EP #21 Unicorn Series: Mastering email, the story of rapid growth from an app first unicorn, Phonepe.

EP #21 Unicorn Series: Mastering email, the story of rapid growth from an app first unicorn, Phonepe.

About this Podcast

In this age of app-first technologies, what makes one application stand out from the rest? In today’s special episode of the ForTheLoveOfEmails unicorn series, we invite Priya Patankar of PhonePe, which is one of the leading payment apps in India with our host Tanishq Juneja, global product marketing head, Netcore Solutions

Priya shares valuable nuggets from her extensive marketing experience across multiple industries. She discusses the strategies used by PhonePe to stand out in the crowded payment apps market and explains how email has been an integral part of their marketing and growth strategies.

Quick snapshot
In this podcast, we address the following
What is one unique thing that PhonePe brings to the market right now?
Is email a good channel for app-first companies?
How do you plan to leverage email and the growth of your products and business in 2021? Is there a special focus in 2021?
When did you realize that there are a lot of drop-offs and how did you use emails to prevent further damage?
How do you regularly make sure that users are well-maintained for your email program? What level of personalization have you done for your user base?
In what capacity in your programs, you're using AI?
Have you witnessed any campaign where your email was sent at such a right point that it generated great ROI?
How do you associate campaigns which are objectively not transaction-driven?
Being a unicorn by itself, what are some of the best practices you would follow religiously as an email marketer?
Episode Transcripts

Intro: You’re listening to the ForTheLoveOfEmails podcast, powered by Netcore, a weekly show dedicated to helping email marketers, marketing enthusiasts, and professionals of all walks, engage, grow, and retain customers. Through reliable, smart, and effective email communication and engagement. Discover actionable ways to increase ROI and deliver value through email innovations, personalization optimization, email deliverability, and email campaigns.

[00:00:25] No fluff tune in to hear best practices and tactical solutions from the best thought leaders and practitioners master your email communication now.

[00:00:34]Tanishq Juneja: Welcome to ForTheLoveOfEmails podcast powered by Netcore. This is a limited series edition, where we are talking to unicorns and how they use emails to ripe growth. I’m your host Tanishq Juneja global product marketing head at Netcore and co-founder of Pepipost. We have a very, very special guest today.

[00:00:54] An extraordinary person, a marketing wizard, a brand evangelist, and an inspiration to many. She has communication at one of India’s leading digital payments app. In her current role, she’s responsible for all external communications and CRM. She comes with over two decades of experience across leading FinTech, e-commerce online education, pharma, and tech companies, ladies and gentlemen. Priya Patankar from PhonePe. Thanks for joining us today Priya!

[00:01:23]Priya Patankar: Thank you, Tanishq. Thank you so much for the warm welcome. So it is great chatting with you.

[00:01:28] Tanishq Juneja: Thank you so much Priya. We have been hearing a lot of stuff, like I said I see on my LinkedIn or a lot about you. So tell us, what is the unique thing you are doing in the marketplace today?

[00:01:41] Priya Patankar: So I think one, of course, the fact that payments have you know, we’ve, it’s literally been an inflexion point for us. The last year we’ve grown and how I think in some ways we’ve just added a lot more new users to the digital payments for a lot of buyers you’re seeing is also possible because of that.

[00:02:00] And digital payments have now also, I’d say during the pandemic, they were, they were an essential service. We were, we saw a lot more users gravitating towards digital payments. So I think it’s a network effect, which you are seeing and which is how we’re, we’re also more visible on all forums, including LinkedIn.

[00:02:18]As I said earlier, apologies for spamming your Linden wall with, with a lot on us. But yeah, I think it’s been very bad. Unfortunately yes COVID has affected us in negative ways in multiple ways, but the point is as a business we’ve grown, and no cause to complain there really.

[00:02:37] Tanishq Juneja: Awesome. Awesome. So you know, I just want to address the elephant in the room. We talked to a lot of app first companies and you know, some of them do not even have the email address of a single user. Like they don’t even have signed up a user and collected their email address. I think a lot of app first companies don’t believe in email as much, and I see, you know, you being an app first, you being a unicorn such a large payment gateway app. What is your view towards email as an app first?

