Personalizing marketing communications

Last year, I recognized an opportunity to tailor our communications based on customer interests. Streamlining the campaign-building process across three departments, the results boosted more than just adoption.

The problem

Adoption of digital tools was flat, while UX improvements had sent engagement metrics soaring. To get more users, we needed to approach our marketing strategy in a much different way.

Using what we had

First, our email platform had a drag and drop builder that no one was using. It allowed for deep customizations and dynamic segmentation, but it wasn't worth learning a new process if we weren't going to use it to its potential.

Second, we had a bunch of survey-style information that our customers had provided when they registered for events. This allowed us personalize our messaging in ways we hadn't in the past.

Utilizing both of these aspects of the business, I experimented with the potential workflow of advanced personalization in digital product communications.

Early concepts

First drafts of the personalized emails were very rudimentary, but they served as a nice test to see how the broader concept of personalization would affect clickthroughs.

These were just a one-column, 600px wide container with images and text—they weren't exactly being featured on ReallyGoodEmails.com. They were, however, delivering results for the first event we tested them on.

New users directly from email communications increased by 60% and adoption rates were increasing proportionally. We also noticed a nice lift in engagement, as users were learning more about the features in the emails.

Next steps

From here, I needed to figure out a way to spread the work amongst multiple marketing teams so workload wasn't negatively affected. The process was very simple and the payoff was clear, but it needed to be so easy that teams actually wanted to learn the new process.

It took some time, but eventually everyone was working together to learn the workflow and build more effective emails. As a result, we tripled our productivity with three times less people.

Visual updates

Knowing that we had a working concept, I began to take the three communications we had tested and structured them in a way that was easy to edit. This structure would serve as a template for all 15 events to personalize for their audience.

The design wouldn't have to change much between events, but I included PSD mockup templates and color guides for each team to customize with their mobile screenshots to support their messaging.

I also held strategy meetings to discuss how this messaging could flow through all media of the product campaign to raise adoption.
+60%
New Users from Email
+20%
Unique CTR
+43%
Total Users

Results

Other than the clear productivity and efficiency benefits of the new workflow, the clear improvements to our product strategy were evident.

Adoption across a year of events increased by 43%. This is five times the annual growth of past marketing efforts. Additionally, new features introduced via email saw increases as high as 1042% as a result of a simplified and concise approach to messaging.