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Nupur Bhade Vilas on October 20th 2021

Meet Twilio Engage: the first growth automation platform designed for the digital era.

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Guest author: Dan McGaw on October 28th 2021

As a growth hacker, MarTech founder and implementation consultant, I often get the following questions:

  • Which user events are worth tracking?

  • Which metrics should I use for decision making?

  • How should I build and use my stack to scale?

The answer is different for every business. But for B2C subscription-based business, they need a responsive stack that draws high volumes of prospects and reliably pulls them through their conversion funnels with as little drop-off as possible. 

That's why we’re collaborating with Segment’s Startup Program to give you this take on the tools, metrics, and user events crucial for success.

The Added Value of a Solid B2C Subscription Stack

Getting B2C marketing right means aligning your team members with their responsibility for the purchase cycle, helping them identify and fast-track high-value leads, and ensuring smooth transitions between funnel stages and business functions. 

I have a hard time imagining a B2C subscription company thriving without the responsive infrastructure, digestible user feedback,  event-based data, and added functionality a well-implemented stack brings.

Top B2C Events Your Stack Should Track 

Your stack’s toolset is only as good as its implementation. Also, a good stack gives you new tools and expanded capabilities to improve the customer experience. That’s how you use a stack to improve revenue. Let’s walk through a few examples of the user events that help you get there.

  • Lead Created: Unknown users trigger the Lead Created event by submitting their contact information (and usually other traits).

  • User Created: After leads or visitors create their first login, the User Created event occurs. This means the user has started using your application properly, and is closer to spending money in case that hasn’t happened yet.

  • [Feature Used]: This custom, product-based event can help you determine the relationship between key feature usage and long-term customer value, in addition to retention. Find ways to encourage repeat usage to optimize. Examples include Song Played, Lesson Completed, or Note Created.

  • Order Completed: Users have completed the customer journey by the time they reach Order Completed. This event is often used to track retention, revenue, and conversion rates from free to paid users.

Top B2C Metrics: How a Stack Helps Measure What Matters

Marketers in B2C subscription businesses need a broad view of the customer purchase cycle, with the ability to get granular and tinker with each conversion step. Use metrics to evaluate audiences and identify the best channels for high-volume conversion. 

Visitor-to-Signup Conversion Rate

This metric combines page views with the User Created event and helps users compare marketing channels to identify key audiences. Find a way to move this one a little, and you can see substantial gains in revenue. 

Trial Subscription Conversion Rate

Understand how frequently your visitors become users after sampling your services. By cross-referencing page views and the User Created event, you open up further examination of marketing channels and their varying ability to convert visitors.

New and Total Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

Once users trigger Order Completed, they'll find themselves in this camp, where new and total revenue are tracked. Identify best-contributing channels and product features. Switch between MRR and ARR as you need.

Monthly Churn

Retention is no different from revenue in the subscription model. With the help of a product analytics platform such as Amplitude and the Order Completed event, users can slice monthly revenue by overall retention, engagement, and feature usage to shed light on the levers that make your customer experience stickier. For early-stage startups, the retention may be even more important than revenue.

Use Cases of Integrations for B2C Growth

When you integrate numerous MarTech tools, you not only pool resources, you expand each tool’s functional capacity. Making good use of the ecosystem can help you scale B2C revenue. Below are examples for your inspiration.

Fuel and Automate Personalized Messaging

One of the best features Segment brings to stacks: allowing the same tool to send and receive data. Where other use cases such as the next one in this article see Customer.io sending event signals upstream to Segment, in this instance, we have a custom JavaScript (JS) data source pushing event and user traits to Customer.io.

And since Segment can send JS data to multiple communication platforms at once, we're delivering the same user data to Autopilot and Drift. With Drift, event data can trigger automated and personalized chat and text experiences (designed to qualify and convert users). Once it gets to Autopilot, it's combined with other customer data sources for personalized lead nurturing email campaigns (which are also automated).

Add Customer.io Email Events

By intervening in crucial (context-specific) moments in the customer journey, marketers can improve the customer experience—increasing engagement and avoiding churn.  However, event-based data from communications platforms like Customer.io are frequently disconnected from analytics platforms and marketing automations.

Segment connects event-based triggers from Customer.io with our product analytics platform Amplitude and our data warehouse BigQuery. Now events like Email Clicked can trigger any number of actions, like personalized purchase incentives or assigning users to various cohorts based on their demonstrated level of interest.

Report on JavaScript Data Sources

Custom attribution models use JS to send the data such as Page and Identity tables. But such custom data sources can be hard to sync with your reporting and data exploration tools such as Chartio.

