I’m consistently amazed how marketing efforts and sometimes customer communication ends once a purchase has been made. We spend all this money and time nudging someone through a funnel but once they are a customer communication tends to stop. Perhaps this is connected to the rise of Customer Success and Product Marketing as a discipline in recent years?

One strategy I’m a fan of is sending a regular cadence of usage reports. Whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly these reports are a great strategy to remind customers of the value of the product.

Let’s look at a great example from Sumo:

Here’s another one from FitBit:

And one from Zapier

Best Practices I’ve noticed:

  • compare across time periods: aside from informing the customer about usage the goal of these reports is often to increase utility or engagement. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by creating context. FitBit does a great job of this. In every data point they track they show how it compares to my previous usage.
  • let users determine how frequently they want to be messaged: Mailtrack during its onboarding asks you when you want to receive your report. Zapier allows users to customize not only WHEN they receive notifications but also WHAT triggers a notification. As I’m starting to build my email list I want to be notified each time I gain a subscriber, but wouldn’t want to be bothered with more transactional exchanges like Webhooks firing.
  • nudge customer to increase usage: The third column in the Sumo email links back to their blog. They dedicate a sizeable portion of the usage report (~20-30%) to their content marketing efforts. Since the content is likely evergreen they can give me, the customer, a few strategies to increase my usage without taxing their support team.

Tactics to avoid:

  • putting a “click wall” in front of the ENTIRE report: Venmo sends a monthly update but it’s only a link to their web app. There is no data in the email. While a click might seem easy I would bet there is a sizeable number of users who open the email but don’t click through. Great opportunity to put summary data with an opportunity to click through and learn more. (note: Venmo’s click wall might be due to banking communications regulations)
  • no reply: These reports are natural “lead generation” for customer support/success. The best reports I’ve received realize that and set help@domain.com or support@domain.com as the reply address. A few brands send these replies to a non-monitored email address. Feels like a missed opportunity.
  • sending only when product/service is used: Zapier only sends me a message when one of my Zaps fire. While I’m happy to see that everything is working as I planned; I often have days or weeks go by without hearing from them. This feels like a great opportunity for an inactivity trigger. Something along the lines of “hey mike we haven’t seen you around in a month. Here’s a link to a feature you should use. Email us if you need help”. Might be a way to decrease churn.