Evolution of a Product-Driven Email Program: Demonstrating Delight in Ways Users Recognize, by Rob Marsh
Engagement emails can benefit users. But they need to be done right.
Step 1: Build a foundation.
Identify if you even need an email. Does a message make sense? Start small. You can always grow! And look at where things are being neglected – the “dusty corners.”
At Netflix that meant promoting recommendations.
Step 2: Make it rain
Surface data in new ways.
At Netflix they realized that streaming increased dramatically when there was bad weather. So how do they make Netflix the go-to place for those bad weather moments? They created a “what to watch” message that was sent when the weather was supposed to be bad, and positioning it as a “since it’s [bad weather].”
When Netflix noticed kids show streaming increased at the start of quarantine, they decided to bring parents into the world. They sent emails to share the themes in what their kids were watching. They also included offline options – coloring pages of characters, placemats, backpacks, etc.
Step 3: Don’t forget common sense
Ideas can come from anywhere, and sometimes you miss something the first time around. At one point, someone pointed out that Netflix didn’t alert people when something they had previously searched for was now available.