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Creating a Sales Funnel with Mixpanel Notifications

This is a guest post from Emily Timm, the Professional Services Director at Levers, a forecasting and simulation dashboard for marketers. Emily has years of experience in the virtual ecosphere, including digital marketing, startup branding, mass communication and multimedia journalism.

Mixpanel’s Notifications filled a gap between emails from Levers, our sales funnel, and our customers’ in-app actions. Prior to using Mixpanel, we’d been using a confusing combination of various platforms: Campaign Monitor meshed with Tout meshed with Intercom, etcetera. We quickly tired of swapping between platforms before we realized Levers needed just one simplified email sales funnel that measured email success not just by base metrics (like open rate and click-through rate, but also by ongoing action rate.

Here’s how we put it together in Mixpanel:

Funnel Logistics

Right from the start, remember that using email autoresponders for outreach is a thing of the past. This is especially true in Mixpanel, where your users are grouped by actions specifically: there are no excuses here. Make a web map of how you want emails to fire based on your website’s (and company’s) most crucial customer actions.

At Levers, we have a free plan and a paid plan, so our map started with two main funnels based on user plan type. These funnels were then dialed down to actions every user should complete, and finally varying email responses from 2 days after a Mixpanel action to 90 days after a Mixpanel action (or lack thereof). Here’s how our final sales funnel wound up looking:

Email Design and Copy

This one is pretty straightforward. The marketing and design team worked on an HTML layout for the occasional notifications sent from Support, although we mostly stuck to plain-text emails for the sake of personalization. Simultaneously, the Sales and Marketing teams started writing copy for each email body and subject. Additionally, we had to make decisions about which emails should be sent from personal accounts or from sales accounts, and which should be HTML and which should be plain text.

Property Setup

Here’s where the “all hands on deck” piece came in. While the Marketing, Sales and Design teams worked on the content, our Dev team worked to prepare our Mixpanel project with the correct events and properties. Because notifications are sent on people properties, figuring out which property to assign to each plan, step, etcetera was trickier than we first anticipated, but we eventually created the perfect storm of commands (thanks to our awesome devs and some help from Mixpanel’s support team!).

In Mixpanel, you can create a property to be various value types, but we found the three most important for us are numerals, a specific time/date stamp or a string. We realized if a property is a date but gets set to a number, it also doubles as a “true/false” property (this is true of any property that is set or not set). For example, we have a incrementing property called “Simulation Created,” which numbers the amount of simulations each user has created in Levers (pretty straightforward). By setting this property up as a number, we could create notifications on two separate commands: we could send notifications to people who have “Simulation Created is true” and to people who have “Simulations Created is between 2 and 3.” This double-command property became extremely helpful in developing condensed properties while still measuring accurately.

Prepare Content

We meshed the copy, HTML and property commands into files in a Levers Github repo. In each email notification, we commented out email subject lines, the name and email of the sender, and the Mixpanel property commands needed for each email. Although this might seem to be over-organized, it actually allowed us to catch a few small property details we needed fixed (maybe a number instead of a date or just true/false) before bringing it all into Mixpanel. Here’s an example of what our plain text HTML emails looked like in Github:

Implement Mixpanel Notifications

When the content and dev are ready for action, start your setup. It was helpful to take our funnel logistics diagram and mark off each notification once it was set up, especially since we had so many. (Be sure to check the box for “Track email open rate” under your email copy!)

If your Mixpanel project is new, keep in mind some of your 90-day+ notification emails will likely have 0 recipients; so don’t worry about this too much! Just make sure the notification is “on” when creating. As soon as Mixpanel detects a user has fulfilled the criteria you specify with people properties, they will receive the notification (check back occasionally to make sure it’s all functioning correctly and you don’t need to edit the metric in your property).

Watch & Optimize with Funnel Setups

Mixpanel gives you the ability to create a funnel in your project based around notification analytics – you can see which events fired after customers received a notification, allowing you to track your emails’ success!

For example, as mentioned earlier, we send a personal notification to users who have not created a simulation after creating an account. In the Levers Mixpanel project, I can then create a funnel that tracks users who have gotten one of these emails and then created a simulation. If you find your users are not acting on an email, then perhaps it’s time for some new copy or a better email strategy for this action.

Lastly, remember to keep your customers first. In the age where sales can be so individualized, it’s important to stay relevant and not annoy your customers. The second your outreach becomes overwhelming or annoying, customers will begin ignoring you or stop using your product or service altogether.

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