[00:03:07] Priya Patankar: See I personally love emails.

[00:03:09] I think it also sorts of goes down from the person who was managing and running the channel. And I set up this channel and I’m from a world when in 2006 and seven when we used to wait for emails, emails used to I mean, there was, we had them for entertainment. They were shared, they were discussed.

[00:03:25] So I’ve, I’ve seen the evolution. We have a large user base, we have around two 75 million registered users now. And any CRM strategy which we are defining right has email at the center. I don’t imagine notifications and inbox while they have their place in an app first world doing the job for each touchpoint I have in mind.

[00:03:49] So, if I’m talking about onboarding a customer, what a welcome email can do in terms of genuinely explaining more about the app, you know, and getting a user started with a step-by-step guide, a notification, and an inbox will not be able to do. Storytelling, long-form content, education. I mean, these are use cases that users need.

[00:04:12] And finally, this is what differentiates one app from the other. You know so I think I’ve, as I said, for me, in all stages of right from acquiring to cross-selling, to educating, emails play a very, very important role. And we’ve always kept that at the center of any strategy, which is where we look at, you know, reaching out to customers, using a mix of channels.

[00:04:36] So it would be a very myopic view to dismiss email saying we’re app first. It’s finally. And also I’d say, give, give your customers a choice. Some of us prefer emails. I would rather have something come to me on email, which I can read and absorb than you know, a quick notification, which expects me to react immediately.

[00:04:59] Each of those channels has had their value and place in in the CRM life cycle,
[00:05:05] Tanishq Juneja: Happy to know that statement, that email is at the center of all your strategies. So I think how significant is email’s contribution to your overall growth?

[00:05:15] Priya Patankar: So I think I would not like to ascribe a growth number to what it does.

[00:05:20] I mean, what I would say is we have some of our products, right? Increasingly as we are adding more and more product lines are more complex in terms of how customers interact with them. For instance, if you’re thinking of investing as a product possibly or two-line notification does not do the job of explaining the right mix.

[00:05:41] So there is a journey you need to make a user go to one of the courses, a co-creating event, which possibly an in-app notification can, but the next step is really deeply understanding that product. For instance, what is my investment style? How am I thinking of investing? Are you thinking of a long-term or short-term investment, just giving her an example for one of our product lines?

[00:06:04] So I think here targeting and segmenting customers based on their past interest in behavior, and then running a campaign, you know, which explains this to them, in the form of more educational and in-depth messages, something emails do brilliantly. Even products like insurance, I think there’s a comparison which comes in, there are multiple considerations.

[00:06:26] You have follow-up questions. Everything cannot be done with a short and precise sort of explanation. So I think as products get more and more complex and also we have to understand, see the age and stage of users or life. First-time investors have a lot more questions. They need a lot more hand-holding.

[00:06:46] And I think anything which needs handholding email does brilliantly. I mean setting up a campaign in which every second, second or third day, I’m sending something which is curated, personalized, which makes sense, which nudges me slightly closer in my journey to, towards, trying a product makes perfect sense.

[00:07:05] Nothing does it better than email. I’d go as, as far as saying it,
[00:07:09] Tanishq Juneja: So, email is basically taking your complex products, breaking them down into simple nuggets, and taking them close to closure.

[00:07:17] Priya Patankar: Yes. Yeah, because some products have a longer life cycle in terms of how customers buy them. Right. I mean, like a recharge. A recharge is possibly more commoditized.

[00:07:27] I understand it. I know what needs to be done, especially if the last time investors need a lot more hand-holding. So yeah. I’d say it works brilliantly. Well, yeah.

[00:07:39] Tanishq Juneja: So Priya, how do you so you have been using emails effectively in the past as well. 2020 was a different phenomenon, right? It was more about establishing brand-establishing conversations and a lot of empathy.

[00:07:50] How do you plan to use email? How do you plan to leverage email and the growth of your products and business in 2021? Is there a special focus in 2021?

[00:08:00] Priya Patankar: Still I think the interesting challenge I have would be a lot of first-time users and I intend to sort of leverage email very, very strongly this year for that.

