Is there a total subscriber number you have been chasing, but has been elusive? Could your email program have a churn problem? Yes, I said the dreaded word, ‘Churn’. More specifically, is it a ‘whole email program’ churn problem or is it a ‘specific customer segment’ churn problem?
Every brand has customer segments. Some are easily identified while others can be more difficult to confirm in the data. However, all email programs have at least new and returning customers. Most growth of an email program is usually seen by new customers and overtime, you may see older customers unsubscribing. In this example depending on how detailed your subscriber volume is analyzed, you may still continue to see an upward trend. This can be a problem as the age old sales truth says, “It’s a lot less expensive to keep a current customer than acquire a new one.” More importantly, if you do not know which customer segment or segments are unsubscribing, the leaky bucket could be difficult to solution for.
First things first
Start by confirming how you are analyzing the data. Can you determine based on your current analytics different customer segments or new vs. returning customer segments? Once you have this level of detail in your reporting, you can start to identify which customer segments are showing signs of churn and then start developing a testing ground for a solution.
Communicate with your best customers
Are you thinking about ways to keep and, more specifically, speak to your best customers? If not, you should be since they’re the ones that will continue to come back. Remember, “Tt’s less expensive to keep the current customers”. When you can identify your best customer in the data, you then have opportunity to treat them differently than other segments. Be sure to give them the VIP treatment.
Tip: Your best customer can be even more detailed or segmented out beyond being just a returning customer. For example, segment returning customers that purchase 5x more than the average customer or purchase at a 2x higher average order value (AOV) than your current AOV.
Customer journey insights
Start by evaluating your customer’s journey, or the path they take in engaging with your brand. This journey will shed light on where your customer needs more assistances or engagement from your email program to make the experience better and keep them coming back for more. Track their performance and optimize your email campaigns specifically for these different segments. Test ways of better communicating your message to where they are in their journey with your brand.
Using machine learning
Innovative ways of improving this one-to-one communication in a shorter period of time than traditional A/B testing is using machine learnings, or an algorithm management tool. This allows you to test and optimize faster by managing the result and implementing updates as results are confirmed.
Churn happens at some point in most email program. The difference for many brands is how quickly this common problem is addressed. The more detailed your subscriber volume reporting is, the better you will know your database and the better your database’s health will be.