Engage your Decision Makers with a smart digest email

The Decision Maker. 

For those who sell software to enterprise buyers (or any business buyers, actually), you know who I’m talking about. Decision Makers are what we call those people that must approve the decision to buy your software.

But very often, your Decision Makers, while definitely your customer, are not the same as your Users. 

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It is not at all unusual that the people who make the decision to purchase your app…never use it.

Sales and Customer Success teams around the world stress over the fact that the Decision Makers - the people to whom they actually sold the product…the ones who will determine whether or not the account will renew or cancel - have never even logged in! 

But is this a bad thing? Well…it depends. 

If the Decision Makers don’t login your app because it doesn’t solve a problem for them - but it’s meant to - then it’s a bad thing. You have a product issue. Fix it.

But if your app is not designed to solve the problem of Decision Makers, then the fact that they don’t login it isn’t a problem. If your product is delivering great value to the people who it was built for (your Users), and it doesn’t make sense for the Decision Makers to use it, then: 

Don’t worry about Decision Makers not logging into your app.

Yes, that’s right. Don’t worry about it. If they don’t need to use your app, then don’t worry about whether or not they login.

With that said - this does not mean that your Decision Makers should not be engaged with your product. Quite the opposite. It’s very, very important to keep your Decision Makers engaged with your product. In many cases, your renewal depends on it. 

If you let Decision Makers go 10 months without thinking about your product or even being aware of the value it is delivering, then securing that retention & renewal is going to be a difficult task.

Huh? I thought you said we shouldn’t worry if our Decision Makers don’t login. 

I did. And you shouldn’t. But logging in does not = engagement. You can keep people engaged with app even if they don’t log in.

What? How?

Well…in the case of Decision Makers, you know of one app that they are definitely logging into every day. Probably more than 20 times per day. 

Email. 

They (along with everyone else) live in their inboxes, so why not take advantage of this. Why spend an infinite amount of energy trying to get them to login to your app. Why make them remember your URL…try to remember their damn password…fumble through your dashboard to find valuable information…only to call in their team to help out of frustration.

Why not just send them an email? Honestly…it’s really the only medium you have to reach these people on a regular basis…

Ok, email. Got it. But what am I supposed to say?

Well…I would argue it’s not what you should say - it’s what your app could say.

I guarantee that there is information or data being generated from your app that would be interesting for your Decision Makers. Maybe more than interesting. Maybe important. Or maybe even…essential. Information that, if she had easy access to it, would increase the likelihood of retention/renewal by orders of magnitude.

  • If you are CRM/sales app - maybe it’s high-level insights into the sales pipeline 

  • If you are a Task Management app - maybe it’s data around team productivity

  • If you are a Product Roadmap app - maybe it’s updated views on the roadmap or upcoming trouble spots. 

  • If you are an accounting software - maybe it’s reporting on cash, receivables, etc

  • If you are a social media management app - maybe it’s brand mentions or stats on the most effective posts.

  • If you are an e-signature app, maybe is # of contracts signed, by whom, etc.

  • Etc.

I’m sure it won’t take you much time to think of the data your app is generating that would be valuable to your Decision Makers. Give it a shot. It probably won’t take more than 60 seconds. 

Develop a targeted digest email.

A well designed (and I’m not just talking about how it looks) digest email highlighting interesting/important/essential information for your Decision Makers may be the key to driving engagement from this population.

In fact, if you are able to get your Decision Makers hooked on your digest email, the likelihood of securing retention & renewal is very high. Because, Ms. Decision Maker, if you cancel your subscription, that daily or weekly bit of gold goes away…

Trust me. This works.

And, you never know, it may just get them to login to your app as well.

So, how do you build a digest email for your Decision Makers?

Well…first you have to identify your Decision Makers. If your app has user levels (such as Team Members, Managers and/or Admins), then it might be pretty easy. If you don’t have user levels, then ask your Sales and/or Customer Success teams. They will immediately be able to identify the Decision Makers. Bonus points for the team that has their Decision Makers tagged in their CRM :)

Once you have them identified, here are some tips for building digest emails for Decision Makers (on top of our general tips for developing good digest emails):

  • Really understand what information is valuable for your Decision Makers - don’t be afraid to ask them directly. These should be custom, personalized emails with the most relevant information possible. Do NOT send your Decision Makers generic emails. In no way do your Decision Makers want to be ‘marketed to’. This is an easy way to turn them off and get them to ignore (or block) your emails. And if they ignore/block your emails, keeping them engaged will be near impossible. 

  • Consider timing - many times a weekly digest makes more sense for Decision Makers (vs Users who will generally need a daily digest). But this totally depends on your app.

  • Consider their attention spans. In many cases, less is more with Decision Makers. Give them a taste of the value of your app and let her ask her team (or you) for more. This is especially a good idea with your first iteration of this digest. 

  • Visuals help. Consuming data in visual format is probably preferable for most Decision Makers.  

In short, keeping Decision Makers engaged with app is absolutely essential for the long-term retention and growth of your product. But requiring them to login to get at the important information is not only inconsiderate, it’s ineffective.

A smart, daily or weekly digest email may just be the key to keeping these important players ‘in the game.’ 

We’d love to hear of any experiences people have had with digest emails for Decision Makers. Let us know your thoughts!