Keeping Users Engaged And Happy, And Following Up When They Aren’t

September 13th, 2012 by Richard Felix

I’ve read a few articles recently based around user retention in web apps, both over the long term, while a user is using your app (Paul Stamatiou wrote an impressively detailed post on the subject recently), and even at the moment of cancellation (Kyle Bragger had some great things to say about that).

The common thread seems to be keeping an eye on what a user is doing within your app and responding to that with helpful emails or messages to either keep them engaged, make their experience with your app better or even keep them from canceling by giving them a direct line to the founder of the company or a better deal than they were getting before. We’ve been doing some of this at Sense Labs using a combination of code that we’ve added to our apps or just emailing customers directly. I am tired of adding code to each new app we make to handle these things, but I know that automating this process is a great way to go, because you can reach out to people right when they hit one of your triggers.

Many apps send out webhooks based on user actions. For instance, Stripe sends a webhook on customer creation, when they change plans, when they cancel and at various other times. These are perfect times to reach out to customers and say, “Welcome to our app! Here are some cool things that you can do with it”, or “Hey, you just upgraded your account, we’re glad to have you as a customer. We’re excited that you’re using our service to its full potential and are ecstatic that you’re finding it useful”, or “You recently cancelled your account with us. What can we be doing better? What issues did you have? We’re always working on making our service better, and we’re sorry to see you go.” These things really do help to retain customers and even bring them back later on because they recall how nice you were when they left.

I just realized that with Dispatch, we can do this at a pretty granular level for anyone who uses an app with these kinds of webhooks. All you need to do is add a new webhook url in Dispatch, add it to the app that you want to get webhooks from, and set up some email actions that only fire when the webhooks contain certain keys. Time for me to give it a shot!

Interested in how Dispatch can help you with this and other times when you don’t want to write keep writing more code to respond to events? Stop writing code to handle things like this and sign up for Dispatch. We’d love to have you!

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