An interview with Susie Felber, Raphaël Gravaud, and Mikaël Guermeur of Withings’ electronic mail advertising staff.
Sending a single electronic mail that doesn’t suck is difficult sufficient. However emailing prospects in a number of languages?! Whereas additionally attaining stellar engagement?! That takes some severe electronic mail chops.
The Withings electronic mail staff (previously Nokia) runs their operations from two continents — taking advantage of easy instruments and the common human want to get more healthy. They provided up some attention-grabbing insights on managing a world operation, encouraging buyer engagement, and constructing wonderful electronic mail flows.
Your staff manages emails throughout continents and a number of languages — what does that course of seem like? What language do you begin in?
[Mikael & Raphael]: On our facet, it’s largely in French, that’s our native language. Then we often have a name with Susie the place we clarify our preliminary concepts. Then we attempt to write stable copy each in French and English, after which translate it into different languages like German, Spanish, Italian.
Does the copy are typically the identical or comparable?
[Mikael & Raphael]: It’s not precisely the identical, truly. What we do is consider one thing, nevertheless it’s not finalized, after which we create a short in English. Generally we draft the content material, however primarily we simply construction the content material, and we attempt to give instructions. In the long run, now we have lots of totally different folks between every stage, and at the least for the French content material, it’s by no means translated from English.
[Susie]: Under no circumstances, and that’s form of the enjoyable of it although. They at all times initially focus on it in French, create an English define, and we go from there. My French is horrible, (I ought to by no means be allowed to put in writing one phrase in French), however my French is nice sufficient to see what they’re doing. And now that I’ve been right here so lengthy, for the primary time, I’m stealing concepts from the French.
However some issues simply don’t work cross-culturally. We had an instance of an electronic mail we despatched out, and there was a misunderstanding once we have been speaking in regards to the World Cup and we mentioned “white nights” [the time period for days when the solar barely units]. Somebody in France on our inside dialogue board mentioned, “nuit blanche” means sleepless evening, so that they thought the English was a mistake. The time period “white nights” as we all know it doesn’t actually occur in French — so sure, there are specific issues which might be simply by no means going to precisely translate. So being savvy about all languages is de facto useful, even when I’m not fluent in all — which I’m not.
What number of languages do you electronic mail in?
Often 5. English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Generally Japanese and Chinese language. However our B2C web site, our eCommerce web site, doesn’t help Japanese or Chinese language.
With the CRM publication, we do assume by way of what content material works translated. We do translate generally, nevertheless it’s not like all of our weblog content material is solely translated and replicated. Now we have particular tales, for instance, for the French and German market. So, if we do a thematic publication on sleep, say, it gained’t simply imply translating these articles throughout the board, there can even be localized content material that will get folded in.
How do you handle all of that? What does the method look like?
I’d say it’s arduous work and planning on the CRM facet, however I’d be mendacity if I didn’t say there’s simply lots of racing to the end line to get it proper.
Generally it’s unusual to work throughout the time change, as a result of we [Mikael & Raphael] work on a short, we share it by the tip of our day, and Susie has time to work on it. Then once we come again within the morning, now we have a lot of the work performed.
By way of instruments, we tried utilizing Microsoft360, stuff like that. However it didn’t work as effectively, and now we’re coming again Google Docs. Now we have tried each software. There’s nothing higher for content material than Google Docs as a result of we clearly see copy and recommend notes, and we depart one another notes day and evening. There’s nothing that works that effectively.
It’s so necessary to have easy instruments — it lets us have a transparent transient and be on each side of the Atlantic and work on the identical doc, on the identical time, generally throughout the evening… It’s so useful.
What’s the hardest a part of designing for a health firm? How do you assume it differs from different industries by way of your emails and content material?
You must go straight to the advantages for the consumer — when you will have an answer or a tool that you simply wish to promote to a consumer, it’s important to clarify immediately what the profit is for them. You’ll be able to’t simply flip round and say, “it’s an ideal product, it has lots of cool options.” Positive, it’s nice, however what’s the profit to the consumer? As a result of if the tip consumer doesn’t see the advantages from it, they most likely gained’t purchase your product, or purchase your resolution, or purchase your program, or no matter you wish to promote.
Utilizing our knowledge and guiding folks to grasp all the pieces the product can do — could be very arduous in observe. We like to return at it from the attitude of: there’s tons of well being content material on the market, however you’ll be able to flatline on being informed the identical issues time and again. It’s best to eat wholesome, it’s best to train extra — this stuff are true they usually have a huge impact on well being. However the query is the right way to come at these matters from some extent of actuality in a means that’s participating.
I [Susie] wish to go to the people who find themselves not essentially the arduous our bodies, the individuals who have confirmed that simply by altering their life a bit bit every day, they will obtain nice issues. That to me is thrilling, as a result of I feel within the health and well being area, you’re going to see lots of sweaty folks with good abs. That’s not me, and that’s not most individuals I know.
