Abhishek: Thank you Divya for the introduction. Hi everyone. Like Divya said, I head Digital Marketing for Housejoy Marketing. Housejoy, like a lot of you would know, is a one of India’s largest home services company. As a part of Housejoy, my responsibilities constitute trade customer acquisition and retention. There are different channels that we use for acquisition as well as retention. What I’m going to talk about here is why marketing automation is important, and how WebEngage is helping us drive some of our key objectives.
So you know, I’ll start with what exactly is marketing automation. So there are a lot of people who have different views on marketing automation. Some say that marketing automation is only a tactic. Some say it’s a software. “What I would say is marketing automation is a mix of all. It’s basically using different tools, creating automated triggers to basically maintain the relationship with your customer”.
The focus should be based on automating key tasks rather than spending time on executing your individual items. So a lot of marketers spend a lot of time on executing smaller aspects of marketing communication. But what marketing automation tools like WebEngage allow us to do is to automate end-to-end customer flows and allow us to focus, allow us marketers like us to focus on the key areas of the business.
So I’ll start with the classic eCommerce marketing funnel that I’m sure everyone is aware of. So at the macro level, it involves acquiring customers through various channels like Google, Facebook, email affiliates, or different medium. Then it comes to converting the users on your website or your app. And then obviously driving repeat behavior through these acquired users.
But there is a micro funnel, below this micro funnel which, you know, a lot of people do not look at. So it starts with attracting your customers, capturing leads on your website, nurturing these prospects and converting them into paid customers. Then obviously it’s important to communicate with these paid customers to try and upsell these customers and eventually become referral or eventually drive referral to your brand. So this is I would say a key element of marketing funnel where marketing automation is critical. Most of efforts for all digital marketers go into optimizing this funnel from end to end. But the point here is if you actually look at individual channels like email, SMS, or push notification to engage users, repeat users at these different stages of the funnel then it might become difficult to optimize it to the maximum level.
What WebEngage or digital marketing automation tools allow us to do is to set up automated interventions at various steps of this funnel to ensure that the customers that we are acquiring actually convert into paying customers and eventually become champions of the brand that you are driving.
So, I’ll focus on four key areas for marketing automation. Any marketing automation tool should focus on this primarily four areas.
1. Customer Acquisition
2. Nurturing the Prospects
3. Retaining these Customers (to drive repeat and upsell)
4. Users Engagement
These are the four key areas that I’ll talk about and how WebEngage has helped us drive these four key areas.
Divya: Hey Abhishek, before we move on to all these sections we should be asking what are the marketing challenges that our people face. So people in the webinar I’d request you to take action on the poll that I’m launching next. So you can see the poll right now.
What are the top three marketing challenges that you’re facing in your industry?
Abhishek: So interesting responses coming in. From what I see, primarily people are saying that Online Lead Generation and Multi-Channel Engagement are the two key challenges that people focus. And I’ll talk about how these two key areas can be addressed by using marketing automation tool like WebEngage.
Divya: So we can see the results. Everyone can see the results right now. And certainly, Multi-Channel Engagement is a pain point for most of the people in the webinar.
Abhishek: It sounds perfect…..
Divya: So you can go ahead with the webinar.
Abhishek: So let’s look at customer acquisition. So there are various ways of acquiring customers. Obviously, there are paid channels. earned and owned channels which, you know, every brand will have. You drive traffic to your website or your app through this multiple channels. But what happens once you drive this traffic? How do you convert these visits into a user?
So what Housejoy has done right now with WebEngage is that we’re using various online interventions to convert this paid traffic into paying customers. I’ll give examples of how we have done, you know, this specific thing.
The second key area that we’re focused on is to reducing drop-outs and bringing back these dropped users, again through various online interventions. And then upselling on the fly when a user is on your website.
So one example of the first area is basically to convert paid traffic into a user. This is one thing that we took up with WebEngage. We’re driving a lot of traffic on a blog but how do we convert this traffic into actually a customer? So what we have done is basically we are capturing email IDs of customers who are visitors or users who are coming on to our blog. And then we are using drip marketing to reach out to these customers and convert them into paying customers.
