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Kissmetrics Review: "Drove 400% increase in subscriptions."
https://www.trustradius.com/web-analyticsKissmetricsUnspecified7.880101
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February 25, 2013

Kissmetrics Review: "Drove 400% increase in subscriptions."

Score 9 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version
Standard

Overall Satisfaction

  • Understanding when, in any particular visit, a given visitor gives up on a goal in your application is already a difficult problem. Having solved it, you're still left with the problem that most visits will then read as failures to complete a transaction (in the e-commerce sense, which was our implementation), because you cannot reliably identify the visitor across visits, and if you could, the effort you'd expend to track their performance in even one funnel would be significant--let alone the paths you don't yet know your customers are taking. KISSmetrics handles all that--basic funnel tracking, matching users across visits, dynamic funnels. They allowed us to reduce the effort of tracking funnels to the bare minimum--a single pixel throughout the site--and extract signal from the noise over time in their application.
  • Once you've adopted those tools and become accustomed to reading the results, adding A/B testing and seeing nearly instant results (for in-page variable text and images, at least) can be accomplished in less than thirty minutes.
  • KISSmetrics doesn't teach you basic statistics. You'll still need to understand the significance of your tests, and any externalities that might cause seemingly obvious flaws in your funnels. Partly because of the problem the tool best helps to solve (long-term tracking of user behavior), expressing the real meaning of a filtered funnel report (in a given time period, with multiple filters) can be difficult.
  • We used KISSmetrics to guide us through the process of improving a number of pages: integrating browsing functionality on our site, addressing shortcomings on our cart page, even pricing. From a transactional perspective, the benefits were clear and significant. Most notably to our email driven business, we were able to prove a 400% increase in subscriptions to our newsletter by testing how and when a subscription form was presented to the visitor.
Once you have clear model for how to use it for your business, KISSmetrics absolutely pays for itself.

Product Usage

5 - We used KISSmetrics at various points in the organization--from junior marketers and engineers to our VP Marketing and CEO--to better understand user behavior.
1 - For our organization, I was the sole engineer maintaining the software, and I'd recommend a single engineer and a single marketer (if that's what you're using the application for) to best maintain the integration.
  • KISSmetrics' most immediately compelling use case is for funnel optimization. In my first implementation of the service, I used it to track several customer paths--from direct landings on our home page, through the rest of our site (browse, search, content, and product pages), into the purchase path, and eventually to a completed sale.
  • We were able to track the performance of specific funnels at different times by a number of variables assigned directly to a persistent user record, which meant that a user who visited and registered on one browser could then later be identified upon login, hopefully giving us a better picture of how they used our site in the visits leading up to their first purchase and onwards.
  • Later, we used KISSmetrics' early A/B testing tools to learn more about designs and messages that resonated with our customers, with the same flexibility and insight offered by their funnel optimization toolset.

Evaluation and Selection

Google Analytics
We spent some time using Performable (now part of HubSpot), not so much as a competitor as a complementary product. KISSmetrics' introduction of A/B Testing tools eventually led us to replace Performable entirely.

Training

  • Online training
  • In-person training
  • Self-taught
Again, we were fortunate to work with KISSmetrics as they built their application, but Hiten, their CEO and founder, was incredibly helpful to me personally, and to our metrics-driven business as a whole, as we adopted their tool.
The online documentation is clear, prominent, and up-to-date. I required almost no hand-holding for the adoption of any of their tools as they were released.
In fact, it was quite easy to learn without training. Putting the pixel on an application page is probably the most difficult task, and that process has become commonplace. Starting simply is the best approach--a two- or three-step event funnel starting at the home page and ending at the signup or transaction is easy to accomplish, and the process of learning how to do it is straightforward and instructive.

Configuration

Integrating the A/B testing tools more deeply into our application required some custom code, and the documentation is clear in the approaches to take for this. Early versions of the application required some configuration on each page to define events (and many, even most, implementations willstill benefit from this), but configuration in that respect is incredibly easy.

Support

Their support is excellent and responsive.
No - We never required it. We may have been a special case, in that we were with KISSmetrics before their release, but we received excellent support from their team as part of the basic service fees.

Usability

For such a complicated feature set, the tool is surprisingly usable. That said, at the edges of its functionality, there is a measurable learning curve.

Reliability

The application was very rarely down; during the period we used the application, I can think of only two or three occasions in which the site was down. Notably, at no time was the the performance of our own site compromised as a result.
Speed improved dramatically as the service matured. Early iterations of the publicly-released application would occasionally provide slow processing of results, but those delays became much rarer occurrences during the last year that we used KISSmetrics. One of the more impressive views (which started out feeling more like a toy) is the live view of visits. Knowing that you could see, in real time, what events a user triggered, was gratifying and instructive.

Integration