Main illustration: Joshuah X. Miranda
Customer engagement has never been more essential to business survival. Retaining your hard-won customers is the difference between success and failure for online businesses, and the key to retention is excellent customer communication.
Successful customer engagement depends on sending the right message, at the right time, and in the right place. Getting this delicate dance right, however, requires careful choreography, with every step considered and planned. Whether it’s onboarding a new customer with well-timed guidance or re-engaging a user at risk of churn by helping them find value, getting the sequence of messages right requires a powerful, intuitive orchestration tool. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to announce Series.
Series is a brand new way to build behavior-based customer messaging campaigns in Intercom. It’s a powerful, highly intuitive visual campaign builder that enables the seamless orchestration of multiple different types of messages – inside and outside of your product.
It harnesses the power of multiple channels across web and mobile, from emails to Mobile Carousels, reaching your customers wherever they are. You can easily target your audience using criteria such as their behavior in your product, say, or their engagement with prior messages.
Once you have specified your audience, use the simple drag-and-drop campaign builder to create your ideal customer journey. Create multiple paths using flexible wait times, different message types, and different tags based on how your customers react.
Drive action across the customer lifecycle, all within a single tool. You can create:
- Onboarding flows: Start with a welcome in-app message or email for new users, then show them around with a Product Tour, before asking them to enable app notifications with Mobile Carousels.
- Feature announcements: Highlight new features in-product, explain how they work with interactive tours, and answer questions automatically with Custom Bots.
- Proactive support: Send emails and in-product messages about downtimes or subscription expirations with the option to chat directly from either.
- Re-engagement campaigns: Identify which customers are at risk of churn, reach out with email or push notifications, then help them get the most out of your app or service with personalized chat.
The messaging possibilities are endless – there’s nothing else in the market that allows for your engagement campaigns to be as cohesive, contextual, and conversational as Series.
Engage customers with Series
At Intercom, we have long focused on the art of customer engagement, even writing a book about it. A few years ago, we created Smart Campaigns for the orchestration of customer engagement messaging – while there were some gaps in the product, we knew from customers that it was really powerful for driving positive business outcomes.
“With all this extra power and flexibility, it became clear we needed to reimagine the way you orchestrate messaging campaigns in Intercom”
Intercom is a constantly evolving platform, however, with increasing targeting capabilities and an expanding array of message types, such as Product Tours and Mobile Carousels. With all this extra power and flexibility, it became clear we needed to reimagine the way you orchestrate messaging campaigns in Intercom, so we rebuilt how you create campaigns from the ground up.
The result is Series – now, you can create campaigns with a simple drag-and-drop visual builder that opens up all the flexibility and context that the Intercom platform provides, so all your messaging can be seamlessly tied together. And now you can gather insights into how customers are engaging with your messaging campaigns with visual reporting capabilities.
Visualizing the customer journey
In talking to customers and researching their customer messaging needs, we repeatedly saw how they would map out messaging campaigns on whiteboards, envisaging step-by-step campaigns with Post-It notes and markers depicting the flow of the user journey.
Our visual builder brings this simplicity to Intercom. It gives you visibility into exact messaging journeys, making it easy to create campaigns, and also easy to spot any holes or inconsistencies in the customer journey.
Furthermore, with our visual reporting, you can see at a glance how an entire campaign is performing but also easily see metrics related to specific messages. This means you can identify which paths users take within a series and the metrics related to their actions, which makes it incredibly easy to pinpoint where in the journey users are getting stuck or dropping off.
What makes Series different?
While other marketing automation tools are effectively disparate solutions depending on channel, Series allows you to co-ordinate all your customer messaging from the one place. Best of all, the different message types can be triggered in contextual response to customer behavior, in the place most likely to guarantee the desired reaction.
1. Number of messaging channels
It’s all good and well putting huge effort into creating an email nurture campaign, say, but sometimes those messages will need to be complemented by in-app messages. Email is always going to be a great channel for some messages, but you can’t solely rely on it if you’re looking to drive action among your customers – truly contextual and conversational customer engagement needs to be where your customers are, whether that’s in their inbox or in your product.
In lots of tools on the market, that sort of multichannel messaging is difficult, to say the least. Only Series connects all these channels:
- In-app messages
- Product Tours
- Mobile Carousels
- Mobile push notifications
- Banners (coming soon!)
2. Audience targeting
It’s all well and good sending the right message in the right place and at the right time, but the key is sending that message to the right person. Sending the same message to most or all of your users is the opposite of personal. It’s imperative that you take the steps to carefully identify who you should send which messages to.
This is where Intercom’s exceptional, granular targeting capabilities really shine. When designing campaigns with Series, you have the unique ability to segment and target your audience by both prior message engagement (for instance, did they open your last email) and product data (did they try out your new feature, say).
This sophisticated targeting will ensure contextual relevance – and relevance is the difference between messaging that feels personal and useful versus messaging that feels impersonal and spammy.
3. Attention to detail
It’s never been easier to get a customer engagement campaign up and running in Intercom. The steps from ideation to execution have been compressed, so that you can map out a full customer journey and release the campaign faster than ever. How does Series allow for this?
Sophisticated templates: It’s always hard to know where to start when it comes to creating a campaign. What will drive action? What’s the best approach to onboarding, versus something like re-engagement? How do you identify the right customers for different types of retention campaign? The endless possibilities can be daunting.
To solve this, we have created sophisticated templates across all use cases (such as onboarding or product announcements) to get you up and running quickly. These templates encompass our learnings around what makes a successful customer messaging campaign and allows you to tailor the specific flows to the needs of your own business.
Migrate existing campaigns: If you have already created Smart Campaigns in Intercom, Series makes it easy to migrate entire campaigns or import individual messages, so that you can begin to avail of all the powerful new features straight away.
Fallback messages: One of the issues with a lot of messaging orchestration tools is the risk of over-messaging when customers don’t receive messages as anticipated. For instance, if a customer wasn’t online to see a message in-product, you can create fallback messages to be delivered by email. Best of all, Series knows where customers receive each message and will avoid duplicate messaging, a feature that no other tool on the market offers.
Starting a conversation: The best messages should be prompts to action, and no action is more valuable than actually prompting a conversation. With Series, your customers can seamlessly start live or automated conversations with your sales or support teams.
Personal customer communication, at scale
How well does Series work? Our beta-testers have been hugely enthusiastic about the benefits they’ve seen already. As Dom Newman, Head of Growth Marketing at Deputy, puts it: “Series allows us to create a seamless onboarding experience where customers receive contextual messages at exactly the right moment, with a consistent look and feel across channels.”
“Ensure your messaging campaigns are coherent, relevant, and personalized by smoothly orchestrating your customers’ journeys”
That speaks to the power of what Series offers – contextual and consistent messaging across platforms and channels. As a customer or prospect, there’s nothing worse than receiving a barrage of mixed messages across different channels that are disjointed, irrelevant, or not personalized.
Don’t be that business – ensure your messaging campaigns are coherent, relevant, and personalized by smoothly orchestrating your customers’ journeys. With Series, it’s never been easier to send the right message, at the right place and at the right time.