Nancy Baron on Sep 13, 2022
Creating campaigns that effectively move customers along in the lifecycle is part art and part science. With smart planning and leveraging all the tools at your disposal, you can craft personalized journeys that convert. Here are five practical tips to help you level up your campaigns in Customer.io.
1. Start with a clear plan
Successful journeys need a map. Spend time upfront defining your high-level objectives, then identify the kind of campaigns that will achieve those goals. Sketch out your campaign ideas with the following info:
- Goal: What do you want to achieve, and what metrics will tell you if you succeed?
- Audience: What specific characteristics or activities define your target audience?
- Trigger: What initiates the campaign for a customer: an event, attribute, date, etc.?
- Exclusions: Which people should not receive any messages?
- Messages: What do you want to say, and which channels will you use?
- Other actions: Do you need data changes, webhook integrations, etc.?
- Frequency: Is it a one-time campaign, or can people re-enter multiple times?
Pro tip: Goals should define campaigns
Deciding where one campaign ends and another begins isn’t always clear-cut. Should you add in-app nudges for a new feature to an existing campaign? Or should you create a brand new campaign for that second persona you want to target? Look to your campaign conversion goals, metrics, and triggers for the answer:
- If you have a campaign with multiple goals and conversions to measure, split these into multiple campaigns to make your data more actionable.
- If it’s the same trigger for multiple campaigns with similar goals, combine them into a single campaign.
- Same triggers but different goals and metrics? It’s best to maintain separate campaigns for measurement’s sake. In this case, take a close look at message cadence. Use delays or other tactics in your workflows to space out the messages for your audience.
2. Choose the right frequency
Customer.io gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to controlling whether or not a customer should repeat a campaign, how frequently, and at what interval.
For example, you might want to create a workflow that will send an invoice on the customer’s monthly billing date. To do so, trigger the campaign based on a specific date and specify that it should repeat monthly.
Suppose you want to send out a weekly activity roundup every Friday morning to everyone in your Customer segment. Specify that the campaign re-trigger once a week at a fixed interval. Then add a Wait Until Friday at a specific time of day to ensure the message drops at your desired time.
Sometimes you want the fact that somebody left and then re-joined a segment to re-trigger a campaign. For example, say you have an online payment app and want to encourage customers to add more cash to their online wallet when their balance drops below $50. The campaign could be triggered every time somebody rejoins a segment with that criteria, and you could limit the frequency to every week, day, hour, or even minute.
3. Test your events
Testing not only helps you ensure things are working correctly; it also allows you to identify any holes in your strategy. To test your event campaigns before integrations are set up or try out specific data scenarios, send events into Customer.io manually, including event attributes.
Here are a few options to manually test your event-driven campaigns:
- For a specific customer: Pick a customer profile that matches what you want to test, then fill in the event and attribute names and values.
- From the workflow: Click on the trigger event, then select a customer that the event should fire for before filling in the event attributes.
- Resend an event: If you want to retest an event that just came in, head to the Activity Log and hit [Resend]. You can fire it again for the same profile with the same event attributes with a couple of clicks.
Pro tip: save time with Event Import
Want to test many different scenarios at once? Use Event Import to upload a spreadsheet of events to see how various permutations behave.
4. Trigger a campaign with a webhook
In some cases, the best way to get data into Customer.io from another system is through a webhook. This data could be from your own system or another solution in your stack, like Shopify, Zendesk, or an SMS provider.
A Data Campaign will catch the hook and take action with the incoming information. You can transform all kinds of data into Customer.io events and attribute updates. Here are a few examples:
- Use the Batch Update action to set a status attribute to paying for all profiles with a company attribute matching the value on the incoming webhook.
- Repurpose a webhook from Zendesk to send a reply_received event for a prospect who replied to an email drip campaign.
- Update the associated profile sms_unsubscribe attribute when Twilio sends a webhook regarding an opt-out request.
5. Keep an eye on the metrics
Once you’ve launched your campaigns, it can be tempting to set them and forget them. But in fact, your work has only just begun! Without measuring results, you won’t know whether your campaigns are meeting the goals you set out in the first place.
Your Analysis page shows you all your campaign metrics, and you can even get a weekly report sent directly to your inbox.
Don’t settle for results that are just “good enough”. Try A/B testing to optimize your subject lines and calls to action. Or, use a random cohort branch to see if push notifications outperform email messages.
Pro tip: filter for engagement
If engagement rates are lower than expected (especially below 20% for email), set up an engagement filter. That way you’ll send only to people who want to read your messages.
Level up your next campaign!
There are endless possibilities when it comes to Customer.io messaging campaigns. Staying focused on your goals, leveraging rich campaign functionality, and continually optimizing your metrics will help you create lifecycle campaigns that convert and nurture your customers along their journey.