Customer Engagement


8 Tips for Making the Most of Your Customer Activation Campaigns

Mary Kearl By Mary Kearl Sep 07 2021

Inspiring active customers to take action—and keep engaging over time—is key to sustainable long-term growth and retention. And savvy brands, the kind that make converting first-time users into long-time loyal fans look effortless, are able to stand out from the competition by building out robust activation campaigns.

They don't just ask users to opt into becoming email or push notifications subscribers. They prime their audiences with thoughtful messaging. And they don't just send welcome messages, they send winning welcome campaigns.

For a look behind the scenes at what sets strategic customer activation campaigns apart from the rest, check out our top eight best practices for creating stand-out messaging across channels.

#1: Use Gifs to Supercharge Your Referral Campaigns

When you want to grow your user base organically, one of the best channels for outreach is right at your fingertips—your existing network of customers. By activating your loyal customers via referral campaigns, you can attract new fans via word-of-mouth marketing.

Building in rewards for both those who invite their network to check out your brand and the new individuals who try out your products or services for the first time and including GIFs as part of your refer-a-friend promotions are effective ways to increase the impact of these campaigns.

Referral campaigns that include GIFs generate 2.6X higher conversion rates

#2: Drive App Downloads via SMS

Mobile app users can be highly engaged, loyal customers. But it's not always easy to get individuals to take the extra step to download your app. If in the past you've tried emailing your current subscribers to check out your apps, another channel to consider is SMS marketing. Text campaigns can be up to 45% more effective than emails when it comes to app download campaigns.

#3: Leverage In-App Messaging to Boost Opt-In Rates

If you're struggling to get the bulk of your app users or web visitors to become push or email campaign subscribers, in-app messaging and in-browser messaging can help. Use these channels to demonstrate the value of taking the time to opt in and even reward customers who do so with a special offer and you can see an 84% uplift in opt-in conversation rates.

#5: Make the Most of Cross-Channel Campaigns to Increase Conversions and Spending Among Anonymous Users

When brands use a mix of in-product messages and out-of-product messages to encourage anonymous users to create accounts via in-app and in-browser messages, Content Cards, email, push, SMS, and more, they see powerful results. In fact, leveraging combining in-product and out-of-product messages can raise conversions by 21X and customer spend by up to 20%.

#6: Optimize Your Free Trial and Demo Campaigns with Deep Linking

Deep links drive users to specific pages, pieces of content, or experiences within a mobile app. That means that when you tap on a push notification announcing a sale on t-shirts, you’re led to the section of the app that’s related to that sale, rather than ending upon the generic app homepage. They may seem simple, but they’re a key tool for seamless customer engagement. In fact, brands that include deep links to guide users directly to check out the company's offer for a trial, free offer, demo, or free sample see their conversion rates rise by 4%.

#7: Try Out Action-Based Delivery and Watch Your KPIs Soar

While many messaging campaigns today are sent using traditional time-based scheduling (i.e. “Send at 3pm”), one of the best ways to ensure that you’re sending messages that are relevant to the people receiving them is to trigger those messages based on each customer’s unique behavior using action-based delivery.

In fact, this kind of triggered message can help elevate engagement across a variety of types of customer activation campaigns, including:

  • Referral campaigns: ⬆ conversions by up to 2.1X

  • Free trial campaigns: ⬆ positive uplift by up to 2.6X

  • Subscriber opt-in campaigns: ⬆ conversions by up to 2.2X

#8: Take Advantage of Liquid Personalization to Boost Free Trials and Demos

It’s not enough for a marketer to want to personalize a message; they need the technology to make it happen. For many marketers, Liquid is that tool. This open-source templating language, originally created by Shopify, allows brands to easily add any recipient’s personal details—from membership status to total number of loyalty points to recently shared articles or watched shows—into emails, mobile push notifications, web push messages, and more.

Leveraging Liquid can support your free trial campaigns, allowing you to boost your overall paying customer base. By including Liquid personalization in your free trial campaigns, you can potentially boost conversions by up to 3%.

Take Your Customer Engagement Program to the Next Level

Whether you're looking to brainstorm new campaign ideas or uplevel your current campaigns, check out our Braze Inspiration Guide, packed with 40+ ideas designed to maximize customer activation, monetization, and retention across email, SMS/MMS, mobile push, in-app messages, content cards, web push, in-browser messages, social media, and ads.


Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl is a writer and digital strategist, who has led email, social media, and content marketing for several brands. She has helped launch six mobile apps and one niche social network and is always up for a good Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime binge recommendation or travel tip

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