Driving Owned Media and App Engagement With Email Marketing

July 1, 2020
News & Media

Key Takeaways

Focus Allocation — Email Marketing:
Smaller streaming services such as Hulu and YouTube TV focus their email marketing on user acquisition, while larger streaming services like Disney+ and Netflix focus their emails on encouraging re-engagement with the platforms. 

Email Tactic — Personalization: The most effective email marketing tactic for re-engaging current users with leading streaming platforms is personalized content recommendation emails. Almost all email marketing campaigns from streaming leaders includes some element of segmentation or personalization.

In March, email send volume for top streaming brands went on a slight upward trend. In June, however, email volume has started decreasing, at -23% MoM, returning to numbers similar to January and February.

Top Streaming Brands - Email Send Volume

The same trend is seen in email web traffic, with a large uptick in web traffic from email starting in March. In June, email web traffic numbers have gone back down, by -8% MoM.

Top Streaming Brands - Email Web Traffic

Breaking down emails by campaign type, here are the four most prominent categories of emails sent by each competitor:

Top Streaming Brands - Top Email Campaign Type

Personalized “recommendation” emails generally perform the best out of any email type.

Top Streaming Brands - Personalized Recommendation Emails

These categories also map out the basic customer journey framework favoured by these OTT giants. 

OTT - Basic Customer Journey

Of the 4 competitors, Hulu and YouTube spend the most effort on the acquisition phase of the customer journey.

OTT - Hulu - YouTube - Acquisition Phase

Hulu has several different campaigns are centered around getting customers to sign up to their service, including:

Hulu - Free Trial - Finish Signing-Up

YouTube TV follows a similar tactic, adding an additional campaign that targets their existing paid audience.

YouTube - YouTube Music & YouTube Premium Clients - Finish Signing-Up

On the other hand, Netflix and Disney+ spend majority of their efforts on customer engagement with personalized email content.

Netflix - Disney+ - Email Campaign Type

Netflix’s recommendation journey begins as soon as viewers begin watching content on their platform.

Netflix - Finish Watching - Enjoying - Recommendation

As viewers continue their viewing journey, Netflix follows up with additional recommendations based on what the viewer has watched.

Netflix - Views Journey

To keep viewers engaged and returning to their platform, Netflix also heavily promotes their new arrivals, with a personalized twist.

Netflix - New Arrivals

While Disney+ also sends out a sizeable amount of recommendation emails, they lack the personalization that Netflix has.

Disney + - Various Recommendation Emails

Lastly, with retention, most brands have dedicated a sizeable amount to retaining customers and keeping them on the platform.

OTT - Email Campaigns - Retention

To retain customers, Disney+ sends out a reminder of their ongoing bundling offer to encourage re-subscription.

Disney + - Bundle Offer - Re-Subscription

For some customers, Hulu sends out an exclusive promotion that gives them $3 off per month off their subscription plan if they come back to the platform.

Hulu - Email Campaigns - Exclusive Offers - General Follow-Up

One of the more unique tactics Hulu uses is their “birthday” email. For subscribers who have canceled, they send out an offer for a free month of access.

Hulu - Email Campaigns - Birthday Offer

Netflix chooses to re-engage customers by letting their extensive list of titles as a major selling point, rather than offering free trials or pricing promotions.

Netflix - Email Campaign - Titles for Everyone

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