Whilst in the on-boarding optimisation phase of ChatWhale, we’ve been trickling out some cold email campaigns and seen a fairly good result, using a hyper personalisation strategy.

The plan is to push hard on these campaigns when we start to go for growth, so optimising these in every way has been super important. We stumbled onto this email remarketing hack, I hadn’t heard of it before, I’m not sure if I’m late to the party, or those using it are keeping it quiet, but for us it’s been pretty amazing.

In our test cohort we sent out almost 7k cold emails, using scraped data of businesses with a facebook page (a core requirement of our product) and ended up with 201 trial sign-ups, a 2.9% conversion and a CAC of about $3.38 [CAC calc]*, I’ll take that, I thought…

We’ve been using some pretty awesome hyper personalisation cold email techniques, using images like below in each cold email, customised to each recipient. Taking the businesses logo, name and other details to create a series of product images that show a personalised demonstration of the user journey:

The example above and the series of images below shows the business how using their existing FB messenger they can use digital scratch cards to deliver customer engagement. Each image is customised to the recipients business branding etc.

17.5% of the recipients who opened the email clicked on the CTA, to start a trial (433 clicks out of 2,471 opens).

We thought this was pretty good for a totally cold email campaign, especially as this was already a significant boost from the trials we’d done without the personalised image. In fact the click rate was just below 5% when we tested with a boilerplate image example in the cold emails.

However never to look a good result in the mouth and accept it (is that a saying?), we looked at how we could squeeze that result, and we added a FB pixel to our landing pages.

This allowed us to use remarketing to pull back the users who visited the page, but didn’t sign-up, an audience of 233 people based on our test cohort. However this will be a much bigger opportunity size once we hit the button to scale this strategy, so worth while paying attention to.

Using catalogues in Facebook Ad Manager you can create dynamic ads, which we use to show the personalised images in the remarketing ads

The hyper personalisation growth hack guide on hyperise details a pretty kickass strategy of delivering personalised remarketing ads, so we followed that and served the same unique images from the emails on our sales page and into the remarketing ad for each recipient.

From the remarketing campaign we generated another 378 page revisits which boosted another 39 sign-ups, meaning our email to trial conversion of combined cold email and remarketing was now at 3.5% (a 21% uplift) whoop whoop!!

But again, we didn’t stop there because there’s a bigger user number we’re ignoring at this point, the ones that opened the email but didn’t click.

Almost 2,000 people in our test cohort were intrigued enough by the subject (is {{company_name}} growing fast enough?) to open, but for whatever reason they didn’t click the CTA in the email.

The open only audience is 4x our clicked audience opportunity

So to be able to reach those 2k people and re-engage them, we did something a little sneaky and loaded a FB pixel right in the email, so just them opening the email added them to our remarketing audience 🙂

After adding the email pixel, our audience growth spiked massively, and dwarfed our previous audience on the graph.

Now here is the really cool bit 🤓

In the cold email as we mentioned we used hyper personalised images, that demo’d our product, using each recipients business details, ie name, logo etc.

We knew these drove a much higher engagement in emails and our sales pages, so getting those images in the ads, even for those that didn’t click, we hypothesised should do the same.

Using the FB pixel we can link the personalised image to each recipient, so we can then create ads to show the personalised demo image of our product.

You can’t embed the standard FB pixel in an email, because its JavaScript, however also included in the Facebook Pixel snippet is a non JavaScript version (ie for when the browser doesn’t support JS, or it’s turned off, or ad blockers etc).

This extra non JavaScript version is essentially a 1×1 invisible image, so your recipients don’t see it, but it’s sufficient enough to add them to your remarketing audience.

Here’s the secret sauce: changing this code as below means you can add a unique ID for each email recipient, in our case a reference to our prospect and unique image, so in the advert we can pick up the ID and load the correct personalised image for each recipient when they’re on social media.

Standard FB no script Pixel

FB Pixel modified for Hyper Personalisation

For more details on how to modify the Facebook Pixel, loading via an image, check out this Facebook guide.

Implementing the above meant that even if email recipients didn’t click on any links in our cold email, we were still able to retarget them with hyper personalised ads, in facebook and instagram, and drive insane conversions.

Check out hyperise’s personalised remarketing ads guide to get the full breakdown on setting this up.

From the opened but didn’t click remarketing campaign we boosted another 119 sign-ups, meaning our conversion of combined cold email and open and clicked remarketing was now at 5.1% (we almost doubled our initial conversion with this email remarketing hack alone) whoop whoop!!

In the end from 7k cold emails from scraped cold data we achieved 359 signups to ChatWhale, for a crazy low CAC*.

This was a triple hack; 

* first we boosted the email CTR 3.5x using hyper personalised images

* then using sales page remarketing we gained 21% uplift

* finally email open remarketing boosted an additional 45% in trial signups

How the CAC breaks down:

* CAC calc — I want to include this to be transparent. As we’re in startup mode, we’re not paying salaries, so the CAC is more a marketing CAC, rather than a fully loaded CAC, because we’re not loading the business yet 🙂

For this to be a fair representation of true CAC, you should probably add in 10hrs of resource costs.

Email campaign:
$30 G Suite
$120 PersistIQ
$29 hyperise
$500 data
— — — — — -
$679 / 201 = $3.38 (marketing) CAC

Clicked Remarketing campaign:
$168 Ad spend
 — — — — — -
$168 / 39 = $4.31 (marketing) CAC

Opened not Clicked Remarketing campaign:
$400 Ad spend
— — — — — -
$504 / 119 = $4.23 (marketing) CAC

Combined campaign:
$679 Email
$168 Clicked Remarketing campaign
$504 Opened not Clicked Remarketing campaign
— — — — — -
$1,351 / 359 = $3.76 (marketing) CAC

So overall, the remarketing did push up our CAC by 11%, but this trade off, of getting 175% more sign-ups from the same cohort, was definitely worth it.

We’ve been super excited by implementing this hyper personalisation strategy.  I've been a long time reader, but this is my first contribution, I would love to hear your feedback and stories of how this worked for you.