Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis

Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis
Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis

 Notion's Email Marketing for the Community

Many people use Notion these days, both for work and for personal use. The notion, project management, and collaboration SaaS (Software as a Service). At the beginning of October 2021, it received an investment of $275 million (about KRW 324.2 billion) in Series C, achieving an enterprise value of $10 billion (about KRW 12 trillion).

Notion is divided into individual, team, and enterprise use. Double individuals are free to use. Therefore, the number of users is rapidly increasing as a tool that can be used easily, without burden, and for various purposes. Notion announced that it had 1 million users in 2019. In less than a year, they reported that the number had reached 4 million. It has not been officially announced since then, but the number of users seems to have steadily increased. Companies that use business use also compete, such as McDonald's, Samsung, Pixar, Verizon, Moody's, and Tinder.

Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis
Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis

Notion creates and operates a community based on so many diverse users. Email marketing is one way to make your community run smoothly. Notion also runs a newsletter as part of its e-mail marketing for this purpose. So, for any purpose of e-mail, I get the strong impression that the content and tone, and manner are set in a way that emphasizes the community. In this article, we will take a closer look at Notion's newsletter by category.

welcome email

When: Immediately after joining Notion

Title: Let's get started

When I signed up for the service, I immediately received a welcome email. The sender was co-founder and CEO, Ivan Zhao. And if you click on the email to see the contents, you will see a welcome word with the user's name using MailMerge.

Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis
Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis

Afterward, as MailMerge, the user clearly states how to use Notion after specifying the intended use (ex. personal use). It read as if it had been read as a message that 'we'll tell you how to use it just right for the person who chose it, so I felt it was appropriately personalized.

Also, the expression “I will help you organize your work (and life) in one place” impressed me. Although it is a collaboration tool, it seems to have emphasized that it can be used in everyday life. CEO Ivan Zhao also mentioned in a podcast interview with 'Station F' about the use of Notion, "I wanted to make it easy for everyone to do a variety of things with one software."

Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis
Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis

In the end, we provided a link to the FAQ web page and added job postings.

Version update notification email

When: whenever a version is updated

Title: Notion + version number ex) Notion 2.8

Notion sends a newsletter whenever we update a version. They usually describe in detail 5 improvements. The most recent 'Notion 2.13' update email sent in October 2021 contained only one improvement.

As a way to deliver the update, first 1) specify the improvement as a sub-title, 2) put a number in front of these sub-headings, and an emoji after it, and 3) explain the related sub-contents in bullets. If necessary, we insert unique illustration images, service page capture images or GIFs, and demo videos for better understanding.

Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis
Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis

We'll also put a link under the description of the enhancement so users can see the specifics for themselves. The text of the link has changed. In the email announcing the May 2020 'Notion 2.8' update, we used the phrase 'Learn more here' in common for all improvements. However, from the update news of 'Notion 2.9' in September 2020 to the news of 'Notion 2.12' in September 2021, I put a link in the text that states what has changed.

Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis
Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis

In terms of tone and manners, it is worth noting that the greeting is very friendly. It's just a version update news. For example, an email announcing the Notion 2.8 update started cheerfully, "Now I'm sitting in the comfort of my home kitchen in San Francisco and sharing the big news of Notion with you."

From the recipient's point of view, not only do they receive 'facts' because of service update news, but they can also feel intimacy by seeing the greetings. Through this, you can read Notion's will to maintain and nurture relationships with users even through the newsletter.

Email notification of feature additions and partnership extensions

When: Whenever a feature is added

Title: Describe added features ex) Better mobile apps, SOC 2 certification & more

In addition to version updates, Notion also sends out a newsletter whenever features are added. Usually, I receive an email with 2-5 sub-titles. The title identifies only one major news among them.

For example, in the case of 'Notion's API is now in public beta' email in May 2021, in addition to the fact that the Notion API beta service was officially opened, it was also integrated with Zapier and Typeform, for the first time in Europe. There was also information about holding an online summit.

Interestingly, even that kind of email shows signs of trying to somehow impress the greeting. The previous example 'Notion's API is now in public beta' email started by saying that CEO Ivan Zhao himself bought the gloves. Thanks to this, I was able to keep my hands warm even in the cold, but the one size fits all so it was too big. And he likened the software to these gloves. The software can help solve problems, but sometimes it's not perfect. So, that Notion has released an API and naturally linked it with the news of adding features.

