Named to TIME‘s list of the 100 Most Influential Companies of 2022, Together Labs is a Silicon Valley-based 3D social networking company that innovates technologies empowering people worldwide to connect, create and earn in virtual worlds. Jenny Pollock, Lead Subscription Monetization Manager at Together Labs, is involved in every aspect of interlocking subscriptions and revenue optimization, driving IMVU, the emblematic brand of the company, to the world’s largest friendship discovery and social metaverse platform with more than 7M MAU.
In this episode of Subscription League Podcast, we sit down with Jenny to talk about her advice on how app developers and marketers can leverage quantitative and qualitative user research to guide the product roadmap and monetization strategy. Listen to the full episode to find out about her 4-step user research framework and all her pro tips on user research.
For noteworthy quotes and key takeaways from the episode, read the article -
Leveraging user research to maximize subscription app monetization with Jenny Pollock (Together Labs).
Episode Topics at a Glance
- What does Together Labs do?
- Day in the life of a lead subscription monetization manager at Together Labs
- Subscription tiers and user personas of IMVU explained
- The value of listening to your community
- User research: qualitative vs quantitative
- Jenny's four-part framework for user research
- Advice to start-ups for managing data
- How to have great user interviews
More about Jenny Kay Pollock
Jenny Kay Pollock leads monetization at Together Labs, where she focuses on strategies that help keep IMVU a top 5 social app by spending in the US. Jenny routinely speaks on mobile monetization, women in the workplace, and building a tech career. She has published on these topics in outlets like Forbes and Ellevate. Find her discussing all things tech on Twitter at @Jennykaypollock.
00:18 We're in a bedroom today!
00:50 Jenny Pollock background and introduction
01:16 What does Together Labs do?
02:12 What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
03:09 Subscription tiers of IMVU
04:20 How did IMVUA get into the top 5 social apps?
05:40 The difference between creators and regular users
07:03 Sharing revenue with the IMVU creator community
09:00 The value of listening to your community
10:05 User research: qualitative vs quantitative
11:40 Jenny's four-part framework for user research
13:00 Advice to start ups for managing data
15:21 How to have great user interviews
17:13 User research framework step #2: experiment
18:55 User research framework step #3: get creative
21:46 User research framework step #4: product roadmap
25:32 The motivation behind IMVU's VIP offering
27:27 Benefits of using this tiered model
29:00 Routing users to the right subscriptions
30:05 The value of Purchase League
30:57 Wrap Up
[00:00:19.520] - Olivier Destrebecq
Welcome to the show, everybody. How are you doing, Nicolas?
[00:00:21.980] - Nicolas Tissier
I'm fine. What about, you, Olivier?
[00:00:24.580] - Olivier Destrebecq
I'm doing fine. You guys can't see us, obviously. It's all audio. But one thing, over the last few recordings that we've done with Nicolas, is we've been switching rooms, and he's been in offices, he's been in his living room. Today, he's actually is in his son's bedroom. You can imagine him on a gamer's chair. It's an awesome sight. I have the video, it's great.
[00:00:46.780] - Nicolas Tissier
It's true. I have to admit it's true.
[00:00:50.600] - Olivier Destrebecq
But I don't just have Nicolas today. I also have Jenny Pollock with us, who's the lead monetisation at Together Labs. She's passionate about app monetisation, women in tech, and helping other break into tech. Jenny has also published on those topics in outlets like Forbes, Hacker Moon, and Elevate. How are you doing today, Jenny? Welcome to the show.
[00:01:11.580] - Jenny Pollock
I'm great. Thank you so much for having me. This will be a really exciting conversation.
[00:01:14.920] - Olivier Destrebecq
Yes, it will. One of the first questions I want to ask you is, can you tell us a little bit what Together Labs does? Because you guys are doing quite a few things.
[00:01:26.320] - Jenny Pollock
Yeah, that is a great question. At Together Labs, we're really focused on creating digital environments, digital worlds, where people can create, connect, and earn together. We have a couple of different properties. The one that I focus most of my time on is called IMVU.
