Why Welcome Journeys are Like Sleep Training

Ellevate Network
3 min readJul 25, 2023

By: Lia Grimberg

Life imitates work and work imitates life.

My four-year-old daughter has gone through a giant sleep regression. She would wake up at 1:30 am, insisting that one of her parents sleep with her. Sometimes she would fall asleep right away, and sometimes we would “party” until 4:00 am, only to wake up at 5:30 to get ready for the gym/work/school. Needless to say, we were running off our feet, tired.

After a few months of this pattern, I realized that she had unlearned the skill to self-soothe and put herself to bed, as she also relied on my husband to stay with her at bedtime until she fell asleep. This meant that her father and I had to go through another round of sleep training with her. With her buy-in, it took about a week and we sat by the door and checked on her every five minutes, eventually increasing it to longer periods.

Now, barring any illness or rogue nightmare, she sleeps through the night and we are all thankful.

There is a lesson to be learned here that can be applied to your customers.

Instead of struggling with teaching her about wake-ups, we addressed the problem at the beginning of the night. Similarly, instead of trying to retain your customers as they are about to leave you, how about we set them up for success.

[Related: Leading Teams in Our New Normal]

1) It starts with the welcome journey.

Brand new customers are the most engaged with your brand and are begging you to interact with them and to help them set their habits with your organization that will persist throughout their relationship with you. In my 20+ years of experience, I can, without a doubt, state that the most effective campaigns are onboarding campaigns, with positive ROI lasting beyond the promotional period.

And yet I am yet to see an amazing, responsive welcome journey that is more than a generic first-time offer code, educates customers about the brand and how to maximize its value, and considers customer response when determining the next steps.

[Related: Establish a Gossip-Free Workplace]

2) Engage customers throughout their lifecycle.

Make sure you are driving the right kind of incremental behavior from your customers while delivering value in exchange for their data usage with personalized recommendations, offers, and content. Determine your best and next best customers, recognize them, and delight them.

3) Use an attrition model to identify high-value at-risk customers.

Run the model regularly and test outreach treatments and offers to determine what works best with which segments to increase retention, while keeping an eye on ROI.

Specifically, concerning welcome journeys, here are the best practices:

  1. Set expectations: “We will check on you every five minutes.” In the case of your business: “This will be a series of four emails that you should expect every three days featuring the following topics.”
  2. Follow through on expectations: Check on them every five minutes. In the case of your business: Send the email as described.
  3. Encourage progress: “You’re doing a great job. Mommy and Daddy are right outside. You are safe.” In the case of your business: “You have completed the registration step. You are well on your way.”
  4. Celebrate success: We do a celebration dance in the morning. In the case of your business: Reward them for making small signs of progress along the way.

[Related: Young Women are Leaving Companies: Here’s Why and What You Can Do About It]

Lia Grimberg is Principal and Consultant for Radicle Loyalty.

Originally published at https://www.ellevatenetwork.com on August 9, 2023.

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