Company News Notification Email

When: whenever you need it

Title: State the news you want to deliver ex) Notion is now available in Korean!

In addition to emails welcome to join, version updates, feature additions, and partnership extensions, you can also receive emails from Notion from time to time to inform you of various news. We have received a total of 5 company news emails so far. The emails were 'Guidelines for using Notion after the outbreak of Corona 19', 'News of launch in other countries, 'Notice of service maintenance date', 'New Year greetings', and 'Service down apology'.

Among them, the news of launching in other countries was the news of the official launch of Notion service in Korea in August 2020. Both the title and content are in Korean. You can learn more about Korean language availability, examples of domestic companies and individuals who have already used Notion - for example, freelancer Yirui, second-hand trading app Carrot Market, car sharing platform Socar, etc. - customer center, templates, and community-related content. There was.

At the end of the email, CEO Ivan Zhao resonated with one word. “English is not my mother tongue. So we know how frustrating it can be to use the software in a foreign language. With the release of this Korean version, we hope that Notion will become a personalized tool for you.”

I also remembered the 'service failure apology' email sent on January 5, 2021. Unlike other e-mails sent from Notion with a friendly feeling, he explained the reason and response situation in a very serious tone. Furthermore, he left a sincere apology saying that he was sorry for the inconvenience caused right after the New Year's holiday. He concluded by saying that he would update the status of the subsequent recovery on Twitter every 30 minutes. It was the standard of an apology email. Therefore, it would be good to refer to other companies in case accidents happen when and how they happen.

Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis
Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis

The New Year's greetings email contains a retrospective looking back on the year of Notion. I wrote the news of the free service to individual users, the news of the launch in Korea, and the quick and easy improvement of the service through various updates. With the addition of illustrations featuring Notion's characteristics, the service now feels quite familiar and friendly. It would be difficult to give users this feeling with just a single New Year's greeting email, and I believe that the tone and manner of the Notion Newsletter have been delivered consistently.

Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis
Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis

Email to request transition from individual to team plan

When: Immediately after you go beyond your personal use plan

Title: An update on your Team Trial Plan

This type of email seems to be sent with different content depending on what Notion is being used for. In the case of this email, an individual user requested to switch to a team plan after using more than the scope.

Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis
Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis

Basically, we made it easy to jump to the upgradeable link using two CTA buttons. In the case of other emails from Notion, even if there are many links in the text, only one CTA button is included. We seem to have added two exceptions to emails that drive conversions to paid services. Each button was linked by the same link, but the text on the button was different. One was 'Upgrade to a Team Plan' and the other was 'Start your Team Plan'.

And we've outlined four benefits users get when they switch to the team plan in the middle. For each benefit, there was an additional explanation in one complete sentence, which I felt was kind.

After 3 days of receiving that email, I didn't switch to the team plan, so I got another email saying 'Here's how other teams are using Notion'. I showed an example of the use of Duolingo and Boxed using Notion as a team plan as an image. It is interpreted as a strategy to attract new paid users.

Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis
Notion Email Marketing Case Analysis

So far, we have looked at Notion's email marketing. In summary:

  • 1. Welcome email
  • 2. Version update notification email
  • 3. Email notification of feature addition and partnership expansion
  • 4. Company news notification email
  • 5. Email requesting to switch from individual to team plan

All these email types had five things in common.

1. Relatively long compared to other newsletters. Most of Notion's e-mails are complete sentences, which are divided into several paragraphs and kindly explained by inserting images. So, on a MacBook, I had to scroll down once or a half to read the entire email.

2. Frequently and appropriately use dividers, bullets, images, GIFs, and videos in the email content.

3. I put a lot of links in the email content, but usually only one CTA button. Place CTA buttons only where your newsletter reader or user must take action. It seems to be a strategy to give a concentration effect.

4. Sending in the name of Ivan Zhao, co-founder, and CEO.

5. The keywords of the email tone and manner are 'kindness, trustworthiness, meticulousness, empathy, and delicacy'.

Different companies use newsletters for different purposes. You can either collect leads or use them as a content distribution channel. In the case of Notion, looking at five things in common, I think they use the newsletter to strengthen the user community and build close relationships with users. The ultimate goal would be to increase user loyalty, engagement, and retention.

If there is an individual or organization that would like to use the newsletter for a similar purpose, why not take a look at Notion's email marketing case study? There must be at least one useful element 😊