Have you ever wondered what is behind every lead acquired by your company? What are the drivers that make users download an app, subscribe to a newsletter or register on a website? What do they expect will happen once they have provided us with their personal data? Concentrating our efforts on attracting and acquiring users can sometimes lead us to neglect their point of view, failing to understand their true interests and motivations.
Moreover, why do so many of these leads get lost? Isn’t it demoralising to see how they end up stored in a database, without progressing in the conversion funnel, never resulting in sales or becoming customers? Lead acquisition requires significant resources. If we don’t make the most out of it (or, at least, we don’t try to) we will be missing out on a huge opportunity.
In this context, reservations’ website The Fork entrusted us with a double task: on the one hand -and as a main objective- we planned an onboarding process for all the new registered users that would optimise the flow of communications throughout the journey. The customer journey begins when a lead is generated, and finalises when they make a reservation, at which point they start to be considered customers.
In parallel, we designed a recovery plan aimed at revitalising the database of unproductive leads. We designed an automated campaign to reactivate leads that were more than six months old, with the aim of getting the highest possible number of bookings from these abandoned or inactive registers.
Both processes were part of an innovative creative campaign designed to highlight communications and advertising formats, the con
Archetypes: defining an undefined user
As the first step in our strategy, we investigated users’ motivations. In contrast to our high customer knowledge, we hardly know anything about leads. What makes them book a table in a restaurant? What do they expect to find once they arrive? The only data we have about most leads is their email address. Without any more information, it is complicated to design a customised onboarding process that adjusts the offer to the particular needs of each user.
We analysed The Fork’s client information -those users that had already made a reservation and enjoyed a meal- to identify the different types of customers. Thus, we drew up a list of archetypes, each of which was associated with a series of motivations for hiring The Fork’s services.
We profiled seven different archetypes: bargain hunters, socializers, dinner lovers, sybarites, practical, healthy and busy. The main behavioural motivations we identified were price, offer, convenience, socialization, health, discovery and quality. Each archetype was driven by a main motivation and some secondary ones, and each driver had different weight when it came to explaining user behaviour.
Subsequently, once each lead was assigned to a general behavioural category, we were able to guide them through the corresponding commercial flow, specially designed to draw the attention of each type of user and reinforced with creative pieces specifically aimed at their motivations. By doing so, the whole onboarding process was progressively enriched with leads’ knowledge, which would allow us to reach the final conversion objective.
Planning a campaign around the motivations of each lead
One of the problems we were facing was the lack of information about the type of user behind each email address. To address this, we tracked their reaction to messages through parameterised interactions sent by email, trying to guess what their motivations were in order to generate interactions and drive each lead through a particular path.
The first phase of our automated campaign took two paths. In the case of onboarding, it consisted in welcoming users after they had registered or downloaded the app. In the case of recovery, the first communication greeted abandoned leads. During the second phase, we subtly collected users’ information, so that we could assign them to one of the three main drivers behind each booking: economic (interested in offers and discounts), healthy (following a healthy lifestyle and interested in restaurants offering specific meals: vegetarians, coeliacs, etc) and social (seeking discovery and new experiences).
Three more phases completed the marketing automation campaign:
- Prioritisation, during which each lead was directed towards its specific path within the campaign’s communications flow.
- Impact, in which users received push messages according to their interests. Messages would vary in case of no responde, and each type of user would see a different version of the website.
- Conversion, which consisted in a follow-up of the users until they completed a reservation.
Update your palate: a creative concept aimed at reviving gastronomic experiences
Time goes by very quickly. One day, we suddenly realise it’s been months since we visited our favourite Asian restaurant, since we had those tacos we absolutely love or, simply, since we discovered a new place to eat. That’s why we need someone to remind us of the time when we used to enjoy gastronomic experiences. That was be the leitmotiv of our creative campaign: Update your palate.
The creative pieces that we sent out during the Impact phase reminded users that it had been a while since they had last booked a table in the cheapest, most modern, healthiest or most convenient place, depending on their interests. And they did so in a humorous and casual way, choosing recent events and highlighting how much things had changed since then.
We took special care of the visual aspect of our content. This is why we worked with Ivoro, a company specialised in innovation applied to the food industry, who used real food to compose the images included in emails and social media campaigns.
Results: Good opening and click-through rates and arrival of the first conversions
The recovery campaign started in September 2019. Three days later, we launched the onboarding campaign too. Over the course of a month, The Fork’s leads received up to ten notifications by email. We tracked the results until March 2020.
For the onboarding campaign, the most striking data was related to good opening ratios (which were above 30% in the welcome email) and few unsubscriptions (between 1% and 1.2% during the first three mailings) that did not grow over time. Moreover, the initial CTR and CTOR rates increased significantly when we started segmenting emails by archetype, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of personalisation. In the case of the recovery campaign, the initial opening rate was lower (around 10%), but unsubscriptions, CTR and CTOR followed similar patterns.
In terms of conversions, they picked during the Welcome stage, even ahead of the phase when we delivered discounts and special deals. We also noticed that a fair amount of conversions used the discount codes provided in some mailings, but it is not always easy to attribute their origin as they usually take place some time after the communication is sent, or through other channels.
In conclusion, this project made the most out of the automation tools and processes, tapped into the power of creativity, segmentation and personalisation and that, above all, never gave up on any of the acquired leads.
American Express GBT