Exit Intent Ep. 02: Preparing for iOS14 w/ Post-Purchase Surveys feat. Matt Bahr of EnquireLabs
If you're looking for the cliff notes, here are some actionable items from Episode 02 of Exit Intent that you can take away with you today.
The four pillars of post-purchase surveys are:
- Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) e.g., how was your experience?
- Customer research.
In order to improve response rate, you'll want to:
- Remove any pop-ups on your order confirmation page
- Load time is key. remove any excess scripts that aren't a higher priority than the data you're seeking.
- Make it fun!
- Request an audit from Matt and his team.
If you want to learn more, listen to the episode wherever podcasts are available or read the transcript below.
Vasa Martinez (00:01):
All right, guys. Thanks for tuning in. We've got Matt Bahr from EnquireLabs, a post-purchase survey solution, focusing on DTC brands with us today. Matt, welcome.
Matt Bahr (00:12):
Thanks, man. Appreciate you having me on.
Vasa Martinez (00:14):
Glad you're here. So I want to dive into a little bit about Enquire, but first I want to give our listeners a little bit of a background on you.
Matt Bahr (00:24):
Yeah, totally. So I've been in e-commerce for about a decade. The first six or so years were actually on the merchant side, helped start a headphone company here in New York called Master & Dynamic, and then in 2016, switched over to SAAS to actually solve some problems that I was having, being a merchant. We actually spent about two years in the same-day delivery space. Never really found product market fit there, but luckily, essentially spun that out to what EnquireLabs is today.
Vasa Martinez (00:54):
Very cool. I'm a big fan of your slogan direct from consumer insights. Can you dive a little bit deeper into that?
Matt Bahr (01:02):
Yeah, totally. We were going through a positioning exercise, call it six months ago and that's where we came up from direct from consumer. Really, it's a take on DTC, obviously, the vertical that everyone's really excited about now direct to consumer. Well, we realized that our product was doing was switching that so direct from consumer, like DFC is how we phrase it is the approach that we're taking, where a lot of other SAS companies within the DTC space are all about sending more emails or watching customers browse your site, you name it, and what we're doing with surveys is flipping that on its head. That's where that came from.
Matt Bahr (01:44):
You're going to hear us talk about it a lot more in 2021, but we want direct from consumer to be almost like a strategy or a tactic that brands implement just because it's so important. It has all these privacy implications really start to push forward for these merchants. Talking to your customers is going to be the only way that you can get this data from them.
Vasa Martinez (02:07):
Love it. Love it. Especially, we're going to be diving into iOS 14 a little bit later. Can't wait to dive into that.
Matt Bahr (02:13):
It's a lot to talk about.
Vasa Martinez (02:15):
Yes. It'd be a lot to unpack. We'll hopefully try to do it pretty concisely here. What's the importance of post-purchase surveys for those listening, who aren't using inquire?
Matt Bahr (02:27):
Yeah. Not to keep using the way we frame stuff, but we like to say it turns pixels into people. If you're a merchant right now showing on Shopify, on your e-commerce platform, orders are coming in, and there's not that much information you know about the customer. So you might get UTM parameters if they came in through there, maybe a referral source if they came from Google, but there's really no information about maybe it was the discovery element or who they purchased the gift for. So that's where post-purchase surveys come in. Pretty much right at the birth of your customer, they're so excited about the order that they just placed, let's start to engage with them. That's where we come in with our surveys.
Matt Bahr (03:12):
We live on order confirmation pages and there's a whole slew of benefits and how you can use the data that I'm sure we'll get into. But from very much just a high level, what we like to say is use post-purchase surveys to start collecting this feedback direct from consumer, obviously just to help you make better decisions whether that's in your from a marketing perspective or customer researchers, it's a whole slew of problems that can be solved by just engaging and talking to your customers this way.
Vasa Martinez (03:41):
Love it. What are people missing out on if they're not using post-purchase surveys right now?
