Customer Support Design | 3 min read

User Engagement in the First 30 Days


What happens in the first 30 days defines whether a new sign-up turns into a loyal customer, or is never seen again. Talking to customers during this period is critical.

What follows is a guest post from Paul Quigley, CEO and founder of Newswhip. Paul discusses how he uses Intercom to grow his userbase, and get great feedback from new customers.

NewsWhip tracks the world’s content on social networks, and shows exactly what news is getting engagement and driving conversation now. Through our web app, Spike, we give journalists and content marketers exact data on the best stories in hundreds of niches.

We offer new sign-ups a 30 day free trial of Spike. These thirty days are the critical time for communications with users, they’re our chance to demo our product and ultimately, sell it. However, different users appreciate different aspects of the service. For example, journalists use the tool in a different way for different reasons than content marketers. Before we had Intercom, we resorted to sending out one-size-fits-none emails to everyone on the trial, meaning every email and every subject line wasn’t well targeted. Secondly, we couldn’t easily target messages based on how much people were using the product, which left us very limited in our options.

Because of this, we were planning to implement our own session tracking process to see who was dropping out, or more importantly who was getting the value from the platform, and if they needed help. Intercom answers our questions in seconds …

And crucially, it lets us talk with these customers instantly based on the answers.

Our message schedule

After the initial welcome, we send new users five messages, spread out over two weeks, on how to use various features – such as watching particular publications or niches, or how to search for the hottest news on a topic. We’ve made these messages friendly and concise, and they get a great open rate.

Separately, we use Intercom to segment our messages. For people who become heavy Spike users – and are more likely future clients – we offer to add custom sources and feeds so they can watch specific competitors (if they’re in PR or marketing) or watch particular sources (if they’re journalists). As it’s directed to our already engaged users, this email has our highest open rate.

One message I love reading the responses to is our warning that the trial is soon ending, where I offer to send on pricing details. We keep our pricing low, so we tend to get good conversions from those who decide that the product is worth their time.We’re planning to test offering discounts to see if this improves the response rate.

Our goal is to make Spike the definitive catch-all dashboard for what the world cares about, this minute, in thousands of niches for thousands of customers. The more niches we serve, the better the segmenting & targeting has to be, and thankfully Intercom can do it all for us.

Why does this work

Newswhip wait to learn about their users, and send them automatic messages, both in the product, and by email.

This is a direct application of the right message to the right user at the right time. The result is more conversations with more engaged customers, which ultimately lead to conversions. Which is what the first 30 days are all about.