Personalize Customer Journeys in Real-Time With Braze Action Paths
Ever feel like your customers’ attention spans are shrinking by the minute? There’s a reason for that. The average consumer is exposed to 6,000 and 10,000 ads each day—simply too many to possibly interact with. For every “act now!” there’s a thousand more in its wake that will be ignored. So, how can a brand hope to cut through the noise? With customer journeys that deliver personalized experiences to your customers.
Personalization is no longer a nice-to-have but a necessity, and research shows 71% of consumers expect it, while 75% get frustrated when they don’t experience it. Simply put, without the ability to dynamically segment audiences and personalize messages based onn real-time data, companies risk leaving serious money on the table. The same research shows that personalization can accelerate business growth, with up to 40% higher revenue generated from personalized marketing activities overall. To facilitate these personalized interactions in real-time, meet the latest Braze Canvas Flow component: Braze Action Paths.
For companies of all sizes, personalization at scale used to be quite a hefty investment. Historically, building the back-end of these comprehensive experiences was a costly and time-consuming endeavor for marketers. Being able to sync up your data, engineering, and marketing teams into one, streamlined unit could take months of time and significant engineering resourcest. But like business goals, consumers wait for no one—and most tools simply weren’t built to keep pace with the changing needs of companies and customers alike. Luckily, the technology has finally caught up to marketers’ performance needs, making it possible to easily automate the highly personalized experiences customers crave with real-time testing and optimization capabilities. To simplify the process of automating key moments within the customer journey, we set out to build and launch Braze Action Paths.
Action Paths in a Nutshell: The Power of Personalization
So what are Action Paths all about? With Action Paths, marketers can create, define, and trigger user experiences based on the actions customers take during an assigned time period.
Action Paths are one of the key components you can leverage in Braze Canvas Flow to build dynamic customer journeys—without ever having to write a single line of code. Think of Canvas Flow as a way to manage, orchestrate and visualize the conversation you’re having with each one of your customers.
Thanks to our new and improved customer journey orchestration tool, it’s now easier than ever to unlock your marketing creativity while optimizing the performance of your campaigns. Within our streamlined interface, you can easily compose your messages and build custom personalized journeys using our drag-and-drop interface. While in the past, marketing teams might have had to scale back innovations due to resource constraints or tech limitations, with Braze, it’s now possible to perform a wide range of game-changing marketing activities, from automatically triggering personalized consumer experiences to dynamically syncing your advertisements to Google and Facebook, all within a single platform.
Creating Customer Journeys in Braze
There’s a number of mix-and-match ways to go about building custom journeys, but, before we zoom in, let’s go over the basics of Action Paths. You can define Action Paths based on custom events, such as completing a purchase or interacting with an app. Action Paths can be defined based on a singular customer action, or based on multiple action events. You can assign a designated period of time for users to perform an action—like giving a two-week window for a user to subscribe before sending a reminder email. These users can then be advanced to the next step immediately, or with a custom delay once the action has been performed.
Step 1: Define the action.
Let’s say you’re looking to create personalized messaging based on actions visitors take on their website. To do this, you can easily add a component to your Canvas customer journey. In Canvas Flow, you can drag and drop the component from the sidebar, or select the plus button at the bottom of a step and select Action Paths to add them to your flow.
Step 2: Set your time period in action settings.
Context is everything, and with Action Paths you can define how long your customer has to perform a specific action. To do this, you’ll want to update the settings in the Evaluation Window. Braze will default this to 1 day, but you can get as granular as you like. Adjust the window by seconds, minutes, hours, days—you get the picture. You can also define advancement behavior, making it possible to define whether your visitors will move to the next step immediately after performing an action or with a delay
Step 3: Level up the marketing magic with ranking.
You know the old chestnut, if everything’s a priority then nothing is a priority? Crank things up a notch with ranking capabilities to hone in on your messaging based on the highest-priority actions for your brand. This added dose of logic sends users down the most important path aligned with your KPIs. By default, Ranking will be turned off—but to turn it on enable Advance Users Based on Ranked Order. Let’s say you have a Canvas with an evaluation window of one day, and the highest priority action is “Makes a purchase” while the secondary action is “starts a session”. With ranking on, all users in the Action Path will hang out in their group for one day. When 24 hours are up, those that have performed both actions, will go down the path assigned to the higher priority action, in this case “Makes a Purchase.”
Step 4: Hone in your action groups.
Triggers are what will define your action groups, and you can make these as granular as needed for your campaign goals. For instance, you can define a trigger around general purchases made or more specific purchases. You can also set triggers around engagement activities, such as the number of interactions a user has with your app or website.
Action Paths in Action
Now that we’ve explored how to set up Action Paths within Canvas Flow, let’s explore what that looks like for a customer. In this case, we’ll walk through Corinna’s experience who’s starting her own true crime podcast. She goes to the website of her favorite audio equipment brand to set up her at-home studio. And because this company is leveraging Braze to orchestrate a customer experience that’s personalized to her actions and behaviors, an exceptional messaging flow is possible.
Group 1: Makes Purchase
In need of a brand new microphone, she shops around on a few sites before settling on this brand’s offerings. The prices are competitive with other alternatives, but the free shipping for purchases over $100 really seals the deal. Upon purchase, she receives a confirmation email in her inbox with a delightful subject line that nudges her to make a complementary purchase by offering half-off a pair of headphones.
Group 2: Joins Loyalty Program
In the brand’s app, Corinna sees a special offer. Anyone who joins their loyalty program will receive $10 off their next purchase. Audio equipment can really add up, so it’s important to make every dollar count. As a fan of the brand, she signs up and receives a congratulatory email with her discount code.
Group 3: Views Item
The microphone Corinna purchased was super slick, but a little heavy-duty for interviewing some of her subjects out in the field. She visits the brand’s website once more to check out a more lightweight alternative, but decides to sleep on it before pulling the trigger. Then she receives a gentle nudge in her inbox, encouraging her to complete her purchase.
Group 4: Everyone Else
If for any reason Corinna did not complete any of the actions above, she’d still be primed to receive an email for an upcoming sale—every audiophile’s favorite phrase. By priming her journey with moments that feel resonant to each high-value action, the brand is more likely to be able to capture Corinna’s attention and purchasing power.
Sophisticated execution doesn’t have to be complex to create. When it comes to your customer journeys, granularity is a must-have but it needn’t come at the expense of your teams’ time and resources. Seek out solutions that simplify journey-building from end-to-end, so you don’t get stuck in a time-consuming, multi-step process.
Choose solutions that can adapt to consumers’ actions in real time. With Braze, you can proactively move customers through one Canvas as they move through the onboarding flow. No splitting multiple events or breaking journeys out by specific API-triggers. Just one automated, streamlined action path.
Personalization is a company-wide imperative, not just a marketing or analytics issue. In a crowded marketplace, even small strides in speaking directly to consumers are shown to give companies the cutting edge and lead to increased customer lifetime value.
When it comes to your using personalization, there’s no limit to what your marketing creativity can unlock with Action Paths. Now, more than ever, you can easily direct your campaign efforts around the exact points a user enters your Canvas and encourage them toward the actions that correlate best with their stage in the life cycle.
Curious to learn how Braze can help you deliver the customer-centric, personalized experiences necessary to drive better business results? Check out our Mastering Modern Campaign Orchestration Guide.