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Deep Dive on Vox's User Engagement - User Engagement Teardown

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This Iterable User Engagement Teardown looks at Vox, a news site that is part of the Vox Media group.

It analyzes how Vox engages users in the first 3 weeks post-signup. The User Engagement Timeline lets you visualize all engagement, and we also evaluate individual emails and suggest improvements.

Published in: Marketing
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Deep Dive on Vox's User Engagement - User Engagement Teardown

  1. 1. User  Engagement  Teardown August/September,   2015 #UEteardown Download:  iterable.com/teardown
  2. 2. 2©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved Make  sure  to  watch  full  screen! Press  this  button
  3. 3. What  is  a  “User  Engagement  Teardown”? • Analyze  a  company’s  user  engagement  over  3  weeks  post-­‐signup • Constructive  evaluation  and  feedback • All  types  of  B2C  companies:  e-­‐commerce,  subscription,  media,  etc. ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved 3
  4. 4. 4©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved • A  “general  interest  news  site”  (http://vox.com) • Part  of  Vox Media,  a  group  of  8  high-­‐profile  media  sites  including  The   Verge,  Eater  and  SB  Nation • $307M  raised  to  date How  are  they  engaging  readers?
  5. 5. What  We  Did ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved 5 • Signed  up  for  Vox’s email  newsletter  (“Vox Sentences”) • Vox doesn’t  have  accounts  or  an  app,  so  that’s  all  we  could  do  to  start
  6. 6. 6©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved On  to  the  “User  Engagement  Timeline”…
  7. 7. 7 ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved User   Activity Messages Days  from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Desktop   browser Mobile   app Activity  Type Blast Triggered Transactional Message  Type Push  notification User  Engagement  TimelineThe
  8. 8. 8 ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved User   Activity Messages Days  from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Desktop   browser Mobile   app Activity  Type Blast Triggered Transactional Message  Type Push  notification We’ll  show  you  what  we  (the  user)  did  here… User  Engagement  TimelineThe
  9. 9. 9 ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved User   Activity Messages Days  from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Desktop   browser Mobile   app Activity  Type Blast Triggered Transactional Message  Type Push  notification We’ll  show  you  what  we  (the  user)  did  here… …  and  the  messages  we  received  from  Vox here. User  Engagement  TimelineThe
  10. 10. 10 ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved User   Activity Messages Days  from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Desktop   browser Mobile   app Activity  Type Blast Triggered Transactional Message  Type Push  notification We’ll  show  you  what  we  (the  user)  did  here… …  and  the  messages  we  received  from  Vox here. Activities  and  messages  are  color  coded  as  shown   in  this  key User  Engagement  TimelineThe
  11. 11. 11 ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved User   Activity Messages Days  from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Desktop   browser Mobile   app Activity  Type Blast Triggered Transactional Message  Type Push  notification This  is  what  we  did  to  kick  things  off  (day  0)  in  a  desktop  browserSigned   up   User  Engagement  TimelineThe
  12. 12. 12 ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved User   Activity Messages Days  from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Desktop   browser Mobile   app Activity  Type Blast Triggered Transactional Message  Type Push  notification And  Vox sent  us  the  first  “Vox Sentences”  blast   email  that  day Vox Sentences Signed   up   This  is  what  we  did  to  kick  things  off  (day  0)  in  a  desktop  browser User  Engagement  TimelineThe
  13. 13. 13©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved Fast  forward  to  day  21…
  14. 14. 14 ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved User   Activity Messages Days  from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Desktop   browser Mobile   app Activity  Type Blast Triggered Transactional Message  Type Push  notification Signed   up   Vox Sentences Opened   day’s   email Opened   and   clicked   day’s   email Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences User  Engagement  TimelineThe
  15. 15. 15 ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved User   Activity Messages Days  from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Desktop   browser Mobile   app Activity  Type Blast Triggered Transactional Message  Type Push  notification Signed   up   Opened   day’s   email Opened   and   clicked   day’s   email Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences It  looks  a  little  boring,  but  we  can  still  learn  something User  Engagement  TimelineThe
  16. 16. 16©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved Let’s  point  out  a  few  things…
  17. 17. 17 ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved User   Activity Messages Days  from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Desktop   browser Mobile   app Activity  Type Blast Triggered Transactional Message  Type Push  notification Signed   up   Opened   day’s   email Opened   and   clicked   day’s   email We  got  blast  emails  every   day  except  for  weekends Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences User  Engagement  TimelineThe
  18. 18. 18 ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved User   Activity Messages Days  from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Desktop   browser Mobile   app Activity  Type Blast Triggered Transactional Message  Type Push  notification Signed   up   Opened   day’s   email Opened   and   clicked   day’s   email We  got  blast  emails  every   day  except  for  weekends This  is  Labor  Day   weekend Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences User  Engagement  TimelineThe
