succinct.”)

Trello’s emphasizes three main points:

  1. Free
  2. Flexible
  3. Visual

And you know, if you’ve used Trello before, those are the perfect three words to describe its benefit.

trello homepage

Unbounce also excels here by not just focusing on the benefit, but also removing a pain point.

Building, publishing, and testing landing pages is one thing. But to do those without the need for your I.T. department is like music to a marketer’s ears.

unbounce homepage 2017

✅ Tip #2: Clarity trumps cleverness.

Value props run a risk.

The entire concept of it is kinda business-y. Kinda jargon-y.

So you run the risk of being too clever. Too complex. Or too MBA-y.

When in reality, the best value props are incredibly simple; requiring less than a few seconds of thought.

That means no big words. No run-on sentences. No generic garbage. No “collaboration”, or “effectiveness”, or other synergies.

Bitly nails it with three short words that instantly communicate what it does and why you need it.

bit.ly homepage value proposition

✅ Tip #3: Incorporate visuals.

If you’re still struggling, visuals can help add context. For ecommerce, think about showing the product in action.

Short videos also work well, as evidenced by Dollar Shave Club’s infamous viral one they still use front-and-center today.

dollar shave club homepage with video

Conclusion

Selling multiple products online can be a recipe for disaster.

Showing visitors too many products might get their attention. But it can also cause analysis paralysis. Too many choices may lead to no choosing at all.

Start by reducing the number of options (if possible). You don’t have to axe them completely, necessarily. But streamline how people discover them, or how you’re prioritizing which products they see (in sequence).

You should then present products strategically by using a visual hierarchy to indicate importance. Think: shapes, colors, motion, contrasts, and where you want someone’s eyeline to go first. And yes, gentlemen, size does matter.

Finally, simple, clear copy always wins. An individual product’s value prop should be instantly recognizable. And instantly communicated. That means no generic stuff or jargon that will confuse us. You and your Ivy League friends might love your Ivy League education.

But more often than not, buyers don’t. So keep it stupidly simple.

About the Author: Brad Smith is the founder of Codeless, a B2B content creation company. Frequent contributor to Kissmetrics, Unbounce, WordStream, AdEspresso, Search Engine Journal, Autopilot, and more.

from The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog https://blog.kissmetrics.com/sell-multiple-products-online/

Identifying and Mitigating Churn With Customer Engagement Automation

You know the stats by now.

It costs 5-25x more to acquire a new customer than keep a current customer.

Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

And increasing churn will eventually plateau any new customer growth.

churn ramp of death

Sure, there are some basic things you can do that may help alleviate churn.

But to create customers for life, you’ll need to keep them engaged with your product. They’ll need to be logging in, using features, and consistently getting the value they are paying for. If they’re not getting this, churn will happen.

In order to reduce churn, it’s important to keep an eye on your user base and which ones are using your product the least often. From there, you can make efforts to re-engage them. Fortunately, Kissmetrics’ Customer Engagement Platform can help.

Let’s see how this platform helps you keep an eye on at-risk customers and sends behavior-based messages to mitigate customer churn.

1. Know the Precursors to Churn

The first to mitigating churn is knowing the typical behaviors that happen before a customer churns. When you know these precursors, you can set up tracking to identify when it happens and re-engage these at-risk customers before they give you the axe.

Kissmetrics Populations tracks key groups of people across your buyer cycle. For this post, we’ll set a criteria for a Population that identifies at-risk customers.

For most SaaS companies, an early sign of an at-risk customer are logins slowly dropping of. The less they login, by definition, means they’re using your product less. They may also not be using features, or are contacting your support team more often than usual.

We’ll create a Population that finds current customers who have not used any feature in the last 60 days.

Here’s our Population:

kissmetrics user population

This is a clear warning sign. More of our customers are at-risk than 90 days ago. We’ll need to take action with Campaigns.

Here’s how.

2. Create a Campaign

Kissmetrics Campaigns is a behavior-based messaging system. With Campaigns, our customers send targeted messages to users that need some “nudge”. In our example, that nudge is getting users to login and start using some features again.

Since it’s unlikely that we’ll get 100% of people to use a feature after we send our message, we’ll create a couple messages that go out to users who don’t convert after the first message.

But before we create any message, we’ll need to set our success criteria:

A part of Campaigns is setting the success criteria. Setting the criteria lets us know how successful our Campaign was. For this Campaign, we’ll set the criteria to “Used Feature”. We’ll set this event to fire anytime they use any feature.

setting campaign goal

Once they use a feature, we’ll call this campaign a success.

Now, let’s create our first message!

1. Creating Our First Message

We’ll create our Campaign and write our email message:

re-engagement email message

We’ll now set our Delivery to match the criteria in our At-risk Population:

is in population campaign

And we’ll send our message.

review Kissmetrics campaign

We’ll now create a follow up email for those that haven’t converted after reading our first message.