[00:08:11] So as I said every flow right from onboarding to, you know, educating to cross-selling to engaging, will have a very strong email component. I’m over-indexing on my onboarding because I do realize a large percentage of users actually drop off if they don’t understand what this app does, what an app does, and how they can use it.

[00:08:32] That’s one touchpoint, right? I mean, the minute you download an app, there is a personalized message. An email, which gets triggered to you, telling you how you can make the most of your app. This is how you can get help. This is what you need. These are the three things you need to get started.

[00:08:47] Those things. So, onboarding is going to be literally at the center of how we think of 2021. The other, as I said, education, I think will be the other big one. As a new tool or digital payment users are going to have, they’re also facing issues of a lot of fraudsters trying to, you know con people and essentially they’re getting smarter with how they’re communicating with our users.

[00:09:10] So education is a constant exercise we do. Again, email works extremely well. You know possibly listing something like five things you need to make sure when you’re transacting on a digital payment app, those kinds of campaigns just work amazingly well. We’ve had upwards of 25% open rates for some of these campaigns.

[00:09:31] So we will be educating and onboarding would be my two focus areas and the regular stuff which we do in terms of engaging and cross-selling what sort of continuum I’d say. We’d, we’d continue that with with the same cadence because those campaigns have seen great traction.

[00:09:46] Tanishq Juneja: Awesome! Priya, so this onboarding thing and where you are saying that you know, a lot of users drop off.

[00:09:51] So I think this part seems to be very exciting. Can we talk a little more in detail? Where, for a lot of app companies this could be a common phenomenon, right? That there are users who drop off. So. When did you realize this, that, you know, there’s a lot of users drop off? And then how did you use emails in that?

[00:10:10] You know, how did you set up the series? Was there a way it did you have like a before or afterpiece where you said that, you know, before it was X and you know, after using emails or deploying some strategies, now it has become Y? So what has been that experience?

[00:10:26] Priya Patankar: If there is any stage at which you see a drop of you try and set up a calling exercise.

[00:10:31] I mean, that’s something we do pretty often, and we do it for most of our product lines, even in happy scenarios, forget unhappy. Even if you have a set of scenarios, which are performing brilliantly, well, you try and talk to customers to know what is working. So the two things you need to know are what is working and what is not.

[00:10:49] So in this case of the customer calling exercise of course made us realize that an onboarding program makes sense because the minute you sort of land a customer to the app home page, right. He’s lost possibly. It’s. It’s like I mean, where do you start? There are certain things, for instance, linking your bank account, or possibly loading your wallet, which will help you use the app better because unless you link your bank account, save a card it isn’t much you can do on a payment app.

[00:11:14]I mean, it’s utilitarian in nature. It’s not a content app where you can just explore. And so each of those steps was finally broken down based on our customer conversations. And we, so we sort of divided this into things which customers absolutely need to get started. And then we try and nudge them to get to those steps.

[00:11:35] Because the first thing is, of course, once your card to save, your bank account is linked, et cetera, then you can start moving on to two are essentially hero categories of categories, which customers more often use. For instance, nudging him to send money, et cetera. So I think it’s I’d say as well as the Hills, you talk to your customers and in happy flows and unhappy flows, find out what is working, what is not, and then try and set up those nudges.

[00:12:01] Right. And in terms of before and after changes, we saw at the journey while I top of the mind don’t remember the numbers, but of course, I think once you, once we designed the board flow, we did at each stage, we did see drop-offs reducing, especially on the onboarding flows, which are, which are extremely critical, I’d say.

[00:12:19] Tanishq Juneja: Awesome. So these user-guided flows to, you know, move users from one journey to another have been an extremely useful case for app first companies. Yeah.

[00:12:29] Priya Patankar: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And it also takes a bit of pressure of sort of thinking of what next for the customer once you have I mean, apps like ours.

[00:12:40] I mean, we have like over a hundred million users, monthly active users. So when you have such a large base, there is a very predictable pattern, which, which you can sort of find out. If users do X, this is the Y the next best recommendation, which you send out or across sell, which you do right.

