/ Intercom

This simple intercom email trick helped us double installations

The biggest bottleneck we face as a software company is getting new sign ups to install our system on their website. Because we provide instant screen sharing built entirely in JavaScript, it is essential that they install it, or we lose.

Most of our marketing and outreach efforts are targeted towards Customer Success and Support roles, who often really want our product, but have no way of installing it without the help of their dev team.

We’ve always relied on them to seek help with installation, but almost half did not have Upscope installed after one month.

A simple change to our interface and emails we sent out cut that number in half.

The old way

Before implementing the change, we didn’t think about how a larger company actually operates.

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The user would sign up and be taken to a page with the code to install on their website, without many instructions. At the top of the page we pointed out that they could share the page with their dev if needed, but it clearly wasn’t loud enough.

The old emails

Where we really messed up were the emails: over the course of 3 weeks, we’d send around 5 emails to new sign ups that did not install the software.

All the emails were reminders that they’d need to install the software, and we kept asking them why they hadn’t done it yet.

The problem with this is that we were talking to the wrong people. Our users were never going to install the software themselves, so there was another conversation between them and their developer which we had no control over. That needed to change.

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The new way

The first change we made was in the UI. After sign up, new users are now asked with a question: Can you install Upscope yourself?

If they answer “Yes”, we show them the regular installation widget with the code.

If they answer “No, please talk me through it”, we let them ask us questions or schedule a phone call with a member of our team (through an embedded calendly).

If they answer “No, my developer will do it for me”, we let them send an email to their developer and tell them they can share the page they are currently on with them. (Will expand on the email that it lets them send their dev below.)

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The new emails

This is where it gets interesting: instead of prompting them to install it, we prompt them to tell their developer to install it.

To do this, we include a huge button in all emails that lets them send their developer an email with one click. On top of that, we automatically cc ourselves in that email so that we can answer developer questions directly and be on top of things.

The email that the button generates is signed off with our user’s name, and includes a link with the instructions for installation for their specific company (no log in necessary).

The results

Allowing our users to easily reach out to their developers with a pre-formatted message has almost halved the number of sign ups that never install our software.

The best part is that this result is not driven by trying to persuade our users to do something they were resisting, but by helping them take the next step (contacting their developer) without having to think about what to write, and without having to plug their developer’s email into our app.

How to do this yourself

If you have a product that requires your users sending out an email to a colleague during on-boarding, you have three choices:

  1. Ask them to do it themselves
  2. Ask for the colleague’s email and do it for them
  3. Use the good ol’ mailto: to create an email for them

It’s very easy to guess why option 1 doesn’t work very well. It makes the user think about what to write, and it’s very easy for them to put it off until later.

A lot of people, myself included, wouldn’t be comfortable adding a colleague’s email in another company’s website as I don’t know how it will be processed. Will I be able to customize the email? Will they send them more than one email? You’ll never know.

mailto: works great, however. There’s no thinking on the user’s part, it’s immediate, and it doesn’t require them sharing their colleague’s email with your company.

The best thing is that they can even be included in emails you send them, which means they’d click it when their email software is already opened and it would literally take them five seconds to send the email.

On top of that, you can cc yourself in the email so that you automatically join the conversation.

How to craft a mailto: link for Intercom

There are many tools out there that let you create mailto links, but they often don’t work for intercom because they will encode the brackets needed for custom attributes.

So, I’ve put together a simple tool that will generate a link that will work within Intercom! Check out the Codepen app here


Do you have Intercom tips and tricks to share with us? Send us an email at team@upscope.io!

Learn more about Upscope at upscope.io.

Intercom user?

See a full Intercom email drip campaign you can use as a template to see how Upscope onboards, educates and retains users. Note: These templates are from just before the update mentioned above.

Joe d'Elia

Joe d'Elia

Joe is the architect of Upscope. He is in charge of running Upscope smoothly and securely and leading the product roadmap. Joe has previously lived and worked in Verona, San Francisco and New York.

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This simple intercom email trick helped us double installations
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