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Background Information


The customer journey and customer-centric strategic approach are no longer "nice-to-have" but a “must- have” in any company. Previous challenges, such as not being able to connect the dots between anonymous and known interaction, are no longer a valid excuse to not know your customers. The evolution in marketing is moving towards adaptive marketing.


Marketing Challenge


In our multinational company, the current situation is that 90% of all marketing activities are focused on generating new business (MQIs and MQLs).  Our customer marketing strategy is limited to just a drip campaign to support the onboarding process. The lack of a customer-centric strategy leads high levels of churn and unsubscribes, unhappy customers and limited cross-sell and up-sell possibilities.  Our own customers are struggling to get on board with our products and make the best out of them and we are continuously ignoring the signs.



Therefore,  I have initiated the creation of a data-driven customer journey that helps us to identify which parts of the customer lifecycle have lower engagement. Furthermore, I am aiming to increase engagement through marketing automation, delivering relevant messaging at the right time through the right channel or as part of a multi-channel approach.




The first steps I took, were to put a team together, draw the customer journey and connect all the dots. To build the customer journey, it was necessary to integrate all systems, still an incredible challenge for many companies. True personalization will not be achieved if the behavior is analyzed only retrospectively. As our resources are limited, I decided to focus on the following:


  • Draw the customer journey life cycle, map it to our different channels and determine which possibilities combine data in an automation platform. This will help us to cover the entire customer journey and different communication channels.
  • Increase customer engagement by providing relevant content, at the right moment through the right channel (with re-designing onboarding campaigns, reactivation campaigns, Happy Birthday campaigns and campaigns to help decrease the levels of unsubscribing).
  • Incorporate Up-sell & Cross-Sell campaigns.
  • Generate insights on a customer journey based on data-driven personas and their engagement points.


Action Plan and Recommendations


  1.   Draw the customer journey life cycle and map it to our different channels then determine which possibilities combine data in an automation platform that covers the entire customer journey and different communication channels.


I  started by building a high-level overview, how the customer journey life cycle is mapped to our different channels. This is how it looks like for us:



2. Increase customer engagement by providing relevant content, at the right moment through the right channel


2.1 Redesigning onboarding campaigns: I  started with analyzing the performance levels of our current onboarding campaigns. The current onboarding flow is simply a drip campaign with no triggers nor personalization.  I incorporated new emails that will include triggers based on interest and engagement. For instance, if a customer clicked on a link featuring a specific functionality of our product, our next email is continuing the conversation by referring to that same functionality, by proactively asking the customer if they were able to find all the information they needed. Each e-mail finishes with a feedback button, asking to rate how helpful the e-mail was.


Here is an example of the feedback button, we are using, behind each feedback button a blind-form submit is built.

feedback button.png


Furthermore, depending on language preference in the product, customers are set to receive emails in their preferred working language. For example, those that live in the Netherlands, but their working language within our product is English, we will communicate in English instead of Dutch. We are already seeing an increase of “E-mails Open Rates” by 8% on our first email


2.2 Reactivation Campaign for Inactive Customers: I created an A/B testing with 2 e-mails sent to inactive customers for the past 4 months, testing on a different copy. We wanted to re-engage with the customers who have shown no activity and have not open any of our e-mail communication. With this simple e-mail campaign, we generated 26.91% Unique Open Rate, even though our Click-Through rates remained below 1%. We will continue with this reactivation campaign and expect to increase CTR by 5% in the next e-mail wave.


2.3 Attrition Prevention Campaigns: Those campaigns will be crucial in order to identify “customers-at-risk”. We are planning to create a trigger-based email on an indicator of potential churn to proactively engage them. In order to achieve such goal, a sophisticated personalization is required. Example engagement indicators will be:


Scenario 1:  Customer Support Ticket. A customer representative that had contact with a customer that indicates that is reconsidering their subscription.

Scenario 2: Engagement within our actual product based on action and frequency. Once the frequency of usage– customers will receive an email to encourage usage or proactively offering them help via the customer support chat.


3. Happy Birthday Campaign – This campaign is purely designed to improve customer experience and to give it a personal touch.

Here is how I set up these campaigns:   Go to Settings -> Setup - > Fields and Views




Create a New Contact field - > With the criteria shown below




Setting up an e-mail to congratulate customers on their special day by setting up a segment, with a contact field  “Birth date” (depending on our naming convention for the birthday contact field)



3.     Upsell & Cross Sell Campaigns start with designing an e-mail with a summary of your recent activities  - This is a final activity that I am planning to activate in the beginning of next year. This e-mail will be sent once a month containing different personalized customer data, based on their usage. Furthermore, will create loyalty/proficiency level engagement with the customers by providing them with levels. Based on analyzing this customer data in each of these summary e-mails, we will attach an up-sell or cross-sell proposal.




With this integrated data-driven campaigns, combining personalization and re-activation I am aiming for a holistic overview of our customer journey and identifying all possible bottlenecks. The expected results of our effort are:


  • Decrease support tickets/calls with 15% in the first quarter after launch based on personalized, newly redesigned onboarding flows.
  • Influence churn levels based on re-activation campaigns
  • Generate 10% more up-sell and cross-sell leads in the first quarter after launch of the newly designed “e-mail summary based on customer activity”


Courses that have inspired this strategy and this post:


  • RPM: Targeting & Segmentation
  • RPM: Effective Nurturing
  • Best Practices: Writing a Great Blog Post (WBT)
  • B2B: Advanced Segmentation
  • B2B: Personalizing Campaigns
  • B2B: Insight for Reporters

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