[00:12:57] Based on a population’s behavior. Yeah. It takes away I’d say, makes your job easier also in terms of predicting, where, where would this user go now?

[00:13:07] Tanishq Juneja: Correct? Correct. So, I mean, people don’t have to really use their brain, your emails, and some of the parts in an app would guide them.

[00:13:14] Priya Patankar: Yeah. You can set up a journey.

[00:13:16] You can set up a nudge. You can sort of nudge at the right time for the right set of products, et cetera. So it makes things really easy.

[00:13:25] Tanishq Juneja: Awesome. So like you said, you know, you have 275 million subscribers and that’s a huge list now. Or someone who is maintaining such a huge list and you work very closely you know, you head the CRM and you work very closely with this list.

[00:13:39] So how do you maintain that? You know, what kind of segmentation do you do? What kind of validations do you do? How do you regularly make sure that you know, these users are well-maintained for your email program?

[00:13:51] Priya Patankar: So I think two things which we do is one, of course, we have so we use a lot of DS or data science signals in terms of segmenting and targeting.

[00:13:59] So we have very clear signals on the likelihood of engaging with a particular product. So those, that is one that is a product definitely. And over time, we also work with our analytics team and Data Science team to define what we call a channel affinity. So there is a mix of affinity towards a product and affinity towards the channel.

[00:14:19] And of course, I think basic hygiene of sending users who are reacting to your mails, cleaning up your lists. We work very closely with your team in terms of having a certain cadence to emails. I mean, there’ve been conversations I’ve had with the Netcore team in terms of not keeping users cold for very long.

[00:14:37] Having some basic hygiene in terms of the right mix in terms of reaching, not spamming them, but not going cold. Making sure we’re reaching out to the base, often enough cleaning up your lists, managing the unsubscribes, making sure it’s landing in the right place. Adding the product and channel affinity to the mix.

[00:14:59] So essentially this gives you, this gives you a beautiful CRM program where actually customers are reacting to your communication. They’re not saying this is too much despite getting a lot of communication, from brands. And you can actually see the impact. I mean, anecdotally or with data, you can see when you’re sending an insurance email, there is actually a spike.

[00:15:21] You know, they are seeing the businesses reporting a 2x jump or a 3x jump. So I think a mix of quality and quantity has sort of helped us get there. And it’s a continuous process. I mean, it’s, you can’t let your guard down. That’s how I see it.
[00:15:37] Tanishq Juneja: Sure. In fact, this point of not sending emails for too long.

[00:15:43] And you know, your list can get cold is something which we have been experiencing with a lot of our brands. A lot of brands are customers we work with. making sure that you at least touch base with them on any warm note or anything which you think is relevant. Obviously don’t want to spam them, et cetera.

[00:16:00] But I think it has to be a constant interaction with your users. So that’s a lovely point. Thank you. So Priya, can you share an email campaign that became the hero of the last year for you? Like, you know that was one single campaign that was over and above any other campaign, you did.

[00:16:15] Priya Patankar: So I’ve been talking about it, I think all of last year.

[00:16:18] And I looked like I will continue this year also. This is a COVID campaign. I think I spoke about it in one of the last sessions I was talking to you about it. I’m super proud of it. I think this was during the lockdown actually when all shops were shut down and we were sort of struggling in getting information on what is open.

[00:16:36] So our offline team had actually put together a city-wide campaign of stores, which are open and delivering. There were phone numbers. There was a category for them, so essentially we were just looking at groceries and medicines because that’s what was needed at that time. And we had actually listed you know, a delivery phone number, and plus the email campaign was linking out to the store staff.

[00:16:59] You could actually click on it and find out how close the store is to you. So I think we send this and you know, it, it, to my mind, it just seemed the most useful thing to do. And then I think for 15, 20 days, we had folks reaching out and saying how useful this was. I had folks share it on WhatsApp.

[00:17:18] It was opened multiple times, shared. And the fact that we were able to do this across cities made a lot of sense. So I think during that time there was really no business benefit we were looking at in terms of transactions or nudging customers or moving them from one level to the other. It was more so we understood the place our customers were in and as a brand, we cared and that’s what it was about.

