StuDocu - Mixpanel
Customer Story

Data-driven Decisions: How StuDocu Grew With Experiments on Mixpanel

Headquarters
Amsterdam, Netherlands
E-Learning
+12.5M Students
Studocu_Hero

Improved conversion rate
for users adding courses to their dashboard

Visibility into how—and where—users are converting

Insight into growth and detailed product-usage

Driving decisions based on data makes a difference over the course of 5 years—and there’s no question that StuDocu is a data-focused team.

(Don’t believe us? Check out the two Medium articles that dive deep into their A/B testing strategy.)

A Mixpanel customer since 2015, the whole StuDocu team (from marketing to customer success to DevOps) uses product analytics to get a real-time, in-depth picture of their users and customers. 

The dedication to an analytical approach has paid off in spades: just 6 experiments led to an 87% increase in the platform’s most valuable subscription, and another set of experiments doubled sales from StuDocu’s main channel. 

Here’s how.

A company rooted in data

Designed to let students share resources and study materials, StuDocu’s mission is to empower everyone to excel at their studies. Founded in 2013, the platform now hosts 6M+ documents and 15M+ users. 

The key to their growth? 

Product analytics. 

“I can’t imagine StuDocu without Mixpanel, it allows the whole team to effortlessly whip up any report they need. It is often a critical tool in our strategic and product decision making processes.”

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Lucas van den Houten Co-founder & CTO Tweet to your network

StuDocu adopted Mixpanel just 2 years after founding the company. The growing team needed a true product analytics solution; they were impressed with Mixpanel’s powerful insights, and have been more data-driven ever since. 

Killian Saint cricq, Engineering Manager & Full-Stack Developer at StuDocu, says Mixpanel is a “must-have.” His team uses the tool to implement and monitor custom experiments. “The interface is intuitive, and it makes it easy and pleasant to look at data,” Killian said. “Understanding the behaviour of our users would be much more complicated without Mixpanel.” 

Product analytics (and Mixpanel) have had an outsized impact on StuDocu from the early days. Now, data is embedded in the team’s culture. They A/B test almost every change to the website—from the smallest shift in design to the biggest splash with new features.

How Studocu uses Mixpanel to improve UX and sales

When StuDocu told us about the broad based use of Mixpanel, they really meant it. 

Product managers use it to dig into user behavior. DevOps use it for alerts when specific metrics go down. Customer Service uses it to better understand user issues. Developers use it to follow up on the features they implement. Marketers use it (daily) to see how campaigns are performing. 

Not only that, but product analytics is a core part of the StuDocu data stack. With Segment serving as the Customer Data Platform, Metabase to manipulate and combine data sources, and Redshift to fuel the data warehouse, Mixpanel is at the heart of how StuDocu gleans useful insights from data. 

There are three specific areas where Lucas, Co-founder & CTO at StuDocu, and his team have seen a big impact: A/B testing, conversion rate optimization and visibility of growth metrics. 

Consistency and depth with A/B testing

Product analytics takes the StuDocu team past simple A/B tests on one-off experiments. Instead, the team uses Mixpanel to check each A/B test against multiple funnels (rather than just the metric itself). 

For example: Lucas’ team tested the ‘Follow’ button on the platform and saw a 10% increase in the desired action. Originally, the button was ‘Follow’; not a very explicit version, and something users brought up in multiple testing sessions. The team decided to replace ‘Follow’ with ‘Add to My Courses’, and changed the dashboard copy from ‘Following’ to ‘My Courses’. 

But, with Mixpanel, the team was able to test the change against other things, too: 

  • Are users reading more articles, especially from authors they follow? Instead of looking at conversions within 1 session, the product team looked at a month’s worth of data. 
  • Are users logging in and registering more in order to use the ‘follow’ feature?
  • Are recommended articles getting more ‘thumbs up’? Since the algorithm is partly based on the authors a user follows, does increased adoption of this feature lead to better UX?

Constant state of conversion rate optimization

StuDocu uses Mixpanel to understand how—and where—users are converting. 

For example, the team noticed that document shares were low on mobile. The ‘share’ button was hidden in a sidebar that first needed to be expanded. They set up an experiment to show the share button in the toolbar instead, and dramatically improved the conversion rate for that specific funnel. A few months later, they ran a similar experiment and improved conversions on the same action on Apple devices, specifically. 

It’s not always about testing the copy or placement, either. At one point, the team tested two entirely different algorithms used to recommend documents to their users—it wasn’t something they could replicate on a simpler A/B testing platform. 

“With Mixpanel we managed to dramatically improve the conversion rate from viewing the dashboard to reading, downloading and upvoting the recommendations,” Killian told us. “Mixpanel helped us monitor the performance of both algorithms.”

Crystal clear growth metrics

On top of driving specific changes and improvements, StuDocu uses Mixpanel to get the big picture on growth metrics. 

With Mixpanel, the team can understand year-over-year growth, feature-usage per browser, device or country, and A/B test performance. 

“The team’s focus metrics is Daily Active Users,” Lucas told us. “It’s a shorthand to talk about the number of unique users seeing at least a document per day. Mixpanel makes tracking this metric a breeze.”

Lucas and his team can even slice and dice the data exactly how they want, breaking it down by country, what users are searching for, and which documents are most popular. 

Growth isn’t easy, but it’s easier with product analytics

The StuDocu team has grown an impressive platform in under 8 years. Mixpanel can’t do their job for them—but it does make it easier to focus on the right areas of growth.

“Mixpanel is intuitive, easy and pleasant to use. The feature to look into funnels, including breakdowns, and having the tool automatically track the properties is super powerful to us.”

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Killian Saint cricq Engineering Manager & Full-Stack Developer Tweet to your network

Killian’s advice for others looking into a product analytics tool? Jump right in. Consider all the things you could learn about user behavior, product performance, campaign performance, A/B tests,” he said. “Imagine having all these insights shown in smooth dashboards, easily accessible for every team member.” 

With data now embedded into the team culture, and nearly every StuDocu team relying on Mixpanel, StuDocu has a clear line of sight to the winning path. 

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