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Integrating Clearbit & Customer.io

customerio-plus-clearbit

Strategic drip campaigns are table-stakes for product marketing in 2016. Some people will sign up for your product and start paying you money without any hand-holding, but most are looking to you as a tour guide to help them navigate your offerings and become customers.

Getting started with drip campaigns is fairly straightforward – it can as simple as a series of 4-5 emails that go out over about a week after someone signs up. The best approach tends to be to vary the messaging and positioning a bit in each email, with hopes that at least one message will catch that person’s attention and carry them through the next stage of your funnel.

Then, you can monitor open-rates, click-rates, and conversions to see what’s working and tweak what isn’t.

Once you have a campaign like this up and running, the next step is to add some intelligence to it based on engagement. The actual mapping will be different for every product, but this guide from Pardot should give you the idea of what this might look like:

pardot-infographic

Taking it to the next level

Ok. You’re probably familiar with all of that stuff, and you probably have something like it implemented. Let’s move onto the next-level techniques you can implement using Clearbit and Customer.io.

While most smart drip campaigns are only targeting users based on their behavior, this approach will let you target users based on who they are. Here’s how it works:

Once you get Clearbit integrated with Customer.io (more on that below), you can create segments based on any attributes that the Clearbit Enrichment API returns about your users. The one we’ve found most effective for our campaigns is employment.role – but attributes related to seniority, location, company size, or industry might work for your needs.

Given that Clearbit is used by a variety of people within organizations, we can be much smarter about drip campaigns if we know who’s who. So, our Customer.io account is always up-to-date with employment roles for our signups, and we have four different drip campaigns running simultaneously: developers, marketers, sales, and general.

If you’re a developer and you sign up to Clearbit, you’ll get a drip campaign that teaches you about our APIs and integrations. If you’re a marketer, you’ll learn about leveraging Clearbit for growth. If you’re a salesperson, the emails you receive will walk you through lead qualification.

And, it works. Since we rolled out these emails, we’re noticing higher open/click rates and more conversion to paying customers. It makes sense. If non-technical customers is getting hammered with email about APIs and Ruby gems, they won’t be very helpful. And the same goes for a developer getting a bunch of emails about lead qualification tools.

Check out the developer email and the marketer email side-by-side:

dev-marketing-emails

Any experienced marketer knows that audience understanding is paramount to success. Integrating Clearbit with Customer.io gives you important insights into your audience, and the tools to act on them.

How to integrate

Setting this integration up is pretty straight-forward.

First, you’ll need to start sending new signups on your website to the Clearbit Enrichment API. The full walk-through is in our docs, but your request will look like this:

response = Clearbit::Enrichment.find(  
  email: 'alex@alexmaccaw.com', stream: true
)

If you have your users’ first and last names, you can increase accuracy more than 12% by including them in your request, like this:

response = Clearbit::Enrichment.find(  
  email: 'alex@alexmaccaw.com', 
  given_name: 'Alex', 
  family_name: 'MacCaw', 
  stream: true
)

Here’s a snippet of what Clearbit will pass back:

{
  "name": {
    "givenName": "Alex",
    "familyName": "MacCaw"
  },
  "email": "alex@alexmaccaw.com",
  "location": "San Francisco, CA, US",
  "bio": "O'Reilly author, software engineer & traveller. Founder of https://clearbit.com",
  "site": "http://alexmaccaw.com",
  "avatar": "https://d1ts43dypk8bqh.cloudfront.net/v1/avatars/d54c54ad-40be-4305-8a34-0ab44710b90d",
  "employment": {
    "domain": "clearbit.com",
    "name": "Clearbit",
    "title": "Founder and CEO",
    "role": "ceo",
    "seniority": "executive"
  },

To implement email targeting based on a person’s job, you’ll want the employment.role attribute (here’s a full list of supported roles and seniorities), but you might also want to look at location, company size, industry, or any of the other Person Attributes.

Next, you’ll need to pass that result to Customer.io. In these examples we're using Ruby, but Customer.io has a plethora of other languages they support.

customerio_client = Customerio::Client.new(  
  ENV['CUSTOMERIO_KEY'],
  ENV['CUSTOMERIO_SECRET'],
  json: true
)

customerio_client.identify(  
  flatten(response)
)

This is sending all of Clearbit's person & company straight to Customer.io. Check out their docs to sort our API keys and syntax for your requests.

Notice we've got some pseudo-code flattening the object. This because Customer.io doesn't expect nestled objects. Here's the full code as a gist.

After that, you just need to set up segments in Customer.io based on the attributes you want to use. If you're targeting based on role, it's as simple as this:

customer-segment

Once you have a few of those segments set up, you're all set. You can customize welcome emails, drip campaigns, and even newsletters based on who your users are and what they do.

Relevant links to get you started:

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