[00:17:43] So essentially putting people on foot on the street, finding out what is open and merchants who are willing to participate in a home delivery program and sending it out to customers. I mean, as I said, I’ve been talking about all of last year because I was so proud of it.

[00:17:58] Tanishq Juneja: So really good value to your users.

[00:18:01] And tell you one thing as a marketer, you have done something great last year. Do you plan to continue something similar while you are aware that the market is now open for transactions? And there is a different mindset now with marketers are you still open to try something like this? Where. Oh, it’s more, value-driven, it’s more conversational.

[00:18:19] It’s more useful than any other transaction. So do you have something in mind for this year?

[00:18:25] Priya Patankar: Yeah. I mean, why not? See the point is what it also made us realize that this is very personalized, right? I’m not sending a Delhi user or possibly a Bangalore user, which is not relevant to him. So hyper-personalizing this, in this case, we had to manually do it, makes a lot of sense. So if there is something which is very, very tailored to your need or your buying behavior if we can be personalized and send something across, in fact, in the morning, I was having a discussion with the product on just this very topic that you know, how to cross-selling the next best recommendations and emails work very well.
[00:19:02]Because the thing is that if you’ve done an action A and if action B and C sort of tailored to you, it makes a lot of sense. I think we would plus the thing is, I think, as a brand, sometimes you also have to realize that it’s not all business. The fact that you care what’s going on and you know, you’re, you’re willing to talk about it makes a lot of difference.

[00:19:25] So sometimes we have to remove the business hat and we sort of have to put on a more empathetic and caring hat. And you know, talk to our customers. So I think I would be personalizing my emails a lot more. I would possibly even look at tailoring them to regional content at some point; we have a lot of our base in tier two, three, and beyond. And if there is a language preference they have on the app-building a CRM in a local language possibly makes sense. Right? I mean, you resonate more strongly.
[00:19:57] Tanishq Juneja: Sure. Sure. That’s very interesting. So a lot of people say email personalization is a best practice, right.

[00:20:03] But if you can put it to good use or if you can go deeper into personalization otherwise. So how do you, I mean, as you said, you know, you want to. Personalize a language preference, which is I think, a deeper personalization you’re going to do. What level of personalization have you done for your user base?
[00:20:22]Priya Patankar: It has to go beyond the name. I think we were at a stage, I think 10 years back when anybody who sent me a mail saying “hi, Priya” was a hero, and below that the bunch of offers possibly not making sense. I had ignored it. But I think micro-targeting makes a lot of difference.
[00:20:39] Even if it’s a campaign for a few hundred people, I have seen the impact. I’ve seen all those hundred people essentially converting that may make sense. And, for high-value products, even a few hundred or thousand customers converting make a lot of difference. It’s essentially going from red to blue, for some categories.

[00:20:58] So I think my micro-targeting makes a lot of difference. We’ve also seen that earlier when I spoke about it, products which have a core to a buying cycle, which is very long, right. At each stage, if you can personalize the communication, so assume a user has got quotes from multiple places. How will your quote, for instance, and insurance quote, how will it stand out?

[00:21:21] And the next day it is possibly still considering your product. So at the stage, personalizing, the message makes a difference. So if you can sort of design these micro-campaigns and target them, right. I think that is the best kind of personalization. I mean, I’ve dropped off from your funnel and you, you do realize I’m interested in this.

[00:21:41] And since I said, we, we’d work at constant customer calling exercise. We don’t understand what a customer is actually thinking. So using that calling exercise to tailor some of the communication, for instance, at some stage you possibly just need a video. The product is so complex that despite explaining it.

[00:21:59]A video will make a difference. So then tail plugging that video in the email. So I think I’m really, really gung ho about micro personalization. And I’m not really looking at the number of people. I think we need to move beyond that. It’s the quality and really not the quantity.

[00:22:18] Tanishq Juneja: Great. So so, you know, I think this would be interesting.
[00:22:21] You have 275 million users. What is the lowest segment you have gone to? Like, what is like how narrow that number is when you have done the segmentation?

