As “the journey of a thousand steps begins with the first step”, so is building a relationship with your customers.
When you first sign up for a service, for a free trial or whatever the service’s business model is, you’ll get a welcome email (or an activation email). And then nothing. It’s like they assume their service is the only thing on your mind and that you’ll automatically use it on a daily basis since day one. But this is rarely the case.
It’s called on-boarding
It can be done poorly (like the case I just mentioned), or it can be done professionally.
Here’s an example. If, after signing up, you don’t actually use the service for two days, and then you get a nice, personal email with something like ‘Hey John, I noticed you haven’t been using our service after you signed up. Is there there anything we can help you with to easily get acquainted with us?‘. Wouldn’t that be nice?
First of all
You’ll be reminded that you signed up for their service a few days ago. Usually we register somewhere for some benefits and there’s a possibility to have forgot about it, so getting a gentle reminder is a good approach to a service’s customer care flow.
There’s someone who looks forward talking to you about any questions you might have. You don’t need to dig through their whole help center to find out if they have feature X. Just hit reply and ask away.
After getting to know their service, you get another message “Hey John, we have an Android and iOS mobile app, to enable you to do stuff while you’re on the move. Looks like you haven’t got the chance to use it yet, and if you do, you’ll be able to do this and that from anywhere you are, get push notifications when important things happen and more…” Of course, this should be only sent to users who haven’t installed the mobile app.
And then, you’ll get another email mentioning reports or other features you haven’t used, tips or anything that can be useful for you as a user.
This is called a Drip Campaign
A set of emails that slowly helps new customers to start to actually use your service or product. And this could make a huge difference in your customer activation efforts. Make sure you send the right emails, at the right time. Don’t ask users to refer someone in your welcome email. They don’t know your service yet. Don’t assume they’re using all of your product’s features. Don’t assume they have the time to read your whole help center and don’t assume they’ll open a support ticket for every question they have.
My final drip
Drip campaigns can also be used for user retention. We’ll talk more on this subject, don’t worry. Sending your users a small and useful email will help both parties by reminding your users or customers about your service and to teach them how to fully use it. Everybody wins, no extra personal effort needed. Drip campaigns can be automated and tailored for various types of users and various moments in time. It can also backfire if done wrong. Pay attention to what you’re sending, how often, to whom and, most importantly, when.