With Segment, you can translate data and consolidate taxonomy, so they live alongside data from other sources in your warehouse and reporting tools. As a result, you can build accurate attribution and calculate your ROAS.

Load Ad Spend & Compare Ad Inventory Performance

Facebook Ads and Google Ads don't play well together, which means you have to be creative in your reporting if you want to show the full picture. Segment comes to the rescue once again. Both ad inventory sources can be loaded into BigQuery. There, you’ll combine the ad spend data with web activity data that’s also piped through Segment.

The infrastructure will unlock new analytics possibilities. You’ll be able to push the combined data into visualization and modeling platforms like Chartio or POPSQL, and build models on key metrics such as Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).

Your Visual Reference of B2C Subscription Tool Integrations

The diagrams you see above come from our infographic with examples and explanations of B2C subscription stacks integrated through Segment. Get your own pdf below for future use, so you can quickly scan it and remind yourself of ideas for your own stack.

Download your copy of the ecommerce stack infographic.

Join the Segment Startup Program, Build a Strong Stack, Grow Your B2C Subscription Business

Segment's Startup Program is here to give early-stage startups the tools necessary to build stacks like this and thrive. Eligible startups get $25k in Segment credits for up to two years, which can be used for Segment’s Team Plan.

Additionally, Segment is throwing in over $1 million in free marketing and analytics platforms like Amplitude and Amazon Web Services, on top of a number of heavy software discounts. You’ll even get access to level-up resources such as Segment’s Analytics Academy or Analytics office hours.

Eligible startups must have been incorporated less than two years ago and have raised no greater than $5 million in total funding.

Don’t wait any longer. Learn more about Segment’s one-of-a-kind Startup Program. And if you’d like a hand picking your tools along the way, feel free to use our WYSIWYG MarTech stack builder.

About the Author

Dan McGaw is the founder of McGaw.io, MarTech speaker, and co-founder of analytics tools such as UTM.io. He’s worked extensively with Segment implementations and led the creation of tools such as the Segment CSV importer.

Jim Young on October 28th 2021

To scale Growth, you need to define its purpose, set goals, structure collaboration, and master your customer data. Three experts share their insights.

Nupur Bhade Vilas on October 20th 2021

Meet Twilio Engage: the first growth automation platform designed for the digital era.

Kelly Kirwan on October 8th 2021

We’re entering a new era for customer engagement. 

This has been clear in the explosion of digital touchpoints we’ve seen in the past year and a half, the surge of customer data that followed, and the new omnichannel mindset customers have adopted. 

But where do we go from here? 

That was the question we set out to answer in our new guide, The Next Generation of Customer Engagement. We wanted to define what exactly is our “new normal,” and understand how businesses can meaningfully engage customers on this new playing field. 

Here’s a preview of what we found. 

The importance of data accessibility 

90% of businesses said that customer insights increased due to greater digital engagement during the pandemic. 

But many businesses are still struggling to make sense of their data, and make it actionable, in large part due to departmental silos and legacy infrastructures. 

The average company manages 162.9TB of data. For enterprises, that number jumps to 347.6 TB. And global data creation is projected to reach more than 180 zettabytes by 2025. (That’s 180 followed by 21 zeros.)

This influx of data can help businesses build a holistic, nuanced understanding of their customers – but only if it’s cleaned, consolidated, and easily shared across teams.

Yet, only 14% of companies say that they’ve made data widely accessible across their organization.

To rectify this, businesses need to prioritize having a scalable data infrastructure that can not only handle increasing volumes of customer data, but make it so any team member can use said data (without relying on developers). 

A focus on first-party data 

From data breaches to the opaque marketplace of third-party data, consumers have become increasingly wary of who’s collecting their information (and how that information is being used). 

As a result, both government regulators and browsers have taken a stronger stance on data privacy, which we’ve seen in initiatives like the GDPR and the phaseout of third-party cookies. 

To adapt to this privacy-first landscape, businesses need to focus on first-party data (which is collected directly by your company). Not only is it important from a legal and ethical standpoint, but first-party data also lends itself to a more transparent relationship with your customers. 

And while some have feared that the end of third-party cookies could lead to a “personalization-privacy paradox,” that’s actually not the case. In fact, 69% of consumers say they appreciate personalization, as long as it’s based on data they’ve shared with a business directly. That is, first-party data. 

The expectation of omnichannel 

Consumers today expect to be able to switch seamlessly between channels when interacting with a business. Or, in other words: they expect an omnichannel experience. 

Ensuring continuity as consumers switch online and offline touchpoints is no easy task. In fact, only 24% of businesses say they’re successfully investing in omnichannel personalization. 

