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Activating users at scale at Airbank

Airbank is the finance operations platform for thousands of modern businesses. It allows professionals in pan-European countries to pay bills, track their cash flow in real-time and close their books faster.

We sat with Alex, their VP Growth. Alex and his team know that scaling a product before making it sticky was risky. So before the launch of the new platform they worked on nailing their retention numbers.

Once retention looked great, they launched publicly and started to work on their distribution a lot intensively. They used June to activate their users at scale.

Here is how they did it.

Background

Airbank's vision is to give access to a better finance operations experience to as many companies as possible, including small businesses that don't have access to great tools and have less resources.

Airbank was born out of the observation that CFOs and

Bank accounts are the core pieces of financial workflows. Everything runs through them.

Challenge

Airbank is a holistic finance suite. This means the product has several core use cases, such as a banking hub, bills manager, financial planner and payments platform.

One of the challenges for these kinds of platforms is making sure that

  • users find their way within all these features
  • use cases aren’t too shallow to deliver value

Companies may start on the product from different entry hooks. Some users activate and go straight to set up Airbank Pay. Some come for the bills management features to close their books faster. Others experience the first “aha” moment of seeing their real-time cash position after connecting their bank accounts.

If you are confused on how to navigate when your product has so many entry channels and possibilities within, let the Airbank way of analysing data inspire you!

Solution

Measure activation for each use case

To split their use cases, Airbank categorizes actions into use cases. For instance when a company processes a payment they are a “payment active user”.

One action can belong to several use cases, such as “event name” belongs to.

The Airbank team set up one company retention report per use case.

The goal for Airbank is to identify the companies that activate from those that don’t. For that the team looks into the retention of the first days after a company signed up. One week is what makes the most sense in this case because their ideal frequency of usage is weekly.

With this data Alex and his team are able to identify the use cases with the best activation.  

By looking into details the companies that are the most active, they're also able to draw their ICP.

ICP & successful use cases helps Airbank understand where they should double down on.  The team bubbles up this information to inform their product strategy.

Along the way one of the learnings from Alex was that sometimes you need to rebuild things from scratch.

A few months ago, Airbank launched a complete new product platform. This platform would connect use cases together. According to Alex this is when the team saw an inflection of the retention.

“Suddenly a lot more people were coming back to our product.”

- Alex, Head of growth @ Airbank

The daily and weekly reports on Slack made this very obvious too 😃

Comparing overall feature usage

Alex’s team uses feature audit to understand their product usage and communicate what they have in hand.

With this audit the team understands which features are the most popular, and brings users back. For example, when they saw that their forecasting feature was recurrently accessed by users but not further explored, product and development teams started working overnight to create a new UI and UX to the already consolidated cash flow tab within the tool

Feature usage comprehension is also essential for communication: understanding which tabs are more used help consolidating pitches and guide Marketing campaigns, either by reinforcing well-established tools within the app or by guiding future activation campaigns.

💡 Tips: The team always make sure to remove employees from their analyses.

Measure partnership success

One of the most critical steps to get started on Airbank is connecting a bank account.

For that, Airbank partners with a banking API infrastructure. Using an event when the connection succeeds or fails the team is able to measure the success rate. They use this information to make sure their partner respects their SLA.

Supporting users in turmoil

Airbank does not stop their usage of analytics at aggregated metrics. Airbank follows a couple of actions live and reacts on them.

  • New users sign up
  • Sign up that did not connect a bank account
  • Sign up that started to connect a bank account but didn’t finish it
  • Sign up that connected a bank account → specific use cases/flows

Depending on the scenarios success or and business development teams will triage the situation and send a personalized message. These emails are genuine and meant to help customers get unblock.

Measure feature success

Airbank product team ships fast.

The risk though is becoming a “feature factory”. A business focused on building features rather than solving problems for customers.

To avoid that Airbank measures feature success on the spot. After launching the new feature they add a new track event. Then, they enable live notification in Slack for the new track events mapped to the feature.

When they recently launched a new feature into production overnight, the team measured in real time how users were picking it up on the day of the go-live. Making full use of the granular data information at their disposal allows Airbank to continue improving their platform without losing their pace when it comes to releasing new features.

Outcome

In a few weeks after launching publicly, Airbank understood their top product use cases and ICP.

Real-time tracking of usage failures allows them to instantly respond to any hiccups within their tool. By giving success, and business development teams access to product usage they increased user activation and conversion to paid. Product teams speed up this virtuous circle by measuring features adoption and planning the steps ahead.

Intelligently utilizing data to understand where and how to update their app, as well as the best approaches to communicate changes, are the reasons why Airbank has such an exciting use case for June.


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June 1.0 - Instant analytics reports built on top of Segment | Product Hunt