Matt Bahr (03:49):
It's just the data. We like to say everyone who installs us, can get a survey running in a couple of minutes, and it's instantly this trough of data that they didn't have access to five minutes before. That's the exciting thing I think when people just first install us, and now they were maybe just looking at Google analytics or maybe just focused on their Facebook real ads, within Facebook's platform. Now it's this whole other data source that isn't self-reported from Facebook or doesn't have the fear of privacy blockers or whatever. You have to look at GA with a lens these days. It's direct from the people who matter most.
Matt Bahr (04:25):
So as far as missing out on, if you're investing any time into influencer marketing or podcasts or any of these harder to tract channels, one of the best ways to measure them, and this is just an example, is how did you hear about a survey? That's what the majority of our customers use. Just to pinpoint one problem these surveys could solve is attribution. So as far as what people are missing out on, that's the one that we launched the company around and it's really like, maybe you could be allocating your capital better than you are today and scaling your company a lot faster.
Vasa Martinez (04:59):
Yeah, I'll be honest. I use Enquire for Outer Aisle, and it's helped me identify a few pockets that we go deeper on for channels to test, and it's been a huge hit for us. What are some of the common pitfalls when people use Enquire? What advice would you give a startup founder right now in food and beverage, starting a D to C company? What's that common mistake that can be made, or what's the, maybe people just don't use the data for X, Y, or Z?
Matt Bahr (05:31):
Yeah. I think the first pitfall is, let's say you already have your survey set up, your post-purchase survey set up. The biggest pitfall we see is not optimizing the actual copy in the survey. So maybe it's just somebody launches the survey with four or five channels, and maybe those channels aren't even the ones that they're really focused on at any given moment. So that's only the one of the most common pitfalls we have is rewrite the survey question in your brand's tone, make sure the channels are optimized for where your customers are actually discovering you. That's the first pitfall. Another pitfall we see is, especially with attribution, is extrapolating to a hundred percent and relying a hundred percent on that data. Our average survey completion rate across all of the companies we work with is about 55%, and at that point you can really start to make some larger assumptions around the dataset, but for customers who have lower converting surveys, whether that's due to a pop-up or some other reason, it gets a little dicey if you're going to take a 25% sample size and then extrapolate that out to a hundred.
Matt Bahr (06:38):
That's one thing that we're trying to do a lot with education with our customers, and in our documentation, is trying to help people understand how to use survey data better. So those are two things we see. Then the last thing is not bringing the data into your marketing stack. So some customers in our dashboard helps you understand where people are coming from, helps you look at average order value, a whole slew of things, but you can also push your data to Klaviyo, or maybe you're really focused on looking at your data in Google analytics. These are the places, and this is where you get the most value when you combine call it survey data direct from consumers with all of this quantitative data. Those are the three things that we often see, and we try to coach our customers on.
Vasa Martinez (07:24):
Going back to my next questions will be about benchmarks to look for. You mentioned one in the last answer that 55% is the average response rate to the survey. For someone who is currently using Enquire or any other post-purchase survey, hopefully they'll switch to inquire after this, if they're at 25% or 30%, how do they get up to 55% or even higher, aside from optimizing copy?
Matt Bahr (07:52):
Yeah. There's a few things we look at. The easiest way is to remove the pop-up that's on your order confirmation page. That's usually the biggest factor, at least for us. So we load front and center. We're in line on Shopify's order confirmation page. If there's anything distracting the user right when that page loads, your survey response rate's going to go from 55 to 60, if not higher, right down to 30, and it's very consistent around 30%. That's the first thing that we recommend. Then the second thing is really just around load time. So if you have a bunch of different scripts loading, and there's just a lot going on behind the scenes, if we don't load instantly, then there's a little bit of a delay. Maybe a customer already saw the order was confirmed and they're already about to bounce.
