10 objects use cases to leverage all of your data
Data: it’s the fuel that drives business. And when it comes to connecting with your customers, data unlocks the kind of personalization that drives meaningful engagement. You may already be using customer data to personalize your messaging, but are you using your business data too?
Using custom objects in Customer.io Journeys allows you to leverage all of your data in a holistic and versatile way. You can incorporate objects into virtually any use case you can think of, so the possibilities are nearly endless. To get you started, I’ve compiled a handful of examples showing how you can use objects to enhance value for your business — and for your customers.
1. Streamline B2B onboarding
When you have a B2B SaaS product, you may have multiple people attached to a single account. Objects make it easier to deliver the right onboarding to the right people at the right time. Imagine you have a team collaboration platform. When a company first signs up for your service, you’ll want to send an onboarding campaign to get them set up and seeing value quickly. You can create “companies” as an object type, then an object for each company that uses your platform. Associate each individual person from a company with the relevant company object, and you can trigger an onboarding campaign to reach them all. You can even get more personal by further segmenting them with customer attribute data to send a different campaign to people with administrator roles.
If your onboarding requires several steps or paperwork (which is common when financial information or payment methods are involved), you can use this data to easily track which companies have successfully completed each step — and prod them with reminders as needed through the process.
2. Personalize different onboarding experiences
One challenge for B2B SaaS companies is making sure each person who uses their product gets the appropriate onboarding experience. Take the team collaboration platform scenario above: after a company is up and running with your product, you know they’ll periodically add new employees to the platform on an ongoing basis. Those folks need a different type of onboarding experience to ensure they can quickly and easily join their colleagues in using the platform.
With objects, you can build an onboarding campaign that’s triggered whenever a new person associated with a company object joins your audience. By personalizing this campaign based on what features you know the company is using frequently, you can make the onboarding experience relevant and engaging.
3. Drive feature adoption
Now say you offer a sports entertainment app. You’re trying to build brand loyalty by making sure customers get as much value as possible from your product. So you make objects for each of your app’s key features, like game scores, game-highlight video clips, player profiles, news, and a community message board. When someone uses a feature, you can send them auto-generated tips about related features they might like. For example, after they check last night’s scores, they could receive recommendations for related video highlights and news stories.
You can also use objects to guide people to features they haven’t used, including premium options. Say a customer has used your app for three months but never opened the calendar feature that tracks upcoming games for their favorite teams; you could trigger a message to make sure they see the value of that feature. Maybe people can access exclusive live commentary for an extra fee — you could trigger a campaign offering a free trial of the feature to highly engaged customers who haven’t tried it yet.
4. Respond to customer interactions with your objects
Marketplace businesses are a prime example of the usefulness of objects. For this example, put yourself in the shoes of an online home listing marketplace. Each property on your platform can be an object, and you can relate customers to those objects based on their actions, such as whether they’ve viewed a listing, shared it, or added it to their favorites. Then you can send them a campaign when the property changes price, has been on the market for a certain amount of time, or has an offer pending. You can even send a weekly message highlighting similar properties to the ones customers have viewed in the past.
5. Automate and improve the admin-approval process
Imagine you’re a SaaS company with a project-management platform for enterprises, and the company’s designated administrators need to approve each employee who uses their workspace. You can smooth the process by creating an “account” object and triggering a message to the admins each time a new person related to that account creates a profile on your platform. The result is greater efficiency for the admins and faster access for the person who needs to start using your product.
You benefit from automating this process by eliminating the need to manually add new customers to a segment for an admin-approval campaign. Automating with objects for this use case also allows you to easily work your marketing magic on the messaging content, iterating without the need for an engineer to get into the code and make changes.
6. Target customers based on their journey
Another good use case for objects is creating different experiences based on customers’ journeys. Subscription services are a great example. Let’s say you’re a monthly coffee club that helps people discover new coffees from different regions around the world. You could make each coffee variety an object and assign attributes to each one, such as the region it’s from or the type of roast. Then you can relate all your customers to those objects based on which coffee varieties they’ve tried.
