How (And Why) We Fixed User Aliasing

Posted by Josh Weissburg on Feb 5, 2016

User identity management is surprisingly tricky. What seems simple at first give each user a unique ID, then track everything that happens to that user ID quickly turns complicated.  But when you get it right, you can actually understand and communicate with each of your users as an individual.
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Topics: Best practices

3 Principles to Achieve a Zen State Between Business and Engineering

Posted by Josh Weissburg on Dec 10, 2015

When a company is interested in Outbound, the first person I usually talk to is either a member of the growth team or the product team. Let’s call this person Alex. Alex typically knows exactly what the problem areas are in activating and retaining users, and he zeroes in on the experiments he wants to run. Alex sees the business case clearly, and he is impatient to get started.

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Topics: Best practices

Customer Segmentation for Growth Teams

Posted by Josh Weissburg on Oct 30, 2015

How will you slice it?

Every growth team faces the same basic challenge: “What changes should we make to our current product and marketing that will get us more customers who stick around longer and pay us more?” The answers rely on how you do customer segmentation: effective segmentation allows for analysis, which generates ideas that you will act on and test.
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Topics: Best practices

Attention Currency: How to Measure Message Quality

Posted by Josh Weissburg on Jun 4, 2015

What is attention currency?

Customer attention is a kind of currency; you spend it whenever you ask your customer to pay attention to your business. When you send messages to your customers or prospects, you're spending attention currency. Like actual money, customer currency is finite and must be budgeted for just the right time.

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Topics: AB testing, Best practices

How to Ask Your Engineering Team for Help

Posted by Josh Weissburg on May 22, 2015

People love to talk about the wonders of data-driven marketing, but there's a reason it's hard to do: you need access to all that data! Usually, access to data means asking your engineering team to hook up or make a change to a tool you're using—GROAN.

Why is this so painful? Because engineers are incredibly busy. They usually have too many projects in a very time-sensitive pipeline and everyone else in the company is waiting for them to hurry up and finish, just like you are. So engineering teams have to be very strict about taking on new work. Keeping this in mind, the key to a successful engineering ask is to base your ask on the things your engineers care about and get really, really specific about what you're asking for.

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Topics: Best practices

Anchor and Ask: Use Messages to Turn Signups into Real Customers

Posted by Josh Weissburg on May 19, 2015

Most companies spend a lot of time and money trying to find new customers. But big businesses are not built on signups - they're built on converted customers. And yet, last fall I heard an amazing statistic from Optimizely CEO Dan Siroker: 92:1. That's the ratio of dollars spent on customer acquisition compared to conversion! That makes for a very leaky funnel, with lots of leads at the top but very few real customers at the bottom. Messages can help fix this.

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Topics: Triggered messages, Multi-channel messaging, Best practices

Buying Software 101: How to Design a Kickass Pilot Project

Posted by Josh Weissburg on May 14, 2015

There is a lot of cool software out there. The question is, will it actually help you do your job better? Since the money likely isn’t coming out of your pocket, you have to figure out how to get team members, finance and execs to see the value in what you see. Your best bet? Design a pilot program that shows them the value.

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Topics: Best practices

How To Send Great Messages: 'First_Name' Is Not Enough

Posted by Josh Weissburg on Mar 9, 2015

Most companies send personalized email. Addressing customers by name is great, but making a quality message—something that's actually useful to the customer—is really about drawing on your history with that person.

A Lesson from Cheers

Remember the TV show Cheers and the song that went along with it? "Where everybody knows your name..." Cheers was a TV phenomenon for 11 years in the 80s and into the early 90s, winning Emmys left and right until Seinfeld took over. The entire show took place in a bar called Cheers where regulars bantered and comedy happened - but the real key to the whole franchise was a basic human desire: we all want to have a place to go where everyone knows your name and "they're always glad you came."

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Topics: Triggered messages, Best practices

Explanations for marketers: the event stream

Posted by Josh Weissburg on Nov 14, 2014

As a non-engineer, I often wish for a place I could go to see important technical concepts broken down and explained in plain English. They say the best way to learn is to teach, so I’m going to give this a shot...

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Topics: Best practices