Customers

How Vervoe decreased its customer acquisition costs by 25% using more personalized ads

With Twilio Segment, Vervoe is able to create a complete view of its customers, improve its new customer acquisition strategy, personalize on-boarding flows and fuel exponential growth.

“We use Segment to understand everything going on with our customers. We are able to understand active user behavior, where usage drop-off occurs and who might be at churn risk. I can't even begin to imagine how we would have done any of this before Segment.”

Nicole Bowes, Head of Product at Vervoe

Challenge

Vervoe needed to improve its entire customer journey from acquisition to onboarding. It lacked complete customer data, which made it difficult to understand the customer journey and provide the best experiences to its users.

Solution

Vervoe turned to Twilio Segment to create real-time customer profiles, accessible by all teams across the company. With this data, Vervoe optimized its advertising spend, personalized customer onboarding and improved product features, all based on real-time customer data.


Vervoe is a skills-based assessment tool, helping employers make hiring decisions based on merit rather than background. Utilizing machine learning and AI, Vervoe aims to replace the traditional hiring process with skills testing, providing every candidate with the opportunity to showcase their talents through job-related tasks. 

With over 8,000 users on Vervoe, including top Fortune 500 brands like Walmart and Omnicom Group, the company wanted to expand past a customer base it knew well, Enterprise, and start to fuel exponential growth in a new customer persona, Product Led Growth companies. To do so, Vervoe needed to solve some of its data accessibility and cleanliness challenges including messy Google Tag manager events, manual demo-request tracking and anecdotal customer information living in disparate locations.

Vervoe knew it would need a central platform to fully understand its customer base. The team wanted to understand how customers are using products and utilize that information to improve features as well as its new customer acquisition strategy through marketing ad campaigns.

From its inception, Vervoe co-founder David Weinberg, knew the company would need a platform to easily manage customer data, understand its end-users, invest resources in the right places and ensure confidence in data across the organization.

Vervoe turned to Twilio Segment as its Customer Data Platform (CDP) to accomplish all of this, and more.

Tracking and utilizing customer data to fuel exponential growth

Prior to Segment, Vervoe’s customer data was collected and tracked in a data warehouse, primarily accessible only by Engineering. This made it difficult for teams across the organization to fully understand its customer base. Vervoe sometimes struggled to grasp information about its customers including product usage, customer growth, prospect demo requests and event data to power ad campaigns. As Vervoe set out to expand its customer base from Enterprise into Product Led Growth businesses, it knew it needed to increase customer data accessibility and empower teams to utilize this data to make better informed decisions. 

Vervoe implemented Segment to create a holistic view of its customer base by tracking customer engagement across all digital channels, including its website and mobile app. By utilizing Segment Connections, with over 400 out of the box integrations, Vervoe was able to easily collect customer data across every digital touchpoint and send that data to downstream tools like Hubspot, Iterable and Google Analytics. Additionally, Vervoe experienced an astounding 90% reduction in time and resources required to set up new integrations, freeing up its Data and engineering teams to focus on more advanced initiatives. 

With integrations in place, Vervoe started tracking every interaction, from the moment a customer lands on its site, to signing up for a demo to becoming a paying user and engaging with its platform. Using Segment, Vervoe could fully understand each customer and provide a personalized experience. With standardized, trusted, real time data accessible by teams across its organization, Vervoe’s Data Analytics team experienced a 50% reduction in resources needed to activate campaigns.

Understanding customer acquisition to improve onboarding flows

With customer data flowing into Segment, the Vervoe team was able to better understand how users landed on their site, ads they were clicking on and content they were engaging with. Vervoe implemented Twilio Engage (formerly known as Personas), real time audiences, to understand customers at scale and use that information to improve points of friction along the entire customer journey through personalized engagement. “We rely on Segment pretty heavily to feed all of the platforms to understand where the breakdowns are within the customer journey,” says Regan McGregor, Senior Growth Marketing Manager.