[00:22:31] Priya Patankar: Well, it’s a couple of thoughts. So I have, I’ve done 25 two 50 K users. But as I said, the conversion on some of these was so high, so it’s literally for a high-value product.

[00:22:40] It’s literally the difference between going from red to blue. I mean red to green. Sorry, not blue. So the point is, is if you’re able to nudge 20,000 users to buy a high-value product. Even if you get to know a few thousand, it makes a lot of a difference. And also see, I think Tanishq, you have to find it differentiate between some products are for everybody, but if they are very mass-market and some are possibly high-value with a longer buying cycle where, where you need to think of it differently, it can be a one size fits all approach even with your email campaigns. Just slice and dice your database and slice continues to slice and dice it by whatever cuts you can get. That’s what makes it efficient. Yeah.

[00:23:31] Tanishq Juneja: I remember one very interesting campaign. I don’t remember the brand name now, but they targeted me because I have done transactions using an HDFC bank credit card.

[00:23:40] They had that. Let’s suppose the portal had offers on different banks. But when they sent out an offer to me, it was not a generic discounted offer with all the banks listed. It was my bank listed and they had no way to figure out what credit card I’m using because of my past transactions. But I really liked the piece that they went deeper into, transaction data.

[00:24:04] They cared that, you know, I don’t want to send this using another bank to offer another thing. So I really liked that people are going that deeper. You know, like this example, 25,000 users, 50,000 users. I mean, I would imagine the maximum you would do is a million, a segment of a million, but this is like really you’re going deeper.

[00:24:23] Priya Patankar: Yeah. And I’ve seen the benefit of it and why it’s more work, but I think it’s worth it. It makes a lot of difference.
[00:24:31] Tanishq Juneja: Sure. Interesting. Okay. So since you’re managing huge data, there are so many campaigns or. How do you use AI ML or any sort of machine learning tech to be able to figure out that I want to, you know, target these segments or I want to retain my churn or I want to do something that means dropped users, et cetera.

[00:24:51] So in what capacity in your programs you’re using AI?

[00:24:55]Priya Patankar: The base of my CRM program actually is an analytics and the DSC. So in PhonePe functional folks from different teams, right, who get together and work on a project.

[00:25:10] So for the CRM pod, I actually have a data sciences and analytics team working very, very closely with us. So earlier they would when we had just started out, right, we would what, of course, data science finally needs is it needs enough data to be able to come up with some kind of a prediction because it’s a black box.

[00:25:28] Finally, they looked at so many signals, so we ran those smaller and larger campaigns. When we started out, then we were trying to build that intelligence for the system. So those were our initial days when we would try to marry X signal providers, which we would heuristically say that a user in this city had recharged 45 days ago.

[00:25:49] Therefore I should do this. So we’ve tried those experiments to make the system intelligent, essentially right now, I think we have enough data because there are so many transactions that are happening on the platform. You’re talking of over a billion transactions a month. There are enough types of users that are users who are displaying enough types of behaviors.
[00:26:08] So I think I’d say I’d go to the extent of saying that 95% of my campaigns are completely targeted based on the data science signals. So a bunch of data, their past behavior, how they’ve interacted channel affinity plugged on top of that. You know a pattern on a transaction pattern in which we observed.

[00:26:29] So hundreds of attributes essentially. So we try to make it as objective as possible because finally, this is a performance channel. This also has to perform, it has to work on media. I mean, Essentially, in the external world, we call this the owned media there, which, where you’re building up a CRM program.
[00:26:48] So the point is this, this has to perform in a well-run CRM program. I think it just saves you so much money. It has far-reaching benefits, any attribute you want to move to? It can, it can work beautifully and amazingly.

[00:27:04] Tanishq Juneja: True. True. So this one piece of you knows the right channel right time and right. Kind of message.
[00:27:09] Reaches out. Have you witnessed any campaign where your email was sent at such a right point and apart from the hero campaign I’m talking about? That it was, it just gives, it just gave an amazing ROI.

