1. Coming Soon...

  2. Onboarding by Doing

    Recently I've been thinking about how best to onboard new userfox users. An issue is that we have a very sophisticated templating system, that allows users to insert dynamic data into emails (eg: the user's name) but I wanted to communicate that this feature exists without having yet another lightbox.

    We think that often lightboxes can become an excuse for sloppy design. Shout out to Libby Brittain over at Potluck/Branch for tweeting this recently:

    (also note that Bjoern is named in the social tab of the lightbox, userfox is everywhere.)

    Previously when you signed up for userfox, you were given some templated emails like this:

    This was okay, but the name of the product wasn't templated, we just copied the data from our rails application, and inserted it as a string.

    There was a minor problem with this, and a major communication problem with this. Firstly, if you changed your product name, you'd have to edit all your emails to change the product name. Very minor but an issue for some. Secondly however, we could do this with our templating engine, but didn't – we didn't want to scare the user with scary !

    Ultimately, I decided to make the change and insert the scary handlebar templating language:

    Bjoern had complaints: (I didn't disagree)

    Here is what we came up with, a good middleground to introduce our templating language, without scaring the user. In the first email, the welcome email, that we automatically create for every user that signs up, we added this block of content into the email:

    Literally every one of our users that signs up and visits the dashboard, clicks this message. This way, when you're seeing our application, our editor, the welcome message we've added for you, you also see a block of content that explains the change.

    Eventually we'll further improve the introduction of templating, but this first step is so delightfully simple, we couldn't help but share it with you.

  3. Send Emails To Salesforce

    You can now integrate userfox with salesforce, or other CRMs that support BCC integration.

    userfox salesforce integration

    In fact, you can use this feature for any sort of thing: such as sending emails to an archive mailbox. But BCC-ing a CRM is the primary use case.

    What does this mean?

    It's now possible to see all the communication between your company, and a specific user. Previously with userfox, you could see all automated, behavioral, transactional and newsletters sent to a user – but if you had a sales team, they were left in the dark about what emails had been sent automatically.

    We have a lot more planned for this kind of functionality, but for a lot of our customers all they want is to simply have the emails that userfox sends, be accessible inside their CRM.

    Salesforce customer and want to use this feature? This support document on their knowledgebase will explain how to find your unique email token.

    Et voila!

  4. Email Inactive Users

    You can now send emails to users based on when they last visited your site.

    We're calling them inactivity emails, and they're the first campaign of emails that would be really really hard for you to build yourself.

    Here is an example: If a user with 3 or more colleagues hasn't visited my site for 14 days, send this email.

    Inactivity emails are the perfect way to engage users that signed up, but then due to either your fault (perhaps, lack of product polish) or their fault (perhaps, due to lack of their engagement) weren't delighted by your product. You can now email those users as a separate campaign.

    It gets even more powerful when you consider the example we gave above: yep, you can use advanced filters (as many as you like!) to target specific types of people. You don't have to send the same inactivity email to all users, in fact, you could just send a singular campaign that targeted the 1% of your audience that you really care about.

    How it works

    We know when your users last visited the site because our javascript snippet sits in your footer. From this, its easy to work backwards and ascertain the users "last seen" date.

    You can use inactivity emails on existing – and even imported – users. For existing users, same thing as above applies: we know when they last visited because of the footer.

    For imported users, we count the import as a "visit" and then begin watching to see if they return after that date. If your first inactivity email is after 14 days, they won't receive an email until 14 sequential days of them not visiting. Emails won't send instantly.

  5. How to use your software as a user, not the developer

    When you're designing and building a user interface things get missed, some corners are cut. Often this is unintentional, and then when you ship you receive all these fairly obvious feedback tickets. Of course we should do that, you declare – how did we even miss that?

    I think when you're building something it's often very hard to step back and think about what a user has to do. Even if you write the steps down, often you miss the I just click here and then here to load the editor steps, it manifests itself as simply open the editor or some such.

    Well, I have a solution! Record a screen cast.

    When we shipped A/B Testing, we experimented with launching it with a screen cast, not an extensive marketing page. Recording that screen cast took forever because we had to keep making changes to the user interface, small subtle changes: all to remove these tiny steps, which you regularly didn't notice yourself making, but when you're playing back yourself, suddenly you spot them all.