TechSmith Improves Products and User Experience

    Grows Sales by Increasing Trial Conversions, Upgrades, Renewals, and Cross-Selling

TechSmith LogoTechSmith Corporation helps tens of millions of users in more than 180 countries create high-impact videos and images to share their knowledge and ideas, in fields ranging from marketing and training to higher education.

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Challenge

  • Tracking and analyzing product usage
  • Gaining deeper insight into customers’ needs and usage patterns
  • Improving trial conversions, upgrades, site license renewals, and cross-sales through relevant messaging

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Solution

  • Implement a comprehensive and easyto-integrate product usage analytics and in-application messaging platform

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Benefits

  • Improved feature roadmaps: Target development investments based on real user needs
  • More upgrades: In-app messaging campaigns attracted 61% more clicks and 44% more conversions than email
  • Business-wide benefits: Data is improving functions from marketing to content management, development to licensing

Understanding customers: Connecting value to software

TechSmith places a priority on understanding and communicating with customers. As Strategy Lead Daniel Foster puts it, “We know shipping features is only half our job. The other half is to help users connect with the value those features deliver. If users don’t discover that value or fail to take advantage of it, we’ve failed.”

Helping users get more value from their software is a goal shared by product teams, product marketers, content management specialists, developers, and everyone else. Understanding how customers actually work with their products is central to their success. “We’d built and shipped all these features,” says Foster. “Who’s using them? How often? How do we invest to improve them? We’d been in market with Snagit for 28 years. Should we pull some features to keep the user’s experience manageable?”

TechSmith regularly surveyed and met with its customers, but wanted to augment those qualitative insights with robust and comprehensive quantitative insight into product usage. Initially TechSmith built its own data collection system for its flagship products Snagit and Camtasia, but that system contained no reporting or analytics, frustrating product teams and the technical professionals tasked with operating and maintaining it.

“Whenever we had a question,” continues Foster, “our product teams had to ask a developer to stop work and write a SQL query. So we had to make sure it was a really important question. We couldn’t poke around and discover new questions.”

Meanwhile, TechSmith’s IT organization was burdened by the effort and cost associated with maintaining servers to capture and store all the data being generated by its in-house system, prompting product management to find a different approach.

Driving Results with Usage Intelligence

After an extensive search for a better alternative, TechSmith chose Usage Intelligence, a comprehensive and easy-to-integrate product usage analytics and in-application messaging platform. In 2014, TechSmith embedded Usage Intelligence into its flagship software. It has used Usage Intelligence in all versions since—driving benefits throughout the organization.

Improving Product Roadmaps

It didn’t take long for analytics to reliably answer key questions for shaping TechSmith’s product roadmaps. For example, Snagit has long been the industry’s leading solution for screen image capture and editing, but TechSmith had recently invested in its video recording capabilities. Although there had been skepticism about the value to video functionality to customers, Usage Intelligence proved that a significant and growing number of customers were using the video features. This insight helped convince the team to add webcam support in Snagit 13, and more robust video features since.

Improving User Experience and Workflows

TechSmith has grown increasingly sophisticated using analytics to improve user experience. Foster said that, “We have started to categorize our products and features based on expected frequency of usage—for example, some features are intended for occasional projectbased use, while others are intended for daily task-based use. Now we can give wide exposure in the product UI and in-product messaging to broad, daily use features while exposing more niche or occasional-use features to the right users at the right time.” He also says that TechSmith has begun to “use Usage Intelligence to understand users’ paths through the software, and discover the sequences of tasks they tend to perform together” with the goal of supporting users’ primary and secondary workflows and to make sure they don’t slow them down.

Improving Email and Advertising Campaigns

As Global Ecommerce Manager Cindy Wood notes, ReachOut in-app messaging supports TechSmith’s overall marketing strategy, and helps it improve emails and advertising. “As we learn from Usage Intelligence’s anonymous usage data, we can identify patterns among trial users, and focus our onboarding emails on highvalue features they may be missing. Or we can use what we learn from analytics data to deliver better advertising at the top of the funnel, or better target remarketing to trial users who return to our website.” 


ReachOut In-App Messages Versus Email

61 %

higher click rates

41 %

higher conversion rates


Driving More Value from Content Management

Writers and content managers use insights from Usage Intelligence to focus user help, blog posts, and longer-form documents on the knowledge customers actually need. And TechSmith marketers increasingly rely on the analytics and in-app messaging capability to shape and execute their campaigns.

