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Pendo Story: Insightly

In-app messages increase onboarding engagement by 1540% and triple freemium conversions

Teresa Roche is the Director of Customer Success for Insightly, a simple to use yet powerful CRM system for small and midsize businesses. “We are the CRM for building customer relationships,” said Teresa. “[Insightly] offers all the core salesforce automation capabilities that businesses need, as well as relationship linking and even project delivery. We are an all-in-one CRM for all industries, including manufacturing, consulting, healthcare and education.”

“In addition to running the customer success organization, I directly manage our large account customer success team, and lead our customer marketing. As a result, all of our in-app messages get reviewed, if not created, by the CS team. We work very closely with the product team to make sure we aren’t overlapping each other, or sending too many messages to our customers.”

Accelerating User Onboarding

Onboarding was an important initiative for the team at Insightly. “We started with a few simplistic guides to see how they could impact user adoption,” said Teresa, “We had launched a charts feature for our reporting in early 2017 that wasn’t getting much use. We put a 1-line tooltip on the charts button, and saw an immediate spike in usage. This gave us the confidence to move forward with our in-product onboarding experience. The flexibility that Pendo offers has really helped build a unique experience for our users.”

“Now when new users come into Insightly, we use a custom guide design to push down the app experience and present users with a welcome modal that includes a welcome video, Insightly basics videos and getting started tasks. The Insightly Basics videos walk customers through how to setup their account and how to use Insightly for various use cases. The Insightly Basics videos are also available from a customer’s profile drop-down so they can easily access them even after they close the welcome modal.


Welcome modal for new Insightly users


Insightly’s onboarding flow for new users.  The initial modal directs to a welcome video, and additional video guides to learn the basics of Insightly.

“Prior to having this onboarding modal we didn’t have any in-product guidance on where to get started when someone came into the product. Since deploying the modal, we’ve seen a 1540% increase in viewership of the getting started videos and average view duration increased 40%. Pendo allowed us to do this with minimal coding, while adding an experience that really looks and feels like a native part of our app.”

Powering Lean Product Experimentation

This flexibility helped Insightly start to use Pendo for more experimentation in their product. One of the areas where Insightly experimented was with their freemium users. “We have a lot of users on our free plan”, said Teresa, “Many of them have been on it awhile and are not even aware of some of the additional features they can access on our paid plans. We decided to run a test and see if we could move some of our free users to paid by offering them a chance to try some of these features out at no cost. So we targeted about 4,000 of our free admin users, and served them a guide in app that offered them a trial.”


Freemium trial offer lightbox

“The results were quite a bit more than we were expecting. We had a 10% sign-up rate in two days, and had to turn off the offer after sending 431 new trial customers to our sales team. Within just that two-day cohort we were able to convert these now trial customers to paid plans at three times the rate of our free customers. The experiment showed us that there is a lot of untapped potential in our free users, and we are looking at more measured ways to replicate this free to trial process moving forward.”

Insightly continues to experiment with guides in their product. “We see guides as a way to validate our assumptions about customers, and prove out the value for features before we commit development resources,” said Teresa. “For example, we were concerned that there was no easy upgrade option in the main settings menu, but there is a ‘cancel subscription’ button. In order to prove out the business case as to why engineering should build out that button, we are first pushing it out as a Pendo guide. We’ll add it as a custom banner to the settings page, and test click-through. It looks like a part of our product and can be a huge win for our product team if we can help influence product changes with Pendo messages.”


Insightly uses Pendo to test out potential features prior to development

“Wherever we can I want to test out features this way. We’ve also used the guides to get direct feedback from customers about potential features. For example, we have a survey on our integrations page that asks customers what integrations they would like to see. Things like this eliminate guesswork, and allow us to focus engineering resources on things that we know add customer value.”


Insightly provides customer relationship management software for small and midsize businesses across a range of industries such as manufacturing, consulting, health & wellness, media and others. With more than 1.5 million users worldwide, Insightly is the world’s most popular CRM software for Google and Office 365 users.


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