Extraction, Transformation, ... Wait, What Happened to the Data?

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Whenever leads sign up for a free trial at Teamleader, they are actively nurtured into becoming an active user. Although their actions take place on the Teamleader platform, the nurture flow is managed in HubSpot. So how did we create a link between two different tools? This is how we used ETL - and turned it upside down - to take Teamleader’s personalized marketing one step further.

Flashback to 2019: Scattered Data across Various Tools

Let’s flash back to early 2019, when our data were scattered across different tools and links between these tools did not exist. We didn’t know which campaigns were generating leads that were converting in customers. It was nearly impossible to tailor our communication to users based on their use of our product. None of our operational tools could provide us with a 360° view of our customer, product, or business. We were missing crucial insights, so we took action and started implementing a data platform at Teamleader. Data and platform are 2 very abstract words, so let’s clarify the concept with Splunk’s definition:

“A data platform is a complete solution for ingesting, processing, analyzing and presenting the data generated by the systems, processes, and infrastructures of the modern digital organization.”

Together with the management team, we set some clear requirements for our new data platform:

  • Create a single source of truth for all business data & achieve a single view of a customer

  • Create dashboards for Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, Finance, Product & Engineering with data from different sources

  • Enable business users from all departments to answer their own data questions

  • Minimise tech development time & achieve all of this at a reasonable cost

ETL to the Rescue

Ingesting data from our operational tools (such as Planhat, HubSpot, Freshdesk) into our data warehouse was our first challenge. Extract, Transform & Load, or ETL solutions, were just popping up and finding their way to Europe. We evaluated some and started with Fivetran as one of their first Benelux customers before their series A. For other connectors we used Stitch (Chargebee) & Segment. Not having to set up and maintain data pipelines saved us weeks and accelerated our data analytics efforts. We are clearly not the only company benefiting from Fivetran’s services: they have become one of the market leaders by now at a $5.6B valuation.

ETL process

Data Analytics for a 360° Overview

We chose Looker as our BI / Data platform because it was the best fit for our needs.

The tool is 100% cloud-based, integrated with our data warehouse Redshift, has strong features to create data models and offers the possibility to reuse data in operational tools via Segment.

We were able to achieve our project goals with our Data Analytics infrastructure. One that stood out was the single view of a customer. We actually created an account 360° overview dashboard. In this dashboard we bring everything together: marketing, sales, customer success, product and finance.

Enter Reverse ETL

When we achieved our “single view of a customer” in Redshift & Looker, we realised we could not only generate insights, but d also operationalise these data and create more personalized experiences for our leads and customers.

Enter reverse ETL. Simply described by Venturebeat as: “move data from your data warehouse to your cloud applications”.

Before we were aware of the term, we were already applying “Reverse ETL” at Teamleader by means of Looker & Segment. One of the first achievements was replacing an annoying custom integration between Hubspot & Teamleader. We have built upon that sync from our dataware to Hubspot to enable Marketing.

Marketing Use Cases

Reverse ETL in marketing is mainly used to communicate between HubSpot and our own tools like the Teamleader Focus app. It allowed us to automate our nurture flows in HubSpot, based on various variables in Teamleader Focus:

Trial Nurture Flow

In 2020, we found out that people who perform crucial actions during their trial (eg: adding a contact/company, deal, quotation or invoice) are more likely to convert. So, when new trial leads sign up, we want to nurture them into becoming active users (and eventually paying customers).

That’s why we redesigned the nurture flow, taking into account whether new trial leads have already added a contact or a company to theirr Teamleader Focus account. If they haven't, they get a first email with a ‘user tip’, explaining how to add a company to their account.

These “crucial actions” are happening in the Teamleader Focus environment, but the emails for the nurture flow are sent via HubSpot. Thanks to reverse ETL, the data of those crucial actions, such as the number of companies, contacts, deals, quotations or invoices a user created, get pushed to a HubSpot property. Now, HubSpot can use the information in these properties to decide which trial lead get information about adding a contact to Teamleader Focus instead of information on creating an invoice.

nurture flow

Package Trial Nurture Flow

Another example is how we mapped out a nurture flow for the Teamleader package trials.

Whenever current customers try out a new package, we send them some emails to help them discover the new package and use the functionalities to the best extent.

Which nurture emails customer receive is also based on their account information from Teamleader Focus.

The first thing we needed to know in HubSpot was whether users are Teamleader Focus Admin users. In this phase of the nurture project, we only wanted to send emails to the admins of that Teamleader account.

Next, we needed to know which package and which modules customers were currently using in Teamleader in order to send them the most relevant functionalities of that specific package.

We also needed to sync the start date of the package trial. This makes it possible for us to email them 3 days before their trial ends, and a confirmation email on the day their trial ends.

Any Ideas? We Would Love to Hear from You.

Any ideas about data analytics, nurture flows or other marketing strategies you would like to discuss with us? Please do! At Teamleader we like to be challenged about everything we do. because that’s what makes our work interesting. Also, we are always on the lookout for new marketing talent. So, let’s meet!