How Much Content is Enough Content?
A few variables should be taken into consideration when trying to strike the perfect content balance for each funnel. Here's how to go about it.
A friend of mine stunned me yesterday when he shared he has 24 pairs of shoes. I gasped. He didn’t seem moved, and stated he has the money to buy them and enjoys searching for the perfect pair. When questioned a bit more deeply, he admitted that he only wears a few pairs regularly, and most very rarely. Which got me to thinking… some of us don’t have the funds, the space, or the time to shop for this many shoes. But even if we did, do we really need them? The dilemma around the contents of my friend’s shoeboxes is actually a bigger question that marketers face every day: How much content is enough content, and how much is too much?
On the one hand, it is impossible to create endless new content for each funnel. On the other, the promotions and types of promotions and bonuses are limited, so marketers must reinvent themselves within their existing options. What if marketers had a better idea of how much content they need to create in order to save the balance between keeping it fresh for their customers and not stretching their resources too thin?
To answer this, you first need to ask yourself three questions:
- How long is the funnel? Some funnels are short, even delimited (i.e., onboarding). Some are longer and can also be more fluid (such as conversion or reactivation funnels, where the marketer doesn’t know precisely when a customer will move on).
- How much content can you offer? It’s a question of your internal resources on the one hand, and of promotion options on the other – as some industries have more types of offers than others. In the real-money gaming industry, for example, you can see “match up for deposits”, “free bets” or “spins,” a “top-up” for wins, a “cashback” for losses, and more. While in retail, the types of promotions are more limited to basically variations of “X percentage discounts,” “Y dollars off,” and “Buy One/Three, Get One/Four,” etc.
- What is the ideal frequency? As we all know, sending out too many campaigns may push customers away. This question is slightly off topic, and we answered it here.
In this blog, we will focus on the first two questions, the different cases they present, and suggest ways of dealing with challenging situations that may come up. To identify those, we’ll start by looking at the combination of (a) the ability to create content and (b) the funnel length, that creates the following cases as seen in the matrix below:
Short funnel length+Plentiful content options:
Starting with the simplest situation, we gave this one the “V” sign to say that when you recognize this situation, don’t waste your time analyzing if you have enough content or not, and just focus on the frequency question.
Long funnel length+Plentiful content resources
Or – Short funnel length+Limited content resources:
In these cases, where we can create enough content, the idea is to make sure we don’t overuse our resources and options in a wasteful way that diminishes our return and may become too repetitive.
My suggestion to go about it is to analyze the time period in which most of the customers remain in a specific funnel.
But first, we must decide for every funnel what are the “entrance” and “exit” actions the consumers do that get them in and out of the funnel. For example, “register” starts a “new user” funnel, and “purchase” ends it (and starts a new funnel).
The graph below, based on data analysis conducted on Optimove’s clients, shows the average distribution of gaming players by the number of days from their registration date to their first deposit date. In other words, how long it took to convert the customers.
We see that 71% of the players made their first deposit on the date of registration, and about 90% of them made it within the next 9 days. For this funnel, creating content for more than 10 days will be redundant. After 10 days, it will maybe make sense to repeat the cycle of the automated campaigns because few people stayed in this funnel by this time.
Long duration – Limited content:
Lastly, we face the most challenging situation – when the funnel is long, such as funnels for active customers, and our content options are limited, due to regulations, resources, and other factors.
Here, we need to see how much time a customer stays in the same segment. For that, we will look at customers who moved to another segment and measure the time between these moves.
The chart below shows the average distribution of a fashion brand’s customers by the number of months from first to second purchase.
To reach maximum cover and target ~100% of the customers who will make a second purchase from the One-Timers funnel, without repeating content, the marketer will have to create content for 17 months. That doesn’t make sense. But if we will create content for 6 months, we will cover more than 75% of the customers. And content for 12 months will cover 95% of them.
Adding the frequency matter into the equation – then deciding on a once-a-week frequency for a funnel of 6 months, will result in the need to create 26 content pieces/touchpoints. But it also means that after 6 months, more than 20% of customers will start receiving repetitive communications. This is where you need to ask yourself if you are okay with it or not.
Automating campaigns for the selected period in which you want to serve fresh content will help you keep content varied in a scalable way. You can also add ad-hoc campaigns for those who stayed in the funnel longer, to keep things more updated.
A handy tool to consider is dynamic (email) content, which allows you to serve personalized content pieces based on a smaller number of templates, such as “top products of the week,” “the perfect matches for you”, etc. Dynamic email content can be rendered the moment the customer opens the email, thus providing a very timely experience.
To keep content fresh without stretching it too much and risking annoying our customers, we should identify the situation we face by asking the right questions first. One about the length of the funnel and the other about our content options. Then, drop in the frequency dilemma. Eventually, finding the period in which most of the customers stay in a funnel is the key. It’s not as glamorous as just splurging on endless content (or two dozens pairs of shoes). But it’s a lot more efficient.