Email Is JustAnswer’s Answer to Customer Engagement

Consultation site JustAnswer was struggling with an older email marketing system that lacked personalization the capabilities necessary to improve customer engagement. Marketers for the company, which offers consumers online conversations with doctors, lawyers, and thousands of other third-party, verified professionals, wanted to communicate with its different customers differently, especially its premium customers.

Customers can pay for one-time answers to questions or buy various subscription packages enabling them to ask a certain number of questions each month. Regardless of a customer’s package, the fee paid (whether single question or subscription) enables her to ask subsequent questions until a matter is resolved, says Kara Douglas, the company’s senior manager of email marketing. Customers rate the experience, which determines how much JustAnswer compensates the expert.

Retaining customers and “cross-selling” them to engage other experts was a challenge, even with positive experiences, because JustAnswer’s legacy system sent the same email marketing messages to single use and subscription customers. In the hypercompetitive information field, such recognition is essential in retaining subscription customers and reengaging single-use customers, Douglas says.

“We were using flat files; to enter additional information required engineering to get involved,” she says. “We couldn’t provide different email messages for our premium customers. We wanted to be able to recognize them and thank them for their subscriptions.”

Personalized email would also enable JustAnswer to notify subscription customers of the remaining number of questions they had each month and provide other personalized messages, according to Douglas. So, JustAnswer implemented Adobe Campaign to facilitate its email personalization.

More data, better targeting

JustAnswer also uses Adobe Campaign to collect data that enables the consultation site to better categorize and target customers. For examples, the platform enables JustAnswer to ask for additional demographic details, which helps financial planning experts provide different advice for people depending on age or other lifecycle answers. JustAnwer incorporates this demographic data, plus behavioral data such as how a customer navigates the company’s website, when developing targeted marketing campaigns.

JustAnswer now also closely examines how customers engage with its email marketing messages. Company research showed that customers were more apt to open emails on Mondays and Thursdays. So, on Mondays JustAnswer sends A/B emails with two slightly different messages to half of a targeted audience and measures the response. On Thursdays, JustAnswer sends the email message with the best result to the remainder of the target audience.

Similarly, the company measures response levels to emails messages to determine if frequency needs to be adjusted. If prospects aren’t opening emails at all, it eventually means the messages should stop; otherwise, those prospect would consider the messages to be spam—something that JustAnswer wants to avoid, Douglas says. As a result, JustAnswer has cut its email database by half, yet has boosted year-over-year revenues from existing customers by 110%.

JustAnswer also uses Adobe Content Manager, an add-on module, to provide dynamic content for newsletters and other marketing materials, Douglas says. In addition, the company is starting to use the Adobe platform’s cross-channel marketing capabilities to attract and retain customers. Douglas expects to expand on those efforts as her team gains experience with the platform.

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