Ancestry: The Third Generation

The Challenges

Ancestry sought to change the customer experience paradigm from channel and funnel view to customer destination view. It had been focused on organically siloed data infrastructure. The journey anchor was stages of financial progression and linear. Going forward, to insights-based, coordinated audience segments, the journey anchor had to be about needs and moments and the next-best step.

Conversion was segmented within the product but the customer thinks of you, Kathryn Davidson (above), Director, Marketing Operations, Ancestry, said, as one unit. “They don’t care how we do this but we sometimes get in our own way.”

It used to take 48 hours to gather data, which lagged behind what the customers was doing on the site.

The Execution

Ancestry had to break down siloes and put the customers first. Marketing partnered with Product. The brand partnered with Salesforce in order to have flexibility in its platforms.

Before, it took many steps to get customer data but now it took only minutes. The customer could come from any funnel, and expect a fluid approach.

With the product team, marketing fueled curiosity with education, and engagement to drive personalized discoveries, timely offers. “We didn’t push finances as the number one thing,” she said.

The Results

  • 9% rise in unique opens
  • 50% rise in unique clicks to product experiences
  • 22% rise in product engagement
  • 53% rise in new subscriptions
  • 16% rise in subscription upgrades

Key Takeaways

The end goal of the experience isn’t about renewal and upsell; it is to meet the next best step for the customers.

Anchor the experience on insights-based moments; invest in a flexible platform to connect the right data to power and understand interaction thresholds and behavior.

Never force monetization in the journey; earn the privilege to upsell.

Be relentless in establishing internal partnerships across functions; you are one entity from the customer standpoint.

Define the customer journey based on experience chapters rather than funnel stages.

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