How well are you interacting with your customers and leads? Are you sure that every interaction is relevant to them and their needs? Is your messaging guiding leads closer to conversion and fully engaging customers to reduce churn?
By using automated messaging informed by behavior-based activities, you can achieve hyper-personalization to strengthen your marketing efforts. This is done by using custom activities to build personalized customer journeys.
In this blog, we will explore the best use cases for Ortto’s custom activities feature.
What is a custom activity?
Custom activities allow you to track specific behaviors. For example, if you have a KPI around getting users to take a specific action (e.g. for a SaaS business this may when a user adds a team member to the platform) you can build a custom activity for this action to track how many users have taken that action and target users based on that activity.
Custom activities also allow you to target users based on actual behavior. With this, you can build personalized customer journeys that trigger relevant and timely messages. The goal is to engage leads, increase your chances of conversion, and retain customers.
How to use custom activities
There are countless ways to use custom activities depending on your goals. Below are 11 custom activities use cases for SaaS/B2B and ecommerce/B2C.
1. Create custom activities from product actions
Achieve greater personalization by creating customer journeys based on product actions. Common product actions include when a customer signs up to a product and/or service, activates a free trial, or makes a purchase.
Depending on the platform, a product action could also include when a user creates something – for example, in the case of a project management tool like Asana, it may be when a user creates a new task. Or, for an online training platform like Coassemble, it may be when a user creates a course. These unique product actions signify that a user is getting value from your product.
With these custom activities, you can trigger relevant and timely messaging. For example, when a user takes a product action like signing up for a free trial, you can set up a custom activity to automate messaging that congratulates them for starting their trial, with some top tips on how to get the most out of it.
2. Create custom activities for onboarding tasks
The aim of onboarding is to help your customers reach their “aha” moment as quickly as possible. To do this, create custom activities for key onboarding tasks such as uploading customer data. Then, send prompts to remind them to complete a certain task, or trigger a pop-up to congratulate them for progressing through a certain stage.
For example, an online document signing tool like Pandadoc might want their customer to set up a document within the first week. When the user signs up for the free trial, they can set up a custom activity like ‘set up a document’. Then, they can send emails or pop-ups reminding the user to set up a document, with a step-by-step how-to. Once the user has set up the document, the custom activity will be tracked. It can then be used as a trigger to prompt an email or pop-up congratulating them and encouraging them to take the next action, for example, inviting a team member to the account.
Increased engagement through the onboarding journey will encourage users to keep exploring your product and using different features. When customers have experienced everything your product has to offer and understand how it can help them, they will reach that all-important “aha” moment, in turn boosting customer retention – and in the case of a SaaS company with a product-led growth (PLG) strategy, this could turn them into a product-qualified lead.
3. Create custom activities for value realization
Creating custom activities around value realization is a really great way to maintain user engagement in your product and/or service. Think Spotify Wrapped, which showed listeners their listening habits, favorite songs, artists and of the past year. It becomes a major cultural moment every year, and some users use Spotify just so they can receive their hyper-personalized listener summary.
Grammarly is another example of a platform that drives engagement through personalized user summaries. They send users a weekly report full of value realization moments: how productive they were using Grammarly, how accurate their grammar was compared to other users, their tone of voice, and celebratory milestones.
You can do something similar by showing users the value they're getting from your product using behavior-based custom activities. This would depend on the platform. In the case of Coassemble, you could send a monthly summary along the lines of, “You created X courses this quarter!”.
Accounting platform TrulySmall uses custom activities to send congratulatory emails to customers when they reach business milestones – e.g. when they have sent their first five invoices and when those invoices are paid. Find out more about how TrulySmall uses Ortto’s custom activities.
Personalized value realization emails regularly reinforce the value of your product to your customer to reduce the risk they will churn.
4. Utilize custom activities to support upgrading, upselling and cross-selling
Utilizing custom activities when users are close to their usage limits is a simple way to boost upsell and cross-sell initiatives.
For example, if you have a usage limit for a certain plan, but the customer is getting close to that limit, the custom activity could trigger a communication using FOMO, for example, “You’ve almost reached your usage limit for the month. Chat to us to upgrade your plan so you don’t disrupt your activity.”
5. Create custom activities to deliver educational content
Another great way to use custom activities is to send educational content based on what stage of the onboarding journey a customer is at.
Say you’re an online expense management software like Expensify and you can see that a new customer has started to connect their bank account, but has not completed the process which they started more than 24 hours ago. You can send them educational content and a link to a help article on how to connect a bank account.
