Helping Subscribers Navigate 'Moments of Truth' With Email

Email programs that engage and deepen subscriber relationships do more than promote a product or service. These programs help subscribers navigate key “moments of truth.” 

A moment of truth is a key point in the relationship of the subscriber with a company. If a client has a good experience during these moments, subscribers will be more likely to deepen their relationship with the company, driving a future purchase or upgrade. If not, the relationship is likely to suffer.

At each moment of truth, you as a marketer have the opportunity to anticipate your subscriber’s needs and provide critical information to help improve their experience. The key is knowing when moments of truth are likely to occur, and building an email program to support them.

Of course, specific moments of truth will vary by company and product/service class being supported. In general, moments of truth will include things like:

  • Evaluating the product
  • Onboarding and welcome
  • Use and “go live”
  • Replenish and renew



Let’s take a look at how email could be helpful in each stage.  

Evaluating the product

Your customer is evaluating a purchase decision. You can tell because he/she visits your website repeatedly for a product, product category, service, or service feature.

New-to-market customers may have a certain amount of angst about making a wrong choice. They may worry that once they’ve made the purchase, they won’t be able to use product or service or that it won’t really fit their purpose. The following types of information could be useful:

  • Overview of topic to help a client make the right choice. 
  • Info on what other people are buying, along with post-purchase reviews (“Our best sellers this week,” customer testimonials, etc.).
  • Implementation guide showing how to use the product or service, reinforcing message that usage of product or service is easy.

A more experienced consumer will have different needs. For “freemium” service offerings, they will need to understand whether the incremental functionality in the premium offering is really worth the additional fees. For many products, they will need to understand how this offering is better than the competition, what is new, or how this solves a specific problem. For these clients, the following set of messaging could be useful:

  • Implementation guide with example use cases for premium features
  • Hot trends in a product category (e.g., why new-to-market features are useful, new styles and colors, etc.)
  • Customer case studies and testimonials

Onboarding and welcome

Customers who buy a physical product may be anxious about the status of their order, worried that they paid too much, or concerned that they bought the wrong product.

For these clients, you can provide:

  • Delivery status
  • Instructions on what to do if the product isn’t the right fit or color
  • Information about any price guarantee programs that exist

Use and “go live”

Once clients have purchased a product or service, they’ll want to make sure they are able to use it. To make this easier, you can send the following kinds of messaging:

  • Instructions on how to use, including sample use case and success stories (to combat buyer’s remorse)
  • Instructions on how to maintain and care for the product
  • A guide for how to configure an online service
  • A guide outlining the “First [x] things to do” with the new service
  • Information about any support services that may be available

Replenish and renew

Expendable products need to be replenished, and clients need help remembering to re-order these products. Other physical goods may have a longer lifespan, but buyers will want a new version because it is out of style or something better is now available. Software licenses and subscriptions need to be renewed. 

This “renewal” area is one where I see many marketing programs focus their efforts.

Example messaging could include:

  • Refill/replenishment notices based on predictive refill rates.
  • Offers for new version of the same product previously purchased,  highlighting new and improved features).
  • Renewal notices for online services.

This is just a partial listing. What are your favorite message types for your customers’ key moments of truth?

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