Email-Based Onboarding to Increase New User Engagement 

for an Institutional Research Networking Platform

Nooshin Latour...
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AMIA 2014: Email-Based Onboarding to Increase New User Engagement for Research Networking Platform

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Poster presented at the 2014 Joint Summits on Translational Science hosted by the American Informatics Association (AMIA). Showcases success with automated email onboarding for research networking software (Profiles.ucsf.edu) at UC San Francisco. Team: Nooshin Latour & Anirvan Chatterjee - Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF

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AMIA 2014: Email-Based Onboarding to Increase New User Engagement for Research Networking Platform

  1. 1. Email-Based Onboarding to Increase New User Engagement 
 for an Institutional Research Networking Platform
 Nooshin Latour, MA, Anirvan Chatterjee Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of California, San Francisco Clinical and Translational Science Institute / CTSI Accelerating Research to Improve Health S F U Introduction New researchers get added to the UCSF Profiles research networking platform upon joining the institution. While publication histories are added automatically to profile pages, other data need to be entered by profile owners. Many researchers were either unaware of their profile, and/or that they could be customized (only 30% had logged in to make any edits).
 Method Communicators and technologists on the UCSF Profiles team developed automated welcome emails to engage users joining the institution, using email marketing best practices to encourage early engagement.
 On Day 1: •  The day after they get added to UCSF Profiles, new users are automatically sent a “Welcome” email (#1) which includes a description of the system and links to their profile page and the customization form. On Day 14: •  Users who have customized their profile page are sent a “Thank You” email (#2A) which further describes how the system can be used. •  Users who have not yet edited their profile page get a friendly reminder to do so (#2B), structured as a set of tips. Emails are automatically triggered upon adding new users to UCSF Profiles, and delivered via the Mandrill email automation platform. We used Mandrill’s analytics to test multiple variants of the emails, based on open and click rates. Results We tested multiple variants of the emails. Results for winning variants: •  Email #1: 63% open rate, 55% click rate •  Email #2A: 39% open rate, 11% click rate •  Email #2B: 44% open rate, 25% click rate These engagements rates are surprisingly high. Open rates for email A are 2-3x higher than related industry averages, and click rates are up to 15x higher. We are doing cohort analyses to understand long-term impacts of custom onboarding emails on engagement with this research networking tool. 
 Email engagement rates, compared to industry averages: This project was supported by NIH/NCRR UCSF-CTSI Grant Number UL1 TR000004. Its contents are
 solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. New researcher joins UCSF …and is issued a new Profiles page Onboarding email #1 sent the next day Inspired by industry Anatomy of a successful onboarding email Customized subject line Clear calls
 to action Helpful
 tips Responsive HTML email works in webmail, smartphones, etc. Concise copy Friendly voice Appeal to curiosity Two weeks later, did the researcher customize their profile page?
 Send either email #2A or #2B 63% 44% 47% 36% 33% 31% 25% 55% 25% 4% 3% 3% 3% 4% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% UCSF Profiles Welcome Email UCSF Profiles Follow Up Email Non-Profit Education & Training Software & WebApp Medical, Dental, Healthcare Social Networks & Online Communities Open Click Jane Doe, PhD Jane%Doe,%PhD%is%the%Eudocia%and%Sebas4ano%Papasthatopoulos%Endowed%Chair%in%Medicine%and%an%Associate% C
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