Imagine sending an email to a customer you know very little about. The message goes out as disconnected, inhumane, and not personalized. This is the major reason for poor customer experience, retention, and increased churn.
What's the best solution in this case?
Understanding your customer's journey is the key to sending the right message at the right time. When creating an email, it's important that you understand your customer's journey. In this article, you'll learn why a customer journey map is important and how to use it to create emails that boost customer engagement and retention.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of using a customer journey for your email campaigns. Let's explain what a customer journey map is.
Table of contents
- What is a customer journey map?
- Why you need a customer journey map for your email campaigns
- Customer journey mapping for your email strategy
- Typical examples of email journeys
- Wrapping up
What is a customer journey map?
A customer journey map visualizes every experience and action a customer has had with your brand.
A typical customer journey can start when a customer takes a first look at your website, comments on your social media page, downloads a lead magnet, or initiates another action and it continues through all conversations and meetings with your business.
A complete visualization of this customer journey helps you to spot key details and track the progression of every customer throughout the sales funnel.
For example, you collect customer research data and break down the entire sales funnel into stages. From there, you describe each stage from multiple viewpoints like—your business goals, customer goals, touchpoints, customer preferences, behaviors, thoughts, pain points, emotions, etc.
Since customers are usually at different stages in the buying journey, then it would make sense that a customer journey map has its differences—length, touchpoints, pain points, goals, results, etc.
In the next section, we'll explain why a customer journey map is important for email marketing.
Why you need a customer journey map for your email campaigns
When it comes to email marketing, understanding where your customers are in their buying journey is crucial. A good understanding of the customer journey helps you to send the right message to the right customer at the right moment. You'll know the kind of email copy to create and the best time to send it.
Here are additional benefits of using a customer journey map:
- Segment your customers and target new and existing customers—Customer journey mapping is all about finding a better and more personal approach. What's the best way to do this other than creating customer segments? When you create a customer journey map, you learn more about your ideal customer personas. Who is the best person to buy your product? What problem are they solving?
Customer segmentation allows you to send specific emails to different customers. This way, you wouldn't have to send the same message to every customer.
- Improve the customer experience—you can use a customer journey map to identify potential roadblocks that can occur when a customer doesn't get what they need or expect. When you visualize your map, you can ask questions like—is there a stage in the sales funnel where new users churn? Is there an event that negatively affected a relationship with an existing customer? Figure out the answers and be motivated to fix problems to improve the customer experience.
Customer journey mapping for your email strategy
With an accurate and detailed customer journey map, you can get a bird’s eye view of your email campaigns at once.
Step #1—set your goals
When building a customer journey map for your email campaigns, you need to set clear goals. Begin by asking yourself some questions like—what problem are we trying to solve?
What is the purpose of your journey map? Do you want to create an upsell email series for new users?
Set your goals and let your map evolve from there.
Step #2—list all customer touchpoints
When it comes to customer touchpoints, you need to define each one that connects to email. From lead magnets, sign-ups, and any forms where your customers enter an email address and other contact information.
Step #3—leverage customer personas
In this stage, you need to define your customer personas and goals. Who is the person that wants your product or service?
Having a well-researched persona helps you to create email campaigns with a more personal approach.
What if you have multiple personas in your email campaign? Trying to include every possible email on a spreadsheet can be challenging. However, a customer journey map cuts down the long process so you'd be able to map different emails to corresponding personas and even spot areas where the emails overlap.
Step #4—identify opportunities for each stage of the customer journey
This stage is all about identifying loopholes and issues that are in between you and your customers—you need to figure out what they are and find ways to fix them.
For example, you might:
- Create an email with resources that better reflect your product's usefulness
- Target a new customer segment that shows a huge potential in the market
When you evaluate possible barriers in the customer journey, you can use the insight to tweak the journey map and prepare for unexpected loopholes.
Step #5—crafting email copy
When you visualize your customers' entire path and behaviors in the customer journey, mapping the information becomes easier.
In your email copy, the most important elements include:
- Subject line
- Email copy
Using customer data in your customer journey map to make each element compelling and drive conversion.
Step #6—tracking KPIs
With each email, the campaign comes with real statistics highlighting email performance.
In this case, your customer journey map should help you visualize how every email performed so that you can instantly spot where your campaigns hit the dirt.
Important metrics to track include—click-to-open rates, click-through rates, social shares, and open rates.
If you see low click-to-open rates and low engagement, then you'll need to go back to the drawing board. Re-evaluate your email design or copy and figure out ways to improve customer engagement.
Typical examples of email journeys
So far, we've highlighted the key steps to build a customer journey map for your email strategy. Now, let's go through some typical examples of email journeys.
1. The next step email journey
While a welcome email series is a great way for new customers, don't forget that you need to show them what comes next.
You can design a journey that will highlight how they will get the best use of your product or service.
2. Re-engagement email journey
Winning back lapsed customers can be challenging. This is why you need an automated re-engagement email series to remind lapsed customers about the benefits they can gain from your business and entice them to become active again.
3. Upgrade email journey
A customer that has used your service for a long time is more likely to upgrade.
With a series of automated upgrade emails, you can send emails highlighting key features that will help your customers solve a problem.
4. Onboarding email journey
When you give new customers a great onboarding experience, you reduce churn and improve retention rates.
Consider designing an onboarding email journey that provides resources to help customers get the best use of your product or service.
5. The promotional email journey
As your customers move through your sales funnel, a customer journey map helps you gain more ideas about their behaviors, pain points, and preferences.
Use the insight to create a promotional email journey that anticipates potential customers' needs and pain points to nudge them towards a conversion.
6. Reminders email journey
Reminder emails provide an opportunity to deliver timely messages to customers and keep them engaged with your brand.
For example, when a customer has purchased from you, you can follow up with the customer by sending a reminder email to collect feedback or schedule a follow-up call.
Using customer journey mapping to map your email campaigns can be a huge time saver. It gives you insight into areas where your email campaign is taking a wrong turn. This way, you can rethink and figure out what needs to change.
If you're working on a huge email campaign that you want to be consistent, personalized, and optimized for conversions, then don't hesitate to use the steps outlined above to guide you as you build a journey map for your email campaigns.
With Engage, this process gets less challenging. You can use our powerful segmentation feature to create unique customer segments. Even more, you can use customer data to create automated email series that reach customers at the right time.