So this is one example. If you look at the screenshot right now, this is a popup that has been configured by WebEngage. Basically, anyone who comes to our blog, we try and give them incentive for a user to enter their email ID. This is one way of driving & converting your traffic into a lead. Once you capture this email ID then it becomes a very easy to use drip email marketing, and reach out to this customers and eventually convert them into your paying customers.
The second thing that we did was, you know, nudging these online visitors to convert and become your paying customers. So there will be a lot of traffic that will be coming to your website or app. I’m sure, you know, using various channels, everyone drives a lot of traffic. But what really matters is how do you convert this traffic into your paying customer.
So there are various interventions that you can make on your web and app. Couple of things that WebEngage allows us to do is to create notifications on the fly. This is one example of how we have configured notifications for different segments of users. Now the key area here, the key part here is to actually understand what should be the segment of user to which you show this notification. What should be the message that goes for every segment of user? But the bottom line here is that WebEngage allows you to create these notifications on the fly for different set of users and segments. So this is one way of converting your traffic into paid customer.
The third way we use WebEngage to drive acquisition is to reduce the dropouts. So like I said, every e-commerce or every online portal will have this problem of a lot of people dropping out from the website because of various issues, because of price, product, or experience issues. What WebEngage allows you to do is to use online interventions like browser push notifications, or cart abandonment email and SMS. Again, here, I’m talking about three channels. There is a website notification that they’re using. There is an email and SMS that they’re using. So there are three interventions or three ways we’re reaching out to user to bring them back to the website or the app.
This is one example again where when a user tries to close the browser, we try and show notification and try and retain that customer or that user to complete the transaction. So these are three key ways in which we use WebEngage to drive customer acquisition. This is, again, a very small part of the entire set of capability that WebEngage has. There are multiple things that you can do around these online interventions. But the idea here is to show two or three examples how you can actually convert your traffic into paying customers.
So what are the results that we have seen through this? We have seen 2X increase in engagement through our blogs. What I mean by this is we have seen a lot of people entering email IDs. Before such notifications, we had the standard subscribe link on the blog but based on this notification popup which we use based on some segments, we have seen a 2X increase in number of people who enter the lead. We have generated significant number of leads through this intervention. We have been using drip marketing to reach out to these users again and then eventually convert them into customers.
The most interesting thing has been the cart dropout popup as well as the abandonment email. This has helped us salvage 10% of our dropped users. So this are some key stats which show how these online interventions have helped us to acquire more customers from the same traffic that we have been driving.
The second aspect of marketing automation is obviously, nurture prospects. You generate prospects by capturing leads either through the example that I showed earlier of the blog, or I’m sure, you know, a lot of other online portals have lead generation pages where you ask users to enter the lead. And then probably convert them offline. What can be done through WebEngage is to use drip email marketing to keep this prospects engaged.
What exactly is drip email marketing?
“Drip email marketing is a way of reaching out to your users through email marketing by automated flows. So automated flows is based on user behavior. So anyone who sees your email behaves in a certain way, either opens it or clicks on something. You can set up follow-up email notifications based on the user behavior. And then you’re going to use intermittent hooks like offers and all to convert these prospects into customers. “
What is very key here is to customize communication based on user behavior. So a user who, for example, has clicked on my first email if I customize the next email based on that behavior then the likelihood of that user opening and clicking on the second email is definitely far higher.
So this is usually what people do. Typically on all lead generation platforms, you convert, you drive your traffic to your website, you generate a lead through that. And then there is a after 30 days, 60 days, there are people who keep doing same drip email, same offers, and same email communication to the entire base. But this is not the ideal way to nurture prospects. This ideal way is something like this.
This is a screenshot that I’ve taken from WebEngage. Basically, you capture a lead, you wait for X number of days. You send an email, then based on the behavior you trigger the next communication. Either if there is a bounce then you wait for some more days you send a text notification, or if the user opens the email then you send a follow up email notification with offer. So these are some ways where drip email marketing can be used to nurture your prospects and then eventually convert them into customers.
What have we seen from this? We have seen significant transactions coming from this prospects that we generate through blogs and other lead generation forms. We have seen 20% increase in open rates on drip email campaigns that were personalized. So like I saying, a lot of people actually do generate emails on all the leads that they capture but if you personalize your email communications, subsequent email communication based on the user behavior then that will definitely impact your open rate for subsequent drip emails.