Turning Trial Users into Paying Customers

Many new TechSmith users start with a 30-day free trial, so increasing conversions is crucial. Knowing how users first enter and explore each product and comparing the behavior of those who convert to those who do not, TechSmith can target specific in-app messages to introduce important functionality that drives more paying customers. The result: more downloaders discover compelling value before their trials expire.

Accelerating Upgrades via Personalized Messaging

TechSmith relies on Usage Intelligence data and in-app messaging to optimize its upgrade strategy. For example, Snagit 2019’s innovative new Simplify tool helps customers obscure irrelevant detail and create more future-proof content. Simplify is especially appealing to customers who’ve used specific features such as Smart Move or Blur in previous versions. Using ReachOut, TechSmith can automatically target in-app banners promoting Simplify to user segments that have used these related features in the past and will likely find the new feature to be relevant.

Potential upgraders to Snagit 2019 may also see an in-app banner with an embedded thumbnail video in which Foster demos the latest functionality and presents a customized call to action based on how the upgrade should be purchased. “We’ve more than paid for Usage Intelligence just on these directly trackable upgrade campaigns,” says Foster.

As Wood notes, Usage Intelligence helps TechSmith identify individuals’ needs, distinguish between user bases, and target messaging accordingly. For another example, TechSmith always knows what version is running, so it can build messaging that reflects all the value a user can get by upgrading, even if they’ve skipped a few versions.

Cross-Selling More Effectively

The overlap between user bases for Snagit and Camtasia has traditionally been modest, but TechSmith is now using Usage Intelligence to expand customer relationships by cross-selling more effectively. When users work with Snagit’s basic video functionality, TechSmith can inform them of Camtasia’s comprehensive video editing capabilities—and it can also avoid those messages if Usage Intelligence notices Camtasia already installed on the same system.

Focusing Surveys to Get More Valuable Results

Usage Intelligence is significantly improving TechSmith’s ability to survey its customers. Before the company offered a French-language version of Snagit, it wanted a deeper understanding of its Frenchspeaking users. So it prepared a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey in French, used ReachOut to deliver it only to users running French-language operating systems, and got a 17% response rate—quickly attracting all the feedback it needed. TechSmith can also ask for feedback on specific features only from people who use them—capturing more valuable opinions, and less noise.

Increasing Enterprise Usage to Protect Site License Revenue

TechSmith earns significant revenue from enterprise site licenses. To earn renewals, it must demonstrate high rates of usage throughout its customers’ organizations. To promote usage, TechSmith delivers tailored ReachOut in-app messaging to new users who click on TechSmith’s software icons for the first time. These personalized messages help users quickly discover how Snagit and Camtasia can help them do their jobs more effectively. “When anyone in a company can use your product,” says Foster, “procurement people want to know: how many people actually do use it? Usage Intelligence helps us drive that number as high as we can. That way, if they’re looking for expenses to cut, they look elsewhere.”

Turning Trial Users into Successful Customers

TechSmith discusses experimenting with data-driven onboarding to boost customer experience during trials and drive business outcomes.

 

Using Usage Intelligence, we can set team goals around specific usage metrics, galvanizing people from marketing, support, documentation, and development to work together on hitting our targets. Usage Intelligence helps us drive coordinated effort on the customer’s behalf.

DANIEL FOSTER
STRATEGY LEAD, TECHSMITH CORPORATION

 

Stronger customer relationships, more data-driven decisions

Usage Intelligence is helping TechSmith build stronger customer relationships that lead to important successes across the business. With a more comprehensive understanding of users, TechSmith can refine roadmaps, target messaging and support, and help users gain more value from each feature—driving more trial conversions, upgrade rates,cross-selling, and site license renewals. Increasingly, data is being applied throughout the company. For example, it’s been integrated with PowerBI to give broader access to numbers like monthly active users of each product and major version of each product—providing context to activities like crashes or support tickets because TechSmith can generate a metric (e.g., crashes per 100k installs) rather than simply a count.

Above all, Usage Intelligence is helping TechSmith become a more data-driven organization. As Foster puts it, “Usage Intelligence has worked itself into the DNA of our decision-making. Whenever we think ‘wouldn’t it be nice if we knew how much people are using this,’ we just go look. Using Usage Intelligence, we can even set team goals around specific usage metrics. That galvanizes people from marketing, support, documentation, and development to work together on hitting our targets. Usage Intelligence helps us drive coordinated effort on the customer’s behalf.”

Next Steps

Product usage analytics for smarter, faster strategy and roadmap decisions