[00:01:43.390] - Jenny Pollock
We're really focusing on redefining the social media as a catalyst for authentic human connection. We have a global audience all around the world, which is a lot of fun. We get to talk to our users from places all over the globe. That's really great.
[00:01:57.610] - Jenny Pollock
We also have a crypto side of the business and then another newer platform called With Me, which is also an online metaverse. A lot of exciting things happening at Together Labs, and I'm really excited to be a part of it and to be leading the monetisation side for IMVU.
[00:02:13.400] - Olivier Destrebecq
Actually, since you jumped right into the next question, which is being a lead subscription manager at Together Labs, what does that entail? What do you actually do on a day-to-day?
[00:02:22.540] - Jenny Pollock
Every day, I'm doing a couple of things that are always the same, and then a lot of things change. But some of the stuff that's the same is looking at the revenue, seeing what's popular with our users, seeing what's performing well.
[00:02:34.610] - Jenny Pollock
We have a variety of different offerings in terms of credits that you can purchase, some subscription offerings as well. We'll dig into that in a bit. We also have some upgrades like one-off purchases and app purchases. It's a lot of fun in that regard, and that's the constant.
[00:02:50.500] - Jenny Pollock
The things that change is talking to our users, doing that in different methods, different ways, interacting. Just last Friday, we hosted an in-app party for some of our biggest subscribers, our Diamond VIPs. I got to hang out in the app and play in the metaverse all day, which is fantastic.
[00:03:07.000] - Nicolas Tissier
[00:03:08.290] - Olivier Destrebecq
Sounds like fun.
[00:03:08.880] - Nicolas Tissier
What kind of subscriptions, I'm curious, are you selling into the main-app, IMVU?
[00:03:15.040] - Jenny Pollock
We have a VIP subscription. There are three tiers. The first one is called Gold, and you've got some monthly credits. It's the intro level, get people excited.
[00:03:26.580] - Jenny Pollock
Then we have our most popular tier, which is Platinum VIP. You get your monthly credits. You get 5% off everything in the digital shop. A variety of different features get unlocked, like access to being a creator and actually making the digital products. You make a T-shirt in the metaverse or whatever you want to make. These glasses, someone can make.
[00:03:47.860] - Nicolas Tissier
I'm not ready for this.
[00:03:49.630] - Jenny Pollock
It's a lot of work with the polygons and the 3D construction. It's pretty cool. W e have that at the Platinum level. Then Diamond is our most exclusive access. You get unlimited features, unlimited access, additional credits. You get everything. It really unlocks all of IMVU for the users. We have those three different price points on mobile and desktop.
[00:04:16.480] - Olivier Destrebecq
Those subscription, I guess, and maybe there's some in-app purchase in there, too. But IMVU is one of the top five social app buy spend in the US. How do you guys pull that off?
[00:04:27.120] - Jenny Pollock
I want to really open this up and talk about our users here because there's a lot of stuff that my team and I do and our cross functional teams do every single day. But our users are really where it's at. They help us by telling us what they're interested in, what they want to see, what they're passionate about, what's working, what's not working.
[00:04:48.060] - Jenny Pollock
Then I touched on a little bit earlier, but our creator community is so key to what we're doing, allowing our users to actually build the products that people are buying. Think of it like a digital Etsy, like a metaverse Etsy. You can go in and you can create these amazing things. You can create a whole room. You can create a car that you want. You can create the hottest fashions.
[00:05:13.310] - Jenny Pollock
Because it's the metaverse, you don't have to be stuck to things that are possible. If you want to have something that floats, if you want to have... I've got a little pet unicorn in there that I had made. You don't need to stick to what's possible. Anything is possible.
[00:05:30.560] - Jenny Pollock
Our users are really creative, and they put in so much creativity into our product for us. I think that's what really makes us stick out and makes our users come back every day.
[00:05:41.440] - Olivier Destrebecq
It sounds like there's really two different segments in your users, the creators versus the regular users. I'm sure that also leads to different marketing, different target. Can you tell us a little bit about how that affect the business, I guess, to have those two sides?
