3 award-winning techniques (I): Convince with prior knowledge

Convince. Enrich. Trigger. Our communication with customers had to be more and more relevant. A generic email newsletter no longer works (in most cases). That’s what I believe and so does NS International. As a team we work hard to strive for relevant communication. And we got rewarded! Not only by NS International’s customers, but as well by the industry: last June we were awarded two Selligent Awards. In this blog series we highlight three techniques from this case so you can also create success with award-winning techniques.

The 3 award-winning techniques

NS International is responsible for the exploitation of the high-speed train connections from the Netherlands to over 3,300 European destinations. To be relevant in your communication you have to be smart about it. Therefore we have used several techniques. In this series we highlight the following three:

  • Technique I: Convince with prior knowledge
  • Technique II: Indirectly we know more (appears November 2017)
  • Technique III: Real-time triggers adjust (appears December 2017)

Convince with prior knowledge

We convince continuously. Every single customer is triggered differently, so therefore we have to convince people in many different ways. Asking the same question in different methods in an email or during another moment of contact works fine for customers we don’t know. For customers we do know we use smart insights that we collected. That’s how we convince clients we already know. With prior knowledge!

Image 1: Several examples of using behavior in a smart way at NS International. Based on clicks we collect preferences of favorite destinations.

We can sort customers in segments based on insights and adjust the content accordingly. Dynamic content gives us the opportunity to personalize some of the content fitting within the bigger picture we have for a specific customer. NS International uses obvious variations such as loyal versus new customers and families with children versus singles. The header image and the first content element are adjusted (especially above-the-fold personalization has effect). The technique really becomes powerful when you practice these insights all the way through.

The most important element in an email or on a landing page is the CTA text on a button. Of course you can use ‘See more’ or ‘Order now’, but it’s a lot more powerful when this text becomes dynamic. You want to have a call-to-action text that tickles the customer the most. We tag content on the different platforms of NS International with Cialdini’s principles of persuasion. By translating these tags into an insight we can differentiate texts. This way a small element becomes an element with an enormous effect on the CTR.

Image 2: Personalized texts on buttons in a NS International email

Click behavior is a good basis to see if your customers are sensitive to the ‘Hobson’s +1 Choice Effect’. Generally, people are tempted to click sooner when they have a choice. You can increase the chances of clicking the CTA by adding a text link next to the button. But also ‘Abandoned Basket’ data can be used as prior knowledge in many more touch points. You can coincidentally show the abandoned products from the shopping bag on a prominent position in your next newsletter or integrate them in a personalized DM.

These techniques are a part of the framework that we have developed at Oxyma together with NS International. It’s a framework that’s never finished. A continuously developed groundwork enriched with new techniques. Sometimes tech-based, the next more functional. All with one goal in mind and getting there one-step at a time. That’s the key to our success, hopefully for you as well.

Read more about Enrichment (appears November 2017) and Triggering (appears December 2017) on our blog. Don’t want to miss out on the new blog post? Subscribe to the Oxyma newsletter and receive monthly updates, news and tips on improving your marketing performance.

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