The third key aspect of marketing automation is retaining your customers. Once you have acquired a customer, once you have converted your prospects into paying customers it becomes critical to retain these users. Marketing automation, again, plays a very, very critical part here because retention typically involves a lot of follow up communication to users who have bought something on your website.
So what is Housejoy doing here? We have personalized repeat flows across channels based on user behavior. We have reminder communications based on product frequency and repeat cycle. And all these flows are automated using WebEngage. Now, these flows have multiple channels, multiple touch points. So we use email, SMS, push notifications, browser notifications. These are some of the channels that we use to automate these repeat flows. So all repeat flows are automated based on the user behavior and the product that purchased earlier.
So, again, looking at a typical repeat flow, what, again a mistake that a lot of marketers do is that when they acquire a customer they keep sending the same offer the same repeat communication to all the users periodically after X number of days. But what ideally should happen, again, example from WebEngage journey builder, once a user has made a purchase you wait for X number of days, you send a repeat communication. And then based on again the product cycle and the user behavior you send the next notification. So these notifications are again different channels. So the screenshot here says email, but you can actually configure email, SMS, push notification, or web notifications through the journey builder.
So what are the results that we have seen from this? We have seen increased and repeat traffic. The transactions from repeat have gone up by 20% because of this customized and personalized repeat flows. We have seen 25% increase in email communications that go out with this personalized repeat offers. So this is compared to the generic repeat emails that we were doing earlier. Earlier we were doing blanket repeat emails to all our customers. And now with the journey builder, because I can personalize repeat communication for every segment of user, for every type of user who had looked at a particular product, we have seen a significant increase in the CTRs that come from these email communications.
So how can other businesses use retention with marketing automation? I think the most important part is to understand the optimum frequency of purchase for different products and services. And then create personalized communication flow for each of these products and services. So if you are into a business where you have multiple line of products, if you have more than 50 products then every product will have a different repeat cycle. It’s important to understand what is the frequency of purchase of that product. Create automated triggers to remind customers when the next service or next product is due. Create multiple flows like I was saying. It’s important to create different flows based on the segment. You cannot have the same repeat flow for different type of users. The same example can be taken for a travel industry. If there are people who book a certain sort of holiday, for example, luxury holidays versus someone who books a business travel every month. The repeat cycle and the repeat communication flow has to be different for every segment of user.
The last part which I’m going to talk about is engaging app download base. This is again a critical element of marketing automation. Today a lot of brands have a lot of app downloads. There are brands who have driven app downloads through various channels but when it comes to engaging these users it’s critical that you ensure that these people who download the app retain your app because of various communications that you do.
So, what works best?
Obviously personalized communication to bring back users to the app. So this is slightly different from retention or a cart dropout flow. Here, the idea is to continuously engage with the user. This can be looked at as a sort of retargeting that you typically do on web or app. This is one example that I’ve given. Suppose a user is browsing a particular product category and does not book on my app then obviously there is a cart abandonment. Push notification then go out immediately. But there could be a reminder push notifications that can keep happening from the subsequent day. So this is just one example how you can keep your users engaged. Then through push notifications there are various other examples, various other things that people can do. For example, if there is a new product launch you can use push notification to engage with the user. Tell them what the new product line or a service that you have launched recently. If there is upgrade in your offering, if you are launching a new campaign, if you are launching a new price for a product. These are some notifications that you can do using marketing automation tools.
Divya: Yeah, Abhishek. Before we move on to the results, let’s know how many of our users are planning to launch an app or already have an app with them. So I’m launching a poll for everyone. Could you please fill the poll and let us know. I’m closing the poll now and sharing the results with you.
So, 37% of audience in the webinar are already having an app. What do you think about this Abhishek?
