top of page

Conversion Strategies: Why activation emails can be less effective

Email Marketing, Product Marketing, Conversion, Conversation Strategy, Digital Marketing, Advertisement.

By Wale Ayinla

Product Marketer, Shoppleverse.

Business, Law, Leadership, Entrepreneurship. Conversion Strategies: Why activation emails can be less effective
Oyemaja; Conversion Strategies: Why activation emails can be less effective

Multiple messages can chase users who are trying to understand your product away.

Hello there,

It has been months since you last read an issue of The Market Square. I have been caught up with a lot, but now I’m back! This newsletter shares insights from my marketing experience and current market(ing) trends that may be useful for your next marketing campaign.

In today’s edition, I write about my recent ordeal with activation email and how it influenced my decision to use SITE123, a SaaS product for website building. I’ll be explaining why multiple activation emails can be a turn-off for your prospective customers.

Without further ado, let’s get to it!

My Dilemma

A couple of weeks ago, I signed up for SITE123 after falling in love with the layout of a portfolio I came across. The onboarding process was straightforward, and I was ready to dive in. It was in the evening, and I was tired, so I decided to wait until the next day before getting back to setting up my portfolio.

I woke up to see five emails telling me to build my website, get 40% off for 72 hours, find out what people are saying about them, etc. It felt like a nightmare.

Oyemaja. Conversion Strategies: Why activation emails can be less effective
Oyemaja. Conversion Strategies: Why activation emails can be less effective

Why the rush? I thought to myself. I went to X (formerly Twitter) and wrote about my displeasure.

Over the next couple of days and weeks, I received over 30 activation emails from them.

Oyemaja. Conversion Strategies: Why activation emails can be less effective
Oyemaja. Conversion Strategies: Why activation emails can be less effective

What are activation emails?

Activation emails are sent to customers when they sign up for a service or make a purchase. They are used to confirm the customer's account, provide information about the service or product, and encourage the customer to start using it.

Email marketing is 40x more effective at acquiring customers than other social media networks. Looking at Dave McClure’s 5-step framework AARRR (Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, and Revenue), email comes into play in the second A (activation).

After the signup, email is the first thing that introduces new users to your product. It helps to convert users after their first encounter with your product/service.

At what point do emails become less effective?

On the surface level, emails convert up to 60% of customers. While that is true, many customers who need the product/service may be lost because of your email campaigns.

Here are three main reasons why activation emails can be less effective at converting customers.

  1. They can be seen as spam. If customers receive too many emails from a company, they may start to see them as spam and ignore them. Like me, many users can be frustrated when you do not give them time to think about their decisions to use your product. Activation starts before a user signs up for your product, and you don’t need to chase them away with multiple emails.

  2. They can be too generic. If an activation email is not personalised, it will not be as effective as one that is tailored to the individual customer. In 2020, the benchmark for a good conversion rate for email marketing was an 18% open rate and a 2.6% click-through rate (CTR). According to Hubspot, personalised calls to action demonstrate a remarkably 202% better conversion rate than default or standard calls to action. Consumers will engage exclusively with your product when you address the emails to them. You may be working with a template, but look into the data collected from the sign-ups, segment it, and create different emails for them. (You can read more about that here.)

  3. They can be too focused on the company and not enough on the customer. If an activation email does not focus on the customer's needs, it is less likely to be effective. When an email is not focused on the customer, 52% of customers are willing to seek alternative shopping destinations. If the customers’ needs are urgent and timely, you may lose them to other competitors. Since you already have their data after they sign up, you need to send emails that address their pain points. Many will argue that using incentives like 40% off on your first purchase, buy one, get one free, etc., can help you convert the customers you just acquired; a larger percentage of the customers are willing to use your product without it.

Now that we have addressed the points where emails can be less effective, you should know what to do when embarking on your next email campaign. I’ll highlight three ways to do this below:

  1. Personalise your emails. Use the customer's name and any other information you have about them to make the email feel personal. Always prepare the email as if they are standing in front of you.

  2. Focus on the customer's needs. What do they want to get out of using the service or product? What are their pain points? After understanding their pain points, let your email address how you will solve them.

  3. Make them relevant to the customer's interests. What are they interested in? What are they already using? Conduct market research and know what your users are interested in. This will help you understand their existing knowledge, which you can leverage.

Key Takeaway

Before creating your email campaigns, you must know how and when to use the data you already have access to. You should also plan your emails and ensure that you do not load your customers with irrelevant emails, which might lead to churn. Here are some other tips:

  • Since activation starts before sign-up, what users need is education.

  • Multiple emails about completing registrations can annoy users. Instead, schedule emails that show them what they are missing.

  • Be specific about what you want to achieve with every email you send. Tell the customer what you want them to do, such as create an account, start using the service, or make a purchase.

  • Test your emails before you send them. Make sure they look good and work properly on all devices.

  • Track your results. See how many people open and click on your activation emails, and use this information to improve your campaigns over time.

Wrapping it up!

It's important to use effective activation emails because they can help increase customer engagement and retention. When customers are activated successfully, they are more likely to use the service or product regularly and to recommend it to others.

Activation emails are less effective if they're spammy, generic, or company-focused. To make them more effective, personalise them, focus on the customer's needs, and make them relevant.

Things I’m Reading

Threads’ Retention Problem, the Endowment Effect, and Pinterest Visual SEO - I have been coming back to this issue since its release.

A Q&A on Google Search updates - Who else is concerned about Google’s recent update?

The Girl with the Louding Voice - Abi Daré’s wit and storytelling in this book are so excellent.

Obviously Awesome - April Dunford’s insights and experience on positioning are unmatched.

Originally published by Wale Ayinla on LinkedIn

Oyemaja Executives,

A Division of The Oyemaja Group.

bottom of page