  19. 19. 19 ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved User   Activity Messages Days  from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Desktop   browser Mobile   app Activity  Type Blast Triggered Transactional Message  Type Push  notification Signed   up   Opened   day’s   email Opened   and   clicked   day’s   email We  engaged  the  first  3  days,   opening  the  emails  and   clicking  on  a  couple  of   stories. Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences User  Engagement  TimelineThe
  20. 20. 20 ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved User   Activity Messages Days  from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Desktop   browser Mobile   app Activity  Type Blast Triggered Transactional Message  Type Push  notification Signed   up   Opened   day’s   email Opened   and   clicked   day’s   email Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences But  we  suspected  we  were  only  going  to  get   blast  emails.   So  we  decided  to  stop  opening  the  emails,  to   see  what  happened. User  Engagement  TimelineThe
  21. 21. 21 ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved User   Activity Messages Days  from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Desktop   browser Mobile   app Activity  Type Blast Triggered Transactional Message  Type Push  notification Signed   up   Opened   day’s   email Opened   and   clicked   day’s   email Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences User  Engagement  TimelineThe
  22. 22. 22 ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved User   Activity Messages Days  from start: 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 211 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 90 Desktop   browser Mobile   app Activity  Type Blast Triggered Transactional Message  Type Push  notification Signed   up   Opened   day’s   email Opened   and   clicked   day’s   email Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Vox Sentences Nothing  happened.   The  blast  emails  kept  on  coming  every   weekday,  whether  we  engaged  or  not. User  Engagement  TimelineThe
  23. 23. Timeline  Takeaways ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved 23 • Vox Sentences  emails  are  well-­‐done  and  informative  (see  next  section) • But  there’s  a  huge  opportunity  to  add  triggered  emails  with  little  extra  work o 1  or  2  welcome  messages  to  let  people  know  what  to  expect  (see  next  section) o Inactivity  “check-­‐in”  and  pause/change  in  frequency  (or  even  rate-­‐limiting) • Personalization  is  another  opportunity,  but  would  require  more  work o “Recommended  for  you”  section • Finally,  we  don’t  think  there  was  any  A/B  testing  of  subject  lines  (or  content)
  24. 24. 24©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved Let’s  look  at  the  emails…
  25. 25. 25©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved
  26. 26. 26©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved
  27. 27. 27©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved The  emails  are  long,  but   well  structured.   Each  day’s  email  has  the   same  layout  and  sections.
  28. 28. 28©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved The  intro  mentions  the  3  main  topics   covered  in  the  email.
  29. 29. 29©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved 1 2 3 The  intro  mentions  the  3  main  topics   covered  in  the  email.
  30. 30. 30©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved 1 2 3 And  each  of  the  3  topics  is   covered  in  more  detail  in   succinct,  punchy  bullet  points   with  links  out  to  all  sources.
  31. 31. 31©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved 1
  32. 32. 32©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved 2 1
  33. 33. 33©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved 32 1
  34. 34. 34©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved Followed  by  3  regular   secondary  sections
  35. 35. 35©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved “Miscellaneous”  – a  handful  of   unrelated  news  stories
  36. 36. 36©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved “Verbatim”  – a  handful  of  quotes
  37. 37. 37©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved “Watch  This”  – a  link  to  a  video
  38. 38. Email  Takeaways  (1/3)  – Welcome  Series ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved 38 • Emails  look  great  and  are  informative.  However,  it  takes  some  time  to   catch  on  to  the  structure. • A  “welcome”  email  that  explains  the  structure  would  orient  readers   and  let  them  know  what  to  expect  — increasing  readership  and   engagement • This  triggered  welcome  would  be  trivial  to  add  with  the  right  tools
  39. 39. Email  Takeaways  (2/3)  – Addressing  Inactivity ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved 39 • Having  daily  emails  pile  up  in  an  inbox  is  not  a  good  user  experience   (and  is  inevitable  for  many  people) • “Checking-­‐in”  with  a  message  after  some  inactivity  (e.g.,  5  days  of  no   opens/clicks)  could  be  a  great  idea  (automatic  rate-­‐limiting  based  on   inactivity  is  also  an  option) • Email  would  ask  if  reader  wants  to  pause  emails  or  reduce  frequency • It’s  very  likely  this  would  reduce  unsubscribes  or  spam  reports
  40. 40. Email  Takeaways  (3/3)  – Personalization   ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved 40 • An  additional  section  based  on  reader  preferences  could  drive  even   more  engagement • Admittedly,  this  is  would  involve  more  work  (e.g.,  preferences  UX   upon  signup,  etc.) • This  could  be  a  great  medium-­‐term  add-­‐on  to  Vox’s emails
  41. 41. Overall  Vox User  Engagement  Takeaways ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved 41 • Vox has  great,  informative  emails • We’ve  suggested  easy  improvements  to  get  people  ready  for  them,   increasing  engagement  and  reducing  unsubscribes/spam  reports • There  are  also  more  ambitious  improvements  around  personalization   that  could  have  great  results • Push  can  come  into  play  once  they  have  an  app
  42. 42. Request  an  Iterable  demo: That’s  it! ©2015  Iterable,  Inc.  All  rights  reserved 42 • Thank  you  for  reading.  Join  the  discussion,  use:  #UEteardown • Download  slides  and  see  other  teardowns:  iterable.com/teardown • Anything  suggested  in  our  teardowns  can  be  done  with  Iterable iterable.com/demo ! /iterable " @iterable # /iterableTV

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