Abhishek: So I think for any e-commerce or online business, app is the way to go. All the businesses are moving towards App. So engaging app users becomes that more critical. Just driving app downloads is not going to, you know, give you transactions. There are people who download apps but don’t interact with apps, don’t even open the app. So this automated notifications and communications can help you retain or bring back your users and keep them active on the app. This is something which has helped us significantly. If I have to show a couple of numbers. MAU, which is monthly active users has increased by 20% because of this constant interaction that we’re having with our users. So these interactions are not only selling interactions. These are interactions on, like I was saying, different announcements that we make. And we have seen significant increase in MAUs with these personalized notifications that they bring on the app.
We have seen, you know, 25% increase in the conversion rate, overall conversion rates, bookings by sessions. Because of this reminders people come back, the users come back to your app. And even if they don’t have immediate requirement or immediate need to buy our product, if you keep them engaged with these interactions they will eventually end up buying your product. So we’ve seen a significant increase in overall conversion rate with this interaction as well. So these are all of key takeaways from app engagement.
To sum it up, you know, I would say that there is more to marketing automation than just the tool. The tool is obviously one of the key enablers. It’s critical to have a tool which allows you to automate flows across channels. But what is more important is to have…you know, understand your user behavior, and create personalized flows based on your user behavior.
And also, it’s critical to create this automated communications based on different triggers that a user can do. So basically the idea of marketing automation tool is to use these triggers to automate communication across different channels so that you can increase your conversion rate. Basically, you know, drive more revenue from the same traffic and to obviously drive more retention, more revenue from the same users. So this is, you know, in short a summary of why I think marketing automation is critical for any online business.
That’s it from my side. I’m open to questions if there are any.
Divya: Thank you Abhishek. It was great to have you on board with us.
We are now open for questions. You can punch them in the, GoToWebinar panel of your questions.
We already have a few questions with us Abhishek. Let’s take on the first question which is by Amandeep Singh. He’s asking, is drip marketing effective for service organizations? What kind of hooks can we use when we have no offers to give?
Abhishek: I’m sorry, can you come again Divya?
Divya: Yes, so Amandeep asked is drip marketing effective for service organizations? What kind of hooks we need to give if we don’t have any offers?
Abhishek: So I think drip marketing is important for any business. In fact, drip email marketing was I think, you know, pioneered by service-based businesses, primarily B2B businesses where typically the purchase life cycle is longer than online e-commerce product. So there are different hooks that you can give. It’s not only offers but different product features. So for example if your first email is about a very high level feature set of your product the next email can focus on one key feature which has helped a particular customer. You can talk about customer testimonials. You can give examples of how people have used your product. So drip email marketing is all about creating a story. The first communication is about, you know, one aspect of your product and then you create a story from there and, you know, eventually increase the interest per user into your product.
Divya: Okay, I guess that answers the query. The next question comes from Samir who’s asking us, “Apart from frequency of transactions what are some other factors we can use to identify segments? Or what should we focus our marketing on?”
Abhishek: So I guess this question is about repeat from what I understand. So yes, frequency of purchase is one key aspect of deciding your repeat calendar. But you know there are different ways of segmenting users as well. So the travel example I was giving was based on the type of product the users purchased over your website, someone purchased in case of travel or leisure holiday, purchased a business holiday. So frequency is one. Type of product is second. Scope of acquisition, you know, another key aspect that you can consider into your repeat funnel. For example like a customer who has come to you through a app versus a customer who has come to you through a Facebook channel. You can create different communication funnels, the repeat funnels for these users. So there are various things. I think it’s up to individual businesses to understand what are the key parameters that you want to use to create frame segments. The idea is to, as long as you think you can create a personalized communication for a particular segment you can create as many segments as you want.
Divya: There comes our next question. Do you have any growth hacks for content websites?
Abhishek: I think the first example that I gave is very, very important for content websites. It was about generating leads through your content. So I was giving example of a blog which is, you know, primarily a content platform. So I think for any content website, obviously it’s important to create leads through all the traffic that you’re generating. That’s not exactly a hack but that’s one way of converting your visits into paying customers. There are no immediate hacks for a content website from a marketing automation point of view but I think the idea is to ensure that all your traffic eventually converts into a lead. And then you use the marketing tool to bring them back and convert them into paying customers.
Divya: Next we have Pranay with us. He’s asking, how to market products which have a long purchase cycle, for example furniture or ethnic wear dresses.
Abhishek: I’m sorry, come again Divya.
