When UrbanSitter first launched, it enabled parents to leverage their personal networks to find trusted babysitters. But as the popularity of the company’s online and mobile service skyrocketed, so did the need to streamline and tailor messaging for both of its user groups: parents and sitters. We traveled to UrbanSitter’s San Francisco headquarters to learn more about how using Mailchimp for customer relationship management (CRM) has helped the startup reach over 1 million members in more than 60 cities—and boost revenue.
“One of our biggest challenges is that we serve 2 distinct user groups,” says Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing Daisy Downs. That means both the service users (parents) and service providers (babysitters) interact with the UrbanSitter platform. To ensure parents and sitters receive the right information at the right time, each group receives a different series of automated emails when they register.
For sitters, the welcome series is primarily used for onboarding over the course of a few weeks. “We need to educate sitters on the information that is required to join UrbanSitter as well as encourage them to pay for background checks and include videos of themselves in order to build trust. We also urge them to add their direct deposit information to facilitate mobile payment,” Daisy says.
For parents, the automation is used for onboarding and education as well—specifically how and when to book a long-term nanny or last-minute sitter. UrbanSitter also tries to win back customers with a re-engagement automation if they cancel their subscription service. Using personalization, the messaging speaks to where those parents are in the search for childcare.
According to Daisy, the payoff has been worth it. Here’s how:
The goal: Keep customers engaged
For UrbanSitter, the key to continuous engagement with both groups is making sure they're satisfied. Because brand loyalty is rooted in emotion, and finding care for your little ones is a sensitive matter, it’s crucial for UrbanSitter to foster empathy by addressing customers’ questions and needs. Email automations help facilitate that bond, which leads to lasting brand loyalty. "We aim to engage with parents during peak seasons, when our service is highly relevant to them," she adds. “For example, we see a big uptick in parents looking for sitters in the summer months and at back-to-school time. We segment our audience and reach out to parents to meet that demand.”
The tools: Segmentation + automation + API
A combination of 3 tools provides UrbanSitter with a wealth of data: segmentation, automation, and Mailchimp’s API. UrbanSitter uses Mailchimp’s API to pull in key customer data into their account, like when a parent or sitter last logged in, or where a parent or sitter lives. Then they use these actionable insights to target messages to the 2 different segments of their audience. This way they can send them separate automations to cater their messaging to their contacts’ needs. “That hook back to our database is incredibly important because it keeps our data up to date, relevant, and accurate so that when we're emailing parents, we are doing so at the right point in their life cycle,” Daisy says. “Additionally, our integration with Google Analytics really completes the story for us because we're able to figure out specifically which emails are driving conversions and subscriptions.” Mailchimp allows the team to A/B test different subject lines or promotional offers, the results of which can be seen conveniently within Google Analytics.
The results: A 260% increase in conversions
People register from multiple channels, Daisy says, but their automated drip campaigns are the main catalyst for UrbanSitter’s success. “It really is our onboarding series and these follow-up emails where we see those conversions take place and impact our revenue in a really meaningful way.” The company saw a 260% increase in their conversion rate attributable to the expanded welcome series emails. “As we continue to segment and test our campaigns, we are seeing our revenue and engagement increase with our customers.”