[00:05:55.370] - Jenny Pollock
Sure. A lot of our creators are also general users. They'll buy stuff from other creators and participate. They're really passionate. But then, of course, there's some people who don't know how to create or don't want to create. Maybe Nicolas was saying, he's not ready for that yet. Maybe next year.
[00:06:12.560] - Jenny Pollock
That's a definite defining in our segments of users. Some of our users just want to come and talk. Some just want to come and shop. IMVU offers a lot of different things, so it can be something different for many of our user segments, which is really cool. It opens up a lot of possibilities.
[00:06:31.920] - Jenny Pollock
You might start just doing dress-up, and then you come start chatting, and then eventually, maybe next year, after you've been on for a while, you start creating and being a part of that additional community. At some point in there, you might sign up for VIP and get additional features.
[00:06:48.250] - Jenny Pollock
We have some really cool things in there like being able to have an extra daily spin to get more credits and things like that. It just depends how you want to engage with the product, which is really great. We really open it up for anyone to pick how they want to participate.
[00:07:03.520] - Nicolas Tissier
I have a question. I guess you are sharing revenues with the creators, are you?
[00:07:12.620] - Jenny Pollock
It depends on what level, but yes, there is very similar to how Etsy or maybe even the app stores work. There is a definite opportunity for revenue generation for our creator community.
[00:07:26.360] - Nicolas Tissier
You do that within app purchases. You split the revenue generated by the subscriptions or by one-time purchases with the creators.
[00:07:35.650] - Jenny Pollock
What we do is we sell in-app currency, we call it credits. As part of being a VIP, you do get credits. Depending on what level you are, of course, you get more credits. The longer you've been a VIP, we do some loyalty credits for you.
[00:07:49.680] - Jenny Pollock
Then when those credits are spent, let's say, these earrings that I'm wearing, someone made them in the metaverse, well, just say Nicolas made them. Maybe he graduated to creator status.
[00:08:01.550] - Nicolas Tissier
This is definitely the first thing I'm going to do in the metaverse.
[00:08:05.370] - Jenny Pollock
Yes, exactly. Gold hoop earrings. That's what you got to make. Classic. When those are sold, the creator does get some compensation in that regard. Depending on their creator status and how they're signed up with us, they can either get paid with some in-game currency or in actual dollars. We do have an earned money program for our creators. When they exchange the credits, that's how the revenue share works for our creator community.
[00:08:32.110] - Nicolas Tissier
This is very interesting because among our listeners, we have customers, Purchasely customers. A few of them ask us how to tackle the creator economy within a purchase. This is not so simple actually. You need to go through some virtual money or something like this because you are much more limited than you are if you are exchanging dollars directly or even Bitcoins. Thank you for sharing that.
[00:08:59.580] - Jenny Pollock
Yeah, of course.
[00:09:00.900] - Olivier Destrebecq
You pointed out that you're talking with a lot of users, and one of the thing that you're passionate, obviously, in your role is user research. Can you tell us why you find that so valuable?
[00:09:13.120] - Jenny Pollock
I think that when I'm looking at a product, sometimes I'm so close to it. I'm in there a lot, and I'm looking at it through the work lens or the monetisation lens. Our users who we're building and expanding the product for, they have a different opinion. They're either in there way more and looking at through a different lens, or maybe they're brand new. It depends what user segment you're looking at.
[00:09:34.840] - Jenny Pollock
I think it's just so important to really dig in there, get the information, and then synthesise that information with what we're doing in terms of our company goals and projects. Our users are the most knowledgeable about the platform. Even when they're new, even on day one, they can talk to you about that first-time user experience. They can let you know how they found the app.
[00:09:57.380] - Jenny Pollock
There's just a lot of things that are so important. You can often find them by just asking. A lot of people are excited to share their experience.
[00:10:06.280] - Nicolas Tissier
Because when we speak about user research, there are two kind of researches. The first is quantitative research versus qualitative research. What are we speaking about here, precisely? Can you share your perspective on what's the difference between the two?
[00:10:23.160] - Jenny Pollock
Of course. I think they're both important. I like to use them in tandem. For the quantitative and qualitative, you can typically pick which one you want to start with. Quantitative normally has specific numbers associated behind it, so doing a survey or something like that.
