by Brian Sun, Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Autopilot

Xplenty’s Event-Based Free Trial Journey

Xplenty is a data delivery platform that allows organizations to easily integrate, transform and process data from all of their major sources. Companies use Xplenty to connect to more than 100 data stores and SaaS applications so they can focus on what really matters: analytics, insights, and business value. Marketers, in particular, use the product to analyze marketing-related data from sources like Google AdWords, Mixpanel, Autopilot, and more.

Xplenty recently created an event-based free trial journey. Before that, the sales team manually followed up with trialists. We all know how much of a pain that is—leads fall through the cracks, users don’t see the product’s value, and conversion rates flop as a result. Eff that noise.

The company’s new and automated free trial journey saves them from this pain. Let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at exactly how the team set up their journey including the process, structure, and emails.

Xplenty started by digging into the data

Etai Coles, marketing manager at the company, had three goals he wanted to accomplish with the new free trial journey:

  • Encourage trial users to reach the “Starter” plan goals
  • Send personalized, automated emails
  • Reflect a user’s trial status

After nailing down goals, Etai dug into the raw trial data to find out which events most correlated with trialists converting into paying customers. Here were the key conversion milestones he discovered:

  • 4 packages deployed
  • 15 jobs ran
  • 3 connections made
  • 2 team members invited

Here’s an actual report Etai pulled:

Packages chart

To land on four packages deployed, Etai chose the summary median reflected by the red line. He ran similar analyses on the number of jobs, connections, and invitations. As a result, the new free trial journey would help users reach these data-backed milestones proven to increase their “Starter” goal conversion rates.

Xplenty’s free trial journey

With data driving his direction, Etai designed an event-based free trial journey composed of smart segment triggers, emails, check field conditions, and internal notifications.

Here’s the journey in full:

Xplenty free trial

Remember the events I mentioned? The journey is built to remind users to complete those events. Here’s how it works.

Email #1 – sent on trial signup

The “Trial – welcome” smart segment triggers when a user meets these criteria:

trial welcome criteria

In other words, the journey begins when a user is:

  • Added to the Free Trial list
  • On day 0 of the trial
  • Not in the trial journey…yet

Users then receive this welcome email:

Screen Shot 2017 08 24 at 1.07.14 PM

Screen Shot 2017 08 25 at 11.36.22 AM

Screen Shot 2017 08 24 at 1.08.23 PM

There are important things happening in this email. First, the fact that this email is sent in the first place a huge win because users feel welcomed to the service. Second, notice the gamification badges that direct users towards key events. This gives them a roadmap to complete that’s useful, fun, and proven to convert. Lastly, users are encouraged to complete all badges to earn the company’s “I love data” t-shirt. This is swag marketing at its finest.

Quick tangent: How does Xplenty gets the user events data into Autopilot? By combining the power and accessibility of Autopilot’s API and Xplenty’s data delivery platform.

Here’s what the data delivery setup looks like in Xplenty:

Xplenty package

Using an Xplenty “package” that integrates, transforms, and processes the customer data from their own database and CRM, Xplenty sends user criteria into custom fields in Autopilot to kick off personalized journeys. Now, back to their free trial journey breakdown.

Email #2 – sent if user didn’t login

Did not confirm again

On day two, Xplenty sends a friendly reminder to jump back into the product if a user hasn’t logged in yet. The rest of the users on a team account won’t get this email if they’ve already logged in—this makes the experience more custom and personalized.

Screen Shot 2017 08 24 at 1.39.47 PM

I didn’t include it in the screenshot but the email (and every subsequent email) includes the gamification badges, t-shirt, and Etai’s personal headshot.

Emails #3 and #4 – based on team member invites

Invite team members

Based on number of team members invited, Xplenty says one of two emails.

If the account has 3 or more team members, then this email is sent:

more than three

Notice the “Congrats!” messaging. Since the account has more than 3 team members, Xplenty doesn’t nudge them to add more. Instead, they send an encouraging message while still offering an online session with a solution architect.

If the account has less than 3 team members, then this email is sent:

less than three

The account isn’t at the three-team-member threshold yet, so Xplenty still encourages them but links out to how to continue building the team. This email also offers an online session with a solution architect.

Props to Xplenty on the behavior-based email send!

Email #5 – connect data sources

Number of connections

Regardless of how many connections the user has made (three being ideal), Xplenty sends this email communicating when their number of connections remains the same for more than two days, as well as offering helpful information and a solution architect session.

data sources

The repetition of “start a session with one of our solution architects today” is helpful. Users experience peace of mind knowing they can reach out for help anytime.

