Shift is a desktop email client, and electron application, built by the team at Redbrick to help customers switch between multiple Gmail accounts more easily.

Aside from being a beautiful productivity application that helps solve a common email challenge, building Shift gave us the opportunity to leverage our very own in-house analytics platform: Deskmetrics.

With a Preview launch in mid-September, and full ‘v1’ launch scheduled for December on Product Hunt, we purposefully created a marketing and distribution strategy that would put Deskmetrics’ electron SDK to the test, and ultimately help us build the best possible product for Launch Day.

In fact, we scheduled our Preview release to allow time for our team to iterate (and iterate, and iterate…!) for 2-3 months, set up all necessary custom events, pull detailed custom engagement reports, and take full advantage of DeskMetrics’ lifecycle attribution tracking capability.

Insight

Our product team needed to know: were we actually solving a problem people cared about with Shift? How many email accounts do Gmail-and-Outlook-users actually use? Are they willing to adopt a new solution?

Our marketing team wanted to know: who are our customers, and what are their email habits? Which channels work best for reaching these users?  

To ensure we would be able to answer these at the end of it all, we needed to make sure that all data was properly tracked and segmented.

We set up endless custom events to capture all important (and potentially important) in-app behaviours, as well as unique tracking links to help us monitor each paid and earned media channel: Facebook, Twitter, Media/PR Outreach & Influencers.

 


Action

Immediately after our Preview website went live and traffic started to filter in, we had beautifully organized data to mine.

On a micro level, we could drill down and see how unique visitors were using the product (anonymously, of course!), and really make sense of some of their behavior with a real storyline.  

On a macro level, we could easily aggregate that data, and study larger trends to understand the overall success rate of each cohort and channel. This gave us a clear picture of the real potential of our marketing spend, in real-time.


Result

Within 2 weeks of the Preview launch, our product and marketing teams had their answers.

Our user base of early adopters – mostly designers, developers, and entrepreneurs – were incredibly enthusiastic about Shift. And we had the data (and the love letters….okay, emails) to prove it.

By the time of Launch Day, we knew a thing or two about our customers. And, as it turn out, they are pretty rad.

A few fun facts about them:

• Switch b/w accounts 25+ times per day

• Add 1.97 accounts (we have a user that’s using 14 accounts!)

• 94.5% use Gmail

• 4.5% use Microsoft

 

By using life cycle attribution, and tracking page view > install > purchase (+ everything in between) we were also able to attribute the exact download rate for each channel and really understand the strengths and weaknesses of our product, throughout the entire flow.

This data gave our product, marketing and development teams very clear priorities and focus in the lead up to Launch Day, in December. It allowed us to pair down the scope of some features, and expand on others, based on real customer experiences, and ROI.

Ultimately, we were able to increase our spend by ten fold for our Facebook ad campaign, attract over 1300 upvotes on Product Hunt, and open up the door to infinite earned media, social engagement, and media opportunities to really get the word out about Shift. This powerful, data-drive growth has allowed us to grow Shift is a measured and sustainable way, and ensure positive ROI the whole way through.

 

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