Since 2011, TextMe has made it its mission to connect people all around the world through rich, mobile communication. Through its free app, the company has been providing free calls and texts to US and Canada numbers for millions of users in over 100 countries.
“We’re a small company, so we want to make sure that we have a tool that everybody can have access to and be able to do something with,” explains Greg Kokanosky, COO and Co-founder of TextMe. Like other fast-moving, product-based businesses, Greg and the rest of the TextMe team do not have the luxury of time and unlimited resources.
TextMe has a database set up that collects event logs from its apps and an internal BI tool (one of them being Tableau) to model data and create visualizations to track and understand user behavior within their app. The challenge with this is the classic data breadline problem: product teams need answers to user behavior quickly, data is trapped in an inaccessible format, and analysts and engineers have a backlog of questions and limited time. This leads to bottlenecked product innovation, which is like kryptonite for a growing, digital business.
TextMe knew it needed a solution, which is why it implemented Amplitude in 2017. The goal was to equip the team with a user analytics solution to make data accessible to everybody and empower the team to self-serve answers without the help of data experts and engineers. It was a good solution until they ran into two critical issues:
- Event-based pricing. As a communication app, TextMe has a high-volume of events. This pricing model proved to be unpredictable and not scalable as the user-base grew and the number of events multiplied.
- Trust in data. One of the ways to minimize the number of events analyzed in Amplitude was to opt for data-sampling. TextMe only sent in 10% of its data, causing a big discrepancy between what it was seeing in Amplitude versus its own internal logs and tools. Key metrics like user retention that the team tracked to gauge app health didn’t match. Where they were seeing a 1-day retention cliff in Amplitude, their internal event logs would tell a much different story.
“At some point, we trusted the data we were gathering internally much more than what we were seeing in the tool. We base really important product decisions on the data that we see. So when you can’t trust it, well, we eventually just stopped using it,” explains Greg.
With a lack of trust in the tool, TextMe found itself back at square one in terms of enabling the team to answer questions about user behavior without technical resources. When contract renegotiations came around, the team knew it was time to find another solution.
TextMe moved over to Mixpanel in early 2019 to, once again, break the data breadline curse of bottlenecked product teams from user behavior data trapped in inaccessible systems, and limited technical resources.
“The reason why we moved to Mixpanel was two-fold,” explains Greg. “One was pricing. Mixpanel’s pricing based on monthly tracked users aligns better with our business. The second was having a user analytics solution with reliable data that we can trust.”
TextMe is constantly focused on improving customer experience and user engagement in its app. The team measures this through carefully tracking the number of events–particularly calls and messages–and exploring the user journey to uncover issues and areas of improvement. Now that the team has trust in their user analytics solution with Mixpanel, they’ve been able to dig deeper into user behavior and answer questions much more efficiently.
TextMe’s most loved Mixpanel reports are Funnels and Flows where they can easily build conversion funnels and user paths to discover where users are coming from, going, and dropping off. “Instead of seeing dozens of steps and events like before, we can easily interpret where the user is coming from and where they’re going. It’s a good feeling,” adds Greg.
Greg Kokanosky COO and Co-founder of TextMe
We’re much more confident in what we’re doing with Mixpanel. We’re a small company, so we need tools that everybody can have access to and can do something with. Mixpanel is fast and easy to use. I mean, you just, click, click, click, and create your funnel. And you have a good understanding of what your users are doing and you can take action on that.
With Mixpanel, the TextMe team can confidently self-serve answers to make important product decisions based on reliable data with predictable pricing that can scale with them as they grow.