Step-by-Step: What Highly Effective, Extremely Personalized CRM Marketing Looks Like from Up Close
This is part 2 of 3 where we use our own platform and ideas to show you how doable it is, and what it actually means, to scale your CRM Marketing personalization – the key to increasing revenue from existing customers
When it comes to CRM marketing, finding the perfect message-audience fit can make a marketer’s day. Engagement increases, retention reduced. Life’s great!
But what does “fit” mean in this context? Fit is content + context. What you’re saying is important, but it’s also about where you’re saying it and when.
And it all gets tricky when you realize what fits one customer may not suit another. Each customer has their own unique relationship with the product and your brand, so to increase engagement and retention, you need to find the fit for each customer’s unique moments – using the right medium to tell each customer the right story (to them), creating a complete experience around our customers.
You may think it’s impossible. But what you are reading now is part 2 of 3 in a short series of articles where we show you how we here – at Optimove – are eating our own dog food. Or, in more direct words: how we’re doing exactly what we preach – using our own product and ideas to scale CRM Marketing personalization in a way that increases engagement (and revenue from existing customers).
In this blog post, I’ll share Optimove’s methodology for creating a multi-channel CRM marketing experience, focusing on the three pillars that increase CRM Contribution (to revenue), and share how we leveraged Optimove’s segmentation and realtime capabilities to provide each customer with the perfect experience across different channels, and product moments.
So that you could do it all, too!
Alright, let’s get serious. And first, a moment about “CRM contribution” – a metric that measures the financial impact and effectiveness of a company’s CRM Marketing. CRM Contribution correlates strongly with three factors:
- the number of customer segments a company communicates with in its CRM marketing efforts
- the coverage of live customers it reaches (New, Active, Reactivated lifecycle stages)
- The number of marketing channels used.
Leveraging Optimove’s lifecycle stage methodology for cross-channel experience
In my previous blog post in this series, I laid out our CRM marketing strategy and how we’ve used Optimove for lifecycle-based communication. In my strategy, I had two main channels that I could leverage to move customers through segments and drive engagement:
- Optimail – Optimove’s native ESP.
- In-app messages – leveraging our product analytics and realtime capabilities to provide customers with guides, articles, and messages as they use Optimove. Great CONTENT, delivered in perfect CONTEXT.
But having communication channels at your disposal is not enough. As I said above, it’s about using the right channel, at the right time, and creating a complete story. To do so, we’ve created campaigns that COMBINE our main communication channels.
Reactivating Inactive Customers via Email and In-App Messages
We’ll demonstrate using our “Inactive” lifecycle stage – where we put every customer that did not log into our platform for 30 days.
First, we send them an email – intending to remind the customer that they haven’t visited in a while – a “we miss you!”-type email, encouraging them to visit their site and see what’s new in Optimove.
After testing different copies, we’ve found that intriguing “inactive customers” by letting them know about several new features they can try out – works really well. But this type of message must be accompanied by a complimentary in-app experience.
Once the email’s CTA is clicked and the customer continues to the site, an in-app guide pops up upon login (using Optimove’s ability to trigger messages based on realtime events such as “CTA-clicked”), welcoming them with a message that outlines what’s new. Closed. Loop.
- More channels = more flexible customer journeys, and, as a result, higher impact. The average CRM contribution to business revenue when communicating with customers through three or more channels is 67% higher than the average contribution compared to businesses that use only one channel.
- Two channels are only the beginning. For example, I plan to integrate Facebook and Google Custom Audiences. Be sure to include other platforms in your cross-channel marketing strategy as well.
- Provide symmetric, personalized experience – across channels – to each one of your customers. Think about each customer moment’s messaging, and then consider which channel will be ideal for communicating that message.
Expanding Optimove’s personalization capabilities by combining historical (batch) data and behavioral (realtime) data across channels
Above, we discussed using Optimove’s lifecycle stage data and additional attributes to communicate with customers via cross-channel marketing campaigns.
But we can also leverage realtime-behavioral data within Optimove to add another layer to that communication cycle and send realtime, hyper-personalized messages.
Doing so allows to:
- Combine in-app, realtime, behavioral data with historical, batch data, and use both for email marketing campaigns. Read more about that here.
- Split segments, messages, and customer moments further, leading to near-individual customer treatments (which is highly correlated with a high CRM contribution.)
Behavioral insights help me build hyper-personalized segments and campaigns tailored to each customer, tackling even more customer moments than before, engaging with more customers.
Driving Product Adoption Through Realtime, Behavior-Driven Campaigns
To demonstrate the above, I’ll break down one of the flows we’ve been using for both the New and Active lifecycle stages.
Suppose a customer from these lifecycles visits the Streams page (one of our most powerful features in Optimove). In that case, the visit will send a realtime event to Optimove, triggering our Streams Adoption campaign.
But before sending out the campaign, we combine the event received from our product analytics tool with:
- Optimove’s Customer Attributes
- Lifecycle data
As a result, I can create a more personalized experience, dividing the message according to the customer’s experience level:
- New customers receive a guide about setting up their first stream, as they are making their first steps with the feature with the help of their CSM.
- Active customers, on the other hand, receive an email that shares some of Streams’ use cases that they can quickly implement, to provide them with creative ideas to get them started.
Pulling realtime, behavioral data into Optimove helps us learn whether customers visited, used, or engaged with an in-app message, used a feature, or looked for assistance.
We can then decide how to immediately support each of those product moments using email or any other channel.
- Your focus should be to use customer insights to create valuable personalized moments. The process above eventually helped us create extremely personalized micro-segments to deliver the right messages at the right time to every customer.
- The “fit” of those communication moments with your customers depends on the message’s copy, timing, and channels. For that reason, combining what you already know about your customers with realtime insights can dramatically increase the value you provide to each customer.
- Don’t be afraid to hyper-personalize, and use every tool in your kit to enrich Optimove’s data.
Check out this screenshot from my Optimove site – 92% of Optimove’s segments include less than 50 customers. We’re practically speaking to each customer constantly. How awesome is that? 😉
Within one year, I progressed from 18 to 102 segments. Companies that engage with over 300 target groups see 49%(!) of their revenue from CRM activities.
Although we communicate with “only” 100 segments, I compensate by maximizing communications with my live customers (New, Active, and Reactivated lifecycles), reaching an average coverage rate of 97%.
Optimove’s data shows that brands covering between 60% and 70% of their live customers see an average contribution of 5%, while those covering over 90% reach an average CRM revenue contribution of 21%.
People love to talk about making sure that each customer gets the right message, and the right time, and over the best channel. But making it happen requires more than just talking about it. It requires growing your CRM marketing strategy from tens to hundreds of segments.
Which, as you can see, is totally doable when you have the right tools.
Using a combination of realtime and historical data, we communicated with customers through the most “fitting” channels, at the most “fitting” time.
By doing so, we increased the number of segments, covered more of our live customers, and increased the number of marketing channels used – all three ingredients of the CRM contribution metric.
As you expand your messaging strategy across channels, more customer moments arise, and with them, segment personalization grows. From there, your journey towards hyper-personalization (that leads to higher CRM Contribution) will become a piece of cake.
Stay tuned for part three, where I cover how we measure our success and show the business contribution of CRM marketing.