Guest post: How to Use Intercom to Increase Engagement

This is a guest post by UpLead who use Intercom extensively. UpLead is a B2B contact database for gathering sales leads.

If you don’t engage your users, they won’t stay

Imagine you're out with friends and you stop by a hip new restaurant.

You step inside and immediately notice the artwork, decorations and colourful furniture.

There’s nothing not to like about this place, but it’s silent.

You can hear people in the back but no-ones at the counter.

You find your table, put your stuff down, and briskly walk up to the counter. You cough to get attention.

You have just enough patience to wait for 5 minutes, after which you quickly close your wallet, gather your stuff and leave - angry at yourself, and 100% sure that you’re never going back to this place.

What happened is that nobody took their time to engage in an interaction with you, so you dropped-off as a customer.

Engagement requires a human touch

Restaurants don’t need to measure churn rates to know that if you visit a place to eat lunch, the type of service you get is just as important as the quality of your meal.

In some restaurants you’ll notice certain things that create a positive dining experience:

  • Being greeted and shown to a free table after you enter.
  • A detailed menu with pictures of different dishes.
  • Helpful advice about what you should order.
  • Friendly questions about whether you’re enjoying your meal and if you need anything else.
  • Receiving a gift card for a free meal.

Every restaurant does these things, right?

Well, visit a few different places yourself and you’ll see that the truth is much sadder. There are plenty of spots where all you can expect is a mean look from the waitress when you try to order and a poor quality meal to go along with it.

But the best restaurants always have a strategy for customer engagement, which describes how and when they interact with customers to increase the chance that they will come back for more.

Why does Uplead use Intercom?

Emotional investment is the key to unlocking customer engagement

Fulfilling a need is one thing, and it’s binary, either you solve the problem or you don’t.

But engagement is driven by all small things between 0 and 1 that you do to enrich user experience.

Intercom is a very powerful tool that allows you to combine web and in-app chat messaging with e-mail all in one tool. We were inspired to use it when we saw how well it works for BareMetrics.

The great thing is that you can pick your audience by defining specific rules for whom and when to send messages. This automates the whole process, allowing you to just set it up once and execute your engagement strategy without moving a finger.

Here are 3 of our most important Intercom customer interactions

We’ll start with a classic, an on-boarding process.

1. Welcome onboard

The first interaction is a classic in-app “Welcome Aboard!” message that goes out to users that just signed-up.

The goal of this interaction is to show appreciation to our users, and show them where they can find useful additional information:

2. A gentle reminder with smart messaging

After that, we have an email that goes out to users that signed up in the last week, but haven’t logged in for 3 days in a row.

The goal here is to gently remind our users that they signed up for a trial, but we didn’t want to be blatant about it.

So we flipped the script a little bit and extended a friendly inquiry which is essential to this message.

“Did you get a chance to use the download credits in your account?”

3. Another reminder with an enticing offer

Three time’s a charm? Well, not always, but we do send a third on-boarding message - this one is an in-app message again.

2 days before the trial ends, users get a short invitation to upgrade their account, along with an enticing bonus offer if they decide to upgrade on the same day.

Notice that there are 2 links to the upgrade site. We don’t want to leave things to chance.

Bonus offer for paying users as a win-win interaction

This is a great idea for a win-win customer interaction that can both make users happy, and optimize your revenue stream.

2 months after an upgrade to a paid plan, users receive a very short in-app message with an offer of 3 months of paid access for free in return for switching to annual billing:

One last shot for long term disengaged users

SaaS founders all know how it hurts to see users sign up, use your app for a bit, and disappear to never be seen again. But you can still try and win them back.

The way we do it is we’ve set up an e-mail to be sent if a user signed up, but hasn’t used the app for over 30 days.


To increase our chances of winning them back, we offer to extend the free trial for them to give a little bit more time to evaluate our platform.

Interact + Automate = Engage

Remember how we started this article by comparing users to restaurant customers?

The great thing about that comparison is that it makes you realize that it takes much less work to engage users than it takes to make sure that somebody is satisfied with their lunch.

Essentially, all you need is to find the right tool to humanize the communication process between you and your users. The rest you can just take from a guide written by someone who already did it, or think of your own strategy.

All in all, increasing customer engagement is low-hanging fruit. Doing well in this area can prove very beneficial for your bottom line. Good luck engaging your users!

This guest post was by Will Cannon of Uplead.com which is a b2b contact database.

Guest post: How to Use Intercom to Increase Engagement
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