How Litmus Used Appcues to Increase Feature Adoption by 2100%


Litmus uses Appcues to run growth and retention experiments, onboard users in trial and post-purchase, increase feature adoption, and announce product updates by providing the right message to the right users at the right time.

Within the first 3 months of using Appcues, Litmus ran dozens of experiments that in some cases resulted in a 22X increase in feature adoption.

We caught up with the company’s Director of Retention and Engagement Marketing, Tanya Littlefield, to learn how Appcues has helped Litmus strengthen their growth and retention strategy.

About Litmus

Litmus offers a suite of email design and email marketing tools that help over 250,000 customers build, design, test, and analyze their emails. Their customer base for their ecommerce product is primarily made up of SMBs with small email marketing teams.

This is an image of Litmus email marketing and analytics software. It shows an email engagement report, email clients, open rate, forward rate, email print rate in colorful graphs.

With the majority of their e-commerce customers on monthly plans, Litmus’ growth and retention teams are focused on expanding their user base and minimizing churn. Litmus understands that their users’ first interactions with their product are critical and that in order to grow and retain users, they have to help their users see the value in their product as soon as possible.

Litmus already had email nurture campaigns in place, but the growth and retention teams wanted to move towards an omnichannel approach in order to reach customers within the product to help guide them and promote new behaviors.

Delivering right messages to the right users at the right time

Litmus offers several unique features to their enterprise customers, including Litmus Proof, which allows users to review emails with better visibility, improved collaboration, and a single, centralized platform for sharing feedback.

Since Proof’s launch, Litmus’ product team has pushed several updates to this feature in order to improve the user experience. Litmus typically used emails and blog posts to announce these updates, with limited success.

For their latest update, rather than sending out an email blast to their entire customer base, Litmus used Appcues’ robust targeting and segmentation to deliver the message to two separate user groups—existing Proof users and potential Proof users.

This screenshot shows a new feature announcement example from Litmus. It shows a modal that says "new! sharing enhancements in Litmus Proof" and gives more information about the new feature. This is a feature announcement example built using Appcues.

While existing Proof users continued using the feature as usual, 20% of users who had not used Proof before adopted the feature after receiving the update announcement.

Litmus also used Appcues to draw attention to Process HTML—a feature that makes it easier to pinpoint and diagnose rendering issues by showing how each email client processes the emails markup.

This is an example of a tooltip used for new feature adoption. This tooltip was built with Appcues and is from the Litmus email marketing product. It shows an announcement that says "new! processed html support" that points to an icon on a screen.

Of the users who saw the tooltip, 62% became active users of the feature—compared to only 2% in the control group. That’s a whopping 22X increase in feature adoption. Littlefield explains:

“Coming up with the right vehicle to serve the content is super important. You need to know what kind of content your users want and how they want to see it. Not every message needs the same style. With Appcues, we can serve this content in a ton of different styles.”

Experimentation is key

With Appcues’ targeting and segmentation, the growth and retention teams at Litmus were able to validate their ideas through user testing and identify opportunities for modifying user behavior by alleviating cognitive load and prompting users to act at the right time.

The results of their experiments also helped Litmus optimize the placement of new features on the dashboard:

“We can now be more strategic with our feature placements. We don’t have to blast everything to everyone on our dashboard. With Appcues, we can hyper-target our messages and announcements to make sure that the user only sees them when using a feature or functionality will make them more successful.”

Experimentation allows you to test hypotheses, discover new opportunities, and ultimately allocate your resources to changes that count—in other words, it should never be an afterthought. It also shouldn’t be a burden.

And as Litmus discovered, it doesn’t have to be. Appcues makes it easy to run growth and retention experiments without redirecting limited engineering resources. And the results speak for themselves:

“With Appcues, we have really been able to build, optimize, and test with a lot fewer people involved and way less time than if we were to go through an engineering sprint.”

Learn more about Appcues for feature adoption.

Ali is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Appcues. He has over seven years of experience in marketing roles at startups, corporations and government organizations. His interests include music, traveling and having random conversations with random people.

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