TIBCO, a leading provider of integration, infrastructure and API management solutions, recently partnered with content platform provider LookbookHQ to address declining performance in conversions from its free trial program.
A majority of TIBCO’s leads come from a trial program. In fact, a 30-day trial drives as much as 90% of MQLs and 90% of the company’s pipeline. But according to Mervyn Alamgir, Senior Director of Digital Marketing, the trial experience wasn’t performing as well as the company expected.
“It’s extremely important for us to make sure that our trial experience is great for our customers and that’s where the problem we tried to solve came up last year,” said Alamgir. “We had to go back and essentially look at what went wrong and come up with ways in which we can test different experiences that will help improve conversion rates.”
But when Alamgir and his team analyzed conversions on the campaign, they found that recipients started their trial offers, but a large volume wasn’t moving further down into the funnel. “The conversion rates at the very bottom were poor,” said Alamgir.
As their analysis continued, Alamgir noticed that the actual email experience the company was delivering to trial users and the content within it wasn’t helping the customers along their journey. To address this, Alamgir and his team developed a new model based off a three-step program over 30 days:
- The first phase of the trial email nurture focused on getting the customers onboard and activated;
- The second phase was all about giving them an expanded use of the product and helping them identify other problems that they can solve; and
- The third phase focused on the hard sell, with content revolving around the fact that their trial was ending.
“Once we came up with that map of how we want to take a trial customer from day one to day 30, we took a look at the content we were already delivering,” said Alamgir. “The big glaring error we had was that we didn’t have any or much data of which content was effective. We had information that told us which emails people were opening and which links people were clicking on, but it didn’t actually tell us how much time they were spending with the content.”
After searching for solutions that could help TIBCO in terms of content engagement, Alamgir found LookbookHQ. In addition to the analytics piece, the solution brought a different angle of content engagement that Alamgir and his team didn’t previously think about.
In a typical email campaign over 30 days, Alamgir said they would send emails on days one, three, five, 15 and then day 29 and 30. “The way LookbookHQ positioned it is that your customers — when starting a trial or are engaging with you — want to read or absorb content at their own pace,” he said. “They don’t want to go at the pace that you prescribe for them. Some may, but then you’ll get customers — especially in the trial experience — that need to solve a problem immediately. So they want accelerated learning.”
LookbookHQ allowed TIBCO to share a hub of all of the content that the customer would get over 30 days. If the customer was engaged on day one and needed to get up to speed quickly, they were able to binge on the remaining 30 days worth of content.
TIBCO launched with LookbookHQ in December 2016 and ran the trial email campaign for six months. Alamgir said they found that the customers who engaged with more than one asset after clicking on the email converted at a much higher rate all the way down the funnel, compared to those who digested the content at their own pace.
“When they are handed over to our sales rep, the conversion rate is double than what we were seeing before,” he said. “We saw a 6.8% conversion rate from SAL to SQL originally, and with the engaged customer we’re seeing a 14.1% conversion rate, which is great for us because the product drives a significant amount of opportunities in pipeline for us.”
At the end of the day, the engaged leads delivered a 3x increase in the lead to pipeline ratio. “Then, when we check on those engaged leads, the folks that are absorbing three or more pieces of content in a session are five times as likely to convert to an opportunity from a lead.”