[00:10:38.990] - Jenny Pollock
Then qualitative is more of a conversation, so a conversation like this, a user interview, getting information that you can assign a numeric value to, but it doesn't start there. There's opportunity task follow-up questions, get a little bit more information. It's not necessarily just multiple choice or stack ring, which I think is important.
[00:10:59.130] - Jenny Pollock
When I like to do this, I pick one to start with and often validate with the others. I might do a survey, for example, to all of my VIPs to see what they're liking, what's going well, what they could maybe have improved. Then after I look at the data that I get, I'll consider doing a user interview to get more information.
[00:11:19.520] - Jenny Pollock
Maybe everyone says, "Wow, we love the creator program. This is so great. I love it." I want to know, "Well, what do you love about it?" Let's get that next layer. Let's peel back the layer of the onion and figure out what's there, what's at the center of the initial research that we got. I definitely recommend using both of them and alternating between the two.
[00:11:39.940] - Olivier Destrebecq
From what you told us last time, you actually have a four-part framework to use your research. Walk us through it. Help us understand it.
[00:11:48.250] - Jenny Pollock
Of course. The framework that I use when we were tiering our VIP program last year was four easy steps. The first one is just ask, and we'll go through each of them. The second one is do a science experiment. The third one is get creative, and lastly, get on the product roadmap.
[00:12:08.180] - Jenny Pollock
I want to talk about each of these in depth. The first one is really the quantitative and qualitative research that we were talking about. Making sure that you have the research that you already have, anything that anyone's done before you at your organisation, start there. Then take a look at your data. What information do you have coming through, depending on your users, just anything that you can pull from your user sessions or whatever data visualisation software, you use that to come up with the questions.
[00:12:38.890] - Jenny Pollock
Why do we have more users logging in on, let's just say, Wednesday? Figure out. Maybe there's some event going on, or they're at home, whatever it might be. Look at that data, and anything that either doesn't make sense and you want to understand, or anything that does make sense and you want to validate, that's what you want to start asking about in your user research.
[00:13:00.620] - Olivier Destrebecq
You mentioned getting data from the archives, in a way, what already exists in your organisation. I'm curious, if you're a startup as opposed to an established company, how would you approach it?
[00:13:13.250] - Jenny Pollock
Well, you might be making the archives, so definitely keep good records. Those are the easy tools that you can use. You can go ahead and use a Google Forms situation and get a survey set up pretty easy. The visualisation is actually really great. You can export your data. I really recommend that for a low entry situation there. Definitely do that.
[00:13:34.930] - Jenny Pollock
Then, of course, document what you're doing because you are building the archives. Even if you are more established, you're still building the archives. I look at stuff I did last year or the year before when I'm coming up with the next set of research just to make sure and see how things changed. I think that's really important. Another great way to measure success is doing a pre and post survey. That's a great option, too.
[00:13:57.990] - Jenny Pollock
If you don't have any information in terms of past research, you can still look at your user data. Even if you have just a couple of beta testers, you can see how that session is going, what they're liking, what their feedback is, and you can validate that. If you don't even have users yet, if you're so early, that's okay, too.
[00:14:17.980] - Jenny Pollock
Go ahead and test your hypothesis. Figure out what you think is going well and what you think isn't, and you can test that. You can make questions around that to get data that way. I think that's really great place to start. You have to start somewhere, right?
[00:14:34.250] - Nicolas Tissier
What is important in what you say is that you must do it whatever stage you're in, because the most important thing to create a business is to actually understand your users. Even when you are very young startup, what I retain from what you just said is that do it, just do it.
[00:14:53.830] - Jenny Pollock
Yeah, absolutely. I think that sometimes you can feel intimidated, what is the research, what do I have to do? Just get out there and iterate like you would with your product. Do a survey, see what information you get, follow up with a user interview, do another survey to check.
[00:15:11.580] - Jenny Pollock
There's a lot of ways that you can do this pretty easily. You can do a user interview over Zoom or Google Hangouts, so it's pretty accessible to do that.
