Intercom helps online dating giant drive thousands of membership upgrades with in‑app messaging
With Harry Lloyd, Head of CRM and Merchandising
12k upgrades driven by Intercom
White Label Dating, a dating site platform with over 25,000 websites, struggled to connect with an increasingly mobile user base. Having relied solely on email for customer communication, White Label Dating turned to Intercom, finding in-app messaging strikingly powerful at driving memberships and increasing customer lifetime value.
Prior to Intercom, White Label Dating used email as their primary channel for customer communication. “We had robust email campaigns operating throughout the customer lifecycle,” recalls Harry Lloyd, Head of Customer Engagement. Though inevitably, White Label Dating came up against a number of challenges including growing customer opt-out, deliverability issues, and getting lost in a customer's inbox. At the same time, customers were increasingly accessing sites via mobile devices, making the need for mobile web engagement particularly salient. “Emails are less and less effective. The ability to engage the user on a mobile device has become absolutely essential. Intercom is the appropriate tool and the appropriate engine that helps us survive in this new world,” says Harry.
Adding Intercom was swift and simple, immediately enabling White Label Dating to reach users on desktop and mobile web. Whether promotional campaigns, surveys, or encouraging actions like adding photos and profile information, it was clear Intercom could transform the website experience into a powerful customer engagement channel. After a two-week trial, they rolled out Intercom across all 25,000 dating sites incorporating more precise and tactful messages during key moments throughout the customer lifecycle. Everything from age, gender, location, membership level, and visit frequency inform the content, timing, and audience of their in-app messages.
Intercom is how we ensure that we reach customers in exactly the right way and at exactly the right time. From the moment a customer logs in, everything is relevant.
Driving Customer Lifetime Value
White Label Dating relies on strong customer lifetime value (LTV) to keep the business growing and profitable. To improve customer LTV, they run ongoing promotional campaigns that encourage membership upgrades throughout the customer lifecycle. With Intercom, promotional messages are now delivered in-app and via White Label Dating's bespoke email product. In only a few months, in-app messages have proven to be staggeringly effective, getting registered users to upgrade 14x better than email. With 33% of all membership upgrades driven by promotions, these campaigns are a significant source of revenue for White Label Dating.
Promotional campaigns target a number of segments including: newly registered users and lapsed customers who churned or downgraded their membership, but still occasionally check in and browse the site.
When a person registers for the first time, they are encouraged to engage with the entire product and preview paywall features through free trials. During this initial period, they receive targeted discounts to upgrade from a basic membership.
For lapsed customers, Intercom in-app messages prove especially powerful. White Label Dating found that despite downgrading, lapsed customers continue to visit the dating sites, giving White Label Dating another opportunity to engage and incentivize them to reactivate their account. In a recent campaign targeting lapsed customers, the in-app message had a 35% click-through rate, while, with a significantly higher send volume, the email channel achieved a .36% click through rate. In this campaign, in-app messages proved nearly 100x more effective in engaging customers. Email continues to drive financial returns, but cannot match the strength of in-app messaging to connect with the customer in real time.
Getting customers to the right site
When a person joins one dating site but doesn't convert into a paying customer, White Label Dating uses Intercom to cross-promote and cross-register them to another site. These in-app campaigns show that 16% to 33% will click through to explore another site, and between 6% to 11% will then cross-register. This additional revenue is recouped from customers that would have otherwise disengaged.
Inciting action with in-app messages
Apart from driving membership upgrades, in-app messages have also outperformed email in other customer engagement campaigns. For instance, when encouraging members to upload a photo, in-app messages were 10x more effective than emails.
For every one photo upload completed via email we are receiving 10 via Intercom thanks to far higher levels of open and click rate.
The lasting value of Intercom
Intercom already has a massive impact in terms of value to the company. In nine months, Intercom’s in-app messages have resulted in 12 thousand membership upgrades for White Label Dating, which translates to more than £1 million worth of additional revenue. Intercom now drives 5.2% of all monthly upgrades and 49% of all promotion-driven upgrades – a number that's expected to grow.
Looking ahead, White Label Dating plans to continue using Intercom to improve the customer experience by targeting points of friction, and utilize Intercom's support solution to help customers more meaningfully.
"I don't think we really even scratched the surface with Intercom, truth be told. There are lots of elements to the Intercom system that we're not taking advantage of. One of the main reasons that we chose Intercom in the first place is to have flexibility and room to grow. It's the beginning of the ride."
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