2. Creating Message #2 For Those That Haven’t Converted

Not all people will convert after you send your first message. Some may not open the email, others may open it but not click-through, and a remaining few may open the email but still not use a feature. Some people require a few messages to get them to engage.

We’ll create another message for those that haven’t converted after a week of receiving the first message.

And this is a manual message that is sent to people in our At-Risk Population who have received our first message.

what you've been missing re-engagement email

And we’ll set our manual message to those that received message 1 and are in Population At-Risk users.

manual message kissmetrics campaign

And we’ll schedule the message to send 7 days after our first message was sent:

review kissmetrics campaign message before sending

If you’re looking for some tips on when to send an email, MailChimp’s VP of Product Management has written a great article that can help you out.

Now, we’ll create a final message for people that are still in our At-Risk Population and has received our first two messages.

3. Creating Our Final Message For The Users That Still Haven’t Converted

By now there have undoubtedly been some customers that have logged in and used a feature. But for the remaining few, we’ll create a final message that will go out 7 days after our previous message.

In this message, we won’t tell users what they’ve been missing. Instead, we’ll gently remind them of our product and ask them for any feedback. The goal here is still to get them to use a feature, but they won’t do that, at least engage with us by replying to the email.

gathering feedback email message

And this message will be sent to the people who are in our At Risk Population and have received our two previous messages:

manual message received 1 and 2

And we’ll schedule our message to be sent 7 days after our first message.

schedule kissmetrics campaign message

Campaigns will automatically track the results of the Campaign and each message. We’ll know which messages were most successful, and how the Campaign as a whole performed.

We can also send out automated emails that go out to people once they are in our “At Risk Users” Population.

Resources for Creating Great Emails

Your success with campaigns largely hinges on your ability to create great emails.

We’ve written in the past about creating great emails. Here are some of my favorites:

Want to See More of Campaigns?

Click Play below to watch our Campaigns explainer video:

https://fast.wistia.net/assets/external/E-v1.js

Or request a demo to see how Campaigns can help your company.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is the Blog Manager for Kissmetrics.

from The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog https://blog.kissmetrics.com/identifying-and-mitigating-churn/

How to Solve the Customer Retention Problem (And Make Your Customers Happy!)

Customer retention.

It’s one of the most worthy investments a business can make.

Its goal is to retain as many customers as possible. After all, a loyal customer is worth much more than a new customer.

Here’s the problem: companies drive customers away with poor customer retention initiatives (or a complete lack of a customer retention strategy!).

But before you can understand how to effectively retain customers, you first must understand why they leave.

Here are some of the biggest reasons why customers defect:

  • Poor customer service82% of people have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service.
  • Lack of customer appreciation53% of customers have switched companies because they felt unappreciated.
  • Their needs are ignored – All too often, companies don’t implement customer feedback or respond to complaints in a timely manner.
  • Unexpected issues arise – The customer may signup for a product expecting it go smoothly, but they inevitably run into frustrating issues that they weren’t anticipating.

So, how do you stop your customers from cancelling? You need to combat these reasons for cancelling and employ the right customer retention strategies. And often times, it doesn’t have to be complicated. The tactics below are simple but effective.

Here’s where to start:

1. Show More Customer Appreciation

Customer appreciation is the measure of your effort towards your customers.

It’s a way to show your customers that you care about them and that you’re grateful for their business. And when you enact initiatives to show customer appreciation, your customers are more likely to be loyal.

Here are some customer appreciation initiatives you can start:

Create customer loyalty programs

Customers want to be rewarded for their loyalty, and that’s exactly what a loyalty program aims to do.

Here are some common customer loyalty programs for SaaS companies:

  • Offer customers an annual discount
  • Offer customers small, incremental discounts the longer they stay with you
  • Surprise customer with new free features, upgrades, or random rewards (like extra storage or a percentage discount for the year)

And here are some common customer loyalty programs for ecommerce companies:

  • Provide them with exclusive deals on products
  • Offer free shipping on certain products
  • Customer rewards programs

For example, Neiman Marcus, a retail clothing company for women, created an “InCircle” loyalty program. It rewards customers for every dollar they spend. When customers accumulate enough points, they can enjoy rewards like wardrobe consultation, gift cards, and more.

neiman marcus loyalty card offer

Send a thank you email

Here, you thank the customer for making their purchase. But you also do the following:

  • Confirm they’ve received their product or service
  • Direct them to other helpful resources
  • Ask if they need any help getting started
  • Ask if they have any questions or feedback

Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, wrote perhaps one of the best post-purchase “Thank You” emails of all time. It helped generate thousands of sales and even went viral.

cd baby shipping confirmationDerek Sivers put some extra creative effort into this “Thank You” email for CD Baby, and his customers loved it. (Image Source)

Here is how powerful thank you emails can be: Remarkety found that thank you emails receive 42.51% open rates, 18.27% click rates, and a 10.34% conversion rate. For inspiration on crafting a great thank you email, check out Really Good Email’s collection.

