This post is a part of Made @ HubSpot, an internal thought leadership series through which we extract lessons from tests conducted by our very own HubSpotters.
Platforms are inlayed in our daily lives — whether we realize it or not.
Have you recently . ordered food from a company like GrubHub or made a reservation using OpenTable? Booked a ride making use of Lyft? Used your telephone to check your email? Many of these seamless interactions require techniques to talk to each other via open up platforms.
What about at work? The number of tools do you use to perform your job? Do you spend a lot of your time updating disparate systems, or do you use a connected collection of technologies to keep issues up-to-date? If it’s these, you have a platform to give thanks to for your saved time.
The platform makes it possible to connect tools, teams, data, and procedures under one digital roofing. It’s the nucleus of systems and allows you to connect all your favorite tools seamlessly using integrations. An integration allows disparate systems approach each other. By joining equipment via integrations, a change produced in System A automatically carries through to System B.
Leveraging platforms and integrations hasn’t always been commonplace. A couple of years back, HubSpot Research found that 82% of salespeople and marketers lost up to an hour per day managing siloed equipment — a costly mistake.
Nowadays, employees recognize that integrating systems to do their jobs isn’t an option but a requirement. Individual employees are choosing to connect their tools and, on average, leverage eight apps to do their job.
Workers and businesses alike run on connected applications. Okta discovered that it’s small-mid size customers (defined as companies with less than 2, 000 employees) average 73 applications — up 38% from last year. While larger customers (companies with over 2, 000 employees) leverage closer to 130 apps — up 68% from the past calendar year.
From personal life to operate, platforms have become a basic piece in our day-to-day. These systems are well-oiled machines that will initiate seamless connections among technologies. Today, the consumer not just anticipates but also expects their particular systems to connect — raising the bar for businesses to make it possible.
But more tools shouldn’t suggest more friction. At HubSpot, we want to help our customers connect their own tools on our platform to reduce friction and grow better. Customers should have tools plus solutions to solve their requirements, regardless of if HubSpot constructed them. Connecting tools allows for uniform data, processes, plus experiences. This year, we’re trying out ways to expose integrations to our customers to increase adoption.
Nevertheless , as a platform scales, it is increasingly tricky for customers in order to navigate exhaustive lists associated with integrations and identify can be relevant to them. We regarded this at HubSpot plus began experimenting with paid advertisements to see if this could be a useful distribution channel to our clients.
Our Experiment on Paid Integration Ads
At the end of Q4, the Platform Marketing team chose to use some leftover budget to try a channel we hadn’t yet proven practical for integration adoption — paid ads.
We hypothesized that we could influence the adoption of an integration by means of paid ads. To test the hypothesis, we ran the retargeting campaign for three integrations on Facebook. The advertisements were surfaced to HubSpot’s retargetable audience.
These ads featured three HubSpot-built integrations: Slack, WordPress, and Eventbrite. We selected these integrations because they are natively built (built by HubSpot) and structured in a way that allowed us to measure multi-touch attribution.
By leveraging Google Tag Supervisor on the in-app integration index, custom UTM parameters, plus funnel reports, we were capable to measure all steps from viewing the ad in order to installing the integration. Before launching the campaign, we tested our Google Analytics custom funnel reports by completing all actions — including installing the integrations to make sure they worked because designed.
Before running the particular campaign, we made the conscious decision to split our budget evenly across all three integration ads — regardless if one ad outperformed the others. We did this to minimize variables for that experiment.
Because we happened to run ads through November plus December, we decreased spending from $130 dollars a day to $5 a day on and around holidays. We all did this to “pause” the campaign on days where the ads would get dropped in the noise, as this information could skew overall results.
Lastly, we determined our success metrics. Because we all didn’t have apples-to-apples benchmark data for integration compensated ads, we worked with our own paid team to establish reasonably similar benchmark data. Although it wasn’t a direct comparison, i was curious to see how advertisements could influence multi-step actions. We evaluated our efficiency based on click-through rates (CTR), cost per click (CPC), and cost per acquisition.
The integration ads overtaken our benchmark data with regard to click-through rate (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), and cost per acquisition at the 7-, 30-, and 44-day marks — supporting the initial hypothesis and conjecture .
The 30-day CTR for our integration ads had been higher than the 7-day plus 30-day CTR for the benchmark data, which is surprising once we expected the audience to be more fatigued over time.
Fatigue can be measured by the rate of recurrence a user views the same ad. For example , at HubSpot, we all look at if a viewer provides seen the same ad more than 2 . 5 times within 30 days, which we think about high. Additionally , we held an eye out for an increasing price per acquisition.
Paid ads for these integrations was attractive to our retargetable audience along with a legitimate acquisition point to get HubSpot. It helped all of us influence adoption of integrations — resulting in hundreds of puts in the featured technologies. It also provided us with a data point we’ve been curious to see — the cost of an install.
When considering the value and acquisition cost of an install, it’s helpful to understand the effect on the business. At HubSpot, our customers along with integrated stacks of systems tend to be more successful — and so they stick around.
This is sensible — as the more applications installed, the higher the likelihood someone will stick around. This is a common finding among platform businesses.
On a recent trip to San Francisco HubSpot’s VP of System Ecosystem Scott Brinker found that “a common design on platforms is that the more apps a customer integrates to their system, the higher their retention rate will be — for both the platform and the apps integrated into it. ”
Connecting their particular tools allows customers to get into all their data in one core system while staying versatile and adaptable to their requirements as they grow.
Since HubSpot doesn’t currently charge integrators to be part of our ecosystem, spending money to drive a internet new install may seem counterintuitive. When weighing the long lasting benefits of an install for customer value and retention, we are able to determine what is a realistic cost per install. The experiment cost was worth the insight, as it allowed us to gain a baseline knowledge of the cost per acquisition of a good integration install.
Ultimately you are able to determine if the long-term worth outweighs the upfront cost. (While directional value is an excellent baseline, you’d ideally turn to lifetime value [LTV] to establish actual worth. )
What This Means for HubSpot — and For You
The experiment with paid ads outperformed our expectations and helped us reach a larger target audience than we anticipated. This became clear that this has been and is a viable channel for us to increase adoption of integrations and better understand the price per integration install.
Long term looking, we could alter whom we target to see how it impacts CTR. We’re able to leverage enrichment software such as Datanyze or Clearbit to see if users have tools and cross-reference install information to create a list of folks using tools we integrate with but have yet to connect to. Alternatively, we could leverage this data to target several users going through onboarding in order to encourage them to connect existing equipment to HubSpot.
Additionally , we’re able to look through the required steps to connect an integration and consider how we could reduce these to simplify the process for our customers and potentially increase our CTR.
Not a platform business? No problem. This retargeting advertisments can be leveraged to evaluate various other valuable actions for your users, such as sign-ups, free tests, or event registration.