How to Unlock PLG Self-Service Upgrades Through Marketing and Be the Savior in a Downturn

Usha Vadapalli
June 23, 2022
Inflection_to_drive_self_service_upgrades

There are many variations in the description of product-led growth. The bedrock of the concept, however, is self-serve motion. The new-age customer wants zero or minimal human intervention in evaluating, experiencing value, and purchasing the product by self-education. When buying, we want an experience centered on the user’s needs. Self-serve is the growth mantra that can give an extra boost to your PLG business.

Source: Jason Lemkin

Unlock Self-Serve Revenue

In PLG companies, the funnel tops are often explosive with really low conversion rates. Identifying the right users to nudge to the next level and to time it perfectly needs an almost real-time view of product events, the account, and person data. Take a look at the sample email here:

Threshold_based_triggers_for_emails_with_Inflection
Sample email - When a preset threshold is met

Hitting the transcript limit, adding more than X number of projects, you can launch marketing automation campaigns triggered by these scenarios and more with Inflection to drive self-serve revenue growth.

Unlocking opportunities like this is not rocket science with Inflection. Driving contextual conversations with customers becomes easy when you have a single view of product activity, individual, and account data driving your marketing automation — this is exactly what Inflection does.

When you can qualify your prospects based on relevant actions in the product, a.k.a product qualified leads, reaching out to them with a meaningful message improves your conversion rates.

Keep the Revenue Recurring

Back in the day, as a marketer, we were laser-focused on generating leads and qualifying them for the sales pipeline. Our work was majorly measured by the number of MQLs handed off to Sales. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, things changed in the product-led growth era.

In PLG we market to customers, not only to the prospects. And, the self-serve motion applies to the entire customer life cycle. A retention mindset is what you need to excel at product-led marketing.

The feature gates relevant to your business can be when a user tries to add another persona, tries to change user permissions, they go to add user permissions or custom JS, etc. Here’s a sample scenario of a campaign you can run with Inflection triggered by feature-based gating.

When your ‘Basic plan’ user tries to use an advanced feature, trigger an email with the link to upgrade.

And, not all users will make that decision immediately, for them, you can set up a campaign sequence. The follow-up can reiterate the additional value the customer gets from upgrading.

Sample emails - When a using gated feature is attempted

Based on your customer’s next action, decide the nurture email sequence they go into, or if you can, rope in the Sales and Success teams at the right time.

Drive Seat-Based Expansion

We don’t rest with upgrades based on the features. We drive seat-based revenue expansions next.

When your customers are delighted with your product, they would want to show it off. These are your product advocates. They will invite their colleagues to start using your product. This is your opportunity to quickly pat yourself on the back and send an email to the customer suggesting an upgrade to ‘Team Account’.

If the customer doesn't invite their team members to join in, you can always take an initiative and encourage them to add more users. Or, if there are more users from the same organizations, suggest they combine forces and leverage your exclusive team plan features.

Sample email - To encourage seat expansion

Getting the triggers right is crucial for all these campaign ideas. Inflection can identify the admins in the scores of your product users, can identify users from the same organization, and recognize actions to add team members to existing accounts. After nailing the triggers, setting up the right message becomes a breeze.

Why Inflection?

You got a glimpse of what you can do to drive more self-serve revenue with Inflection with the above illustrative examples. How do we do it?

Inflection is the only B2B marketing automation solution purpose-built for product-led companies. We help product-led marketing teams deliver hyper-contextualized messages to help them have meaningful engagement, drive self-service revenue, have more pipeline for sales, and maintain brand affinity.

Inflection achieves this by unifying data across product activity, individuals, and accounts.

How Inflection Works

Prerequisites

Before you venture off to reap the benefits of a practically effortless self-service campaign, step into the customer’s shoes for a minute

  1. Get more into the product. Try out those gated features yourself and experience the value your customers will get. Work with the product team to smooth out any glitches you see. You are a product-led marketer after all.
  1. Plan an optimum waiting period between messages to not annoy your ‘on the fence’ customers.
  1. We’ve all faced a snag or two with purchase funnel. Save yourself and your customers from a bad transaction experience. Test and ensure the purchase process is frictionless.

Wrapping It Up

A seamless self-service experience behind a product needs a smooth symphony of all the teams in your org working for a collective goal — revenue. Automating your campaigns with Inflection can show the product value to your customers at the right time powered by context. Make the customer’s upgrade decision a no-brainer, remove the friction in the transaction process, and get out of their way.

That being said, self-service motion is not a replacement for your sales and customer success teams. Many successful product-led companies are supported by enterprise sales motion and exceptional customer success. Self-service revenue is an amazing booster to your existing revenue streams. And, for early-stage PLG start-ups, it can be a cost-saving sales mechanism that works round the clock.

From a free plan to a paid account, advanced, and team or enterprise plans, any upgrade can boost your revenue and save costs in acquiring new customers. Automate your upgrade campaigns with Inflection to add context to your communication, at the scale required by PLG companies.

For more ideas on self-service upgrade campaigns and to see Inflection in action, request a demo.