How PhonePe Leveraged Smartech’s AI-based Email Delivery to Power Customer Engagement by 2X

Ever since the incumbent government’s demonetisation drive back in 2016, the digital payments ecosystem in India has witnessed a blistering growth. Currently valued at over USD 200 billion, the industry is slated to be worth USD1 trillion by 2023!

These are incredible numbers for an industry that has seen rapidly emerging start-ups and traditional giants trade punches as India gradually makes the transition to a more cashless economy. With the likes of Facebook and Google pumping in millions of dollars to drive payment app and feature adoption to an increasingly tech-savvy urban target audience, Indian players have also levelled up their game.

Since its founding in 2015, Bengaluru-based PhonePe is now spearheading the charge in this competitive battleground, having emerged as the fastest growing payments app in the country. Driving the highest number of merchant Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions across the country, PhonePe aims to deliver the most cashless and seamless payment experience to its growing customer base.

As a leading mobile app player in its industry, PhonePe soon recognised the need to embrace a data-driven multi-channel marketing approach to drive higher user engagement, retention, and product stickiness. They identified the critical role that email, as a channel, plays in their marketing strategy and wanted to amplify their efforts on maximising returns on their campaign spends.


…and, that’s precisely where Smartech’s industry-leading AI-based email delivery entered the picture.

The Challenge
About 12 months ago, PhonePe acknowledged the deficiencies of their existing email service provider and began evaluating other capable vendors that would help them address the following challenges:

1. Declining email campaign conversions

Despite having an ever-increasing email list of highly engaged customers, PhonePe was unable to effectively reach out to their target audiences, primarily due to poor delivery rates. This directly hit their conversion rates and eroded the potential effectiveness of their email campaigns.

2. Low primary inboxing rates:

For any business focusing on email marketing, it is important to get emails delivered to the customers’ “Primary” tab of their inbox, and not the “Promotions” tab. Not only does this improve top-of-mind recall but also helps maximise app relaunches and potential conversions. PhonePe required a radical new solution to tackle this major issue. 

3. Inability to deliver campaigns at scale:

With a customer base that continues to grow sizably on a daily basis, PhonePe was in dire need of building an email marketing programme that accounted for growing scale in the cleanest and most reliable manner possible.

4. Lack of strategic expertise to manage their email programme:

In the absence of proper guidance from their previous service provider, PhonePe didn’t have the required expertise from a service provider perspective to fully leverage their email marketing efforts.

Their customer base was like a conversion goldmine that wasn’t being tapped into, producing sub-standard campaign ROIs.

The Solution

Once PhonePe’s search for the ideal email marketing partner came to an end with Smartech, here’s how we helped India’s fastest growing payments app elevate their email marketing strategy:

1. AI-based dynamic delivery:

Netcore’s AI Engine, Raman, has helped PhonePe leverage the power of Neural Networks to create an intelligent delivery infrastructure that auto-adjusts the campaign throughput in real-time.

This ensures that the quality of marketing emails remains high, hitting the primary inbox of more number of customers in a timely manner, i.e. every email marketer’s ultimate objective.

Related Post - How AI-powered Delivery Enabled Myntra Improve Email Campaign Performance by 60%, 2X that of Industry Standards

2. Industry-leading email delivery expertise:

Smartech’s in-house email marketing and delivery team brought to the table years of expertise in the business and addressed PhonePe’s most pressing pain points by –

  • Providing a detailed review of PhonePe’s existing email programme and delivery strategies
  • Outlining immediately actionable recommendations based on PhonePe’s business model and email needs
  • Offering pivotal email deliverability tools such as domain authentication, dedicated IPs, in-depth data analytics, and campaign performance reports to consistently improve their email campaigns

3. KPI-focused approach driven by advanced data analytics:

While driving up primary inboxing was recognised as critical to the success of PhonePe’s email marketing programme, Smartech’s advanced data analytics suite helped the company identify relevant, potential high-conversion customer segments based on their historical interactions with and transactions on PhonePe.

This set the foundation for email marketing campaigns that revolved around critical KPIs such as open rates, CTRs, and conversions. The subject lines, content, and creatives were tested and optimised accordingly.

The Results

By leveraging Smartech’s cutting-edge email deliverability expertise and data-driven approach, PhonePe has benefitted greatly through AI-based dynamic email delivery. This has enabled them to reach their most engaged customers directly in their primary inbox and resuscitated dormant users through highly optimised email campaigns.


Priya Patankar, PR & Marketing Communications at PhonePe elaborates, “Smartech’s AI-based email delivery and expert consulting has helped PhonePe increase user engagement by 2X and overall primary inbox deliverability by 95%. Their data-backed consultancy and insights have helped also us improve our content copy and creative designs for a better user experience.”


Along the way, Smartech has also empowered PhonePe by making the rapidly growing payments company an important member of the mobile-first email marketing environment in India.

AI: Above and Beyond

The application of AI continues to transform marketing strategies and operations across industries, today. While AI-based primary inboxing is important, delivering personalised multi-channel customer experiences by optimising content, send times, and engagement channels is guaranteed to boost conversions and user retention in the long run.

To know just how our AI Engine, Raman, can help you grow your app and web businesses, get in touch, today!

 

 
Pradyut Hande


A data-driven marketing strategist with a hard-nosed penchant for frugal innovation, Pradyut is the Senior Growth Marketer & Product Evangelist at Netcore's Smartech.

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