ActiveTrail Automations in Practice (Part 1 of 4) Onboarding

Real world examples of ActiveTrail clients using automations to create more streamlined, effective digital marketing campaigns that yield better results.

visual automation

Although made easier by software platforms such as ActiveTrail, running a multiple mail email marketing campaign over time can be quite an undertaking. You may want to send out a series of mails, or, perhaps to send out emails on specific dates. Maybe, which email you send depends on the user’s response to your previous mail or on the history of the user’s interaction with your system.

Perhaps you would like to take a more aggressive approach with certain audiences, and go gently with others? In the past, and very often in the present, email campaign management has involved a great deal of expensive and error-prone manual effort where real people receive and sift through responses, determine the next course of action based on policy or their own conviction, and actually perform the necessary activities. Today, advanced marketing automations, such as those available in the ActiveTrail system, allow businesses to react quickly and correctly to user activities and responses to the businesses’ campaigns, thereby providing their customers a highly connected experience.

This blog post is the first installation of a series of case studies describing instances where ActiveTrail customers made or are making use of automations in their digital marketing campaigns. They exemplify both the features of ActiveTrail’s automations module and how you can reap benefit from this module for your own campaigns.

“All on Board”
Picture, if you will, people boarding a train at Grand Central station. While most people may not be conscious of it, almost everything leading up to “getting on the train” and almost everything afterwards, is automated, giving way, for the most part, to timely departures and arrivals. Without the automatic updates of train timetables to help guide people throughout the station, or the routing systems that make sure trains get in and out of the correct platforms, on time, or any number of other automated systems, there would be chaos and no possible way to serve the ¾ of a million people that flow through the station each day.

In the following study we take a look at one of the most common uses of automations in email campaigns and the digital marketing “equivalent” of getting people on to (and off of) trains and – getting new members of a site to become active users, also known as “Onboarding”. Much like with trains, there is no comparing an automated onboarding campaign to one without automations.

Note: The following case study does not assume knowledge of ActiveTrail’s automations system.

Automating Onboarding for a SaaS Company
One of ActiveTrail’s long-time customers helps business and organizations manage projects and facilitates collaboration amongst team members. The company provides its software in a cloud based, SaaS model. As with many SaaS systems, our client offers a free trial, and they have found that once prospects begin to use the software in their workflows, chances of converting these free users into paying customers increase manifold. To help with this, they have developed a “drip” email campaign for onboarding powered by ActiveTrail automations. Here are a few of the highlights of the campaign:

Welcome Email: After registering for the free trial, the first automation kicks in upon user confirmation of their email address. ActiveTrail, sends the new user an automated email that encourages them to make use of some of the central features of the software. This captures the momentum of the interest shown by the user when registering for the trial in the first place.

Branch – Type of Follow-up:
The first email is intended to build engagement and set the prospect up for the next email in the series. Here, our client has placed an automated test after 4 days  to check the level of usage of the system by their customer. This leads to two possible progressions:

  1.  No Activity: If the user has not done anything on the system (save logging in), ActiveTrail will automatically send them a “gentle” reminder, describing the same features as the welcome email and further prodding them to try them out. If another 4 days pass with no activity, ActiveTrail dispatches a mail to a customer service representative prompting them to call the action-less customer. By doing so, costly human intervention is made only when deemed absolutely necessary.
  2.  User has Begun Working on the System: If the user has started to make use of our client’s software by the 4-day checkpoint, our client has configured ActiveTrail to send them an email focusing on integrating the software with other productivity apps that the prospect may already use on a daily basis (e.g. Dropbox or Outlook). The thought here is that by showcasing the integration capabilities, the PM platform can become “a little” more indispensable to the day-to-day workflow of the potential customer. Our client reports that conversion after this “deeper dive” email has doubled since introducing the onboarding campaign.

This is not the full onboarding campaign, which our client spent many weeks in planning and developing, and which it continues to improve regularly. However, it does give a good sense of how automations can be used in very fundamental processes to better conversion rates and client satisfaction.

Automations, especially in advanced systems such as ActiveTrail, are rapidly becoming an integral part of any email campaign, especially in ongoing campaigns run over a period of time, helping companies to improve the results of their campaigns. In the case of our project management and collaboration client, ActiveTrail’s automations helped them achieve benefits such as:
– Capitalizing on users’ initial interest in their software
– Reducing cost of sales by using human representatives only when needed
– Giving information to those who have shown eagerness to become more knowledgeable

Please join us in our next post in this series to see how other ActiveTrail clients are enjoying the dividends of using automations in their email campaigns.