Visualize Your Marketing Drip Campaigns With The Customer Journey Matrix

I’m not a marketing guy, but I love building machines. As our startup Missbeez continued to grow, we looked for ways to automate our marketing campaigns. 
The goal was to create an end to end experience that begins with a promotional message (a drip campaign based on email, push or whatever we decide) and continues inside our product with in-app promotions (popups, badges, deep-links).
Pretty basic stuff, but since our product depends heavily on location and usage habits - each marketing campaign had to be targeted to a relevant segment based on location and customer behavior.
Oh, and it also needed to be fully automated so we can all go to the beach.

Building our Marketing Machine
We combined our existing in-app promotions system (special offers, coupons, featured products) with our internal analytics engine to create personalized campaigns - tailored for our customer segments.
Once we were able to create personalized drip campaigns - we integrated them with all of our external communication tools: emails, text messages, push notifications, in-app chat, pigeons.
By integrating our core product functionality with our segmentation engine and those 3rd party communications tools - we were able to create a powerful campaigns builder, able to define a consistent end-to-end story that begins outside of the product (i.e. email) and continues inside the product (i.e. special offer that pops up when the user clicks on the email deep link).
We wrapped this capability with a powerful configuration tool that made it possible to build those marketing campaigns without involving the developers. As greedy as we are, we also added the ability to define recurring campaigns - based on time time or customer actions.

Customer segments, in-app promotions, various communication tools - it turned out to be a pretty powerful machine, but as we kept adding more and more campaigns into it - it got really hard to see the big picture.
We needed a visual map that will tell the story of each of our users: new customers, repeat customers, addicted. What do they receive form us, when, and how.

The Quest for a Visual Customer Journey Map
I tried searching for visual examples of visual drip campaigns or customer journey maps but most of the examples gave a high level view and focused on the initial conversion funnel.

I needed a visual way to present the touch-points with our users and based on time and segments. 

So I decided to create my own version of a customer journey map.
The editor I used is one of my favorite tools: Microsoft PowerPoint, a product I’m using to design more than just presentations.
Instead of using a flow-chart I decided to create a matrix that will represent user activities and a timeline:

  • The Y axis represents the user actions in the app that are part of the funnel (assuming you have a well defined funnel).
  • The X axis represents the timeline (or time horizon) - it can be days, weeks, whatever suits your business.
  • The triggers cause “something” to happen X days after the user performed his last action. It will usually result in a touch-point with the customer. 
In the animated example above, a trigger is fired 5 days after the user performed action #4 in the app.

Building a simple Customer Journey Matrix
Now that we got the basics, lets build a sample customer journey matrix:

In the vanilla example we have: phone activation, personal details, email, app exploration, etc. Those are actions that indicate the user intent, and therefore are considered to be part of the conversion funnel.
The blue lines represent sections: each section adds another means of communication that your product can use: when the user enters his email - that means you can send him emails (yes, of course it should be GDPR compliant) as part of your campaigns.

Let’s add some touch-points to the matrix: 
There can be different types of communications designed to increase your users engagement.

Each element represents a marketing touchpoint.
I chose colors, icons and texts to identify each means of communication a marketing campaign uses. The dark arrows represent the range of each campaign.
  • The purple element represents a welcome email that will be sent on day 1, for users that entered their email. 
  • The red element represents a push notification that will be sent to users who showed strong intent such as entering credit card or adding items to the shopping cart (“Where did you go! Your cart is full!”). 
  • The green element represents a text message that will be sent to users who didn’t show engagement level, reminding them that their welcome coupon is about to expire.
  • The black arrows represent the range of the action and mean that a certain campaign will be sent even if the user bypassed a certain action. In our example this SMS will also be sent to all the users who added email, explored the app or even added their credit cards but will not be sent to users who completed their first order.  
Here’s how the touch-points will look like for a user who entered his phone number, email, and explored the app a bit:

This user entered his email so the system will send him a welcome email (touchpoint 1).
He will also get a reminder about his coupon via SMS in case 2 weeks will pass without making any order.

[This is just an example, in the real world we never spam our customers… 🤫]

The matrix is a great way to visualize the customer journey and make sure every phase in the funnel is covered.
The visual representation helps making sure you are not spamming your users too much or too often, by ensuring a safe distance between one touch-point to another throughout the timeline.
The sections make sure you are leveraging the right media based on the data you have in the system. You don’t want to send push notifications to users that didn’t opt-in for push.
It’s up to you to determine how to design your matrix: some will focus on the onboarding actions, others will focus on retention activities (i.e. after first purchase). In our case, we implemented the matrix on 3 categories: initial on-boarding, basic retention and advanced retention (for hard activated users).

Let me know what you think of the matrix and feel free to share it with your colleagues!


Gil Bouhnick The Mobile Spoon
Tomer said…
Great stuff! Thanks for sharing.
Gil Bouhnick The Mobile Spoon
saivenkat said…
Hats off to your presence of mind..I really enjoyed reading your blog. I really appreciate your information which you shared with us.
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