Insights/Action/Outcome: Only half of new Dropbox Capture customers created a screenshot or screen recording on their first day of use. The team hypothesized that non-activated customers struggled with the initial product experience and faced decision fatigue due to a lack of guidance on the product’s features. They rebuilt their onboarding experience to include a checklist to guide new customers through the app, and then ran an experiment to prove their hypothesis. The revamped onboarding experience increased activation rates by more than 25%, translating to a 5 percentage point increase in new customers returning to the app in their second week to create content with Capture.
The lines between life and work are getting blurrier every day. With so much to do, see, and learn, it’s easy to feel like we’re moving in many different directions. But what if there was one place to keep life organized and work moving? For millions of people, that place is Dropbox.
Dropbox builds software to help people unleash their creativity and work more productively. With more than 700 million registered users in over 180 countries, we are on a mission to design a more enlightened way of working.
For a long time, Dropbox was known solely for file storage and sharing. But we’re becoming a multi-product company focused on delivering customers a range of functionalities and features across multiple products. I’m head of product for one of those new solutions, Dropbox Capture.
A platform that keeps us focused
Capture is a bet we made in 2020 when we observed how people struggled with transitioning to remote work and suddenly sitting through many more meetings. Capture responds to this by helping distributed teams communicate more asynchronously. It’s a one-stop shop allowing customers to bring their work to life using screenshots and screen recordings, GIFs, audio and video messages, and the ability to add emphasis with text, shapes, drawings, and arrows. Not only do these tools help users communicate in a more engaging and personable way, they also reduce the need for yet another meeting to share that information.
I think of [Amplitude] Analytics as the lighthouse that gives us visibility into how our product performs.
Like any new offering, Capture requires us to run many experiments and iterate on various features and functionalities. So it’s super important for me and my team to always be on the lookout for new user behaviors or changes in our data. We address that with Amplitude Analytics, the Capture team’s main product analytics tool. We use it to track what customers are doing in the app, the features they use, and which of our experiments are successful. I think of Analytics as the lighthouse that gives us visibility into how our product performs.
I love Analytics because it’s easy to use, offers real-time data, and is highly customizable. My product team has a lot of dashboards—we tend to create a dashboard for every experiment or feature we launch—and that makes it easy for anyone on the team to see the results of experiments and the impact of their work. In that way, it keeps everyone focused on the overall goals and removes the stress and apprehension some people feel around data.
Increased retention with revamped onboarding
After reaching product-market-fit with Capture after its beta launch, we switched gears to focus on how we could onboard new customers into the product. That understanding starts with looking at Analytics to extract insights into the journeys and features that impact retention most.
One particular insight showed that only half of new Capture customers created a screenshot or screen recording on their first day of use. Pairing this insight with feedback from talking to customers directly, we started to understand the problem. We hypothesized that non-activated customers struggled with the initial product experience and faced decision fatigue due to a lack of guidance on the product’s features.
We responded to this insight by rebuilding our onboarding experience from the ground up. Onboarding would now include a checklist to guide new customers through the app, emphasizing the discovery of key features—keyboard shortcuts, screenshots, and markup—that we know greatly impact retention. The purpose of this guide was to reduce decision fatigue and increase customer confidence when discovering the app during their first use. We then ran an experiment in Analytics, exposing a percentage of customers to this new experience alongside a control group that onboarded using the old experience. Comparing these two cohorts, we saw that customers exposed to the new onboarding tended to activate and return at a higher rate.
Our revamped onboarding experience increased our activation rates by more than 25%, translating into a 5% increase in new customers returning to the app in their second week to create content with Capture.
Our revamped onboarding experience increased our activation rates by more than 25%, translating into a 5 percentage point increase in new customers returning to the app in their second week to create content with Capture.
A 4X increase in feature use leads customers to value faster
Another thing we’re always working on is connecting customers to value as fast as possible. Analytics revealed that Capture customers who used the screenshot markup feature on their first day had significantly higher retention rates. This insight helped us be more decisive on the best journey for new customers.
To drive more customers to Capture’s markup feature, we ran multiple experiments to iterate on the discoverability and placement of the feature. We found the best journey encouraged customers to engage with markup tools immediately after taking a screenshot. Making this change, we increased the number of customers utilizing the markup feature by 4X, which connected new customers to value in the app faster and led to an overall increase in the activation and retention rates for new customers.
It’s immensely valuable to go from insight to results so quickly when introducing new experiences for customers.
Discovering what really matters
We obviously use Analytics to watch how new features and experiments perform, but as a product team, we are also on the lookout for how customers continue to use the different features of Capture and whether we deliver on our value propositions. Using Analytics is like having a lens through which product managers can see the features that have the most traction, because they can see what customers actually want and use. That allows us to prioritize releases and explore where the highest-impact initiatives could live. As a power user, I start my day with Analytics. That way, there are very few surprises—and if something does pop up, we can react quickly to discover why.
One of our main focuses at Dropbox today is delivering greater functionality and value to our customers. Analytics helps us see what resonates most and where we need to improve.
Capture was one the first product teams to leverage Analytics, but today, other Dropbox teams are adopting Analytics, too. That’s really exciting because it is helping us connect all of our solutions. One of our main focuses at Dropbox today is delivering greater functionality and value to our customers. Analytics helps us see what resonates most and where we need to improve.
Speed is super important to the Capture team. We want to make a lot of iterations, push a lot of updates, run a lot of experiments, and turn it all around very quickly. Without Analytics, we would probably spend a lot of time writing queries and gathering data. With it, we can easily brainstorm, experiment, and validate at our desired speed. It shortens our time to growth and gives us a lot of time back that we can spend on the things that matter, which means delivering value to customers.
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