Last week we released Series, a whole new way to orchestrate customer messaging campaigns in Intercom. Series is a visual campaign builder with a very flexible and interactive design - you can easily create sophisticated customer journeys using the Latest Mailing Database intuitive drag-and-drop interface, making your customer engagement campaigns much more powerful and efficient. "The series is so intuitive that it feels natural and obvious - and yet the design was by no means inevitable" Indeed, Series is so intuitive that it feels natural and obvious – and yet the design was by no means inevitable, as we considered many different approaches to solving the client messaging orchestration problem.
Here, I'll explain how we evaluated these different approaches and how we arrived at our final design – and I'll share some of the Latest Mailing Database lessons we learned along the way. Our first customer messaging solutioning 2016, we released Smart Campaigns, which solved the same message orchestration problem. We took a very savvy approach with Smart Campaigns, putting simplicity at the core and hiding the underlying logic of customer messaging flow – as such, we avoided the visual builder approach. You can simply create each message, put them in a campaign, and relax, as we'll automatically figure out how to send those messages to the right person at the right time.
This approach resonated with several clients. But over time, we discovered that for many others, instead of making things easier, it made them more complicated – we hid the logic behind the message flow too much. When describing the Latest Mailing Database process of creating their campaigns, many clients mentioned that they start by planning their orchestration visually in digital tools or on a physical whiteboard. Some of the visualizations our clients have shared with us This visual approach would give them confidence that the orchestration would work, but then they had to spend laborious hours trying to “translate” those visual feeds into a non-visual Smart Campaign. Customers were getting lost in the implicit logic and struggling to understand their orchestration, leading to adoption and churn issues. We knew something had to be done.