But for 45% of consumers, all it takes is one unpersonalized experience for them to no longer do business with a brand. These are high stakes. 

That’s why customer data platforms have emerged as an essential component for omnichannel engagement, for their ability to consolidate data that’s scattered across different apps and teams, and then send it to any downstream tool for activation. 

In fact, 73% of companies surveyed this year said that a customer data platform will be critical to their customer experience efforts going forward. 

The future of customer engagement

For businesses, survival will always come down to their ability to meaningfully connect with customers. In our latest e-book, The Next Generation of Customer Engagement, we go into more depth into the themes mentioned above, and distill the five leading trends that will define customer relationships in the years to come.

You can read the full guide here.

Guest author: Dan McGaw on October 8th 2021

I couldn’t count the number of times I've been asked the following questions in my 20 years of MarTech implementations:

  1. Which success metrics should I care about about?

  2. Which user events are the most actionable?

  3. How should I build and use my stack to scale?

B2B marketers compete in a marketplace. Small, known customer bases and lengthy purchase cycles require clearly defined lead scoring, tight nurturing funnels, and consistent engagement across the customer lifecycle.

That's why we’re collaborating with Segment’s Startup Program to show you the tools, metrics, and user events crucial for optimizing your stack's impact.

The Added Value of a Solid B2B Subscription Stack

Getting B2B marketing right means aligning your team members with their responsibility to the purchase cycle, helping them identify and fast-track high-value leads, and ensuring smooth transitions between funnel stages and business functions. I can’t imagine B2B companies remaining competitive without the feedback, insights, and added functionality that tech stacks provide. 

Top B2B Events Your Stack Should Track 

You can't optimize what you don't measure. Marketers in B2B subscription businesses need deep visibility into their audience’s firmographics, combined with the ability to get granular and tinker with each conversion step along the way. Here are the top B2B events you should track:

  • Lead Created: Unknown visitors become leads once they submit a lead form, sharing attributes, and contact information.

  • User Created: Occurs once visitors create a login in the application for the first time. You’ll benefit from an event property that’ll distinguish between new accounts and users invited to existing accounts.

  • [Feature Used]: This event’s name will be custom to the most important features in your application. Record it so you can optimize for retention, advocacy, or revenue. Examples include Integration Enabled or Task Created.

  • Order Completed: This event will be used to report on revenue, conversion rates from free to paid, and customer retention.

Top B2B Subscription Metrics—How a Stack Helps Measure What Matters

You need metrics covering your customer journey from beginning to end across nurturing touchpoints and noteworthy events. That also includes recurring subscription metrics and evaluating marketing and sales performance (and marketing-sales collaboration). 

Marketers can learn how features correlate to engagement, churn, and satisfaction by analyzing behavioral differences in feature usage across user groups. Below are just a few metrics that B2B businesses should focus on.

New and Total Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

Users who trigger the Payment Completed event are at the start of MRR or ARR. The metrics help you iIdentify valuable user cohorts and behaviors by comparing marketing channels, feature usage, and retention trends.

Trial Subscription Conversion Rate

Learn how frequently visitors become trial users after viewing your marketing pages. Cross-reference page views with User Created to get a handle on how well your channels or campaigns convert.

Sales Opportunity Closed-Won Rate

Combine the User Created and Payment Completed events to begin tracking. Factor in feature usage and original marketing channel of these users in your analysis to optimize this conversion rate.

Visitor-to-Signup Conversion Rate

This conversion rate is a key part of the full customer journey, and you’ll get the most mileage out of it by integrating your CRM tool with a data warehouse. When analyzing, you’ll want to look at both CRM and website activity, as recorded by Segment.

Use Cases of Integrations for B2B Growth

When you combine the power of a variety of sophisticated MarTech tools, you not only pool together valuable resources, you expand each tool’s abilities. Making the best use of these advanced use cases can help you scale B2B revenue. Get inspired below.

Analyze Firmographics to Validate Lead Quality

Lead quality almost always takes precedence over lead volume—early-and-middle staged B2B marketing programs frequently shift their focus away after sales struggles to qualify poor-fit leads.

In this use case, use Clearbit Reveal to gather firmographic data via IP addresses, which you need to qualify visitors. You'll next use the Clearbit Enrichment to add even more context to leads. Finally, you’ll pass this data to your data warehouse BigQuery, and your user journey analytics tool Amplitude. 

Combine Salesforce and Autopilot for Automated Messaging and Salesforce Integration

Connecting Salesforce and Autopilot creates a loop that synchronizes shared fields. When data is added or changed in one, it's applied to the same contact in the other.

We frequently use Autopilot with our clients in this way for lead scoring and automated messaging. As well as for keeping CRM records complete in Salesforce.

