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Tempt your customer to cross- or upsell: the power of personalised lifecycle emails
Every day, FrieslandCampina supplies dairy products to millions of Dutch consumers. Everyone will surely be familiar with Campina and Optimel’s milk and yoghurt dinks, eat the occasional Mona desert, enjoy a glass of Chocomel from time to time or put some Milner cheese on their sandwich. However, not everyone will know that more than 350 products from nine FrieslandCampina brands feature a unique Eurosparen code since 2013. Consumers can enter this code to save for attractive deals in the Eurosparen webshop, participate in cashback and win promotions and/or gain access to unique content such as recipes and fun videos.
In recent years, Eurosparen has transformed from a simple savings scheme to a complete digital experience platform with more than 1.2 million members. In early 2017, FrieslandCampina conducted a number of interesting email experiments to make the participants in its Eurosparen programme more active and introduce them to other items in the organisation’s product range. The pilots resulted in, among other things, a significant conversion boost for cross- and upselling of 35%.
Eurosparen began in 2009 as a savings scheme for Optimel. These days, it is one of the largest “owned media” platforms in the Netherlands. The platform’s goal is to improve the customer experience of FrieslandCampina’s various brands and get consumers excited about the organisation’s full range of dairy products. By testing new techniques and concepts quickly and on a limited scale, the platform continues to grow steadily, both in terms of scope – an average of 10,000 new members join the platform every month – and in terms of its functionalities. Features such as geofencing and image recognition have been introduced and the organisation also uses email marketing to personalise its communication.
“Members of the Eurosparen programme spend 23% more on FrieslandCampina products than non-members (GFK 2017)”
An analysis of data gathered through the Eurosparen platform reveals that consumers (active members) spend 23% more on FrieslandCampina products than non-members during the first year of their membership. The average participating consumer actively engages in one or two components of the programme; they redeem 30,000 unique codes every day via one of the websites or apps (one code represents the purchase of a specific product). Consumers participate in e.g. the saving, cashback or win components of the programme. However, some consumers do not actively engage with the Eurosparen programme after registering or they decide not to actively participate anymore after a week. That was the reason to set up several pilots centred around the following main question:
How can every consumer, after signing up for Eurosparen, be guided and tempted as effectively as possible to, on the one hand, become active and, on the other hand, stay active during the first 100 days?
Together with Webpower (adviser and implementer) and Magneds (concept and content), a multidisciplinary team was formed to execute this project.
The objectives of the project:
- Improving the involvement/activity of members of Eurosparen and reducing churn:
- Tempting members to use the various components and campaigns that make up the Eurosparen programme more and longer.
- Offering more effective guidance to new members of the programme during the first week after their registration to reduce inactivity. In other words: improving the adoption of the platform.
- Improving cross- and upsell conversion per consumer;
- Improving the number of newsletter registrations and app downloads.
Solution: A “Lifecycle campaign” that consists of email flows based around personalisation and relevance
The Lifecycle campaign consists of a number of email experiments that are based on insights, available consumer data and hypotheses. The Lifecycle campaign is made up of a welcoming campaign and trigger mails, incorporated into various email flows. The welcoming campaign is fully personalised. The personalisation of these emails is achieved by setting up conditional content based on CRM data, brand, gender, app usage and behaviour. One metric is the component that someone used to create their account. There are twenty variants of the welcoming email alone. In total, the personalisation of the welcoming campaign resulted in more than one hundred different emails.
The trigger mails are also personalised and designed to reduce churn. As soon as someone begins to log in less frequently and is at risk of becoming inactive, timed emails are sent that contain relevant content (e.g. a savings goal or a cashback promotion). Their goal is to (re)activate the consumer. During the reactivation process with its trigger mails, the consumer is asked to provide feedback at several points to determine as effectively as possible why they became less active. This gives consumers the option to interact with FrieslandCampina, e.g. with a questionnaire, (dis)like buttons and a customer service department.
“Webpower’s platform is very flexible and enables our digital marketers to dynamically compose e-mails themselves. Moreover, it increases the ease and our capability to personalize e-mails. Their technical e-mail software is very user-friendly and suitable for personalization (Luc Wong – Digital Innovation Lead)”
The email experiments result in a conversion boost for cross- and upselling of 35%
The email experiments were a success (the significant improvements were calculated based on 17,500 new registrations on the platform). They resulted in a 35% improvement for cross- and upsell. This means that the percentage of consumers that bought a brand for the first time grew by 35%, compared to the control group. Here is an example: a member of the Eurosparen programme who used to only buy Optimal products and redeem their codes is now also trying out Campina products after receiving emails with e.g. information about cashback promotions for Campina. FrieslandCampina also realised a 20% increase in cross-component adoption (saving, cashback and win promotions). Finally, the conversion of consumers who become active on the platform after registering (by participating in one or more components) has increased by 8%. In short, a well-designed lifecycle campaign with personalised emails really works! More effective guidance for new members, raising awareness of the various components of the programme and sending out the occasional reminder all result in improved participation in the Eurosparen programme and more product sales.
Setting up the email experiments and large-scale personalisation are not easy – What we learned
We learned a few things from this Lifecycle campaign. First of all, you should start with a number of confirmed customer insights. Next, match these customer insights to your business objectives and form a multidisciplinary team to develop the various experiments (concept, measurement plan, design, development, etcetera). It is important to clarify what type of behaviour (including a measurement value) is desired during each step, so the team can determine later on whether the experiment was successful. Use this as the basis for your content and measurement plan and conduct an AB(CD) test during each stage of the Lifecycle campaign. Next, identify the necessary and future data points and translate these into a good data model and infrastructure, so you can easily update and utilise the technical structure automatically. Finally, it is crucial to use good email software, so you can set up each experiment in the right and most efficient manner. That means: the right design and data exchange, a flexible and complete (master) email template (see this case) and the option to easily personalise emails. Webpower provided all this to FrieslandCampina.
“What are important aspects in the lifecycle, how do you set up such an e-mail campaign and how do you set it up technically? Webpower brought a lot of useful experience. It is also an organization that stands for proactivity, personal contact and involvement important (Luc Wong – Digital Innovation Lead)”
What are the next steps?
The next step is to carefully analyse the data, so even more insights can be gained from it. FrieslandCampina is also looking to further optimise its Lifecycle campaign. So far, email was used for this campaign, but the logical next step would be to determine how to integrate these experiments into other channels (e.g. website, app and social media). The template will also be personalised more extensively using “recommender systems,” i.e. predictive modelling, to make the communication even more relevant. The inclusion of new propositions on the platform is also a possibility.