How to use product triggers to convert more users

July 1, 2021
Fred Melanson
6 min
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Product-led growth means customers often interact with a product dozens or hundreds of times before engaging with the sales team.

It doesn't mean that you can't convert them.

On the contrary, there are ways for your business to adopt product triggers that convert more free users to paid without requiring interactions with your team.

There are also ways for your users to engage in more sales discussions with your reps.

Interestingly enough, the best-in-class product-led companies like Zoom, Slack and Atlassian actually combine PLG with a more traditional top-down sales motion—a strategy called product-led sales.

This article outlines 6 product strategies that you can implement RIGHT NOW to turn more free users into happy paying customers 🚀

1. In-product messages  

The more opportunities you give your free users to engage with you, the higher your chances are of converting them to a paid plan.

Great product-led companies like Pitch give you plenty of opportunities to engage with their sales and CS teams.

Here, Pitch is using the chatbot to communicate with its users and qualify them further. It’s also an opportunity to show off your amazing customer experience, which plays a huge role in retaining customers.

Pitch in-product message

Recommended tools: Intercom, Drift, Crisp.

2. In-product updates

Showcase features that are fresh off the backlog with in-product updates!

This technique can be way more efficient than sending update emails, if done right.

The key is to not be too intrusive and add value. Here Pitch chooses to fire a small pop up tooltip to showcase their newest feature. They also often trigger a centered pop-up on the first page right after I've signed in.

In product update Pitch

“The priority in our product experience is to make it as personalized and relevant to the user. We focus on having a human approach and being there through the journey to help our users get the most value out of Pitch.”
Kate Donahue
Head of Product Marketing at Pitch

Recommended tools: Userpilot, AppCues, Pendo, Intercom.

3. Maximizing exposure to upgrade CTAs

It's been proven that increasing the amount of view on "Upgrade" call-to-actions drastically increases conversion rates.

It seems simple but simply making sure that your users always have an easy access to upgrade buttons  can have a big impact on your free users-to-paid users conversion.

In Miro, for example, you ALWAYS see the "Invite members" and "Upgrade" CTAs on every screen!

Miro upgrade screenshot

4. Action paywalls

This one is probably the smartest and most effective.

PLG is all about contextual engagement. The fastest-growing PLG companies are showing us that usage-based is the way to go. Pricing customers based on usage, engaging customers based on usage, and also CONVERTING customers based on usage.

That's where the concept of action paywalls comes from. You want to prompt users to convert to paid while they're taking an action, because it's at that very moment that their motivation to do so is at its highest.

Think about it. Would you be more prone to subscribing to Netflix's paid plan via a random email send by their team, or when you're sitting in your sofa and want to listen to a series now?  

That's why action paywalls are a revenue powerhouse.

For example, Pitch makes sure that you get the value from their product while allowing you to convert for more capabilities.

Pitch action pay wall in product

5. Contextual emails and social messages

This one is not "in-product" per say but linked to product usage.

What the best PLG companies are doing right now is shifting from regular nurture campaigns to contextual touch points with their free users.

It means engaging your free users based on how they're interacting with your product, messages and social content.

One example of from Hugo's outbound strategy is an email that gets triggered when a customer is using the Hugo app on the weekend. Using casual language, the email lets the customer know that their CSM knows what it’s like to have to “catch up” on work over the weekend.

Hugo tech touch weekends

Another one is when Hugo's error logging software detects that a customer has just experienced a bug while using Hugo, for example, they receive a friendly message. This message communicates that they noticed an error and are looking into it.

Hugo tech touch error

6. How to trigger contextual messages and give sales reps product insights to act on  

Arguably, something more important than marketing data for sales teams is product data.

As a sales rep, you want visibility on how your leads are interacting with your product so that you can reach out to them at the perfect momen. Whether it's an automated or manual reach out.  

Looks good, but how can I implement this?

“Getting actionable product data into the hands of sales reps is still one of the unsolved aspects of PLG today”
Brendan short headshot

Brendan Short

Ops & Enablement @ Zoom

Let's get to it 👇

Option 1: Build integrations between your product analytics and customer interaction tools.

You'll need to connect the dots between usage data and your customer-facing tools like marketing automation, CRM, etc.

The main use case for sales is reaching out after users have hit PQL (more on PQLs in our secrets to PLG sales ebook).

You can build integrations between your product analytics tools (Mixpanel, Amplitude, etc) and your sales workflow tools with Zapier, Segment or other API platforms.

It will require some developer work. What you have to do is set your trigger data point (ex: increased usage in Amplitude) and then connect to an action that needs to be taken in another tool (ex: Hubspot).

The problem is, DIY data tools integrations are a nightmare to manage and maintain.

There's a better way.

Option 2: How we're building Bliinx to solve that problem.

We're building Bliinx so your customer-facing reps can engage with the right leads at the right time, from their workflow, based on real-time product insights.

Reps use Bliinx to act on product insights like this one 👇

Bliinx PQL blindspot in Slack

All you have to do is:

Bliinx signals

Love those tips?

Have a wonderful day ✌️