Netflix Gets Email - Part I
I recently had a chance to hear Kelly Murtha, the Director of Relationship Management at Netflix, speak at the Email Evolution Conference in San Diego. As a new Netflix user I was interested to hear more about the email program that I had been just introduced to, and Kelly provided insight into what they're doing to really leverage the email channel.
Now, their emails aren't the most visually appealing things out there, but they are functional and effective. I don't want to get into too many low level details, they get a lot of that right. Consistent and appropriate from names, good subject lines, and attention to images-off rendering - it's all good, but I want to talk more about the strategy they have.
Welcome To Netflix!
I see the cornerstone of their email marketing program as their new member life cycle campaign. As soon as you sign up, Netflix welcomes you to their world - they are teaching you their lingo and telling you what the next steps are.
If you click through on the image above you will see they reiterate your sign in name, postal address, and contract terms. This confirmation is helpful and comforting, I know that my info is correct, and it helps to create a bit more of a personal experience.
The other key piece of this email is that they start to introduce you to their lingo - the Queue. Not everyone knows what a queue is, so with a quick sentence they give you the gist and get you on your way. For a service like Netflix, which changes the game of traditional movie rentals, you need to explain the paradigm. This isn't something they want to hide, it's what makes them great.
That's just the first email, I received several others that coaxed me along in filling out my queue. Not only did they provide guidance, they also showed me my progress. The email below shows the first 3 movies I had placed into the queue. They have several other emails that go out only if you haven't been adding movies to your queue.
They've definitely nailed it. They take the time to ease you into it, and they vary the emails you receive based on whether or not you have caught on. If you are happily adding movies to your queue then there is no need to prod you along. Also note that these follow-on emails have several Call To Actions as well - those blue buttons at the bottom provide suggestions and easy categories for you to build out your queue.
Anyone can send a quick text message out to new users, but are you taking the time to welcome new email contacts into your community? You don't have to have a slick marketing campaign, even sending out a message every other week to new people is a great start. Remember these key points:
- Personalize the message - Showing that this message is intended for one person, not everyone.
- Provide next steps - Where should they go from here? Let them know, especially if you do things differently, make a point of it - it's what makes you special.
- Check back in - Send an email with an encouragement or incentive to those who aren't moving forward in the relationship.
Check back soon for part two of my review, I'll be looking at the ongoing email program Netflix has created to keep customers engaged once they are using the service.
Product Manager at Bronto
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About the Author
Adam Covati is a Product Manager at Bronto Software where he is responsible for keeping Bronto´s email marketing offering on the leading edge. Prior to joining Bronto, Adam worked as a product manager at Unica, an enterprise-level marketing management solution company. Prior to Unica, Adam worked in development at several startups, establishing a firm understanding of the technical aspects of the software world. Adam holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.