Vervoe tracked events based on assessment tools or skills libraries viewed by users. By integrating Amplitude as a Segment Destination, Vervoe could understand user acquisition type (employer role or company size), channel (paid or organic), and even content type viewed. It would then use this information to personalize on-boarding flows, based on the content that the user had engaged with earlier in their journey. 

For example, a user that came to the Vervoe site, interested in skills assessments needed to be onboarded differently than a user who came interested in hiring tools. By understanding its users better, Vervoe can cohort its audiences and create personalized customer experiences. Without this information, Vervoe wouldn't have been able to increase from zero Product Led Growth customers to a rapidly growing number of this new persona. 

Utilizing data to gain efficiencies in marketing campaigns 

In addition to utilizing Twilio Engage to drive improved onboarding experiences, Vervoe was also able to build audiences to create real time, personalized marketing ad campaigns. By understanding how users were engaging with its site and converting, Vervoe created lookalike audiences using this data to target similar prospects. Based on this information, they even personalized the content shown in ads.

By looking at user events and traits, Vervoe gained granular insights and served content to specific audiences. For example, they might understand the specific roles a cohort looks for and the type of tool they need to find and hire a candidate. Instead of serving an ad that reads, “hire better people” Vervoe personalizes the message to read, “hire better performance marketers using skill set assessments.” Using a combination of this lookalike audience approach supported by personalization, Vervoe has seen 2x to 5x increase (on average) in campaign conversions. 

Vervoe also relies on Segment to help suppress certain users, because of challenges experienced in its unique two-sided marketplace. Although business employers are Vervoe’s main target audience, job seeking candidates will occasionally engage with its site to prepare for a skill-based assessment. Twilio Engage Audiences allows Vervoe to suppress unqualified candidates from Google Ads since this content isn't relevant to the audience and it was wasting ad spend. Since this was rolled out, Vervoe has experienced a 25% reduction in CAC (customer acquisition cost). 

Improving product features with accessible, trusted customer data

Prior to Segment, Verove would rely on feedback from customer conversations to determine whether it would make improvements to product features or discontinue them. Nicole Bowes, Head of Product at Vervoe explained it like this, “Understanding the customer would have been anecdotal and based on conversations that were had. Before Segment, there was no central hub of information, it was always very loose. It was like spaghetti, trying to work out what's going on with the customer.” 

By collecting user data from its app using Segment’s simple analytics API, Vervoe can understand which features its customers are engaging with. Recently, Vervoe was considering discontinuing an advanced scoring feature on its assessments. Some of its top enterprise customers previously shared anecdotally they liked the feature and were benefiting from using it. Thanks to data collected with Segment, Vervoe could see the feature had not been used in months and decided to sunset it. Depending on the feature, Vervoe reduced its development team resources, saving up to 20 hours of QA time on product features. 

With hundreds of active features available on the Vervoe platform, the team needs to understand how its users engage and the value they receive. One of Vervoe’s key business initiatives was to increase the time to value its customers' experience in its product; how quickly customers adopted its product. With Segment implemented, Vervoe launched a personalized on-boarding sequence and reduced average time to value from 14 days to under 24 hours

“For us, it is crucial to understand which of the many features are being used, who is using them, how they are using them so we can start to look at which features to sunset and create the best, most useful version of our product”

-Nicole Bowes, Head of Product at Vervoe

What's next for Vervoe

Next, Vervoe plans to expand its Twilio Engage use cases by marrying the data from Segment with additional sources. It hopes to further personalize the onboarding journey for Vervoe customers, continuing to drive increased time to value in its product. Vervoe aims to continually improve its marketing campaigns and grow product adoption, contributing to an overall increase in LTV.


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Results

25%

reduction in CAC (customer acquisition cost)


20 hours

saved (on average) of QA’ing new product features


90%

reduction in time/resources required to set up new integrations


50%

reduction in Data Analytics resources

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