[00:15:22.320] - Olivier Destrebecq
You've mentioned user interview, which from trying to do a few myself and reading online, I know they're not that easy to do well correctly in a way where you get lots of data out of it and valid data out of it. Do you have any tips that you can share with us on how to do good user interviews?
[00:15:42.340] - Jenny Pollock
Of course. What I like to do is come up with a script, and I'll have some questions I'm hoping to ask. But go where the interview takes you. Sometimes the user isn't a fit for those questions, and you'll discover something new. You'll discover something exciting that you didn't know about.
[00:15:57.440] - Jenny Pollock
I think that's so important to be open to wherever it takes you. Use your questions as a guide rail. Don't be stuck with it. Make sure you explore and go into each question with a follow-up question if there was one that makes sense. If there's one that you want to ask that maybe doesn't make sense, save it till the end, where you can definitely find a way to fit it in.
[00:16:18.620] - Jenny Pollock
When you're doing it, it's just a conversation. Don't be worried about it. If possible, record it so then you can go back and listen to it, because you're going to do a bunch of user interviews. By the end, you won't remember who said what. So recording is great.
[00:16:33.310] - Jenny Pollock
If you can have someone do it with you, that's awesome, too. If you can have someone else sit in on it from your team and take notes, that's always really nice. But even if you can't, just make sure you hit that Record button. Of course, let them know you're recording and it's for internal use only. Most people are okay with that.
[00:16:49.740] - Nicolas Tissier
Cool. I totally agree with what you said. I've done a couple of user interviews myself. I would say that you must be in a curious, open-minded, and exploring mindset. You must start from there. Don't stick too much with the guide, and be ready to learn some new things that you did not expect.
[00:17:09.450] - Jenny Pollock
Absolutely. I think that's the best advice right there. Be curious.
[00:17:12.590] - Olivier Destrebecq
I'm curious about the step two of the framework, the science experiment, because I love science experiments, so I want to hear that one.
[00:17:21.520] - Jenny Pollock
One of the things that happens is you're going to get all this data, and you're really excited, and you need to figure out how to combine that with your business goals. I actually recommend taking the data you have, looking at your business goals. They might be OKRs, MBOs, SMART goals, whatever your organisation is working off of, and you have to combine them together.
[00:17:42.140] - Jenny Pollock
This actually makes a really cool reaction because then you'll see how you can connect the dots to monetise while adding value to your users. Honestly, that's the easiest way to monetise. If you're adding value, people will be so excited to hand you their money because you're building something they want. You really get a win-win situation here. Win for the user, win for the company, and a win for you.
[00:18:04.360] - Nicolas Tissier
This is very interesting, but I find it difficult to link directly the user conversations, the customer conversation that you can have with the OKRs of the company. Is there a particular process to do that efficiently? Do you have any secret sauce to share with us?
[00:18:26.000] - Jenny Pollock
Yeah. I've got a little worksheet. If you guys want, we can link it in the show notes. But what I recommend is coming up with your top three user research findings. Whatever that may be, maybe they all want a certain feature, maybe you find a certain age group is logging on at a certain time, whatever the top things that stick out are.
[00:18:43.640] - Jenny Pollock
Then write your primary business goal for your team and the secondary business goal down. Get them all in one spot so you can see. Then the next part is really how we're going to tie it together if we want to jump into step three.
[00:18:55.320] - Nicolas Tissier
Okay, let's jump in it then.
[00:18:58.530] - Jenny Pollock
Cool. Step three is get creative. This is where you come in. As the monetisation manager or the person leading the project, you have to apply your expertise and think outside the box. Some of the questions that I think about here is how will the current industry trends impact the future of the product, of this feature, of our users?
[00:19:20.660] - Jenny Pollock
One of the things that we see is there'll be new regulation coming in like IDFA, or you'll see some different changes in the app store, and you want to make sure you harness that. I know a while ago, they made it so that instead of the 30%, if you can have a user stay for a whole year on the Apple app store, they will reduce it down to 15%. When you're looking at the money that your organisation is taking in, maybe it is more compelling to offer a subscription offering than it was previously when they switched the rules.
