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How Mixpanel drives product adoption and increases retention through their customer community

When Mixpanel first implemented its customer community, the goal was to decrease the number of support tickets and thereby free up Support. But soon, greater benefits of community became evident, including its direct impact on product adoption and retention.

We spoke to Cherise Goode, Technical Support Engineer turned Product Manager and community enthusiast. She’s spearheaded Mixpanel’s community efforts since its inception and most recently executed the launch of The Mixpanel Community.

But let’s start from the beginning. Where did the need for a customer community come from?

The need for community

Back in 2018, Mixpanel needed a solution that would decrease the number of support tickets. At the time, one of the VPs put forward the idea of implementing a customer community, having seen great results in previous companies.

Community 1.0 was implemented and while it did the job in terms of offering one-to-many support, Mixpanel was outgrowing the platform. Mixpanel needed a platform that reflected the brand and provided a seamless customer experience. Plus, the team was limited to very basic client-side Mixpanel tracking, and could not tie the events and user behavior in the community back to core product KPIs.

While Community 1.0 served its purpose as proof of concept, Mixpanel wanted to invest in its potential. Plus, as a small team, Mixpanel needed a solution that offered a plug-and-play option and was easy to maintain.

This led Goode to venture out to find a new vendor that could meet all of Mixpanel’s requirements.

Soon, an intro call with inSided was booked and community 2.0 was in the works.

The move to inSided and Community 2.0

With the move to inSided, a new era of Mixpanel’s community could begin. This time, the efforts went beyond support.

Let’s take a closer look.

Building a community fit for Mixpanel’s customer base

One of the major issues was providing Mixpanel users with a community that represented an extension of the product – with the Mixpanel look and feel. Members no longer needed separate logins for the community, and users with product questions could now easily find answers across the community and our help center in one swift search.

Using inSided’s customization options, the community could soon get the brand experience it deserved and maintain brand consistency as the Mixpanel brand and product evolved.

The Mixpanel CommunityA snapshot of The Mixpanel Community

But community 2.0 was about so much more than branding. Community members needed an identity in the community to really feel like they were a part of it. Plus, Mixpanel could finally implement reliable tracking and start making data-informed decisions through community engagement.

Some of the core reasons that inspired the move to inSided included the opportunity to implement a strong tracking plan, build gamification that incentivized users to perform desired engagement, and build trust within the community by making it more transparent who users were in the community.

Goode remarked that “by migrating to inSided, we finally had the data to show how Community was impacting product use — and it allowed us to start benchmarking in ways that were directly aligned with our company goals.”

Transitioning beyond support

As community quickly proved itself to be an effective solution for answering product questions from users in a one-to-many model, Mixpanel could focus their attention elsewhere. With community 2.0 prepped for scale, it was time to build out the overall customer experience.

Creating a better customer experience

Mixpanel wanted to create a space where they could offer a more immersive brand experience. In an effort to do so, they launched a Champion Program intended to leverage the expertise of the most active community users.

The goal was to drive more and higher quality engagement in the community. In return for helping other users, community Champions are given special perks, such as insider access to the Product team, and invitations to join betas, events, and more.

Screenshot 2021-01-20 at 16.01.52
Internal adoption

Goode, understanding the impact community could have for teams other than support, worked cross-functionally with Product, Success, and Marketing to help them identify the most effective ways that they could share the community with their customers. 

The result? An unmatched customer experience. It’s common for community users to receive answers directly from members of the Mixpanel team across many different organizations. A white-glove service that adds unique perspectives, spanning from product managers, to implementation managers, to their CSMs.

CSMs publish helpful guides, and product managers and the design team often source research directly from discussion threads. There’s also an ideation section where users can submit and vote on new product features for Mixpanel.

Driving growth through community

In a community journey that can only be described as a success, Mixpanel has been able to back up the value of community with some incredible numbers.

Through the value of product analytics, and maintaining a Mixpanel integration across their main product and their community, a commonly reviewed report monitored the conversion rate of a customer moving through signup to implementation.

Breaking down the funnel trends report, shown below, Mixpanel found that among users who implement Mixpanel within 7 days of signup, those who visited the community demonstrated 30% higher conversion rates (seen by the teal line below).

And this is not the only impressive finding, the community has also proven to have a significant impact on product usage and adoption.

Increased adoption and product usage

To offer easy access to the community, Goode implemented the inSided community widget in the Mixpanel product to reduce friction and make it easier for customers to go back and forth between the two platforms. 

On average, a user who read a post in Mixpanels community, did +1.85 (≈202.27%) more goal events per day than a non-adopter (within (1.5, 2.2) at 95% confidence). By implementing the widget, users could get the value of community without ever having to leave the product.

30-40% higher retention rates

The Mixpanel community team was determined to align their work with the company focus metric, LUV. LUV stands for Learning User Verified, defined by users who are building queries in Mixpanel and using Mixpanel to learn.

When the community team looked at learners specifically, they found that Learners who are also visiting the community demonstrate ongoing weekly retention of key focus metric (building) at rates 30-40% higher than Learners who are not visiting the community— seen below in the delta between the orange and red retention trend lines.

Plus, users who are most engaged in the community also show the highest engagement in the product.

To account for self-selection bias, the team filtered out all Learners and found that retention of users who sign up and then subsequently perform the goal event within the first few weeks was 43 percentage points stronger amongst users who visit the community, seen in the teal trendline below.

What’s next for Mixpanel’s community?

Mixpanel is a product-led dream come true. That growth has been propelled by its enthusiastic customer base and community. And more than anything, they understand that loyal users are at the heart of a SaaS company.

“I love seeing more and more SaaS companies invest in online communities. It provides an unmatched customer experience and a place where their most enthusiastic customers can come together and inspire each other. We’ve all heard the phrase that goes something like ‘find your passion and unlock your potential’ — Community taps into your most passionate customers, unlocking potential to drive powerful organic growth for SaaS.”

– Cherise Goode, Product Manager and community enthusiast at Mixpanel

Today, Mixpanel’s community has 30k MAUs that enjoy customer stories in the recently launched Mixpanel Moments category, submit feature requests, meet users in groups, and of course use the FAQ section.

Next up in the evolution of the Mixpanel community is to move even further away from the support model and focus on inspiration and relationship building, getting customers to know each other and learn from each other.

Do you want to know more about how a customer community would benefit your company?

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