Many people say product engagement (and therefore, user engagement) is vital for any businesses that tend to improve his outcome, especially in the SaaS business.

"Product engagement is the lifeblood of any SaaS business."
Derek Skaletsky, CEO @ Sherlock

It's because the entire revenue of those companies relies on the ability of each users to take actions that will drive value for them, and therefore more revenue for the company.

The entire model is dependant on product engagement.

Getting right at product engagement is tough and that's where targeted messages comes in.

Sending the right message, at the right time to the right people can be a great help when wanting a user to do the right action.

What is user engagement?

User engagement is about the ability to understand why customers engage with your product the way they do, using fine grained tracking.

Combined to user engagement, product engagement will let you better understand what actions affect the customer behavior to maximize their usage of your application.

User engagement is especially important for SaaS industries that rely heavily on product usage to drive value.

There are many K.P.I that companies should look into when willing to improve customer engagement. Among them, you can look for NPS, Product Usage and many others that might help you to understand how users are making the most out of your solution.

Companies are missing data about user engagement

Imagine a world where customer support team would be able to know which account they should prioritize, being able to understand immediately which features has been activated among specific account. And therefore, be able to get in touch with the people.

Now, imagine if your team could even be able to send automated messages to users that haven't set the right set of features during their trial.

What a blast!🎉💥

All those actions should be monitored, to let your company get in touch automatically with the right people.

Targeted messages can be powerful and addressed over the right channel depending on the kind of interactions you're tracking.

How to improve product engagement with targeted messages?

This article will give you the keys to get everything sorted to build the most engaging software. It will let you combine proactive messages with segmentation and targeted messages based on different touchpoint.

Step-back and relax 🛀

At first glance, you should think about what are the key actions you users have to take actions.

Prepare your tracking plan based on those key interactions. Not only use your own knowledge, use tools such as Hotjar or UserPilot to understand how your users are really reacting with your product.

Tracking key interactions 🔎

Once you've defined the different actions you want to follow and keep track of, it's time to put your hands at work.

There are various way of tracking users, as we previously stated in this article.

Interactions, such as clicks on a specific button, fulfilled a specific funnel (finished the onboarding) or many different use case, depending on your business.

Here is a quick sum-up about tracking interactions:

  • Using event based tracking (eg. I clicked on that button)

For example, at Crisp, we provide a JS SDK that lets you track users' interactions based on their actions.

$crisp.push(["set", "session:event", [[["product_bought", { price: "$200", name: "iPhone 6S" }, "red"]]]])
  • Using behavior based (eg. I finished this step)

For example at Crisp, we provide a JS SDK that lets you track users' interactions based on their behavior using segments.

$crisp.push(["set", "session:segments", [["registered_users", "lead"]]])
  • Using custom data (eg. I have an average basket value > 200$)

For example, at Crisp, we provide a JS SDK that lets you track custom data about your own product so you can improve your targeted messages.

$crisp.push(["set", "session:data", [
  [
    ["order_id", "3535353214"],
    ["order_value", "325"]
    ["last_order_at", "12/06/2020"],
    ["user_id", "XXXX-XXXX"]
  ]
]]);
  • Using firmographic data (eg. I am a CTO)

For example, at Crisp, we provide a JS SDK that lets you push firmographic data to track specific behavior based on your user's profile.

$crisp.push(["set", "user:company", ["Crisp", 
    { 
        url: "https://crisp.chat/", 
        description: "Give your customer experience a human touch.", 
        employment: ["CTO", "Software Engineer"], 
        geolocation: ["FR", "Nantes"] 
    }
]])

As you can see, if you combine those 4 choices, it already makes a lot of targeting options available. Don't overthink, at first, start simple and improve your process over the time.

Please note that all those information can be set using Google Tag Manager.

Define the channel 🎯

Once your tracking plan is ready to rock, you should take the time (if you haven't already done it at step one) to define what would be the channel you'd use to reach out to your customers.

At Crisp, we offer the ability to choose emails and chat, which are two great channels, but that have different usage.

Here are things you should know when choosing one over the other:

  • Email is for asynchronous relationship
  • Email can be sexier than chat messages
  • Email can be personalized
  • Email can go to the spam folder
  • Email is great for reminders and zombies
  • Chat is for synchronous relationship (or transform to an asynchronous relationship when using the chat to email feature)
  • Chat are simple text messages that can contain rich content such as images, GIFs or videos.
  • Chat is great for power users and instant conversational experience.

Targeting the right people

Now, you're all set, ready to send your first campaign, it's time for some top of the top messages that will let you guide your users and create a kickass onboarding.

One thing we didn't talk about is technology. Technology used by your customers is quite interesting to know when build the right onboarding.

For example at Crisp, we send personalized messages based on the type of website the user has. If he is using WordPress, then we send an email inside which we will push our WordPress plugin.

if you're looking for a way to look for website technologies automatically, few players emerged on the market recently, such as prospectwith.com

1. Get personal

Building the right message needs personalization. You'll never got another chance to do a good first impression.

Make this message memorizable.

Introduce yourself, build your brand identity to make your experience even more powerful and ask the user to take an action.

2. Don't leave the road

Sending a messages and never got any replies? Well don't leave the road now. There are plenty reasons that could have led to that situation.

Think about how you could improve that first message (remember about the data that you gather).

It's maybe time to combine in-chat messages to email reminder a few days later to reminder the user he still has to do some key actions.

It's also maybe the time to personalize your interactions, using customers' language for example.

3. Sell the value

People are not motivated by what it takes, people are motivated by the outcome of their actions and how they can benefit from it.

This is what you should be selling over your messages.

4. Start showing, stop telling

Images are always more powerful than text messages. Sending targeted messages that contains images and powerful figures will make your product even more attractive.

When users are about to do critical actions, help them to understand how powerful things could be thanks to your services.

5. Bring context

As a final and key step, you can bring context to users' interactions. Use the data you own to send the right message based on their position inside your onboarding funnel.

It will make your next message even more powerful to the eyes of your customer.

Creating series of targeted onboarding messages isn't as easy as having an all-in-one onboarding. But on a long term basis, those actions will bring much more value to your customers, and therefore, to your company.