Email #6 – did not confirm after three days

Did not confirm after

If the trialist hasn’t logged in after three days, Xplenty sends another reminder to log back in while mentioning their step-by-step guide and support options.

Screen Shot 2017 08 24 at 3.36.56 PM

Xplenty is asking the user to take time out of their busy day to accomplish tasks, but the company acknowledges that with a “who isn’t busy?” message that connects with users while still getting the “get this stuff done” message across. The tone of voice is empathetic and helpful.

Email #7 – number of packages remains the same for more than 2 days

Number of packages

Creating packages is Xplenty’s main value add. No packages, no value. That’s why this email nudges users towards create-a-package actions steps if its number remains the same for two days.

Screen Shot 2017 08 24 at 3.45.39 PM

To nudge users to the right spot, the company includes only one call to action. Smart.

Email #8 and #9 – executed number of jobs

Number of jobs

Remember, the magic number is 15 jobs ran. In the mid-trial check-in, Xplenty sends one of two messages depending on the jobs metric.

If the user executes 5 or more jobs, Xplenty sends this email:

Screen Shot 2017 08 24 at 4.10.04 PM

What’s interesting is the company doesn’t even mention the jobs number in this email even though that’s the criteria that determines the send. The takeaway? Your internal segmentation criteria doesn’t always have to match your customer-facing message.

If the user executes less than 5 jobs, Xplenty sends this email:

Screen Shot 2017 08 24 at 4.11.07 PM

There’s a formula to this email:

  • Acknowledge what the user has accomplished even if it’s not much (“…it looks like you haven’t done much with it”)
  • Doesn’t make the user feel bad about it (“Don’t worry, though – there is still plenty of time”)
  • Offers solutions and assistance (“…our support team will guide you through every step and make sure that your use case is implemented properly and effectively)
  • Crystal clear call to action (“Schedule Now”)

With this formula, Xplenty meets the user where they’re at and guides them toward the next step.

Email #10, #11, and #12 – jobs jobs jobs

Jobs jobs jobs

Like the previous email set, this next email set is all about jobs.

If the user executes more than five jobs, then they receive this “Congrats!” email:

Screen Shot 2017 08 24 at 4.32.09 PM

Nothing to do here but celebrate. The user on track to becoming a paying customer by experiencing the product’s value.

If the user executes less than five jobs, then they receive this email:

Screen Shot 2017 08 24 at 4.32.46 PM

With the trial coming to a close, Xplenty is bringing the “Let us help” message front and center. The “for you” box and smiling character adds a generous feel. I dig it.

If the user executes more than five jobs but they do not successfully complete, then they receive this email:

Screen Shot 2017 08 24 at 4.33.40 PM

Imagine if this email wasn’t personalized based on behavior. The user could have been left in the dark about their jobs not executing successfully. It’s moment like these where timely, knowledgeable, and personal messages are most effective.

Email #13 and #14 – expiration reminders

We’re on the home stretch of Xplenty’s trial journey so let’s finish strong! Expiration reminders are the final few emails.

If the user has executed more than five jobs, then they receive this expiration email:

Screen Shot 2017 08 24 at 4.48.45 PM

“Upgrade Now” is the main call-to-action. Makes sense, especially since these users crossed the five jobs ran threshold during the trial.

If a user has executed less than five jobs, then they receive this email:

Screen Shot 2017 08 24 at 4.51.13 PM

In this email, you see the formula at work again—Xplenty acknowledges what the user has accomplished, encourages them, and calls them to action. Since the user didn’t cross the five jobs threshold, the company asks for feedback (“Did we miss anything?”) while still offering help until the very end (“Schedule an online session”).

Email #15 – you’ve earned your t-shirt

Remember this dashboard?

Screen Shot 2017 08 24 at 1.07.55 PM

It’s in every Xplenty trial email reminding the user of what they have and have not completed. When the user completes all of them, they get what they’ve been waiting for all along…

A free t-shirt!

Screen Shot 2017 08 24 at 4.57.04 PM

There you have it. A walkthrough of Xplenty’s event-based free trial journey. Since launching, the company no longer has to deal with leads falling through the cracks, users are automatically routed towards high-conversion events, and the team is sitting back, relaxin’, watching trialists turn into paid customers automatically. Not bad for a few days worth of work.

What did you learn from Xplenty’s event-based free trial journey? Are you using behavior-based messaging? Let us know in the comments.

Author Brian Sun, Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Autopilot

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