As well as the well being facet, one of many greatest challenges in related gadgets is the way you get folks to proceed utilizing your product after a few months, couple of years — the right way to hold them engaged. We’ve labored arduous to have very highly effective engagement, content material, and life cycles. The massive one is to ensure the consumer is aware of the right way to use this product. After a few weeks, we train them the right way to activate some very cool options we all know will assist them use this product in their very own means.
What are a number of the methods you’ve fostered engagement?
The staff was very reactive on social with coronary heart charge throughout the World Cup last — opting in 7,000 customers in France for steady coronary heart charge throughout the World Cup, seeing the precise coronary heart charge rise with each objective that France took all around the nation. This initiative was very attention-grabbing as a result of it was a solution to have interaction our customers.
And that’s a solution to say to folks, hey, you personal a cool product! It’s a humorous means to make use of it right this moment, as a result of there’s the ultimate World Cup last, but in addition it’s a means for us to remind them they’ve this cool function. Perhaps they’re not utilizing it on a regular basis, however that could possibly be the proper event to find it and to see what the advantages are.
How does engagement differ throughout app-based push notifications and electronic mail?
If we determine to make use of the app, it’s not one of the best channel for deliverability. Not as sturdy as electronic mail. Now we have much less affect, typically with push notifications. However it labored effectively for the World Cup social marketing campaign since we have been focusing on largely energetic customers and people who find themselves utilizing our watch on a regular basis. So it made sense to focus on them by way of that channel.
How do you draw on the app to personalize emails?
I feel the large benefit now we have is related gadgets. So we actually have the flexibility to personalize, to do content material with customers, for them. With the information we will leverage by way of the app and different locations, we will create what I’d say is our most impactful campaigns, which is the weekly report. It’s very merely made, however simply this electronic mail is seen by 600,000 customers a week.
It has the largest open charges, they usually like to see the information, the tendencies. It’s one thing that’s an add-on to the app, nevertheless it exhibits that the e-mail is a really worthwhile channel to leverage. The weekly report could be very environment friendly. Folks adore it. It’s a really highly effective software, and since it’s by electronic mail, it has additionally enabled us to re-engage customers throughout the app.
How is the weekly report electronic mail made, and what potential variations are there?
I feel hundreds. There are variables like your present weight, the tendencies, and many others. that it shows. However then we even have an introduction paragraph that speaks about your knowledge, and this half is essentially the most complicated as a result of it’s all built-in within the electronic mail. Based mostly in your knowledge, we randomly present you one piece of copy that’s written a number of methods to explain the identical factor. So, it creates paragraphs that specify to you what your week regarded like primarily based in your knowledge. Now we have an inside CRM software to ship these emails, and we developed an inside software to make the hundreds of customizations potential.
We strive at all times to be constructive. If in case you have gained weight and also you needed to drop extra pounds, we aren’t simply saying, “final week was a foul week.” As a substitute, we attempt to encourage folks and say “okay, don’t fear. If it’s beneath one kilogram, it’s not important.” Or, “overlook about it, and get energetic this week.” For individuals who achieve reaching their targets after that, we simply have a good time it.
We additionally take heed to social from a content material perspective. When Susie first got here on, lots of people have been saying they thought the app was being too arduous on them, bumming them out… I [Susie] had my brother in Los Angeles saying, “I feel the app referred to as me fats!” And I’m like, “the app didn’t name you fats. You might be fats, however the app didn’t name you fats!”
So we additionally tweak content material primarily based on consumer suggestions. These days, everyone seems to be so used to customized emails that it’s important to go that further mile to make it particular and wake folks up. I feel listening on social and listening to your customers from a content material perspective is tremendous necessary.
What is without doubt one of the greatest methods you’ve discovered to encourage folks?
Considered one of our most profitable initiatives was the Wholesome New Yr again in January. We recognized that in January particularly, lots of people wish to drop extra pounds, however in addition they wish to hold it off. An thought we got here up with was to have a 10-week New Yr life cycle. So, for 10 weeks, we despatched folks each day suggestions and all of the metrics you’ll be able to enhance whenever you wish to drop extra pounds. You must maintain vitamin, it’s important to maintain sleep, it’s important to be extra energetic.
The emails folks obtained have been a combination between the weekly reviews and a few weekly missions (like 10,000 steps). Each week there was one theme with two or three broad articles correlated to the theme. The thought was to make folks uncover all the probabilities — like strolling with a companion or stepping on a scale each day or two to be sure you tracked your progress. Within the app we additionally featured the content material within the timeline. So they may learn the e-mail, or app customers have the identical experiences with the identical content material.
Principally, throughout the 10 weeks, you’ll obtain each day suggestions, good content material articles, up-to-date monitoring, some ideas to trace progress, and many others. We additionally had a group problem — 10,000 steps every week for all our subscribers. And we put it on social, too, with a Fb group. Folks would share their screenshot with 10,000 steps, and we actually beloved that. The perfect half was once we obtained suggestions from folks after this 10 week program. They informed us “sure, I managed to lose some weight, and now I’m attempting to lose it for good!”
