How Mimecast drove ‘double-digit’ engagement and product-led growth with Pendo
It seems there’s always some new attack vector for cybercriminals to pursue as they look to exploit weaknesses in companies’ systems. Cybersecurity leader Mimecast’s platform works day in and day out to head off any onslaught by securing email systems, protecting data, detecting malicious activity, and training employees to be security-minded.
But for clients to take full advantage of the bulwark Mimecast offers, they need to be made aware of the platform’s ever-expanding portfolio of security features. Josh Douglas, Mimecast’s VP of product management, and Beatrice Fabris, the company’s UX and content development manager, joined a recent webinar, “Data-driven Product Growth — 3 Routes to Success,” where they discussed how they’re leveraging product data to bolster decisions, inform new ideas, promote new features, and build a better product experience for customers.
Driving adoption and reducing friction
Mimecast brought Pendo in about two years ago to provide a backbone of product usage analytics to help decrease friction in the product, reduce support tickets, and support upsell and cross-sell initiatives.
Mimecast’s first pass at using Pendo in-app guides to boost customer engagement coincided with the launch of its Threat Dashboard feature, which offered users insight into the malicious activity Mimecast’s anti-virus layer was blocking on their systems. Douglas wanted to ensure users were aware of the feature, and that their first use was a seamless, enjoyable experience.
His team built Pendo guides to drive users toward the new functionality: a lightbox guide to promote the feature, and an introductory welcome guide with a video overview for those who engaged with the lightbox. Then, a series of tooltip guides walked the users through the first steps for using the feature. In the first five months the sequence was live, 35% of users engaged with it, and 33% of Mimecast’s customers have begun using the dashboard.
Next, the team set out to apply the same techniques to improve the overall onboarding process for the Connect app, which Mimecast users use to set up their accounts. Using Pendo’s usage analytics, they identified pain points in the user journey, then worked to deploy guides to deliver resources that would help them be successful.
“We engage them every step of the way,” Douglas said. “Do they have certain domains that they need to set up? Are there additional tasks that we recommend? Are there outside things you should be doing as well to be successful using our products? It takes some of that personal touch we have in our support team and extends some of it directly into the product.”
Guides have also helped Mimecast improve their process for collecting user feedback. In-app surveys present users with an opportunity to share their opinions on various parts of the products they use, while at the same time providing an additional touchpoint for promoting features or content.
A guide designed to gather feedback about Mimecast’s API program drew in 2,600 poll responses and 462 comments, while another asking users what additional information they’d like to see on the Analysis tab of the company’s email security product had even higher engagement and saw 1,000 users click through to learn more about the feature. Both guides included links to more resources about the respective features.
This process has become standard practice at Mimecast, Douglas said, and the insights drawn from it are used not only to improve the product, but also to better inform the sales and go-to-market teams, so they can have deeper discussions with customers.
Driving cross-sell and upsell
Guides have also been a key tool for increasing cross-sell and upsell opportunities on Mimecast’s platform, Douglas said.
A guide distributed to Mimecast’s entire customer base promoting a cybersecurity awareness training led to 28,500 views, 924 click-throughs, and more than 85 demo requests. That translated to thousands of leads to fill seats in the sessions.
When guides were used to promote free trials of some of the company’s features during COVID-19, 81% of deals closed for the Web Security Service feature and 50% of deals closed for the Sync and Recover feature had a touchpoint involving Pendo, Douglas noted.
Douglas said promoting in-app through Pendo versus traditional external methods like email regularly results in a “double digit” difference in engagement.
Support case reduction and internal enablement
The pace at which Mimecast’s product and engineering teams turn out new features can be so fast that it sometimes becomes difficult to train up the company’s customer support teams on their use at scale. Douglas and Fabris realized the same techniques they were using to onboard new users could be applied to quickly educate support specialists.
So, Fabris taught the development teams how to build Pendo guides, so they could work them into their rollouts and automate the process of enabling support teams. “We’re taking that same intent that we did at the beginning to enable the customers to enable the support teams as well,” Douglas said.
Next, Douglas and Fabris worked to proactively reduce the support teams’ overall case volume by using Pendo analytics, paths, and funnels to locate user pain points, then deploying targeted in-app guides to help users get past them.
Implementing and governing Pendo
When implementing a new technology with immense capabilities like Pendo, many have a tendency to want to run before they crawl or walk. But Fabris cautioned against doing so without a proper governance structure in place.
That’s why Douglas and Fabris decided to deploy Pendo on Mimecast’s main email security application before expanding across the rest of the product catalog.
Fabris also set up a cross-functional Pendo Advocacy Team to ensure each department who would benefit from Pendo had a seat at the table. That committee meets biweekly, she said, with the goal of evaluating the company’s broader campaigns and goals to ensure everything done with Pendo supports the business’s objectives. Another cross-functional group that meets almost daily is responsible for directing the content that ends up in the Pendo guides and where they’re placed.
To organize Pendo usage requests, Fabris has set up a master cross-functional calendar, ensuring that guides are used appropriately, and users are not inundated with them. The team has also developed goals-based best practice templates for creating and targeting the guides based on success metrics drawn from Pendo’s analytics.
“Pendo is not just a product tool, and that’s something we feel very, very passionately about,” Fabris said. “It’s helped our customer operations, our selling teams, our marketing teams. Ensuring clear communication is absolutely key.”