Reward customers for special events

Consider sending emails with discounts and special offers during their birthdays, holidays, and customer anniversaries. This makes the customer feel like you remember them and truly appreciate doing business with them.

birchbox birthday couponBirchbox sends a great birthday email. They offer $10 off a purchase of $50 or more, which incentivizes people to make a larger purchase during their birthday month to take advantage of the deal. (Image Source)

Sending something physical via snail mail is also a good option. MailLift offers marketers the option to send handwritten letters.

2. Implement Customer Feedback

Don’t just take customer feedback and forget about it. Consider how you can apply that customer feedback to improve your products and services.

Of course you can’t act on every piece of feedback – no company has the resources to do that, and even if you did, you wouldn’t want to.

What’s more important is to look at the trends within the customer feedback. That will give you a sense of what your customers want the most.

Here are some of the best ways to gather customer feedback:

  • Survey your customer email list – You can start by going through the Net Promoter Score and asking them one simple survey question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this company’s product or service to a friend or a colleague?”
  • Monitor social media – Look for trends and common issues that customers bring up on your various social media pages.
  • Feedback boxes on your site – You can add a simple question to the feedback box, like “How can we make this page better for you?” and place it in your website footer.
  • Review on-site activity and see how your customers interact with your site and its features – For example, if your FAQ page has a 10 second average on-page time and a high bounce rate, it’s a sign that you may need to communicate things more clearly.

3. Proactive Customer Service

Good customer service is key to every customer retention initiative. But you should also be proactive with it.

Research your customers, anticipate their wants, needs, and next moves, and try to handle potential customer problems before they pop up.

To do this, you can create customer personas and map out their wants and needs.

buyer personas may 2015

You can also look at trends and common questions that customers ask you in email and social media. If a question keeps popping up, it’s a sign that you need to do something to address it before it becomes a deal-breaking problem for your customer base.

Quickly handle any customer issues that arise. Some are more urgent than others – a customer asking Charter why their internet isn’t working requires a different response time than an enterprise customer asking why their bill arrived 2 days earlier than usual.

A good rule of thumb is to reply to any issue within 24 hours. Equally important is to ensure that issues get resolved quickly. Lingering issues are a sure-fire way to cancellation.

Notice below how JetBlue quickly responds to its customers’ questions on Twitter:

jetblue twitter customer serviceJetBlue is quick to respond to customers on Twitter, both in terms of questions and handling customer issues. (Image Source)

4. Better Content Marketing

In-depth blog posts, how-to guides, actionable content, Instagram pictures…

This kind of content marketing will help you build a better relationship with customers and keep them coming back to you as a resource, and perhaps even for entertainment as well.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods knows that healthy eating is important to customers. So they launched a blog, Whole Story, to educate customers on healthy eating, new products, and even sharing some recipes.

They also post consistently, so customers know they can expect helpful content every week. For these customers, it’s a constant reminder why they love shopping at Whole Foods.

whole foods whole story article

Movement Watches

MVMT (Movement Watches) opts to focus more on a different channel for their content marketing – Instagram.

The brand’s customers value adventure, class, travel, and style. So, MVMT fills their Instagram with pictures and captions that match those values. In doing so, their followers are constantly (but subtly) exposed to new MVMT products while also being reminded how well the MVMT brand matches their values.

movement watches instagram accountMVMT Watches posts customer content on Instagram that matches the brand’s values and draws engagement.

5. Answer the Phone!

There are few things more frustrating to a customer than when nobody is on the other end of the line to hear out their problems.

And as you can see below, the majority of consumers still prefer the phone as their main channel of communication with companies.

phone most preferred customer communication channel61% of consumers still prefer to interact with companies by phone, which means you need somebody on your end of the line! (Image Source)

As customer experience continues to become an even bigger part of the buying cycle, it’s important for businesses to think of all of the critical elements that go into it. How will you treat them after the purchase, how fast are you at resolving issues and answering questions will be a huge differentiator from your competition.

Here are a few things you should consider when creating the ultimate phone customer experience:

  • Make getting in touch as easy as possible – List your phone number throughout your site, and make it easy for visitors to contact your business.
  • Be available around the clock – Don’t just answer the phone during business hours. Aim to be available after hours as well, so that customers aren’t left disappointed when by getting sent to voicemail.
  • Don’t make customers wait – Have the right amount of staff to handle incoming calls, so that you don’t force your customers to suffer through long wait times.
  • Reps who know your product/service well – Train your reps and in-house team so they can appropriately respond to customer questions and concerns on the fly.

Conclusion

You won’t be able to keep 100% of your customers. Some will fall off due to reasons outside of your control, or simply because they no longer need your product or service. However, you can dramatically increase customer retention by following the strategies outlined here.

Remember, the 3 keys are: great customer service, customer appreciation, and a close eye on customer needs.

About the Author: Parker Davis is the CEO of Answer 1, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC.

from The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog https://blog.kissmetrics.com/solve-customer-retention-problem/