The sooner you can educate customers about using your product, the faster they can derive value from you and become loyal customers.
In part one of this series on content and customer retention, I talked about “Using Live Webinars To Step Up Customer Training,” as one tool for empowerment.
In part two, I’ll focus on training customers through a smart, automated email strategy.
Because unfortunately, according to a survey conducted by metrics company Preact, 23% of SaaS customers out there churn due to poor onboarding.
That means too often businesses are not setting new customers up for success with proper training, and if you’ve done all the work nurturing them up until this point, even turning stones to activate lead dropouts, why lose them now?
You don’t want to miss out on that opportunity.
Here’s how Outbrain uses educational emails to kickstart the customer training process.
Why Outbrain Does Educational Emails
Frontloading the delivery of educational content and learning from how new signups interact with this content is critical, especially when you have a fairly complex service.
While it can be easy to create a content campaign with Outbrain, content marketing requires a depth of knowledge that many users don’t come through the gate with upon amplifying.
Like what metrics they should be tracking and how to measure the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of their initiatives.
Stack that on top of understanding how our content discovery platform works and you’ll find a direct correlation between reducing our churn and improving onboarding with training.
How Outbrain Does Educational Emails
To help our customers get acquainted with our platform, we created a bootcamp training series.
Think Demi Moore in G.I. Jane kind of stuff.
Basically, when a user first launches a campaign, they are triggered into an automated email campaign.
Complex enough to connect various degrees of education through its integration with support channels, every email refers a customer to the right piece of information available on our Help Center so they know where to look for answers at any given moment.
Within the flow, they receive four daily emails that walk them through campaign optimization tips, our dashboard and other resources that will help them achieve results with our product.
Here’s a screenshot of the first of four Brainiac Bootcamp emails:
Notice how the content within the email takes shape in the form of videos.
We find, there’s nothing quite like getting customers up to speed than by using instructional videos. Filmed by in-house experts, they can quickly learn how to navigate like seasoned Outbrainers do.
Tip: Don’t leave anything up to a user’s imagination.
Testing For Good Measure
When launching the new email campaign, we make sure to exclude 10% of recipients as a control group. That way, we’re able to say with confidence that a customer’s actions were a result of that specific campaign. Then we can say with confidence that if they hadn’t received the emails, they wouldn’t have taken the important actions we wanted them to.
Digging deeper, we always want to strategically include valuable information about campaign creation that users may not know about with education on specific features.
Like our knowledge from analyzing the overall behavior of our customers.
That is, that the more headlines they are testing per individual piece of content, the better chance they have of receiving a higher click-through rate (CTR) when their content is recommended in our publisher network.
Pretty significant and definitely worth communicating.
When a campaign has greater than 5, 10 and 15 headlines on rotation, you can see the drastic increase in CTR via the graph below:
So, we make sure our bootcamp content helps customers understand why the testing of more headlines would offer them better results, leading them back to the dashboard for optimization.
The Results We Found
For customers who received our bootcamp emails, we saw a direct correlation between content and retention in the form of higher click-through rates at +39% as well as a +23% increase in average number of campaigns.
So much so, that it led to users staying active and engaged 1.5x longer than people who did not receive the bootcamp emails. Additionally, as expected, we saw a 33% increase in lifetime value (LTV) for the group receiving our bootcamp emails.
All by being strategic about which features, such as headline testing, required more education than others and then addressing those needs for an impactful program.
Empowering Your Customers
An onboarding process should be laser-focused on educating users about the importance of certain product behaviors you know will result in their success.
But don’t just stop there.
Test a variety of learnings to help you determine which lead to higher retention rates. Then, use your own education to prop up your customers.
They will appreciate the support, and if they do well, they’ll trust you have their best interest in mind and may just become a loyal advocate of your business.
And trust me, there is nothing like the power of a faithful community.
How are you putting a stop to churn? Are there any tools you find are more successful at building a loyal base of users over others?