How To Get the Most Out of the Needs Nurturing Stage
One of the most overlooked stages in Cortex is the Needs Nurturing stage. We include this stage in our first training with new brands as it’s one of the most versatile and inclusive stages we have. Let us walk you through an overview of this stage. We’ll share helpful tips and tricks, and also show you a few advanced strategies.
What Is the Needs Nurturing Stage?
In Cortex, the Needs Nurturing stage has the greatest reach of all standard lifecycle messaging. Users who have moved through the welcome email without making a purchase AND former customers who have reached their maximum timeframe within lifecycle stages are eligible to receive Needs Nurturing emails.
It is the widest net you can cast and, if used correctly, can be a powerful tool to reach less engaged subscribers. The Needs Nurturing stage will help you continue the conversation with customers until they eventually move to other stages. Many of the brands we work with duplicate high-performing templates and keep them in Needs Nurturing as engaging touchpoints. You can learn more about the basic implementation and how to get started with the Needs Nurturing stage in this helpdesk article.
However, there are two especially powerful uses for Needs Nurturing that are often overlooked. One of these involves using Needs Nurturing as an extension of your Welcome Flow. The other allows you to reach out to consumers when they are most likely to churn.
Using Needs Nurturing Emails To Extend Your Welcome Flow
Savvy marketers understand the importance of a Welcome Flow, a series of emails sent when a customer expresses interest in your brand and opts in. It’s your opportunity to share your brand story and encourage them to make a purchase.
One of the questions we receive from brands is what happens to these customers after they exit the Welcome Flow without making a purchase? They will, of course, continue to receive any of your promotional blast emails and newsletter communications, as well as additional emails if they abandon their cart.
However, if you activate Needs Nurturing you can also continue to reach out to these consumers with extended Welcome messaging. This includes successful elements such as the first order discount, your brand’s differentiation, or any aspect of your brand story you know consumers find especially compelling.
Your Welcome Series should do the following:
- Slowly introduce them to who you are and what you do
- Share one or two of your core stories (talk about your mission and values and ensure the content is really engaging)
- Start encouraging them to buy
Adding a fourth (or fifth!) touchpoint in your Welcome Series allows you to flesh out one or more of your core stories, continue to introduce them to who you are, and reach consumers who may need more time.
How Do You Create a Non-Purchaser Touchpoint in Needs Nurturing?
- Segment out your non-purchasers by attaching the non-purchaser segment to the email you want them to receive.
- We also recommend creating a segment that combines non-purchasers with only more recent subscribers (within the past 45-60 days) to keep the messaging fresh and welcoming.
- If you are planning to only make this a one-time touchpoint, remember to set the toggle to “send only once” in the template settings. This would more closely mimic the behavior of a one-time Welcome flow.
Using Needs Nurturing to Target Your Churned Customers
Another great use of the Needs Nurturing Stage can be to target consumers at points when they are most likely to churn.
This graph from one of our apparel brands shows that consumers can be more likely to churn before the first or second purchase. Once we get them to a third purchase we tend to see more customer loyalty.
To respond to this, we use Needs Nurturing to create messaging specifically targeted to consumers that have made one or two purchases. We find that we have the highest conversion rates—almost 10%—from the Needs Nurturing emails sent to customers that made only one purchase.
You can run a similar experiment with your brand by using an insider message that goes to one- or two-time purchasers. The message might highlight your bestsellers, and should incorporate our dynamic recommendations to suggest specific items.
How Do You Create a Repeat Purchaser Touchpoint in Needs Nurturing?
- Create separate segments for specific numbers of purchases. Analyze where you see the highest drop-off in repeat purchases—Is it after the first purchase? Second purchase?
- Target those customers with personalized recommendations and reinforce any special incentives (like free shipping).
- If you are planning to make this a one-time touchpoint, remember to set the toggle to “send only once” in the template settings.
- If you are not planning to toggle “send only once,” remember to have a large variety of templates in this stage since it is a high volume stage (at least 7-9 email templates).
Things To Keep in Mind While Using the Needs Nurturing Stage
- Remember to use good list hygiene. Because Needs Nurturing can reach so many dormant users it is important to practice responsible list management. Otherwise, your brand risks harm to its sender reputation. For example, use engagement guidelines to avoid reaching consumers that have not opened or clicked on an email in over six months.
- Plan to have a high number of templates in this stage that include reviews from customers or influencers, as well as any additional links to social media to increase engagement across multiple channels. Fresh content will get your users back on your website.
- Use a minimum of three dynamic recommendations per template, especially if you plan to reach churned purchasers. By the time a user reaches Needs Nurturing, it is likely that you will have browsing or purchase history, and you can use product recommendations that are targeted based on their behavior, the purchase behavior of similar customers, the popularity of items in the catalog, and more. Take advantage of our data to predict the preferences of each individual and target them with the best recommendations.
- As a shortcut for creating a ton of new content, we recommend finding previous templates (newsletters, blasts, or templates from your original Welcome series) that worked very well and refreshing them before upcycling them in the Needs Nurturing stage.
Unleash the Potential
Needs Nurturing, if used correctly, can be used for highly segmented and diverse audiences: your consumers that never purchased, your lapsed consumers, and anyone that needs an extra touch in order to get back on your site and shopping. When you take full advantage of the Needs Nurturing stage, you can witness an increase in CLV and reduced churn rates. Of course, like with all our stages, it is important to remember that good segmentation and targeting help keep your unsubscribe rates low and your conversions high.
Do you need ideas for the Needs Nurturing stage? Do you feel confused or lost? Want more strategies? Contact the helpdesk, or reach out to your Client Success Manager!
Brought to you by Jennie Fernandez, Enterprise Client Success Manager at ReSci
Jennie provides strategic marketing support to our enterprise clients, focused on growth and client satisfaction.
ReSci is a team of marketers and data scientists on a mission to democratize AI. We make powerful recommendations and predictions accessible to brands.
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