Leslie Lau, Director of Web Optimization
Expands campaigns with greater segmentation and more-complex nurture
Avoids 12-hour delay to deliver near real-time customer onboarding experience
Removes hundreds of spam records from lead form submissions every week to boost sales productivity
CircleCI is a leader in continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) that helps developers rapidly build and deploy quality projects at scale. With an international team of 300+ employees, the company has become a market leader in software development, processing more than 1 million software updates each day.
“Companies like Spotify, Coinbase, Stitch Fix, and Buzzfeed rely on CircleCI to accelerate and improve the quality of their software builds,” says Director of Web Optimization, Leslie Lau. “We strive to provide the kind of exceptional customer experience that these world-class developers deserve.”
CircleCI knew that it needed to scale its campaigns to offer an engaging onboarding experience for new customers. “Previously, we relied on functionality baked in our web chat tool to send new customers onboarding emails when they sign-up to use our platform. But as our customer base grew, we wanted to deliver more-complex outreach, and that required a different toolset,“ says Lau.
“The team decided to adopt Marketo, a marketing automation platform (MAP) that we could use to create a multi-email onboarding campaign that both welcomes users to the platform and sends helpful resources to drive adoption. But as we were implementing Marketo, we discovered that it would take about 12 hours for a newly-registered customer to receive their confirmation message.”
“Obviously, this delay didn’t pass muster with our high standards for customer experience. But it left us in a tricky spot: How can we tap into the premium features of best-in-breed tools when they don’t always play nice with the rest of our tech stack?”
Not only was CircleCI looking for a solution to close the gap between Marketo and the company’s web forms, but it also wanted a universal platform that could automate different processes across its revenue function.
“We started to use a lightweight automation tool for a separate use case, to filter out spam entries from our web form submissions. But that tool could really only execute simple true/false validation for certain keywords, and it certainly couldn’t handle our more-complex needs,” Lau explains.
“A colleague recommended the Tray Platform, and after meeting with the Tray.io team, we knew we could get it done. We had a lot of support from the solutions team as we familiarized ourselves with the basics of the platform and started building out workflows.”
With a General Automation Platform (GAP), the marketing team at CircleCI didn’t have to sacrifice campaign quality to adopt a new tool. The team used the Tray Platform to build out automated workflows that synced data from the CircleCI website with Marketo and the company’s CRM, Salesforce.
“With a viable solution in place, we could finally make the switch to a fully-fledged MAP. We built out logic in the Tray Platform that formats data from our web forms in real-time and, whenever a new customer signs up, creates a new contact record in Salesforce. We then sync that record in Marketo, where our campaign takes place,” Lau explains.
CircleCI also overhauled its spam filtering process with its newfound automation powers. “Between when we capture a lead from a web form and when we sync that data in our CRM, we added much more-comprehensive logic to filter out spam messages. Not only are we excluding messages with certain phrases, but we’re validating form entries field-by-field to create a line of defense against spam and increase the quality of inbound leads.”
“The best thing about the Tray Platform is that it just works. I trust that it will deliver fast and reliable results, so I can focus my resources on shaping our customer experience,” says Lau.
“Our Marketo integration has been running for some time now, and we’re pretty pleased with the results. We’ve expanded our campaign capabilities with greater segmentation and more-complex nurture sequences while avoiding that frustrating 12-hour processing delay for new customers.”
Automation at CircleCI also drives higher sales productivity. “Every week, our filters catch hundreds of spam requests. That automated process is a huge time saver for our sales team, who can now devote more of their efforts to qualifying real leads. And with the flexibility of these processes, we can verify that data in real-time and adjust our definition to capture more and more spam.”
Lau and her team are always finding new ways to optimize their existing processes. “Moving forward, we’re planning to revisit the workflows we’ve already made to maximize the impact of automation at CircleCI. We try to be good corporate citizens, so we’re sharing the platform with others in our organization that might face similar challenges. Our sales development team is already using the Tray Platform to get visibility into customer accounts for faster and smarter follow-up.”
If you’d like to see the power of general automation in action, join us for our next weekly group demo. And if you’d prefer not to wait, check out our recent blog post on automating away web chat spam for an in-depth look into a workflow similar to CircleCI’s spam filter.