This allows you to easily segment your audience in a variety of ways. For instance, you might send a campaign to people who haven’t tried any Guatemalan coffees yet or promote a new dark roast variety to people who only order that roast type. And for customers who have received a coffee variety from every region, you could send a special monthly “coffee globetrotter” newsletter. You could even include customized recommendations for varieties they haven’t tried, grouped by region.
One of the most valuable aspects of segmenting based on objects is that customers automatically move in and out of segments based on their relationship to objects. So once a customer has received a coffee from each region, they’ll be automatically added to your “coffee globetrotter” newsletter segment.
7. Trigger campaigns when customers change their status
If you offer a subscription service, your customers may change their status throughout their lifetimes, creating an ideal opportunity to connect. Imagine you’re a SaaS company with an online design platform for businesses, and you use a freemium model with three paid tiers. When you create objects for each company using your platform, you can automatically trigger a campaign each time a customer upgrades to a higher tier, introducing them to the new features they’ve unlocked. You can also send a campaign with that information to all their employees. It’s a great way to ensure people get the full value for their increased spend.
You can use this same approach to prevent churn by engaging with personalized content when companies downgrade their accounts. Say someone changes their plan from the highest cost to the lowest cost; you might want to let them know what features they’ll no longer have access to or offer the company’s administrator a call with a customer success rep to ensure they’re getting their needs met. And if a company downgrades to the free plan, it’s a great time to offer a discount to stick with their paid subscription and request feedback about why they made the switch.
8. Introduce customers to additional products
In this use case, imagine you’re a fintech company. You have an app that offers multiple investment options, including stocks, bonds, and funds. You can create an object for each investment type in order to easily segment your audience based on the kinds of investments they hold. Perhaps you reach out to those holding stocks to explain why they should also consider bonds.
The same approach could be used in edtech. Say you have an online education platform for people to learn different coding languages. You can create objects for all your classes and associate people with the ones they’ve completed so far. When you open registration for the next “Python 101” class, you can easily message everyone who hasn’t taken that class and/or people who have completed all the prerequisite courses.
9. Communicate with funders
Let’s say you’re a startup moving through rounds of funding, and you want to streamline messaging to your shareholders based on which round they were part of. The object data, in this case, would be the funding rounds, and you’d associate specific shareholders with the appropriate object based on which funding round they participated in. You could use that data to segment shareholder communications. For instance, you might want to message shareholders who were part of Series B when you’re starting preparations for your Series C fundraising.
A similar approach can be used for nonprofits running fundraising campaigns. Say you have different sponsorship levels for an event. By creating an object for each level, you could easily segment donors so you could send them the specific content that’s relevant to them.
10. Streamline product updates
Once a customer has made a purchase, you can nurture the relationship by keeping them up to date about the products they use. In this use case, imagine you’re an Internet of Things (IoT) company selling smart thermostats and light bulbs to increase home energy efficiency. You could create an object type for each of those kinds of devices, and an object for each individual product you sell.
This makes it very easy to create segments when you need to send product updates, such as letting thermostat owners know when they need to update their app to access new features you’ve released or informing light bulb owners when you launch a new type of bulb, they might want to add to their array.
Get started with objects
Objects allow you to pull in the full breadth of your business data and model it in so many different ways. When I talk with customers about objects, they get excited about the possibilities. People immediately say, “Can I use an object for X?” — and the answer is nearly always yes.
Remember that you can use objects for campaigns in any messaging channel (including multi-channel campaigns). So you can use a combination of email, SMS, push notification, and in-app message for any use case, opening up even more possibilities for your engagement strategy.
I hope these example use cases have given you some inspiration for ways you might leverage your business data to enhance your messaging. You don’t need a developer to start exploring how to use objects in Customer.io Journeys; this documentation can get you going. Try adding a couple of objects and see what you can do with them!
Not yet using Customer.io Journeys? We’d love to show you what you could do with your data — book a demo today.