Web International English

by Webpower China in Customer cases

Take Every Opportunity to Reach Your Target Audience

The best way to increase brand loyalty is to give your customers something they want or that grabs their attention. So, if you send an email to a prospect or an existing member that sparks their interest, then you have a much better chance of bringing them to your end goal. This is the case whether you want them to buy your product, or sign up to use your service.

In this case, we will show you how Web International English (WIE) used tailored email lifecycle campaigns to connect with its target audience as part of a lead nurturing process. We will also show you how this led to higher conversion rates.

WIE is one of the most well-known English language training bodies in China. Since 1998, it has opened more than 100 training centres in the country and has taught English to over 300,000 students.

Over One Million Signed Members

WIE has more than 1 million members, of which 100,000 are active on a regular basis. However, the lack of clear database segments led to low open and click rates on the emails it sent out.

Taking a closer look at how the company managed its email marketing flow in the past (as shown below); it was clear that existing campaigns had a number of issues. For example, while each campaign followed a few simple steps, they lacked focus.

In addition, there were no attempts to connect with their dormant users, nor did WIE issue follow up emails after users performed desired actions. It was clear that the blame for this lack of interest lay with a failure to address the audience on a personal level.

WIE came to Webpower for help in improving their email marketing. The aims were as follows:

  1. To segment their users by social roles and personal interests
  2. To build different email lifecycle campaigns for each segment

Creating Lifecycle Campaigns

Webpower helped WIE to create lifecycle campaigns at five key stages during the lead nurturing process. The main aim of this was to reach every member of the target audience, each of whom may have been at a different stage of interest in the service from the next member.

Webpower helped WIE design a number of campaigns to reach different kinds of customers. These included the following:

Lifecycle Campaign 1 (for existing members):

To enhance the user experience for new members, Webpower added a series of emails into the existing flow. These included a welcome email and two follow-ups. New members also received first-hand access to tutors and classes, as well as coupons and an offer to subscribe to the newsletter, “Hi English”.

Lifecycle Campaign 2 (for newsletter subscribers):

Webpower and WIE designed Lifecycle Campaign 2 emails for “Hi English” newsletter subscribers. The clicking behaviour of each reader defined the type of content they received.

The very first “Hi English” newsletter displayed five identical GIF icons at the bottom of the email. These icons denoted five different social roles. These included the following:

  • “Otaku” (people with an obsessive interest in animation)
  • “Parents”
  • “Students”
  • “Office Workers”
  • “Back Packers”

The icon that each user chose would define the type of content they would receive in the next email. For example, if a person picked “Office Workers” as their social status, they would later receive business English study tips and course details. Active readers of the “Hi English” newsletter would receive surveys, as well as details of offline events.

Lifecycle Campaign 3 (for those who have taken the free trial):

Offering free trial lessons to your target audience is a powerful way to create leads in the language training business. Yet people can still lose interest after the trial class, if there is no follow-up action.

With this in mind, WIE added another lifecycle campaign to reach out to people who attended their free classes. These emails included online tests, offline event details, class schedules and more.

Lifecycle Campaign 4 (for new customers):

WIE then sent follow-up emails to those who signed up for classes after the trial lessons. The purpose of this was to engage with the students on a deeper level and to inspire them to spread the word through the ‘member-get-member’ campaign.

Lifecycle Campaign 5 (for inactive prospects):

There will always be people who are loath to make a purchase, even if they still show some interest in your products or services. There might also be some people who don’t show much interest in your service at all after their free trial.

Staying connected with these inactive leads makes it easier for your sales team to convert them in the future.

To re-engage those who did not show much interest in signing up to courses after their trial lessons, WIE sent reminders for future events. If this did not have much effect, WIE would try to boost interest through other channels, such as WeChat.

The result

By making a number of smart changes to its email campaigns, WIE enhanced its user experience. It also streamlined a number of processes by automating follow-ups and merging its offline and online tasks into one. The campaigns achieved great results, with the ROI reaching 1:40. Within 12 months, nearly 10,000 people showed interest. A further 1000 people spent an average of 20,000 RMB on courses during that time.

With well-designed lifecycle campaigns, any business can connect with its customers and prospects, create leads and boost profits as a result. Knowing what they want, understanding who they are and acting on this with tailored campaigns can boost conversion rates to truly great effect.


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