You can also deliver content based on website behavior. So, if you know that a known user is repeatedly visiting the same pages on your website, you could send them an email with pieces of content that may be of help to them. As the user engages with this content, you can send them further down the funnel, sharing video testimonials from happy customers or example reports/improvement plans to show them what they’ll get.
If they are an unknown user, you can retarget them on Facebook/Instagram or Google (or TikTok with a Zapier integration) with this same content – preferably downloadable content that prompts them to provide their email address. In doing so, they will become a known user.
6. Use a custom activity to build an audience for a new feature or product launch
Let people know about a new feature or product with the help of custom activities.
Say you’re a fitness SaaS like Peloton or Obé and you are going to start offering a new 30-day spinal flexibility course in an app. In the lead-up to the launch of that course, you could publish an ebook on the importance of spine mobility.
You could then set up a ‘downloaded ebook’ custom activity in Ortto with the attribute being ‘spinal mobility guide’ and create an audience based on that custom activity. When you launch your spinal flexibility course, you can create a nurture journey for this audience to get them to buy the new course.
7. Create custom activities based on webinar activity
You can use custom activities based on webinar activity. Say you’re hosting a webinar on Livestorm and have connected your Livestorm activity to your Ortto account with a zap. You can then set up custom activities to capture which users registered for your event, attended or did not attend in your CDP, and then segment or create customer journeys based on these actions.
For example, the custom activity could be ‘did not attend webinar’ which would trigger a follow-up email saying, “Sorry we missed you – watch the webinar on-demand here!” and a follow-up email one week later asking if the individual had any questions after watching the replay.
You can also report in the CDP to see what impact webinar attendance has on conversion rates and MRR.
See below how easy it is to create a personalized customer journey based on webinar behavior.
8. Create custom activities for support interactions
Another use of custom activities is to set up a tag whenever a customer uses the support function or live chat. Then, based on that tag and query, you can follow up with those issues or redirect them to the sales team.
For example, say SaaS customer has a query about a certain product feature. That query would then be tagged and trigger a custom activity, placing them on a journey where they are sent educational content (blogs, guides, webinars, etc.) about that topic, as well as prompting a conversation with the customer support team.
Housing all of these interactions in a CDP like Ortto will ensure all teams have real-time insights about a customer in order to support them in the best way possible.
9. Create custom activities for abandoned carts
Re-engaging users who have abandoned their shopping carts is a popular use of a custom activity. By setting up a custom activity every time someone adds an item to the cart and abandons it, they would be automatically added to a customer journey. That journey could include sending a personalized email showing the customer exactly what they left behind, prompting them to complete the order.
If you have connected your ecommerce platform such as Shopify, Big Commerce or Prestashop to Ortto as a data source, an ‘abandoned cart’ custom activity is created automatically as part of these integrations.
Below is a creative abandoned cart email from Adidas.
10. Create custom activities to bring online and offline together
You can use custom activities to align your brand’s online and offline presence. For example, if a customer goes into your brick-and-mortar store and uses their loyalty card, you can send them a follow-up email saying, “Hey, you bought something in our store, here’s 15% off your next purchase.”
You can also prompt the customer to leave a review after visiting a store. For example, say your user scans their loyalty card every time they do their shopping in their local supermarket. You could set up a custom activity so that anytime they visit a different location to their usual, it would trigger an email asking the customer to provide feedback on their experience at that store in exchange for a coupon.
11. Custom activities for stock alerts
You can use custom activities to let customers know when you have restocked items they are interested in. For example, an ecommerce store may have a CTA on their products page prompting a customer to enter their email if they want to be alerted when a particular product is back in stock. So, the brand could set up a custom activity like ‘back in stock alert’. This custom activity would be coupled with data about the actual product so that, when the item is restocked, an email would automatically be sent to the customer alerting them that the product is back in stock.
If you have connected your ecommerce platform such as Shopify, Big Commerce or Prestashop to Ortto as a data source, a ’back in stock’ custom activity is created automatically as part of these integrations.
Similarly, the customer may choose to ‘watch’ a product by adding it their wishlist. In this case, the custom activity could be ‘adds item to wishlist and the item is restocked’ or ‘adds item to wishlist and the item is on sale’. This would then alert the customer about any changes to that product’s availability and price.
Audience filters are fundamental to success with Ortto. Understanding how to use them will set you free to execute targeted, personalized campaigns, create audiences for reporting, and effectively manage your customer data.
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