Imagine you’re going on a date.
For this date, you’re meeting the person at a park.
Never to be late, you arrive early and find a bench to sit on and do your best to practice playing it cool.
At 2 pm, you see your date arrive and as they approach the bench, you stand up to offer a greeting. Instead of saying, “Hi, how are you?” you instead say, “Hey, do you want to knock boots, get married, and have some kids?”
Unless you’re just having a really lucky day, that line is almost always going to backfire. This, of course, is a wacky example of totally misjudging the other person’s dating intent.
And dating intent is similar to customer buying intent. You need to know where people are in the process.
With COVID-19 in mind, I recently purchased an air filtration system and from what I can tell, it’s the best unit on the market for a variety of reasons.
Once the purchase was made, I couldn’t help but notice that I continued to receive retargeting ads related to the product on Facebook (wasted budget 101). In addition to the traditional purchase ads I’d already been seeing, I also started getting hit with down funnel ads related to a subscription item for the unit.
There are a few less than stellar things going on here.
- The brand is wasting money because they have a pixel issue as I shouldn’t be seeing their generic purchase ads (for the same product) any longer.
- My unit hasn’t shipped yet, so my intent to purchase another item from them is very low.
- The new subscription-related ads (I clicked through on one) take me to a landing page that contains information that feels irrelevant given that I do not yet have a unit in hand. The dots don’t yet connect.
On top of the ads, I’ve also received a post purchase flow email that mentioned other products and also had the focal point (the subscription item) buried down in the email.
While the brands intentions are good, they are missing the mark with their segmenting. Here’s an example of how they may approach things differently.
Timing is Everything
From what I’ve now read, the subscription product is needed after six months of use. That timing is what the outline below is based on.
- Month 1-3: During these months, I’d make sure purchasers are isolated to the appropriate audience and served cross-promotional ads. From an email standpoint, I’d probably create a twice a month (likely a good schedule for the type of products in question) email campaign schedule that touches on the uniqueness of the products technical aspects and the benefits that it offers. These emails are meant to keep the brand relevant in the consumer’s mind.
- Month 4: This is when the brand should start warming folks up to the concept of their subscription product. They could share additional details about how the product works and why a replacement part is needed after six months. All touches would have a CTA, but wouldn’t have a hard close.
- Month 5: This is when we need the consumer to start taking action. Ads and emails would hit at, “It’s time to replace your filter.” Communication would focus on keeping the air clean and how easily the subscription process makes it for the consumer. “Sign up and we’ll give you 20% off and send you a new filter every six months.”
- Month 6: For those that have not yet converted to the subscription product, this is when the brand could repurpose some of the Month 5 content, but also proactively send “Is everything ok with your unit?” type emails to provoke a response.
There’s much more that would go into the plan, but the goal here is to hit people with the right content at the right time.
By segmenting your audience correctly, you’ll not only save money but will have a better shot at priming the customer and increasing their buying intent.