Triggered emails remain the most effective form of email marketing, and tend to deliver higher revenue than other types of emails. Effectiveness of triggered emails stem from the ability to tailor and deliver emails based on behavior.
Generally, only a small percentage of users will convert after being exposed to a message or offer the first time. That means the majority of users are abandoning from web pages, landing pages, enrollment forms, and other digital communications. Triggered emails allow follow-up communications to be tailored based on the point in that the user abandoned. Continuing the conversation from the point where the user was within in their customer journey can enable a more meaningful dialog.
Enrollment and set-up processes are areas where abandons can occur for a number of reasons. Banks and financial institutions often need to nudge customers through these type of processes.
Financial institutions have an inherent advantage in email communications. Financial services and banks generally have higher open rates than average. Customers are inherently concerned or curious when they receiving communications from a financial institution, and as a result receive higher than average engagement.
The following is an example of a financial services lifecycle marketing program that leveraged triggered emails to drive transactions. The lifecycle program included key phases of the customer experience, from initial acquisition through adoption and usage. The program was initially developed to support a couple hundred financial institutions, and today is executed across almost 4000 banks and credit unions.
The program’s goal was to migrate traditional banking customers to using new online and mobile banking technology. Driving customer adoption of this new financial technology was ultimately aimed at insulating the banking customers from threats such as PayPal and other bank-bypassed payment options.
The five key life stages of the campaign are based on behavioral definitions, to ensure targeting can be easily triggered by business rules:
- Acquisition – converting the prospect to a customer, to begin using the service (this data is imported as the starting point)
- Welcome – series of multiple emails to drive adoption, initial contact sent upon sign-up, follow-up email series triggered if set-up wasn’t completed
- Abandoner – re-targeted users that visited the sign-up landing page, but didn’t complete the enrollment process
- Lapsed – series of emails aimed at reengaging with those customers that stopped using the banking service for X days, incentives have been tested to understand the motivating thresholds
- Power users – a stream of communications are triggered that encourage new product application for users that login and use the service X times within X days; the goal of this series is to turn heavy users into advocates, lifelong customers and deepen the relationship for future upselling
From a messaging standpoint, the communications are helpful, instructive and veer towards notification-oriented. The messaging strategy encourages users to complete steps, and addresses specific barriers based on the specific abandon point and behavior.
This customer lifecycle email campaign has driven significant revenue. The behaviorally based communications increased the conversion rate by four times over the control. To date, these emails have increased overall transaction volume by 18%.
Sheera Eby oversaw the agency team that architected this program, as well as execution including: creative development process, defining and implementing the business rules through marketing automation, plus results reporting.