What’s among the best features of emailing your prospects?
We actually love the chance to do large knowledge research to assist encourage folks and say “look, even should you simply stroll just a few extra steps a day, you’ll be able to decrease your blood stress. You’re going to sleep higher should you get a bit bit extra exercise. You’re going to sleep higher should you lose a bit bit extra weight.”
Exhibiting the correlations is de facto enjoyable, and so is seeing folks sharing and utilizing all of it world wide. When individuals are attempting to stroll 10,000 steps a day for every week, seeing them share their footage was so inspiring. Right here they’re in Scandinavia, right here they’re in Germany, right here they’re in all places, sharing stunning footage of getting outside, and for me, that was actually inspiring.
What sorts of flows have you ever constructed, just like the onboarding flows for when a buyer buys a tool, what number of emails are there and what number of emails are in every?
There’s one devoted sequence for every product. I feel it’s 5 emails. Now we have totally different sequences, so the primary one is welcome, and now we have three totally different emails. First one is rediscover your product, what are the cool options you’ll be able to activate from the app. Then you will have two different emails which might be actually good at talking about themes which might be linked to our merchandise. For instance, when you have a scale, you will have an article about weight administration, and also you’re going to have an article about vitamin. So, issues which might be actually correlated along with your expertise.
That’s form of the onboarding sequence: you will have welcome, you will have engagement, you will have satisfaction after that. So, two weeks after you begin with the product, you’ll obtain a satisfaction survey to see the way it’s going. Are you glad along with your product, is there something that we may do to enhance your expertise? That’s an ideal software for us to detect what are the options individuals are loving, and what are the options that individuals are not absolutely glad with. After which we will enhance it with the product managers after that.
I feel now we have a whole lot of automated emails. One thing attention-grabbing is the extra you work together with us — by way of the app, by way of our emails, social stuff — the extra you obtain follow-ups. If you’re recognized with a satisfaction survey as a promoter of our gadgets, we are going to ship you emails so you’ll be able to share your suggestions with others. We could even contact you to create testimonials.
What’s an instance of one thing you discovered by way of these surveys?
An necessary one is we tried to enhance our final smartwatch, and primarily based on the satisfaction survey, we famous that the important thing enchancment request was about notifications. So now we have been working just a few months now on extending notifications (proper now you solely have textual content messages and calls). [Replace: After this interview Withings launched good notifications for all apps.]
That factors up one other problem that the CRM staff has, which is that you simply purchase your machine, however then the app staff makes your machine do much more issues than what it did when it was in that field. For instance, an enormous one was automated swim monitoring. We frequently want to speak with prospects and be like, by the best way, now your watch now additionally does this!
Then later it was “hey, we will acknowledge as much as 30 actions. Your watch will know should you’re enjoying basketball or soccer. That wasn’t a factor once we taught you about your product!” So, attempting to fold that into the unique sequence, attempting to coach folks on how their product does lots of new tips now, that’s enjoyable and that’s additionally difficult, as a result of then it’s important to go once more and inform the total story. Not simply inform them the way it works, however possibly have supporting content material with individuals who do these totally different sports activities, or supporting content material for these upcoming options. We’re at all times taking a look forward. We all know it’s on the horizon, and now we have to be prepared with that content material and communication, and generally they develop issues actually shortly, and also you simply should be able to help it.
Have you ever run any attention-grabbing checks these days and have you ever discovered something stunning from them?
We ran a check a few months in the past to check what was the affect of the decision to motion within the electronic mail design. We examined two locations just below the title of the e-mail. Now we have the title introducing our newest product (for instance Nokia Sleep) after which the product picture. Or put the product picture first after which the introduction underneath.
We discovered that if the consumer already is aware of the product, placing the decision to motion within the first place will work higher. But when the consumer doesn’t know the product, it gained’t carry out higher.
Importantly, we all know we aren’t going to ship just one electronic mail, so we may have a number of touchpoints, however touchpoints are linked with the exercise of the consumer — whether or not or not they clicked on the primary message. We actually adapt the communication. So this check was to attempt to separate the evaluation on these two sorts of issues. We attempt to maximize the visibility of the message at giant but in addition attempt to customise the remainder of the expertise.
Our messages work like a funnel — if now we have a launch electronic mail for everybody, we’ll ship a relaunch with a distinct topic line to those who often open our emails however didn’t this time. Then for all openers, we’ll ship engagement content material associated to that product. After which for all of the clickers, we’ll ship one thing else.
Adaptability is essential to engagement — section primarily based on whether or not individuals are paying consideration. Ask extra inquiries to people who find themselves prepared to reply. Bear in mind to remain constructive! And, particularly, related to your readers.
How Withings Makes use of E-mail to Have interaction Prospects All Over the World was initially printed in Actually Good Emails on Medium, the place individuals are persevering with the dialog by highlighting and responding to this story.