How to Increase Click-through Rate 14x with Image Personalization & Segmentation

This is a guest post from Ian Naylor, co-founder of Hyperise, image personalization platform.


Spoiler alert: we increased our email CTR 14x with one simple change. Read on for the exact steps, and how you can start doing the same today.

Here at Hyperise were big advocates of SaaS, as part of our integration endeavors we’ve signed up to 100’s of SaaS platforms.  However this is mostly perfunctory, but sometimes, just sometimes, we have our socks blown off with an amazing use-case or function.

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Encharge is a glowing example of this and it’s not even a one-off, the amount of value a new user gets, off-the-bat, is astounding.  The email templates and flows provided by default are amazing but coupled with the marketing automation functionality, well the options are endless.

How to Increase Click-through Rate 14x with Image Personalization & Segmentation

Regardless of your business type, nurturing your leads is crucial, so when we saw the following flow, we knew we had to try. #dogfooding

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 14.27.49

Like many SaaS products, we offer a trial signup process, in our case a ‘no credit card required’ trial.  Whilst this is great to offer a low friction entry point into the product, that same low friction can contribute to a higher trial abandonment rate.

A recent study suggested that even the best-in-class of SaaS platforms were losing a staggering 75% of those who signed up for a free trial.

Screenshot 2019 08 22 at 14.25.39

The key to turning the tide of this worrisome statistic is to be highly effective at nurturing your trialists, to make sure they reach their own aha moment of your platform.

Now, this is where the worlds of Hyperise and Encharge collide.  Hyperise’s goal is to improve conversions, by tapping into human behavioral psychology, something called a pattern interrupt.  

Hyperise achieves this through dynamic enrichment enabling on the fly image personalization of sales and marketing images.  Combining the power of personalized images, with an on-point nurture sequence from Encharge with off-the-chain automation triggers, well who could resist…..

The standout Encharge feature for us was the Flow sequences, the ability to siphon off your prospects into sub funnels, based on the actions they take within the funnel, pretty cool stuff.

Let’s repeat that because this is too important to miss:  Based on the different links your prospects click in the email, will determine the future messages they will receive.

Here’s just a small snapshot of the funnel, with three sub-funnels triggered based on user clicks:

flow

This really is a match made in heaven, enabling a true hyper-personalized journey, the power of Hyperise and Encharge together. <3

The first step of the sequence would be an email, the out-of-the-box email is pretty good, the key is offering some level of choice, to help segment your prospects.

So we just need to add three points we think our customers are having, or we think we can solve.

Screenshot 2019 09 17 at 15.13.37

As mentioned, out the box that’s a pretty sweet email, now let’s imagine our three problems are:

  1. More Traffic
  2. Better Conversions
  3. Improved Retention

Now, keeping strong with this scenario, imagine our prospect clicks option (1) More Traffic, and then in the next email sequence, they get a personalized email, not only about their number one problem but further illustrating the point with a personalized image like this…

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If a picture paints a thousand words, then a personalized picture invokes a thousand impressions… 

That would be pretty sweet and for would sure increase engagement of that email.

However then we thought, we can do better than that, let’s wind back to the first email, how can we improve engagement there….

So we decided to do some A/B testing, with text options versus the same email, but with visual options.

Using Customerly (our customer support/CRM tool) we created a segment of customers who

  1. Had completed our trial but not subscribed.
  2. Hadn’t been seen for more than 60 days.
  3. Didn’t engage with emails from our onboarding sequences.

This gave us an audience of 355, not massive, but enough to give us some useful metrics out the other side.

We split up our 355 people list randomly into two equal parts, to give us a fair A/B test.

We’ve seen above how the text-based templates look, so for reference, below is the same template, side by side with the image variant, replacing the 3 list items, with personalized images, each representing the same topic, but including the business’s name in the image.

Screenshot 2019 09 26 at 11.23.01

So bring out the dog bowl, we’re about to start the dogfooding….  Follow along as we breakdown each step and how we boosted our nurturing, and then went further to smashed it!

The goal of the campaign was to get expired trialists back into the platform, by booking a demo, focused around the core problem they most associated with.

Each of the links would lead to a customized page, personalized to their business and the pain point they selected, along with a meeting booking form.

