Building a richer customer lifecycle - Mixpanel
Ask an expert: Building a richer customer lifecycle with analytics-tailored user messaging
Data Stack

Ask an expert: Building a richer customer lifecycle with analytics-tailored user messaging

Published date: Dec 6, 2021
Daniel Bean Managing Editor @ Mixpanel

Good products get their messaging out to users on things like available features and how to access them. But the best products do this with a focus on relevancy, making sure to let the right users know about the right features for them.

Joshua Hollander is a Client Success Leader at OneSignal, a user messaging platform and Mixpanel integration partner. We spoke to him about how OneSignal-Mixpanel customers he’s worked with use product analytics to unleash the power of relevancy in their user messaging and what it’s meant for their growth and customer experience development.

Tell us about user messaging and how product analytics can inform strategies and deployments with it.

User messaging is the way businesses communicate to their customers, players, or users—essentially, driving the customer experience forward. These messages can take place in a variety of channels (mobile push, web push, email, in-app, or SMS) depending on the business and type of messaging. 

Sending messages through OneSignal is the easy part. The reality is understanding how those messages are impacting the business and driving revenue is much harder. This is where Mixpanel’s product analytics comes into play.

With the integration, customers are able to see specifically which messages sent from OneSignal went to each customer and then ultimately what actions they took. Ideally, customers are able to see revenue directly from the messages. In some instances, we have to work with customers to tweak the strategy of their messages or cohorts they are sending to based on the downstream data they can see in Mixpanel.

It’s important to think about the feedback loop between analytics and messaging. Our bi-directional integration enables customers to constantly iterable on their engagement strategy with real-time data on past campaign performance. The most successful customers leverage analytics events captured in Mixpanel to create personalized messages via OneSignal and then leverage the conversion results from that message to iterate on future campaigns.

What are some of the biggest areas you’ve seen this tool collab move the needle for fast-growing companies?

OneSignal customers tend to focus on messaging in three groups: onboarding, ongoing engagement, and retention. In the last year since we struck our integration partnership with Mixpanel, I’ve spent a ton of time helping companies learn that just checking the boxes in each of these areas isn’t enough and how our platforms’ combined power can help bring nuance to their approaches.

I’m pretty happy with the results: Customers using the integration have boosted conversion rates by up to 207%.

One mutual customer Mixpanel and OneSignal have worked together with is Passion Factory. They leveraged our integration to create more contextually relevant messages on their fitness app, which resulted in increases in click-through rates and conversion rates by 100%.

Is there a ‘type’ of company that gets the most out of investing in personalized user messaging? Or have you seen size and stage not matter so much?

There’s not a single “right time” in a company’s development cycle. Implementing earlier is going to give you more opportunities to capture data, build cohorts, and then message to your customers. But if you implement after going live, you will have a clearer picture of your product market fit, what makes you unique, and how you’re going to position yourself to win. In this case, there’s still plenty of opportunities to capture data, message customers, and make decisions based on the results. 

For our integration with Mixpanel, we wanted to make the benefits multi-faceted and beneficial to all company shapes and sizes. We decided:

  • Enabling the integration must be as easy as clicking a button.
  • Businesses should be able to implement powerful workflows in just a few minutes.
  • Data must be synchronized between our products in nearly real-time.
  • The integration must be available to both large and small businesses.

Small businesses focused on hyper growth don’t have the time to invest in heavy integrations when those resources can be put to use building new streams of revenue. Large businesses are faced with a different challenge of six month roadmaps and getting resource approvals. This is why the emphasis was put on making access easy and attractive for any existing or potential Mixpanel and OneSignal customer.

What new areas of growth development have you seen come about in the last year of your customers using OneSignal and Mixpanel together?

Digital-native marketers are willing to take chances, learn quickly and are not afraid to fail. We’re seeing more and more of these shared customers leveraging what they know about their users from Mixpanel to message through OneSignal and create new lines of business. 

One example, we have an app that’s been extremely successful in the social space. Because of this success they decided to take the risk and try launching a new app in a completely different space. Rather than trying to build the audience from scratch, they leveraged Mixpanel cohorts and OneSignal’s messaging capabilities to reach out to customers and start teasing the new app and pushing for downloads. The strategy was so successful they were #1 in the Apple App Store despite not having fully launched the app’s functionality.

I also mentioned Passion Factory earlier. The key breakthrough success that came from their Mixpanel-OneSignal implementation was being able to essentially create separate experiences for their users based on chat preferences. Today, their different user cohorts receive personalized push messages according to their engagement history with Passion Factory’s chatbot, Ram-Hee. Some users like to chat in one style, some like to chat in another, and some don’t care for chatting much at all. Data from the messages, which are sent through OneSignal, are analyzed in Mixpanel to determine the effectiveness of the notifications.

Many of our customers are faced with competition from hundreds if not thousands of apps, sites, or companies that provide similar value. Creating a unique and memorable experience is the difference between those who are successful and those who fade away. OneSignal sees their customers winning more often because of messaging strategies built to differentiate their customer journey.

Do you think products are actually risking turning customers away by not working to build relevancy into their messaging?

Sure, brands who choose to drive all customers down the same path or don’t build a strategy around personalization risk alienating a portion of their audience. In today’s world, the different generations have grown up with a sense of individuality and control. It’s key to give these customers options in the way they communicate to you as well as how you communicate to them. Some messages are fit for push, while others are better in SMS or email. Either way, know it’s not your place to make that decision for the customer and instead be sure to give them options.  

What do you think are the next-level possibilities coming for enhancing customer experience with messaging plus product analytics?

I think we’ll see even more variations for how products will communicate with their customers according to their individual preferences. With the analytics and user messaging integration we’re seeing now, users are giving “choose your own adventure” kind of signals about how and what style of messaging they want simply by engaging with a product. That data and analysis, and the relevancy in the ways messaging can be reactive, will keep getting better and better.

About Joshua

Joshua is a client advocate with more than 15 years of experience building strategies, documenting measurable results, and driving product adoption. Currently a Client Success Leader at OneSignal, Joshua has worked across advertising, ecommerce, and SaaS businesses, and he understands how to navigate success based on the nuances of each business model.

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