Matt Bahr (08:36):
Those are the two things that we traditionally look at. As you mentioned, and I spoke about before optimizing the copy. We've seen customers go from 50 to 80 just by writing some really fun survey question copy. So there's a whole slew of methods. We don't expose any of this reporting now, but we capture survey load time, submit Delta, a whole slew of different metrics to help that we're eventually going to bring into reporting. But if anyone ever wants to do a deep dive on their survey conversion rate, we always can go in and look, your load time is 30% higher than the majority of our other customers. There's definitely ways that we can engineer it. That's where we're going with certain parts of the product, is how do we get that 50%-60% upwards of 80 to 90, just so brands can make very informed decisions with this data.
Vasa Martinez (09:25):
Got it. So about the load time, what if somebody wants to run a post-purchase survey, but also run post-purchase upsell? Is that a no-no or is there a way to win with both?
Matt Bahr (09:38):
Yeah, so with Shopify's recent, the update to their checkout API, you can do the upsells and it doesn't interfere with us. The upsell actually happens right after you click pay. It's on a completely different screen, and then the order confirmation page still loads, and that's where we live. So we actually have no negative effects to doing both. We actually integrate with CartHook's old checkout, which they exclusively did that. There's really nothing. The thing that we have to, and I'm always going to push for surveys, engage with your customers before you start telling them to recommend to a friend or buy from a competitor or not a competitor, but maybe someone else in a complimentary vertical. That's how we look at it, and it doesn't affect the survey completion rate at all.
Vasa Martinez (10:27):
So are you saying a referral program or a co-op commerce would probably be one of those scripts that interferes with your survey?
Matt Bahr (10:36):
Vasa Martinez (10:37):
Matt Bahr (10:38):
Yeah. We talk to our customers all the time about that. It's like, what's more important? We're going to push. We think that customers can get a much higher ROI out of increased customer engagement directly with a brand than trying to have the customer do something else that's not even related to what they just bought.
Vasa Martinez (10:57):
Got it. We talked about the pitfalls when using post-purchase surveys, we talked about the opportunity cost of not using it, but what is one or two actionable ways that someone could take the data aside from Klayvio that you mentioned, or a GA, what are some of the best ways to use these insights that someone who's starting up a brand right now can implement and be off to the races?
Matt Bahr (11:24):
Yeah. I guess this is a question about what kind of use cases. We're serving 120 to 150,000 surveys a day this time of year, and the majority of those are, how did you hear about us surveys, more so they're called attribution surveys. That's definitely the best. That's the use case that we built the initial product on. As far as how to use that, what we do there is we just help you uncover what's actually happening from a channel makeup.
Matt Bahr (11:54):
One of the more popular pages within our application is the responses tab, and in that responses tab, what we do is we show you the response and then we compare it to the referral source or the last click UTM parameters if they existed. What that does just from a marketer standpoint, in building mental models of how to make future decisions, it shows you where the customer discovered the brand, and then it also shows you what drove them. I show this demos all the time, because it's always discovered through an influencer, and then it's last click, like Google.
Matt Bahr (12:27):
So if someone's really only relying on call it observational data, what sources somebody came from, they're not going to get the whole picture. That's definitely the best, or most common use case. As far as where we're going with the product, we're seeing more and more customers use us for other ways. This is really just to understand information about your customers, who the order is for. For example, who is this order for? Or is this a gift? Is a very common one. We have customers who then use that. They understand gift giving. Someone in Q4 didn't realize all their customers were actually gifting, updated all their ad creative, updated their landing pages and saw their Facebook grow as skyrocket, because now they're actually talking to their customers in the way they should have been.
Matt Bahr (13:12):
And then another customer pushes a very similar question to Klaviyo and then all their flows are different based on gift givers or not. So there's a whole slew of different ways. Attribution is the core pillar, but as far as what you'll hear more and more from us about it's these four core pillars that we're moving into, attribution, obviously, is one. Conversion rate optimization, and that's questions like, how is your shopping experience? Or anything we could do to improve? To really maybe the add to cart button wasn't working, and you're not going to know that unless someone tells you. The third one's personalization. So that's more so on the line of, is this a gift? And the last one is just simple customer research, like asking questions that just helps everybody make better decisions throughout the organization and better understand their customers. Everyone's going to see a positive ROI on that. Those are the four pillars, but we're definitely still heavily weighted on the attribution side.
