How do you get nearly half-a-million people to actively engage in a technical campaign with few initial customer benefits? That was the question facing Spark when they decided to change providers for their Xtra Mail service. This is how they did it.
When they work well, brand alignments can be very successful. But things change. Ten years ago, Telecom aligned with Yahoo to supply email. Fast forward to 2016 and the Yahoo brand was in decline. The product had challenges from hackers and the partnership was eroding the Spark brand, creating a real risk of customers leaving.
Change was needed. But anyone who’s ever changed email suppliers knows that's tricky. Multiply that challenge by over 840,000 email accounts and it’s the Everest of migrations.
The challenge was to get every customer to act, asking them to do something they’ve been told they shouldn’t do, for reasons they wouldn’t immediately understand. This set the scene for the challenge…
It was critical to win the hearts and minds of customers and get them to come on the journey. Rather than focus entirely on rational benefits, the campaign appealed emotionally to ‘bringing email home’. Instead of asking people to verify their account, customers were put in control and asked to ‘give permission’ for the migration. A simple strategy, but it worked.
A three-phased communications approach was used called ‘Ready. Set. Go’ to move customers through the migration funnel.
• In the Ready phase communications highlighted the emotional benefit and encouraged early adopters to give permission to help with testing of the migration process.
• In the Set phase customers were prepared for the migration and expectations around timing and any technical changes were managed.
• Finally, in the Go phase customers were managed through the actual migration, setting expectations around down time and highlighting the features of the new platform.
The campaign delivered a staggering 99.2% of an ambitious target of getting 90% of customers to self-manage online - with many customers thanking Spark for helping make it happen.