Divya: So Pranay is asking us how to market products which have a long purchase cycle, like furniture or ethnic wear.
Abhishek: So ethnic wear I’m not sure if it has a long purchase cycle. So I was giving example of B2B businesses. B2B businesses typically have a very long purchase cycle because the transaction size rate is high. So for such businesses I think drip marketing works very well. I’m sure a lot of you will have noticed, you know, other examples as well. I think life insurance is one example where some of the large companies that use drip email marketing. So the idea is to keep your user updated. Because there is a longer gestation period, the purchase cycle is higher. The decision might not be immediate but you should keep your users informed about different aspects of your product. How your product can benefit the user in their business. If you keep sending this reminder communications that will eventually build into the user converting into a customer.
Divya: Okay, we have one last question which comes from Somal Gupta who’s asking, “For user engagement, what is the best practice to do in email marketing? Means your email should be content based or should be a mix of image or with less content?” And also he’s asking, “Should I keep sending poll emails to our customers who have not transacted in the past six months?”
Abhishek: So there are two parts to that question. One is what makes a good email. So content I think is the most critical part. But it’s all about, you know, being different from what people are doing. If you have a great story to tell through images as well, that works. There are people, there are brands who have used only image-based emails. But if there is a story that comes out through images then you can definitely do through…do image emails. But typically a standard practice is to have a, you know, a good balance of images and content into the email. The content is the key part why a user will go through an email and click on it. But like I was saying there are examples of brands who have done image only emails using images which communicate a story either through gif or through static images.
The second part of the question. I’m sorry I lost the thread there. Divya, what was the second part of the question?
Divya: The second part of the question was, “Should I keep sending poll emails to the people who have not transacted in the last six months?”
Abhishek: So this is a slightly tricky part. Obviously you want your user base to stay as large as possible. Everyone wants to send emails to all the users that you have acquired over a period of time. But you know, what is important is that if these users are not interested in your product at all then it’s not only a waste of money to send emails to these customers but also you have a risk of getting marked as spam if a lot of people start thinking that your email is not relevant to them. So a good idea is to, you know, have a length of period after which you put these users into a churn database. This churn database you can keep interacting with them once in a while. You do not interact with them as often as you do with your existing customers or regular customers. You can interact with these churned users once in a while with probably a new launch or, you know, a significant campaign that you’re running. So the idea is to keep this database. Do this very, very carefully and, you know, keep interacting with them at a lower frequency.
Divya: Before we move any further there is this one last poll that I would like you all to participate in. It will help us gain customer insights on what are the biggest hurdles that you have faced in implementing an automation tool. I’ve launched the poll for you.
I’m closing the poll now and sharing the results with you. So across 33% people have the view that product pricing is one of the biggest hurdle that they have faced while implementing an automation tool. Do you have anything or any insight on this poll Abhishek?
Abhishek: Yes, I think here, obviously pricing plays a key role there. But I’m sure most of the automation tools have worked based on your number of users that everyone has on their traffic and platform. So if you have a smaller base then obviously the pricing would be lower. As you grow, as your number of users grow the pricing goes from there. But what I would also say is that when it comes to pricing one should not evaluate the pricing of this automation tools purely based on the number of activities that you do. You should evaluate the ROI basically based on the value that these tools can drive for you in terms of salvaging users in terms of driving repeat traffic. I’m sure, you know, it’s not very difficult to do a back-up the envelop calculations. If you know what is a traffic that you are getting you can do some basic calculations to understand what is the saving that you can have from salvaging dropouts from bringing back your users through this marketing automation tools.
So I think pricing is critical but the way we understand pricing or the way we evaluate a product based on pricing should be based on the ROI that the product can drive.
Divya: Well, that’s all for today. It was a delight to have you with us Abhishek. And this session was a very insightful session for all the people I guess. Thank you Abhishek.
Abhishek: Thank you.
Divya: And now we bring end to this webinar but we’re hoping you’ll accompany us with all the webinars in the future. If you have any more queries you can ping them down to firstname.lastname@example.org I have shared my email ID in the chat section. That’s all for today. Have a great day ahead. See you soon.
Abhishek: Thank you.