Vasa Martinez (14:09):
I'm going to dive deeper into that one. So of the four pillars, let's say someone's focusing on attribution, but they're planning for the holidays. How much in advance would you say they should switch over to the "is this a gift survey?" Summertime ball? Is that even accurate data or do they just do it as they go in Q4 around black Friday? What would you advise them?
Matt Bahr (14:33):
Yeah, it all depends. Honestly, we see customers really pick one or the other right now, but I think later in this conversation we were going to talk about just some new features. So just to dive into that while we're... Well, I bought it up, but we're about to roll something out called question streams. The one feature we've been asked for the most over the last two years is multi-question surveys, and that's bar none. We stopped even tracking feature requests, because it was just like 101. So with question streams, what we're doing is it's not just a multi question survey that lives post-purchase on one order, it's essentially a dynamic stream of questions that lives over a customer's journey and whether that's first purchase second purchase, third purchase. What that allows you to do is maybe first time this customer comes in, let's ask them, how did you hear about us? And is this a gift?
Matt Bahr (15:29):
Maybe we want to ask, this is a gift on every order, but we only want to ask, how do you hear about us on the first order they placed with our brand. Then maybe on the second order if they purchase a specific dress and they're tagged with X on Shopify, let's ask them this question. So that's where we're moving. So as far as to answer your question, I'm not really going to answer it, because by next holiday season it's not going to be a factor. It's just going to be ask both of them. That's definitely what we're most excited about for that sole reason of, if we need to collect two data points, how do we do that? So there's a lot going into the backend of building that, to support that, but it's going to have a whole slew of different toggles when it comes out.
Vasa Martinez (16:10):
I'm so excited for that. I've always wondered about, and for our repeat purchasers, I wonder if they're getting annoyed by seeing the same question. That's exciting. I'm stoked. All right. So everyone knows about the iOS 14, Apple, Facebook scrap. How can Enquire help?
Matt Bahr (16:31):
Yeah. We've been spending a lot of time on this. Even when we launched, we've always been in the camp that Facebook grades their own homework. It's essentially a platform that tells you what the ROI is on the platform.
Vasa Martinez (16:44):
Matt Bahr (16:46):
Obviously some pitfalls with that, we've already seen some attribution fraud from them. I think it was with Uber. So with that going into mind, tracking conversions is just going to get harder. It's just the way in which the consumer privacy is headed. I think that's a good thing. Where we come in is we help understand the greater distribution of channels and what's actually working. So Facebook's reporting a certain row ads, then you could check that essentially with our platform. So that that's how we're approaching it as far as the intricacies, just to go into it if anyone's listening and isn't super familiar.
Matt Bahr (17:29):
With iOS 14, what Apple's going to be doing essentially is prompting users if it's okay if a platform like Facebook can track them across websites. So Facebook's ability to measure a conversion is going to go down. So as far as our recommendation, it's obviously to get a post-purchase survey live, get it going, start collecting data as soon as possible. Then the second recommendation, we're actually just starting to have conversations with our friends at Elevar and Udacity. So Elevar is they have a product that allows you to very easily implement Google Tag Manager and server-side tracking. So server-side tracking is one way to get around the upcoming changes, and then we're also starting to partner with Udacity to kind of take our data, all of our data and all the e-commerce data, and then build very advanced models.
Matt Bahr (18:23):
That's how we're approaching it from a few different angles. I don't want to say that post-purchase surveys is the end-all. Who cares about the Facebook pixel? But essentially it's going to be as a merchant, you're going to have to find more of a focal point from a few different sources of data versus solely reloading your Facebook ad manager every day, and just looking at your real ads, because that number is probably going to be under-reporting or over-reporting on any given day based on the amount of people who've opted in knocked it out.
