Blacklane Improves Lifecycle Conversion by 194% With Cross-Channel Customer Journeys

Blacklane relied on Braze in 2021 to maximize their North Star metric: Customer lifetime value (CLV). Since implementing Braze, they’ve seen significant improvements across key metrics including revenue, lifecycle conversion, and open rates.

Offering an elevated, competitively-convenient alternative to lower-end rideshare options, Blacklane has reinvented ride services by connecting travelers with a global crew of professional chauffeurs. Since its inception, the sustainability-conscious company has grown from a two-man operation in Berlin to an international, award-winning crew of over 300 people with hubs in Germany, Italy, Singapore, Spain, the UAE, the UK, and the US. Blacklane offers pre-scheduled and on-demand service for inner-city, airport and inter-city rides, all provided by professional chauffeurs who prioritize the convenience and comfort of their customers.

The company tracks customer lifecycles based on a persona driven RFM (Recency-Frequency-Monetary) framework, and found significant room for improvement regarding customer communication, conversion, and retention. Their key differentiators from other options available to passengers needing to get from A to B were clear, but they needed help to better capture the market. Blacklane’s Retention Team realized there was no path to sustainable growth without better engagement. After seeing a 94% CRM revenue increase in 2019, when they decided to use Braze, they invested further effort into personalization.

Data-Driven Communication, More Customer Value

Blacklane’s product speaks for itself—there’s no comparing it to the hit-or-miss nature of lower-end rideshare services or the old-school, cumbersome process of booking a chauffeur. They’d already disrupted the market by making the intersection of convenience and luxury available to their customers, but how could they encourage users to make their service a habit? As with any relationship, communication is key.

Boiled down, Blacklane uses Braze for four main objectives that, when combined, maximize lifetime value:

  • Activating customers (prospects that registered but did not book a ride yet)

  • Retaining activated guests

  • Reactivating churned users

  • Transforming their customers into ambassadors

On the supply side, they also engage with their contracted chauffeurs to increase the frequency of rides given. The result: More loyal users and chauffeurs.

Since adopting Braze, Blacklane has been able to use it to create engaging, visually-striking campaigns across email, in-app messages, push notifications, and Braze Content Cards, enabling them to deliver personalized messaging based on each individual’s real-time user profile and preferences. In addition, the Braze platform’s orchestration capabilities allow Blacklane to easily create customer-centric journeys that deliver the cohesive, responsive, and personalized experiences customers expect from modern marketers.

The Retention Team also gets down to the nitty gritty by enhancing customer segmentation utilizing real-time user data insights. Blacklane can easily pull data from their data warehouse for analysis, derive meaningful takeaways from the numbers in front of them, and implement their learning in Braze regarding how and when they deliver their messaging.

Braze enables the team to carry out a variety of communication-related objectives. They segmented customers based on their RFM model, followed by running lifecycles for each segment (for example, a loyal, consistent user versus a one-timer). They also segment by frequency and send surveys to gain insight about their customers’ experiences following a ride. Once they can determine that a user has lapsed, they reactivate them with targeted campaigns orchestrated within Braze, incentivizing them to book again and sending surveys to gain understanding about their travel needs. The insights generated from these surveys provide key insights into how they can better serve their guests and establish brand loyalty. They also use Braze to analyze conversions and customer engagement to understand usage behavior.

“My team's goal is to keep customers in love with Blacklane. Braze enables us to be customer-centric and data-driven when engaging with our audiences, as well as have a sustainable business impact.”

Ioana Iordache, Head of Retention, Blacklane

Blacklane Results: Increases Lifecycle Conversion

As a brand, getting your message to the right place means little unless it’s done strategically and the timing is right, and in this case the results speak for themselves. Since implementing Braze, Blacklane CRM generated a 94% increase in revenue in 2019, which convinced them to invest more effort in further personalizing the journeys of their customers. In addition, they’ve seen a 194% improvement in lifecycle conversion, a 51% improvement in unsubscribe-to-open rate for emails, a 32% improvement in email open rate, and a 33% improvement in push notification open rate*. The lesson? Strategic communication isn’t just a luxury for brands with the resources to implement it; it’s a necessary component of marketing that leads to tangible results.

Key Takeaways

  • Simply communicating with users isn’t enough to see results—strategic, data-driven messaging implementation consistently proves to be an essential practice to stay top of mind in a noisy consumer world, turning prospects into buyers and one-time users into loyal customers.

  • An excellent user experience coupled with effective messaging is what makes a brand unstoppable. Don’t just show your customers why your service is worth paying for—be the opposite of “out of sight, out of mind,” and make them customers for life.