[00:19:50.920] - Jenny Pollock
Keeping an eye on all of that is key and including that in when you're making the decision of what to do next. Get really creative. Users might say they want one thing, but really, there's a different way to solve it. That's where your expertise comes in.
[00:20:04.990] - Olivier Destrebecq
Do you have any source of inspiration for finding those recipes or ideas that will be awesome to bring value to your customer, and I guess in the end, also to monetise for the company?
[00:20:17.030] - Jenny Pollock
Yeah. For the company, that one's almost easier to answe. The question I like to think about here is, does this feature align with the future that your organisation is trying to build? Does it ladder up to the bigger vision? If yes, that's great.
[00:20:31.450] - Jenny Pollock
If you're getting no or maybe, then you need to maybe connect the dots or just change it a little bit, so it has more of a connection there. In terms of, what do I look at for this, it sounds really boring. But just looking at the different app store rules, you can get in there. If you can't fall asleep one night, go read them, and then you'll figure out what Apple and Google have to offer and how you can leverage it. That's an opportunity.
[00:20:56.640] - Jenny Pollock
Also just looking at what other apps are doing. There's an app called Down Dog that does yoga. During the pandemic, everyone was stuck at home and they said, "Hey, anyone can have it for free. Come try our app." I tried it. It was great. I got used to doing it. Yoga in the comfort of my own home. Don't have to go anywhere. Much more affordable than an actual class.
[00:21:19.310] - Jenny Pollock
Anyways, long story short, I'm still paying them. I've got my yoga app set up. They got me hooked. They looked at what was going on in the market and what was going on in the world.
[00:21:31.180] - Jenny Pollock
They did something nice. They were generous by offering their service for free. But then now they've got a paying customer for life right here, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. That's just a good example of taking a good look at what's going on around you and leveraging that through your app.
[00:21:47.600] - Olivier Destrebecq
Once you're done looking around, you're looking for all those ideas on the street, is that time for the next step?
[00:21:52.970] - Jenny Pollock
Yeah, it is. Step four is getting on the product roadmap. Now, if you're in a big organisation, yeah, this can be tricky. This can be really hard.
[00:22:01.900] - Nicolas Tissier
Even with a small organisation, actually, because you don't have that many developers.
[00:22:06.560] - Jenny Pollock
Yes, different challenges, absolutely. Then it can be tricky, too. Even if it's just you, if you're a solo developer, it can be hard. The whole range is tricky in different ways.
[00:22:17.780] - Jenny Pollock
The first thing I recommend is listing 3-5 team members that can help you, that might be excited, that might also find this feature of win. One of the things that I just suggest is listing them out and talking to them one on one to get their buy-in. Talk about your user research findings, talk about how it ties to your goals, so you'll share your science results, and then you'll share the creative solution that you come up with, and hopefully, you can get their buy-in.
[00:22:44.500] - Jenny Pollock
Then you're going to want to form a coalition of these people. If you have 3-5 other people also saying, "Hey, this is a great feature," it's a lot easier to get on the product roadmap, instead of it just being you. Definitely leverage your cross-functional teams, leverage people at all levels of the organisation, and get people excited. You have to be saying it so often.
[00:23:05.430] - Jenny Pollock
Honestly, if you're not sick of delivering your message, you're not saying it enough.
[00:23:10.320] - Nicolas Tissier
If I sum up what you just said, don't try to make a top-down approach with the roadmap, but more collaborative one so that a few stakeholders buy the same ideas, they participate, generating it, and then it's much easier to convince internally.
[00:23:27.960] - Jenny Pollock
Exactly. I find that when you have people that are excited about building your feature, not only can you get on the product roadmap, but you're going to have a better launch. You're going to have better communication. You're going to have a better go-to market. It's going to be more successful, and so that collaborative approach is so key.
[00:23:43.500] - Nicolas Tissier
Do you do that also with engineers or even in particular with engineers?
[00:23:48.500] - Jenny Pollock
Yes, if you can. I highly recommend it. I think it's so important because they're the ones building the feature. Everything from the initial request to the actual product brief to getting updates, "Hey, are we on time? Are we scheduled to launch? What do you need?"