Vasa Martinez (18:55):
Yeah. I'm excited to see. I feel like it's bringing everyone back to square one and I think there's going to be a lot of evolution in different softwares to help with this. Personally I'm losing a little bit of hair figuring it out, but excited to hear about you.
Matt Bahr (19:11):
[crosstalk 00:19:11] I can imagine that.
Vasa Martinez (19:11):
They're so proactive about it. We talked a little bit about benchmarks that it would be in the conversion rate of the post-purchase surveys. Are there any other benchmarks that someone that maybe is just getting started with Enquire, or maybe they're looking into it because they're listening to this. Are there any other benchmarks that you should focus on as a company owner, as a marketer?
Matt Bahr (19:35):
Yeah. For us, it's obviously the completion rate from our product standpoint is one thing, but what's more important is understanding the call it health of your media mix. I think one thing that we're already seeing when we analyze more of the aggregate data set that we have, we're already seeing people start to diversify off of call it the Facebook and the Instagrams. So as far as benchmarks go, that's one thing that we to push is don't put all your eggs in one basket, especially as iOS 14 and all these and consumer privacy starts to become more and more popular. I'm not saying go spend money on a direct mail campaign or put a lot of money in Pinterest, but more assess, think about all your channels and think about how you can measure them.
Matt Bahr (20:19):
So I think, especially with influencers, for example, before post-purchase surveys, everyone was doing influencer marketing. As far as tracking it, it was very much just at first it was how many followers did we gain? It wasn't really attached to any dollar amount from a e-commerce side of things. Then maybe it moved into discount codes and there's really nothing capturing that halo effect. So as far as benchmarks go, it's not a one size fits all for a media mix for every company.
Matt Bahr (20:50):
There are definitely companies who rely solely on Facebook and they'll be fine doing it, but if you want to de-risk your brand and de-risk your growth strategy, just start to test other channels and make sure that 80% of my orders don't come through Facebook and Instagram. Let's get that lower. What we like to see is more of an even distribution, like word of mouth, call it around 20%, if not a little bit higher, Facebook around 30% to 40%, and then the rest is more or less a mix of influencers, non-branded search if you can figure that out, and other channels that aren't as easy to turn on as Facebook and Instagram are.
Vasa Martinez (21:32):
That's super helpful. Super helpful. Next question, we talked a little bit about new features. Are there any other features we should be looking forward to? And can you let us know?
Matt Bahr (21:48):
Yeah. The question streams is definitely the one we're most excited about, but as far as directionally where we're going, the survey is eventually going to move off the order confirmation page. We're only going to really live where we know who the customer is, and after that customer places an order, we can reach them via SMS or via email or in their account page. There's a whole slew of places that we could start to engage with the new question stream. That's something that's going to be coming. And then the other thing that's more near term is we're building some just really advanced reclassification functionality.
Matt Bahr (22:24):
So some customers have, and we've tried to get this down with optimizing the survey responses, but some consumers just really to write in the other field. So we're building some smart tech around reclassification. So allowing our customers, the merchants to build rules around if somebody types in the daily into the other response, we're going to automatically categorize that as podcasts as the first and then the daily as the response classification. So those are the things that are definitely on call it the six month horizon.
Vasa Martinez (22:59):
Those are some bad-ass roll-outs that are coming out. I'm excited for those. I'm surely going to implement them the second they're live. We're coming close to the end of this and we're going to do something fun and it's called rapid fire questions here. You're going to be the owner of a DTC company. You're just about to launch. With that in mind, are you ready for this?
Matt Bahr (23:27):
Vasa Martinez (23:28):
All right. Ideal tech stack? You can only name five.
