3 ways to improve NPS® using email

TLDR: I wrote recently about how we’re analyzing NPS® all wrong. We need to look deeper at the engagement and usage history as the drivers of NPS. And perhaps worry less about customer segmentation as a source of new insights.

Since email is a primary communication channel, how can we use it to improve NPS?

Make it personal, with a real person

Unless you’re servicing a high-value B2B customer, you’re probably using pooled resources for managing customer relationships. For example, a customer contacts your support organization but they don’t know who they’ll be talking to the first time, nor the next.  Or, they get an email but it’s from a no-reply address.

Talk about impersonal!

Consider the opportunities where you could offer up a real, living person to engage with a customer via email.

  • As a follow-up to a Detractor survey response (especially the lowest scores or most negative comments). Can you help this person, and/or learn something about why they became unhappy?
  • As a follow-up to a Promoter survey response (especially the most positive comments). Can you activate this person as an advocate?
  • For a customer who’s been a longstanding customer, regardless of their lifetime value

Pro tip: Brand your employee as someone special to make your customer feel special: “premium customer care”, “customer advocate”, etc.

Use a (simple) journey map

Using a journey map you can easily spot opportunities where email outreach makes the most sense.

For example:

  • Send a check-in email 30 days after first purchase
  • Send an email on your customer’s birthday
  • Send an email when you release new features in your product or customer portals
  • Recognize an important retention milestone like 6 months, one year, two years etc.
  • Send a check-in email 2 or 3 weeks after a support case, to make certain the issue stays resolved in the customer’s eyes

“Journey maps” can be an intimidating term.  But it’s easy to start simply and leverage key customer milestones in your outbound communications.

Measure, monitor, optimize

Every email should be instrumented to track delivery, open, click-through and unsubscribe.

With these basic measures, you can start to compare campaigns and identify the ones with the best response rates.

Consider these questions as you analyze winning and losing campaigns:

  • Is a campaign performing well due to its relevance to a journey milestone?  When do customers like/need to hear from you?
  • Is a campaign performing well due to its targeting (such as by user role or persona)?
  • Is a campaign performing well due to its content?

Email is still the primary means of communication with customers.  We’ve found that purposeful outreach can positively impact your NPS score as well as customers’ engagement with your brand.   

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