Automate and Power Personalized Messaging

Clearbit's enrichment data can superpower your touch points. When you use Segment to connect it to Customer.io and Drift, you can trigger automatic personalized message sends based on company info for each lead.

I’ve seen custom messaging make a considerable impact—more leads, higher conversion rates, increasing coverage of the customer lifecycle, and, most of all, volumes of first-party data for further optimization.

Add Customer.io Email Events

Email marketing data is often disconnected from tech stacks and conversion strategies, leaving money on the table. This use case is designed to help with just that — fully integrating key email events and expanding our analysis of full customer journey.

Email events Segment is able to send downstream include Email Delivered/Opened/Clicked/Unsubscribed. They can then be used in BigQuery or Amplitude, where they’re processed or analyzed. It’ll help with validating messaging strategies, improving email conversion rates, even moving the needle on retention.

Enable Custom Marketing Attribution

Custom attribution models use JS to send the data such as Page and Identity tables. But such custom data sources can be hard to sync with your reporting and data exploration tools such as Chartio.

With Segment, you can translate data and consolidate taxonomy, so they live alongside data from other sources in your warehouse and reporting tools. As a result, you can build accurate attribution and calculate your ROAS.

Your Visual Reference of B2B Tool Integrations

The above diagrams were taken from our B2B subscription MarTech stack infographic — with examples and explanations of B2B stacks integrated through Segment.

Download this pdf to remind yourself of best practice and ideas for your stack.

Join the Segment Startup Program, Build a Strong Stack, Grow Your Ecommerce Business

Segment's Startup Program gives early-stage startups all the tools they need to build high-performing stacks. Eligible startups get $25k in Segment credits for up to two years, using Segment’s Team Plan. On top of that, Segment is also giving away more than $1 million in free marketing and analytics platforms (Like Amplitude and Amazon Web Services). Heavy discounts on software are also available—and you unlock Segment’s advanced resources like the Analytics Academy or Analytics office hours.

To be eligible, startups must have been incorporated fewer than two years ago and have not raised more than $5 million in funding.

Don’t wait! Learn more about Segment’s one-of-a-kind Startup Program. And if you’d like a hand picking your tools along the way, feel free to use our WYSIWYG MarTech stack builder.

About the Author

Dan McGaw is the founder of McGaw.io, MarTech speaker, and co-founder of analytics tools such as UTM.io. He’s worked extensively with Segment implementations and led the creation of tools such as the Segment CSV importer.

Kelly Kirwan on August 3rd 2021

Omnichannel: the new necessity

Customer journeys now span multiple devices and channels. From using smartphones to check emails, to researching an item on a laptop before buying in-store, it’s become increasingly difficult for brands to maintain a single view of the customer. Without an integrated tech stack, and central source of truth for customer data, teams are often working with only a snapshot of the customer journey – resulting in a disjointed, unpersonalized customer experience.

This can have real consequences when it comes to conversion and retention rates (not to mention overall customer satisfaction). In fact, 45% of consumers say they’re unlikely to become repeat purchasers with a brand after just one unpersonalized experience. 

With an omnichannel approach, every channel a business operates on is connected. This means a consumer could switch between channels (whether it be email, in-app, live chat, etc.), without experiencing any friction.

But how do you actually put an omnichannel strategy into practice? 

Implementing omnichannel customer engagement at scale 

There’s a lot of confusion over how to implement an omnichannel strategy. In fact, 76% of businesses say they’re falling short.

To win when it comes to omnichannel, businesses need to have the right data infrastructure and the right technology. This includes:

  1. A centralized data hub that easily integrates with new applications and platforms, and consolidates customer data from any source in real-time. 

  2. The ability to merge the complete history of a customer into a single profile. 

  3. The ability to orchestrate various actions across a set of customer engagement tools (like Twilio and Twilio SendGrid) to deliver personalized communications based on customer interactions and preferences.

In our latest guide with Twilio and SendGrid, we dive deeper into these “must-haves” for omnichannel engagement, while also covering: 

  • How omnichannel differs from multichannel (and why these two strategies are often confused).

  • The data foundation and technology needed to implement omnichannel customer engagement at scale. 

  • Real-life case studies of how different brands have used omnichannel tactics to increase engagement and conversion rates. 

Download a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Omnichannel to learn more. 

Kelly Kirwan on July 29th 2021

A single view of the customer puts all different pieces of customer information together into one coherent, up-to-date whole for your entire organization.

Sam Gehret on July 29th 2021

A look at server-side activation as the new alternative to the third-party advertising pixel.

Jes Kirkwood on July 22nd 2021

Watch eight growth thought leaders share their secrets to success.

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