Matt Bahr (23:34):
Shopify as the e-commerce platform, obviously EnquireLabs. I'm not going to not say that. Klaviyo as your ESP, Junip for reviews. I like what they're doing there. Then probably either postscript or a sell-up tool. Yeah. It depends on what market. I think the DTC vertical is in, but either something like CartHook post-purchase, or PostScript for SMS.
Vasa Martinez (24:06):
We love PostScript.
Matt Bahr (24:09):
Yeah. Those guys are awesome.
Vasa Martinez (24:10):
The best. All right, next question. If you started a DTC food and beverage company today, who would your co-founder or co-founders be? Who's your team?
Matt Bahr (24:22):
That's a great-
Vasa Martinez (24:22):
Can't name anyone you've been in business with in the past though!
Matt Bahr (24:25):
That's a great question. Not even to name names, just the way the market's moving, I would look for more veteran players in the space. I feel like my background is obviously in e-commerce and direct to consumer, and if I were to look to compliment that it would be someone who understands the retail side of things. I think beverage is very hard to do solely direct to consumer. So having a more diverse channel makeup just from a retail, sales perspective would be super important. So, that would definitely be the first person that I would hire. The second person would be somebody on the branding side. I'd have to think about that. I'm just trying to think of where the biggest gaps in my skill set are, and it's really call it physical retail and distribution, and then on brand, just because those things are just so important these days.
Vasa Martinez (25:28):
Awesome. All right. We're going to take the DTC food and beverage founder hat off, and this is a little bit more catered towards what you do currently. I've been hearing a lot about zero party data. Can you tell one, me, and two, the listeners the difference between zero party and first party data?
Matt Bahr (25:48):
Yeah, totally. So zero party data, it's funny you say that. We literally just finished a white paper that's going to go out in the next week or two about zero party data for DTC merchants, but zero party data is essentially data that customers provide to you. We like to joke, zero party data really should be first party data. It's the customer's input to you. But with zero party data it's really data that's provided from forms or through surveys, or essentially the customers actively giving you the data. The difference between that and first party data, first party data is maybe your session data in GA. It's what are your customers are doing on your site. You're not renting that data, you're not buying it from anywhere else. You own that data.
Matt Bahr (26:34):
So that's the big difference between the two. Why we're pushing zero party data, ZPD, so much is because we're seeing all these issues now with whether it's customers having ad blockers or who knows? Let's just focus on Google analytics. How accurate is GA from your total traffic? I'm hearing more and more people being like, "Why doesn't GA match Shopify?" Well, Shopify is server side traffic, people actually loading your site, and Google analytics is a pixel loading. I think we're going to start to see the deterioration of even a little bit of first party data, which is interesting to us because in the DTC world, first party data is not a term that's used very often, which is funny because if you move into large-scale CPG and into the retail world, that's probably the most common word in any board meeting, is first party data. We need more first party data.
Matt Bahr (27:33):
I think that term, it's going to be a lot louder than it has been within the direct to consumer world, and I think with that, zero party data is definitely going to be the one that people would rather have zero party data, input direct from customers than just this is just a random user ID in a session. So I think that's where we're headed. We're definitely, obviously we operate a survey company, we're definitely very bullish on zero party data in the future.
Vasa Martinez (28:05):
Fantastic. Yeah. I've learned so much. Can't wait to start executing and I hope anybody listening has actionable items. Aside from that, my questions are done, but I want to let the listeners know, where can they find you? Where can they find Enquire? How do they learn more?
Matt Bahr (28:25):
Awesome. You can find me on Twitter. It's just @mattrbhar. My name within my middle initial R in between. You can email me direct at email@example.com. If you're a Shopify merchant, our app is in the Shopify app storage, just forward slash Enquire. Feel free to email me if you want a demo or if you just want to chat. Happy to talk more about surveys, zero party data, any of this stuff.
Vasa Martinez (28:51):
Amazing. It's been a pleasure, Matt. Learned a bunch. I'm excited for this to get out, and thanks for joining us on the Exit Intent podcast.
Matt Bahr (29:01):
Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. Had a lot of fun.