Too often in customer marketing, onboarding flows and nurture campaigns take a one-size-fits-all approach. But there’s a price to be paid for defaulting to generalized customer experiences. Irrelevant emails get left unread — or worse, drive customers to unsubscribe and choose the competition.
At Heap, we believe that personalization is the key to effectively activating, engaging, and retaining customers.
How do we do it? By turning to behavioral data. Instead of segmenting customers according to demographic information, we segment them according to behavior — the actual actions they take on our site or in the product.
Then, to automate our customized campaigns, we use Heap’s new bi-directional Marketo Connector. This combination of Heap + Marketo gives our team the power to create automatic campaigns that better target the needs of different customer groups.
Here’s what that looks like.
Connecting Heap + Marketo
Because Heap automatically captures key behavioral touchpoints (page views, sessions, key actions, and more), we can see how different customers interact with our product and create key segments based on those behaviors. The Marketo Connector then syncs these segments with our marketing campaigns, so we can target our messaging appropriately.
I’ve outlined below three ways we’re using the Marketo Connector to tailor our customer journeys at Heap. These are just the beginning of what we can do to create specific experiences that speak to the unique needs of our customers. We’ve still got a lot of learning to do, and I’m excited to share our discoveries along the way!
Use case #1: activation
We decided to start with the beginning of the customer journey — the free trial experience. When new users sign up for Heap, the first step is to get them to install the Heap code snippet on their website so that they can experience the wonder of autocapture.
Unfortunately, too many users who sign up for Heap never take that step. So we decided to target them with a new campaign. To start, we created a segment of users who signed up for Heap but did not install the code snippet within seven days.
We then set up a nurture campaign in Marketo that targeted this segment. And because we believe in A/B testing, we tested the impact of our tailored nurture campaign against a control group.
Half of the users in our segment received three emails over the course of three weeks, encouraging them to install the Heap code snippet on their website. The other half of the segment — our control group — did not receive any nurture emails.
After just two weeks, the members of this segment who opened the nurture emails were converting at more than double the rate of those who didn’t.
After the success we saw here, we decided to expand this campaign to include all users that don’t install our code snippet on the first day of signing up and creating their Heap account. Again, we saw a huge uptick in activation, as we increased our install rate for that cohort from 5% to 25%!
So once users have installed the Heap code snippet, what next? Encourage them to attend Heap University, designed to help new users get up and running with Heap! (Cue next set of nurture emails.)
Use case #2: education and adoption
We all know that an engaged user is a retained user. To increase engagement with Heap, we decided to promote new Heap features to our active users. In our Marketo email nurture campaign, we targeted a segment of business users who had viewed a Heap dashboard or funnel more than 10 times in the past seven days.
While the rest of our users received a general new feature notice via our monthly newsletter, we sent our active-user segment a personalized email that suggested specific use cases for one of our new features based on their product usage. The three-month campaign resulted in a 12.5% lift in the number of users leveraging the new feature.
The takeaway: personalizing customers’ experience based on usage behavior increased adoption of new product features.
Use Case #3: re-engagement and retention
It’s a lot easier to re-engage an inactive customer than it is to acquire a new one. So to drive retention, we decided to target inactive Heap users with a re-engagement email campaign via Marketo. Our hypothesis was that we could re-engage users by giving them an easy next step to getting started with Heap.
We created three segments of paid users in Heap:
Users who had never logged into Heap
Users who had not logged into Heap for 30 days
Users who had logged in after not logging into Heap for 30 days
Customers who met any of these criteria received nurture emails encouraging them to log into Heap, attend a Heap University course, and check out the new product updates that they might’ve missed in the last 30 days.
For users who had never logged into Heap, we saw on average a 17% increase of people logging into the product on a weekly basis and taking action as a result of our re-engagement email campaign. The increase in the number of sessions indicates that we caught people at the right time.
In our second segment, paid users who had not logged into Heap for 30 days, those who engaged with our emails were 20% more likely to log back into the product and continue learning and using new features.
Lastly, we tried to engage users who had logged into Heap after not logging in for 30 days. Our hypothesis was that this group probably didn’t know we had released some key new features and updates that they might want to use in their analyses.
We didn’t see the traction here in getting users to engage with new features. However, we did see users engaging with our Heap University courses — an unexpected insight that sparked some new ideas for our team on how to engage users we haven’t seen in a while.
Future iterations to come
We’ve said goodbye to generic marketing emails and a one-size-fits-all approach to nurturing our customers. Now that we have access to product usage data in Marketo, there are endless opportunities to delight our users with an experience that feels unique to them. Just ask our Growth Marketing Manager Kevin Charette:
“Using the Marketo Connector is a huge improvement from what we were doing in the past when trying to engage our users. Before this integration, we weren’t able to target users in Marketo based on their behavior in the product, so we couldn’t influence dropoff by helping users that were stuck. Now that we can bring segments from Heap into Marketo, we’re able to engage people more personally based on their actual usage of the product.”
Being data-driven means we’re always thinking about how to level up our personalization efforts as well as our measurement efforts. We don’t just set and forget our automated campaigns in Marketo. We’re constantly asking questions and analyzing the results of our campaigns to identify ways we can make them better.
Are people dropping off? Where and why? Are people even opening the emails? Are we seeing a lift in installation? And then what happens? Are they successful? If so, then what are the next steps that they need to take?
With each iteration comes fresh insight and an opportunity to try something new. We prove success by finding what works for our customers, which in turn drives long-lasting results for our business.
Want to learn more about Heap’s integration with Marketo and how we can help drive results like these with your customers? We’d love to walk through potential use cases for your team. Drop us a line here, and we’ll get in touch with you!