Conversion Conference 2017: How VWO Engage Found Perspective In Vegas
In April, a couple of us packed our bags after a particularly long work-week, and boarded what was going to be a punishing 15 hour flight from New Delhi to the east coast of the US of A. We landed in Newark, and then took another 5 hour flight to the west. By the time we were in our hotel, we were exhausted beyond belief.
Why would we do that to ourselves, you ask?
Well, we were, after all, going to Vegas.
And this was, after all, the first conference VWO Engage was sponsoring and attending.
So that’s where we were, at Conversion Conference, which this year was at the Rio. We had been making preparations for the event for a while. We had brought stuff all the way over from India as gifts for the attendees. I was speaking about our product on stage, we had discount vouchers, we even had gambling chips! But as it often is before events, I was worried if the product would be interesting to the audience, what they would see it as, and so on.
VWO Engage is a new product in a new space, and all these are questions marketers worry about!
Once the event began, and we set our space up, I went up on stage and talked about how we had come to build VWO Engage. We have written about the story before, but this was the first time we had spoken about it.
And we found that the audience loved it. They turned up in droves at our exhibit, and by the end of the day, we had exhausted most of the gifts/product brochures we had, and had been demo-ing the product for at least five hours. It was an incredible experience. As we build products from India, at times we are denied the personal touch of customers actually using and enjoying the product that we make. It is at events like these that we are able to bridge that gap and take all that back to the team.
The second day was even more fun, as some attendees returned for more detailed demos. We were also interviewed for a podcast that will be up soon, and were able to close a small sale right at the exhibit.
As we winded down, and made plans for a night out with the travelling contingent, I made some notes about a few things attendees kept asking us.
1. Are you from the same company which makes VWO?
Customers asked us this so many times that we realised we had to do a better job at telling people this. Yes, VWO Engage is made by the same company which made VWO, one of the world’s leading A/B testing and CRO platforms. We ran into people who were using both our products, and were not aware that they were made by the same company. We’re taking steps to address this.
2. Where do you see this platform going? Where is the future?
We kept getting this question, which showed how many people were interested and aware of push notifications as a communication and marketing platform. And boy did we have some answers for them. With new features like Big Image support and CTA buttons, we are constantly raising the bar on how users will engage with Push Notifications. And as a product, VWO Engage is on its way to building some really smart and cool features that might change the direction the platform is going towards.
How would you like a customer communication platform that understands the kind of content the user prefers, what time they prefer them at, and personalizes each notification so as to increase engagement? This is the kind of question we are asking of the product too. Watch this space. If you’re considering using us and want more details about upcoming features, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be happy to respond and take your feedback.
3. How are you dealing with spam? Aren’t people misusing push notifications?
We have thought about this, and extensively at that. As our product grows and matures, and as our customers give us feedback, we have realised that the underlying assumption that we had when we built VWO Engage was right:
Push notifications are perfect vehicles for what Seth Godin called Permission Marketing. When you want information about something, you don’t mind opting in and receiving notifications.
But we are also making sure that our customers don’t spam people. We educate our customers, we warn them when their number of subscribers drop after one-too many pushes, and so on. In addition, a notification consultant from our team, armed with a big armful of data-based literature of best practices and tips and tricks will make sure that customers are always on top of their push game.
There were more interesting questions too, of course, and some really good ones which we didn’t have immediate answers for. And that’s why you go to events like these – to get these questions, write them down, and see how you can answer them.
As the sun went down on the Mojave desert, we went down to Fremont Street, opened up a few beers, and talked about these questions, the American experience, and how big an abomination chai tea latte is. We also talked about one more thing – about how rewarding a vocation it is to build tech for the world to use.