on February 12, 2021 (last modified on May 6, 2021) • 5 minute read
Recently, Casey Hill of Bonjoro talked with our own John Bonini for an episode of our newest podcast, Metrics & Chill.
As Head of Growth, Casey shared how Bonjoro approached one key metric in particular: trial conversions. A software app for sending personalized video emails to onboard new customers and clients, Bonjoro took a page out of their own playbook by using personalized onboarding videos to boost trial user engagement early on.
Read on for more details, or listen to the full episode here:
The metric that caught Casey and Bonjoro’s attention was their trial conversion rate. In other words, the percentage of signups for their 14-day free trial who ultimately convert into paying customers.
After benchmarking their existing trial conversion rate, Casey and team knew they had room to improve. “We saw that, comparatively to other SaaS companies, there was an opportunity to give [trial conversions] a lift,” Casey said.
That opportunity carried with it a large potential for growing revenue. Bonjoro’s team saw between 2,500 – 3,000 new trial signups every month—and they knew that increasing their conversion rate by even a few points could make a big difference for their bottom line.
“We were getting several thousand trials coming into our product each month,” Casey told John. “We saw that we had this huge opportunity in front of us. If we could increase that conversion percentage by even a few points, that had large revenue implications.”
As Casey explained, since they were already sitting on up to 3,000 trials per month, those users represented one of their largest levers for growth as an organization.
“We looked at our data pretty closely and tried to figure out why people weren’t converting. One of the major problems we found was a strong lack of initial engagement,” Casey explained. “We found a lot of people that were signing up and weren’t doing a lot of the core things we needed them to do to get spun up.”
The team could see that initial engagement was key to trial conversions. Conversion rates were much higher among users who set up a few templates and completed a few actions early on.
“Either something’s confusing in the UI of the setup or, for some reason, there’s a lack of connection at the beginning,” Casey said.
Once they set upon the opportunity to improve trial conversions, the Bonjoro team focused on testing and experimentation to find the best way to boost conversion rates.
In reality, their best tactic involved revisiting an old tactic they hadn’t scaled: Eating their own dog food, so to speak. When the company first launched, they did a personalized welcome video for every new customer—but the team didn’t think it was doable to keep that up as they scale, so they moved away from it.
In 2020, they revisited that effort. As Casey explained, they asked themselves, “What if we did a personal welcome to all 2,500-3,000 people that came through?”
“We’d monitor how much time it took, and we’d monitor what the trial impact was. Maybe it was worth our time,” Casey mused. “If it could produce enough revenue lift, we could just hire more people to do those videos.”
So the team set about testing that theory.
The key for them was personalization—the kind that goes far beyond mail merges and [FNAME]. Instead, they drew upon trial users’ industries, specific nuggets of existing customer use cases, and prominent details and parallels. The resulting personalized video drew new signups in and lent the Bonjoro team a sense of authority and expertise.
“What actually drives impact is to have that specificity,” Casey said. “That’s what creates a different type of engagement. That’s what makes it feel wholly unique because they’re not getting that from any other brand.
The second part of their strategy was to use those personalized video emails to book more new signups onto a call with the team. “We started trying to get way more people booked onto calls. Every video has a call-to-action to book a call with our team. From that, we’re able to really learn about their goals and create a more tailored experience,” Casey told John.
To measure the results of their personalized video efforts, the Bonjoro team looked at two key metrics: the initial trial conversion rate and customer lifetime value (CLTV).
“Number one, you look at conversion,” Casey said. “Number two, you look at customer lifetime value. So not only do they convert more, but do they actually stick around more? That’s another big part of this equation. By creating a deeper level of engagement and connection—it’s not just about the raw conversion, it’s also very much about the CLTV.”
They used cohort analysis to separate out the performance of trial users who received a personalized video versus those who didn’t.
As Casey explained it, “Let’s say we’re averaging 9-11% conversion with no video touch. Then you separate and look at people that have gotten those videos and you run a comparison.”
Ultimately, Casey and team found “positive correlation across both those metrics,” more than doubling their trial conversion rate from 9-11% to 21-25% conversion.
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