Growth Marketing


Make the Most of Your Customer Monetization Campaigns

Team Braze By Team Braze Dec 7, 2022

Well-designed customer monetization campaigns can drive gains in customer spend, repeat purchases, upsells, and lifetime value. For insights on what it takes to create and deploy the kinds of customer monetization campaigns that make a difference, we spoke with two experts on the topic—Reed Kuhn, Sr. Director, Business Strategy at Branch, and Vanessa Stark, Senior Marketing Manager II, Performance Marketing and CRM at Instacart.

Here are the best practices for ensuring success with customer monetization campaigns they shared during their session at FORGE 2022, our annual customer engagement conference.

How to lay the foundation for customer monetization

#1: Focus on educating new users

“The biggest strategy that we employ to get them to check out is really education,” says Vanessa. “It’s educating users on our value props, our use cases, and really getting them to build that brand familiarity and trust through either our notifications or our experience within the site or app.”

Explain all of the benefits of your product right from the start, using all of your key touch points—email, push, SMS, and in-product messaging, Vanessa adds.

#2: Use your channels to your advantage

Vanessa recommends leveraging in-product messaging—including banners, tool tips, interstitials, and pop-ups—to guide new users through the buying journey to complete a successful checkout within your app or website. If the user abandons before finishing the checkout process, she suggests using out-of-product messaging—email, SMS, and push notifications—to keep your brand top-of-mind for customers and encourage them to wrap up the checkout process.

#3: Incentivize referrals

Countless brands across industries have grown their businesses by gamifying the referral process, rewarding both customers who refer new users and the new users who join as a result of being referred.

Reed’s team at Branch helps brands use deep linking to personalize the onboarding experience and to motivate new users to invite their friends and family. “On the very first app open they get immediate confirmation of the reward, and possibly some personalized content,” Reed explains. “And we know that these users retain longer than cold activations.”

#4: Know how to upsell

Instacart uses unique monetization strategies to upsell the Instacart+ membership. These are different than the strategies they leverage when they’re looking to drive regular purchase transactions.

“Our value proposition of membership is most compelling when we can tangibly showcase the value that an Instacart+ membership can provide—which is namely cost savings over time,” explains Vanessa. “Therefore, our most successful upsell strategies come when we can showcase personalized, estimated savings—either in real time via the in-product experience as the user is moving through the website/app, or even post order, via CRM notifications that dynamically pull in estimated savings data into the message based on the user’s most recent order.”

For the most effective upsells, Vanessa says brands need to understand customers’ motivations and behaviors and use these insights to create personalized upsell campaigns, sending the right messages to the right users at the right time.

#5: Don’t focus on short-term gains in AOV and conversion rates at the expense of retention and LTV

“Any marketing that doesn’t put user experience first can lead to long-term cannibalization,” says Reed. “Stressing one near-term goal might help you meet the quarterly targets, but at what cost?”

He recommends prioritizing retention and lifetime value (LTV) over conversion rates and average order value (AOV) to avoid sending too many messages to users, contributing to marketing fatigue and higher email, push, and SMS opt-out rates.

As an example of this, Reed shares how a major retailer they worked with sent a high volume of emails during the holidays to drive checkouts, generating more conversions but at a big cost to the business.

“There were also a lot of unsubscribes, and user engagement and retention KPIs all went down in following quarters, driving a far more negative business impact than any holiday benefit would have added,” Reed explains.

#6: Invest in the right strategies and tools

While marketers’ natural instincts may be to send batch-and-blast style monetization campaigns to everyone on their email or SMS subscriber list to generate a larger, more immediate lift, this type of strategy isn’t effective in the long run.

“The downsides of ‘one and done’ approaches is that they can be short-sighted and are not scalable,” says Vanessa. “You may see a bump in revenue from a batch send, but without a thoughtful, overarching strategy, that revenue likely will not sustain.”

A more sophisticated strategy fueled by personalized, customer lifecycle campaigns powered by a tool like the Braze customer engagement platform, which can manage sending more complex customer journeys in an intuitive interface, will help brands unlock greater results and business benefits over time, Vanessa adds.

Ready to increase your transactions, upsells, subscriptions, and lifetime value? Use these eight actionable insights to launch and send more effective customer monetization campaigns.



Team Braze

Team Braze

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