Screenshot 2019 09 26 at 11.27.32
The above example shows page customized based on Tim Cook from Apple selecting from the initial email his goal was converting more customers.

We dropped in the Hyper-Campaign javascript snippet on our web page and Hyperise took care of all the heavy lifting of personalizing the page.

So with our two email sequences ready, we hit the send button for both at the same time, to ensure the time of day delivery didn’t play a part.

From this first send, we waited for 24 hours and compared the results.

In the end, we grew the onboarding engagement 14X when we hyper-personalized our onboarding sequences.  Generating 14 click-throughs from the personalized image version, versus 1 click-through from the text version.

Pretty cool results! The results speak for themselves, this mix of humor and personalization has had a significant impact, that will pay further dividends as we roll out through our entire onboarding comms.

Results from personalized images:

Screenshot 2019 09 25 at 17.52.47

Results with no images:

Screenshot 2019 09 25 at 18.38.15

Considering this test group represented our least engaged prospects, to be able to re-engage 14 out of 172 (8%), well as we said at the top of this article, it blew our socks off.

Here are the steps to setting up your own personalized nurturing sequence:

1. First of all, you’re going to need to know your prospects’ pain points, ideally being able to reduce to a shortlist of three or four.

2. You may well have product pages, that address these points, but we’ve found it better to create specific pages focused around each of the identified pain points and of course your product or services solution.  

3. Based on the content and marketing collateral you have on the pain point pages from step two above, you may well have some perfect product images that can be personalized.

4. Alternatively personalizing a more abstract picture, that tells the story of your point can work really well.  We used Unsplash.com to search for free to use high-quality images for our example.

Screenshot 2019 09 30 at 10.34.42

Also within Hyperise, we have 100’s of templates and images that can be creatively used to deliver personalization and humor.

5. Upload your images to your Hyperise accounts image library and create a personalized image for pain point.

For example that could be as simple as adding in the prospect’s first name, or business name to the image; “improve {X} for {Company}”, or maybe also subtly adding their logo.

How to Increase Click-through Rate 14x with Image Personalization & Segmentation

In this image template, we’ve added a company logo, replacing one of the pennies in the jar, we also set a fallback of a Love Hearts sweet, for the occasions when the prospect doesn’t have a business or logo.
Add Encharge as an integration to your image.  Once Encharge has been added as an integration, make sure it is selected, then copy the Image Link.

The image link copied will include all the required Encharge tags to personalize your email.

cac add

6. Go to Encharge > Flows and click the + to create a new flow, select your first message and edit the Email.

flows

7. Within the Encharge message, we can simply drag in an Image block and paste in the Hyperise Image URL and it just works 🙂

To make things easier for ourselves we split the text template into two blocks first, so we can drag our image blocks into the email template even easier…

flows add

8. Next, we need to assign the relevant pages we’ve created to each image and link to the funnels to be triggered when a prospect clicks the link.  

flows link

We also add the tracking parameter ?utm_hyperef={{person.email}} to each link.  This enables the web page to be personalized to the prospect when they click through from the email.

9. Repeat the above two steps for each of your images, replacing each bullet point for a personalized image.  Then go through the rest of the flow sequence and apply the same process.  

10. Finally, for the flow you need to set your entry point, again Encharge really doesn’t hold back on the options.  Going forward we’d automate this to drip in, as a customer signs up, but for our example for just imported our list.

11. The penultimate step, to replicate our process, is to add the Hyper-Campaign javascript snippet for your personalized images, to each destination page.

This will not only enable the images to be personalized but will also create remarketing audiences, who you can reserve their own personalized images to in Ads.

encharge js

The Javascript snippet copied from the Hyper-Campaign, as shown above, can then simply be pasted into your webpage, similarly as you would with Google Analytics, etc.

12. Now set the Flow live.  That’s it! Encharge will now pass the prospect data it has to the images, which will be created on the fly, as Encharge sends out the prospect message.

The above 12 steps can now be repeated for each of your sequence messages.  Some might not warrant an image, but using humor and clever personalization can be a great pattern interrupt that get your potential clients thinking about you again.


As a reward for reading this article, our friends at Hyperise are offering a very special offer of 30% off all image personalization packages, exclusively for Encharge. Simply sign-up for their 14-day free trial, then apply the discount code ENCHARGE to save some money, but more importantly to boost your onboarding campaigns.

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