How I Pendo Product-led growth

Driving upgrades and cross-sells with a single (in-app) click

See how CallRail’s product and marketing teams utilize Pendo to drive expansion revenue for the business with targeted, iterative in-app campaigns


In an effort to expand its product-led growth strategy, CallRail needed a way to drive customer expansion and promote additional products to the right users, at the right time.

Pendo'ing it

CallRail’s customer marketing and product teams used Pendo to build a robust in-app expansion strategy, using data to target cross-sell and upsell In-app Guides to users during key moments in their journey.


Their Pendo-powered expansion campaigns have seen great success, including a single in-app guide that generates nearly 70% of all trials from existing customers for CallRail’s AI-powered product, Conversation Intelligence®.

Sarah Parham

Product Manager

Carly Cornforth

Senior Manager of Customer Marketing


CallRail is an AI-powered lead intelligence platform that helps businesses of all sizes track and attribute leads to their marketing journey, capture and manage calls, texts, chats, and form submissions, and use insights surfaced by AI to optimize their marketing.

We’re fortunate that we have Pendo as a channel to meet our users where they are. It’s a big part of what we [in marketing] do every day, and it’s become our main driver of trials and upgrades in our back-to-base business.

Putting product-led growth into motion

Being product led isn’t the responsibility of any single department in an organization. In fact, product-led strategies are often the best way to bring teams together under a shared mission: Leveraging the product to improve the customer experience and drive business value.

CallRail, an AI-powered lead intelligence platform, wanted to expand the company’s product-led growth (PLG) strategy in order to drive customer expansion—which led them to Pendo. “A big part of why we chose Pendo was the ability to showcase additional products to our customers in-app in a really seamless way,” said Carly Cornforth, senior manager of customer marketing at CallRail.

Fast forward several years later, and CallRail is leveraging Pendo to fuel a robust product-led growth strategy that puts customer marketing and product teams in lockstep. Sarah Parham, a product manager at CallRail, also shared how interest in Pendo has spread beyond these expansion efforts. “Any time we’re deciding how to showcase a new feature, someone always raises their hand and says, ‘Maybe we can do this with Pendo.’ People [at CallRail] look to Pendo to launch features in a way that allows us to iterate quickly based on the learnings from A/B tests.”

Creating a seamless, in-app expansion motion

When CallRail first started using Pendo, the product, customer marketing, and sales teams came together under a single goal: Driving trials and upgrades for their suite of additional products. Cornforth shared how this came to life in a three-prong approach.

The first pillar is what they call in-app contextual. This is a mixture of hard-coded experiences and Pendo In-app Guides that make it easy for users to add a product to their subscription right when they’re trying to do a task that a specific product could help with or solve. 

The second pillar is customer lifecycle-focused. “Based on where a user is in their journey with CallRail, we promote additional products via in-app guides that surface based on their specific needs and current usage,” Cornforth noted. Finally, the third pillar consists of one-off in-app campaigns based on any promotions the company is running or goals they’re focused on.

For all three elements of CallRail’s strategy, Parham noted the value of using Pendo to customize the in-app experience, use data for precise targeting, and iterate quickly without relying on developer resources. “We’re able to use Pendo metadata to understand exactly where users are in their customer journey, and then we can show them the right message at the right time,” she shared. “Pendo also makes it really easy to tweak [in-app communications] without having to ask our developers to make a small change that may or may not make an impact.”

Most recently, CallRail leveraged Pendo to increase the adoption of Conversation Intelligence, an AI-powered transcription solution that surfaces insights and keywords from phone calls in real time. “For customers who are recording calls, which is a feature included in our call tracking product, we surface a very seamless cross-sell Guide that encourages them to try out our AI-powered transcripts, which can save them time when manually reviewing calls,” Cornforth explained. In one click, users can start a 14-day free trial of the Conversation Intelligence product.

Cornforth shared that this in-app cross-sell motion drives 60-70% of all trials for Conversation Intelligence from existing customers. “It really helps us focus our marketing and sales efforts on newer products and alleviates some of that pressure by having [the cross-sell messaging] running in-app in a way that doesn’t interfere with the user experience.”

Parham also emphasized the importance of being able to easily test and change the in-app guide as the product or business needs change. “When we first launched [the in-app guide], we tested different headlines and messages and were able to find a winning version with Pendo really quickly,” Parham explained. “This was much faster than me writing endless Jira tickets and sending it back to development multiple times.”

In the end, Pendo not only fuels successful collaboration between the marketing and product teams in the name of PLG—but also provides each department with the tools it needs to best serve CallRail’s customers.

On the product side, Parham highlighted the ability to build (and update) campaigns in the product quickly and easily with Pendo. “The biggest value [of Pendo] is the speed to getting something in the app or changing things when we see that it’s not resonating.”

And from Cornforth’s perspective as a customer marketer, Pendo is the best way to connect with CallRail’s customers and provide real value throughout their journey. “Our customers are small businesses, and they’re busy—they don’t always have the time to explore or demo our additional products,” she explained. “Being able to seamlessly offer that to them when they’re already logged in has been so huge for us. Pendo is definitely our highest driver of conversions, and we really see that with every campaign that we put in the product.”

Pro tips

  • Take advantage of all the resources Pendo offers in order to get the most out of the product and its features—for example, sample sizes and guide throttling
  • If you’re a marketer, make sure you have a tight partnership with your product managers and UX designers so you can create the best in-app experience possible for your users
  • Infuse your brand into your Pendo In-app Guides with custom designs and language that represents your brand voice