Lifecycle email campaigns can be tricky. If you’re stuck wondering what sorts of campaigns you should send then using successful campaigns from other online businesses as inspiration can be a great shortcut to get started. It’s an exciting time in email marketing, with many businesses embracing automated lifecycle emails more than ever before. Here are 20 great lifecycle email marketing campaigns that you can use for inspiration.
1. The founder welcome email
Boris from Meldium sends this email shortly after you sign up for Vero. It’s simple, no bull and it works. Here are some more tips to increase the success of your welcome emails and a little on the benefits you can expect.
2. A great example of urgency
The team at Dunked sent me this email as I had failed to activate my account (an account I ‘reserved’ whilst they were preparing to launch their beta). This email uses urgency to great effect by applying a little pressure to encourage customers to finish the signup process. For some other great examples of [urgency in email marketing] check out this post on some of Amazon’s campaigns.
3. Introduce users to features they haven’t used yet
You should be using email to help drive customer activation. GeckoBoard send this email to customers that haven’t yet created any widgets and give simple guidance on how easy it is to add your first widget. By choosing Twitter in particular they are also providing content that is relevant to a large portion of potential customers.
4. Follow up your initial emails: use series
If you are invited to connect with another LinkedIn profile and don’t do so within five days, LinkedIn chase you up. This trigger-based campaign helps them improve customer interaction and retention. A big part of this emails success is that it is highly relevant: it is a valid reminder to users after all. There are numerous times I’ve archived an email before actually clicking “Accept” and this email has genuinely ensured I don’t miss connections!
5. Up sell your customers with relevant products
When you purchase a ticket with EasyJet you give them quite a lot of data about you and the trip you’re taking. EasyJet use this data to follow up with emails like the one above after you’ve made a booking but are yet to travel. Never miss the opportunity to upsell your customers. EasyJet nails this with a super-targeted email, clearly triggered by your initial booking, providing lots of relevant product deals.
6. The inactivity email
Haven’t logged into Memrise for a while? They’ll hit you with a retention email like this to get you to come back. This campaign arrived weeks after my last login and is particularly great because it is very specific. Even having completed and started a few different courses on Memrise it’s interesting to note that, in this instance, Memrise targeted me with details of the course I had advanced furthest in. This adds to the relevancy of the email and likely increases the chance I’ll come back.
7. Use email to gather important feedback
Based on a simple visit to Google’s help site I received this email. Collecting customer feedback is extremely important and lifecycle email is a great way to help automate the process. Another great example of an automated campaign to get customer feedback is comes from Zingerman. Setting up a campaign like this to target free trial signups that go cold or really regular users is a surefire way to improve your product or service offering.
8. The ‘you’re awesome’ email
Visual Website Optimizer let you know as soon as one of your experiments has a winner. This positive reinforcement provides users with a sense of satisfaction and encourages them to create another experiemnt which is great for VWO’s retention.
9. Use relevant news to drive conversions
Lifecycle email is about using all of the resources at hand to drive conversions as high as possible. Sending newsletters triggered by / based on topical events is a powerful marketing tactic and this campaign from Kiva is a recent example. It uses an emotionally-charged holiday as it’s core driver (Mother’s Day) and has a strong call to action. Don’t forget to incorporate newsletters in your lifecycle email strategy!
10. The personal ‘your trial is almost over’ email
TrunkClub have a high customer lifetime value so invest a lot of money in helping onboard customers personally. It’s a huge part of their value that they reach out directly and get to know their customers (that’s the point!) They assign potential customers a stylist and, using automated lifecycle emails, they are able to ensure each stylist follows up politely and promptly.
11. The targeted offer email
Slideshare send out this email to free users that have a slideshow reach ‘trending’ status. This email is clever because it encourages users that are clearly getting value from Slideshare to try out their Pro plan (you usually get at least 5,000 views once you’re trending so you’re pretty pro-Slideshare when you receive this campaign). As these customers are more invested in the product it’s a great way for Slideshare to ensure that the offer is more likely to be used and that it will be a good investment (there is no point offering a discount to everyone if it just eats into your bottom line).
12. The trial re-activation email
If you’ve spent your hard earned cash acquiring customers then you should use every opportunity you can to try and convert them. If you run a SaaS business it’s worth implementing an email campaign like this one from Sprout as it gives you a ‘second chance’ with potential customers that went cold. Help Scout do a great job of this too, so check out their example of what we like to call the hail mary SaaS email.
13. The educational email
Educational welcome series rock and this example from GetResponse is no different. The simple format, step-by-step guide and quality content are all things you should be using for inspiration. Remember: teaching is one of the greatest forms of marketing (and activating customers!)
14. The getting started email
On top of the personal founder email you’re hopefully sending, you will no doubt be emailing new signups a welcome email to help them get started. This email from Olark is awesome: it has a great tone, really clear steps and is just plain fun. The finest example of a ‘Getting Started’ campaign we’ve seen.
15. Introducing brand new features to individual customers
Google send this email to welcome you to their authorship feature once you set it up. This automated campaign is a nice way to congratulate customers and the perfect way to confirm that everything is working correctly for each user.
16. The educational newsletter
One-off blasts, or newsletters, might seem a bit old-school but they can still be really effective. This one from Net-a-porter is all about education rather than straight sales. Most newsletters you see have discounts, coupons and reems of ‘Grab this product’ links. This one has information on what’s in fashion, what’s new and how to wear it. Sure, it’s obviously a way to generate sales, but it’s focus is on little snippets of useful, educational information as opposed to deals and discounts.
17. Use your community
OkCupid make good use of their profile-to-profile interactions when triggering emails to drive engagement and customer retention. All of their emails have a clear call to action and are to the point. This campaign in particularly answers the most commonly asked questions up front – a powerful tactic to get users to actually click through on your campaigns.
18. Drive customers back to your store
Customer reviews are a great way to drive further sales by ensuring customers return to your website and create social proof for you. Amazon shows us how it’s done with this great triggered email sent to Kindle users when they make book purchases.
19. The product update email
Product update emails generate lots of interest from previous trial signups or inactive users along with ensuring current customers come back and get stuck into your product or store. Google sends great product update emails for AdWords and Analytics each month as a part of their lifecycle email strategy.
20. Rinse-and-repeat campaigns
Kiva use repayments from their borrowers to encourage lenders to do so again and again. This campaign is great as lending is something that can be done time-and-again and it’s easy for Kiva to drive home the positive message behind lending and seeing your loans repaid. It re-enforces the Kiva values and makes lenders feel good. A+
Just the tip of the iceberg
These are just some of the great campaigns we’ve seen come through our inboxes here at Vero. What have you seen come through yours?
Bonus: Some other cool campaigns and tricks:
1. LinkedIn use calls to action that have a real focus on taking the next step. Take the email below. The copy on the call to action is ‘Continue’, which makes it seem like you have to take an action to actually get endorsed (which isn’t actually the case, as it’s already happened). Another good example is the copy ‘Confirm you know Dave’ which you’ll see in emails when you are invited to LinkedIn. This is much more positive than the more standard copy ‘Sign up to LinkedIn’.
2. Don’t use firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if you don’t want to send from a personal email account you can still have a little fun. This great example from oDesk shows that they’re being playful even with their domain. This reflects positively on you as a business and gives you more flexibility than the boring (and rather negative) noreply email address.