Marketing Campaigns Automation Project

“To drive value for my business, I need to create meaningful connections with my tens of thousands of customers and prospects based on how they are interacting with my company. I’d like to do this by delivering relevant, personalized content at just the right time and cadence that I can tweak and optimize based on performance.” - SendGrid Marketing Campaigns Customer

Problem Statement

As a very busy email marketer working in a fast paced tech company, when I need to send a simple welcome email to new users, I want to send it in real time, so I can personalize the experience and make it feel as engaging as possible with our brand. Currently, I have to do this in weekly or monthly batches, importing and exporting contact lists from our database into SendGrid and then I end up sending welcome emails that are usually too late. I need the experience to be the right email content at the right time.

Why solve this now?

Timed, personalized messages are critical for effective marketing. B2C marketers who connect with customers via automated emails see conversion rates as high as 50%. If we are going to take the marketing seat at the table, we need automation as our backbone so that we power individually relevant marketing messages. We want to expand the customers we serve by solving for this problem and allow the marketing campaigns product continue to grow.

User Research and Personas

Between May 2017 and July 2017, the core Marketing Campaigns team completed 12 customer interviews exploring how Olivias optimize their time and resources to execute the most efficient email marketing campaigns that ladder up to their overall marketing strategy and goals.

The email marketing persona that SendGrid identified and crafted was named "Olivia"

Automations Olivia Persona

Research Findings

Olivia understands the concept of automation and knows it would optimize her email marketing efforts, but she’s overwhelmed by a number of factors: getting the series of triggers and events just right, making sure emails are sent at the right cadence, knowing which content to include+how many messages should be in the series, and how she will incorporate her segments.

“I would love journey-builder level sophistication but my main concern is just getting basic drip set up first.” Brandon Crossley, Poindexter

The Plan

Automations Plan

Story Map

A story map is a great method for capturing all of the required jobs to be done and then drawing a line to distinguish the scope of each release. This activity is done with product managers, engineers and design in order to accurately scope and articulate the requirements at each release.

Automations Story Map


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Usability Tests

I led multiple rounds of usability studies, testing multiple solution ideas. Every round allowed us to narrow the scope of the project, based on the feedback we heard from our customers. This allowed the team to stay very focused on the most important jobs to be done for our customers. One of the most interesting findings we learned was that customers were not interested in every feature available on the market. They needed simple drip campaign functionality with an emphasis on the welcome email for new signups. This allowed the team to optimize for this job to be done.

Automations Participants

Visual Designs

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Customer Quotes

"I like how simple this is. Even if you aren’t an email marketer, you can just come in here and figure it out"
"I love that you have templates available right away. That helps immensely. I can get started quickly. Also gives me some guidance when I go to build a custom one."
"I really like how it has the performance for each asset and everything is in one place. One of the things I struggle with in Marketo is that things are spread out across multiple places. If I’m trying to recall what email 2 said, I can quickly reference it. It’s much easier."
I like that the reporting is really up front and on a single page. In Act-On I feel like I have to dig deep to find it sometimes. This makes reporting really straightforward and quick to do, which makes my job easier."

Metrics and Success

Target adoption rate: 3% in first 3 months of release. Actual adoption rate was around 6% of existing customer base over the first 3 months of release.

Due to Automation funcionality, Marketing Campaigns gained some major global brands to onboard and start using the product.

Marketing Campaigns grew to be a 40 million dollar business within Twilio SendGrid after Automations was released.

The Team

Veronica Hudson (Product Manager)

Tyler Hale (me) (Product Designer)

Molly Friederich (Product Marketing Manager)

Chris Chalstrom (Front End Engineer)

Brad Culberson (Software Architect)

Hand coded by Tyler Hale Design © 2021