Netflix Gets Email – Part II

Adam Covati

As we discussed last week, Netflix does a great job of taking care of its new members with a helpful introductory life cycle program. Today I’d like to talk about the day-to-day emails that keep you involved with your Netflix account.

I’m quickly learning that Netflix works best when it’s an integrated part of your life. As you talk with friends and coworkers some one will mention a great movie and your first thought is, “is that in my queue?” Netflix encourages that mentality with ongoing emails that keep you involved with your queue. 

Keeping You Informed

Netflix Sent DVD emailWhenever Netflix sends you a new dvd they also send an email letting you know what you’ll be receiving and an estimate on when it will arrive. Upon receiving a returned dvd they send another email. These emails are quite helpful, it’s good to keep your customers informed, similar to shipment confirmations for retailers.

Netflix has managed to pack a bit more functionality into these messages, such as providing the ability to rate your recently watched movies directly from the return email.

Netflix rate this movie

This is a great bit of email interactivity, and it serves two purposes. It saves your recipients’ time, and it also keeps your customers interacting with, and looking forward to, your messages. Many retailers employ similar practices where they ask you to review products several weeks after purchasing; offering a coupon or other incentive can also increase participation.

Once you have people looking forward to your message you now have a great vehicle for relevant advertising, yet another thing Netflix is doing pretty well. You’ll notice ads for gift subscriptions as well as referrals. They often advertise dvd purchases from them as well, all relevant to the email at hand.

Keeping You Happy

From time to time Netflix also sends out a short email survey that asks when you mailed your dvd back. These quick, one questions surveys (as discussed previously) ensure that people are getting fast and reliable service. It’s encouraging the see that they care about their service and are always checking that your dvds aren’t languishing in the pits of the USPS. It’s an interesting change of pace to think about postal delivery issues rather than black lists and ISPs!

Netflix upsell messageAside from these tactical messages, Netflix also sends movie recommendations based on your ratings of other movies. Something they often encourage you to do within their site, this all works to keep you watching movies you like. And not just watching movies, but watching lots of movies.

For those who are watching lots of movies, Netflix provides encouragements to upgrade to bigger plans. It’s a good upsell, they provide some reasons to get you going, but they don’t push too hard. They really have worked to ensure that these emails come off as if they have noticed that there is a better plan for you, not that they just want to make money off of you.

Take Aways

  • Keep your customers informed of key events and make use of relevant marketing at these points
  • Keep people interested and encourage interaction – make it a two way conversation
  • Show that you care while improving the value people get from your service

It’s important to keep your customers engaged, creating an email marketing program that focuses on improving your services and the value your customers receive as a sure way to ensure a good return on investment.I know we’ve spent a good bit of time covering Netflix, but I’ve got one more post up my sleeve. Next week I’ll be providing some insight into the testing that Netflix has done as well as some thoughts on where they can go from here.

Adam Covati
Product Manager at Bronto

  • […] the final blog post in my series on Netflix’s email marketing program (see part 1 & part 2) we are going to gain a little insight into the testing Netflix has done to get them where they are […]