[00:27:23] Priya Patankar: I think surprisingly or possibly not surprisingly, I noticed that educational mails, which is. One, who does you that you offer meals would always work well because I find that education means actually working very, very well.
[00:27:37] So which also has occasionally, you know, made me sort of pause and think that users want things beyond offers. I think as marketers, we just think that pushing enough offers on them in their inbox is what will work. So education mails just work very, very well. I mean anything which possibly resonates with the user because he realizes, “Oh, this is something I’m facing, or this is something I need to do.”

[00:28:04] What I’ve noticed is not only are they open to the videos, the engagement in general, reading of blogs, some of them redirect to blogs, they just work very, very well. So I think I’ve, it surprised me because in my past experience I have not really done much of education. A lot of it was more around the marketing of products and offerings also makes me realize that possibly our user base is so large that there are too many apps.
[00:28:33] Well also maybe looking at it in a very serious way. The relationship is possibly more transactional where. You know, my job as a marketer is to give you an offer or get you to try a category, not really thinking that there are possibly things you need to know on transacting safely. And, and there is this, there is a real problem in terms of, you know frauds on the increase, et cetera.

[00:28:56] So I, yeah, I, I have actually started keeping a couple of slots in which we’re just educating users because I just realized they’re actually working very well.
[00:29:06] Tanishq Juneja: Interesting. So how do you then associate these campaigns, which are objectively not transaction-driven? How do you associate them or attribute them to any ROI?
[00:29:18] Is it retention or is it just branding purely? What is sort of, how, how do you attribute it to any sort of costs?
[00:29:27]Priya Patankar: As I said I mean, you rightly said we’re not looking at an ROI angle. All in, I’m just doing this because of something which our users should know. I think two things, which sort of play out here.
[00:29:39] One of course, as I said, I linked them out to some of our blogs. So whenever I send my emails, I actually, some of my blogs have been read over a hundred K times. And the only thing I’ve done is I’ve sent an email and it’s huge. I mean, people are surprised. So I’ve actually had the day I sent the email.
[00:29:56] I’ve seen the spike of hundreds of you know, lakhs of users sort of going and reading those blogs. That is something we want to encourage users to do, go and read XYZ blogs, and we use a third-party tool, so I can see the engagement on those blogs. And I share that into it. The second also is I think you have users talk about it.
[00:30:17] We have I mean, social media, in general, is one place. You, you do realize people pick up those conversations and say, Hey, we got this meal and this was a good meal. And X Y Z made sense to me. That’s one feedback loop we have.
Besides that, of course, I mean the tracking which Netcore gives us helps us figure out people clicking on XYZ, opening, et cetera.
[00:30:39] Those are good metrics to at least know at a basic level. For me, I think the big one is essentially folks going and reading my blog in large numbers. It just spikes multiple times after us,
[00:30:49] Tanishq Juneja: that also gives us confidence that the education content is working.
[00:30:53] Priya Patankar: Yeah. Yeah, it does. Yeah, it does.
[00:30:56] Tanishq Juneja: Okay. So we are almost in our last segment.
[00:31:00] So I want to ask that, you know, is being an owner of such large active users and being, or being a unicorn by itself what are some of the best practices you would follow religiously as an email marketer? And, you know, this is more from what others can learn out of the phone.
[00:31:17] Priya Patankar: So I think, Of course, keep the hygiene part in place, essentially build the right list, work with the right partner to make sure your emails land in the right place, continuously clean up your list.
[00:31:30]Make sure you’re not letting the IP reputation is very important. So over-index on the warmup. I’ve learned this the hard way. So it makes sense to sort of when you begin, when the foundation is right, everything sort of flows. Make sure the IP period reputation. The second next thing of course would be to engage constantly with your customers.
[00:31:49] Don’t talk to them enough. You know, make sure there are enough interesting things you have to say target once you’ve built in enough intelligence and run enough campaigns and have information on your users, target it, right. Segment your list constantly. And you know, keep working on it.
[00:32:07] Have a channel affinity model. It makes a lot of difference. If you have a set of users who are very, very strong affinity towards a particular channel, try and send them more of that. And I’d say don’t underestimate emails. Most importantly, make sure it is a part of whatever you know CRM program you’re running because storytelling engages long-form content.
[00:32:29] I mean, those, those things have their place. And everything can’t be sort of managed with possibly an in-app notification or a push notification. So I think, make sure you keep that in mind.
[00:32:41] Tanishq Juneja: Its own space.
[00:32:43] Priya Patankar: One more thing I’d add is constantly keeping learning. I mean find out what’s happening. What are others doing which you like? Because we’re also finally customers. Of, of other apps and other brands and products keeps seeing what is happening, what resonated with you and keep trying don’t be complacent because if the standard’s working for you now, we need to constantly up your game continuously keep evolving and learning, make sure you do that industry best practices, not read enough reports, talk to talk to colleagues, figure out what’s really going on.
[00:33:14] And what’s working that actually helps you upscale.
[00:33:18] Tanishq Juneja: Sure. And do you want to choose, like one thing you will say to all the other app first companies as an email marketer yourself, right? You’re an experienced email marketer. If you have to choose one thing to say to them, what that would be.
[00:33:30] Priya Patankar: I mean I got top of the mind to think of only one thing to say all, as I said, I mean the email is absolutely here to stay and. In terms of storytelling. I think nothing, nothing beats email. It’s the best medium when it comes to telling a story and a lot of brands, even app-first, and gravitating towards that more long-form in storytelling mode.
[00:33:54] So I think it’s the best thing to have in your playbook when you’re thinking of telling a story.
[00:34:02] Tanishq Juneja: So in the future, the difference between one company to another is storytelling.
[00:34:08] Priya Patankar: Yeah, I think I was reading somewhere. It said, stories win and ideas lost. So having possibly I’d say that to that, to other App first companies, because I was just reading a beautiful blog, yesterday which said that.
[00:34:21] And it got me thinking about a pretty interesting premise. It said that. You know, finally, it’s the stories which would stay with you. The idea is lost,
[00:34:31]Tanishq Juneja: Priya. That was amazing nuggets. Thank you so much for being on our podcast. Please tell our listeners how they can get in touch with you if they need any help, but there were so many good insights.
[00:34:40]Why don’t you please tell them how we can get in touch with
[00:34:43] Priya Patankar: they can email me my, if you want, I can sort of share my email ID. So I’m on [email protected]. And I’m very responsive on emails.
[00:34:52]Tanishq Juneja: Sure. Yeah. I love that anyways. So it’s an email podcast and I love it if you are,
[00:34:58] Priya Patankar: extremely responsive. I think I made sure that I respond to emails.
[00:35:02] Tanishq Juneja: Sure. And in case they want to follow you on social media, where are you most active?
[00:35:07] Priya Patankar: I’m most active on LinkedIn as you started your podcast by pointing out. So, I also respond to LinkedIn messages. You can reach out to me by email, on LinkedIn. I’m happy to chat with people.
[00:35:18] Tanishq Juneja: Amazing. Thank you so much.
[00:35:20] We hope this helps our listeners understand how they can use emails effectively. And if there are especially app first companies, how they can grow, educate, and onboard their users more effectively please check out netcorecloud.com to learn more about our AI-powered email delivery and our email campaign platform.
[00:35:35] Don’t forget to subscribe. To ForTheLoveOfEmails podcast, we are available on all popular platforms like Spotify, iTunes, Google Play Stitcher. Thank you Priya, once again, it was an amazing show to have you here.
[00:35:49] Priya Patankar: Thank you. Thank you so much. It was a pleasure talking to you as always.
[00:35:53] Tanishq Juneja: Thank you.
[00:35:53] And we’ll be back again with another unicorn, another marketing superstar in our next podcast soon. Thank you so much, everyone
[00:36:02] Intro/Outro: you’ve been listening to the ForTheLoveOfEmails podcast powered by Netcore, and subscribe to your favorite podcast player to make sure you never miss an episode. To learn more about effective email communications and engagement through AI-powered email solutions.
[00:36:15] Visit netcore.co the only global email engagement leader, delivering marketing ROI and value to 20 plus global unicorns and 5,000 plus brands for over two decades.

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