[00:24:03.060] - Jenny Pollock
I think it's so important to communicate to everyone in the organisation, including engineering, because they're going to be the ones building it, right?
[00:24:10.700] - Nicolas Tissier
Yeah, I totally agree with that. Engineers, I think often in Europe, maybe at least, but engineers are too much treated like delivery people, but they are also very creative, actually. I think in the end, what they want is to have impact. If you afford them the opportunity to think about a feature or problem, design it somehow, and then collaborate to delivering it, then you have the best result in general.
[00:24:41.600] - Jenny Pollock
Yeah, absolutely. I've been at other organisations, where you loop in engineering, they'll actually have a quicker solve for it or a better way of doing it. You do that typical user story. "As a user, I would like X, Y, Z." Sometimes they have a better way of delivering it that you didn't know was even possible.
[00:24:59.460] - Jenny Pollock
Definitely make sure to loop in engineering and to get their input. You'll find that it's a lot easier to get stuff through the product roadmap and into the hands of the users.
[00:25:09.740] - Olivier Destrebecq
It's very interesting to hear you guys, both of you, say involve in engineering, because I'm an engineer at heart myself. Right now, in my company, I'm trying to get involved into more stuff, and so I'm coming from the bottom. You guys are coming from the top. I'm like, "We should just start something together. It'll be perfect."
[00:25:27.170] - Jenny Pollock
Absolutely. I'm in.
[00:25:28.500] - Nicolas Tissier
With a lot of pleasure. No problem.
[00:25:32.100] - Olivier Destrebecq
To get back to your interview earlier in the interview, you guys talked a little bit about the VIP offering that you guys introduced for IMVU. You've described a little bit the tiers. I'm curious, what motivated that introduction? I'm sure the user research that you just talked about probably played some role into that. I want to hear more about that part, too.
[00:25:52.440] - Jenny Pollock
Of course. We started with the data that we had on hand. I was looking at how many of our users were VIP and that kind of thing, and how can I get more VIPs? I noticed that since it wasn't so mobile, our mobile-only users didn't have access. We were doing user research, and some of our users didn't have a home computer. They didn't have a home laptop.
[00:26:13.900] - Jenny Pollock
The only way they were interacting was on mobile. I find that to be the case at many organisations. What we were able to do is bring it to mobile and really make it available to those users. Then, of course, our cross-platform users, people who are on desktop and mobile, and they could use it on the go.
[00:26:31.730] - Jenny Pollock
You could sign up for VIP while you're in line at the grocery store. You could send your friend a message while you're on the bus, whatever it might be. It really opened up a lot of usability. That was the thing that made us start looking into it. I was looking at the data, and then we did these user interviews and surveys to confirm and found out that people were really excited about it.
[00:26:56.480] - Nicolas Tissier
Awesome. You could say that I guess the opportunity by doing this user research, so you know it was something huge.
[00:27:03.860] - Jenny Pollock
Yes, exactly. We were able to ask them about the price points, and the features they wanted, and things like that, which was a lot of fun to see who was interested in what, and focus on how can I deliver that as we're rolling out this program.
[00:27:18.800] - Olivier Destrebecq
I'm assuming that since it's still in place, there was a success. Maybe I don't know what the goals were, but at least I'm assuming revenue was up. Otherwise, you wouldn't have it anymore. Can you tell us more about the benefits of doing that tier model?
[00:27:32.180] - Jenny Pollock
Of course, yeah. I would say it was a success. We actually met our goal two months early, which was exciting. The other thing that was really cool is that I thought we would have users when they joined, they might not know about VIP, and it would take some time, and it does. But we found a really warm reception when we launched, whether it was from our new or continuing users. It was really great.
[00:27:58.660] - Jenny Pollock
We were able to do that. Of course, we got feedback from our community, and we'll continue iterating on the program in the future. I'm not sure what we're going to end up building next. We're definitely working on some more user research. But it's been really cool to get some user feedback, get some user testimonials for the website, and hear how excited they are to actually have different ways to engage with VIP.
[00:28:23.100] - Jenny Pollock
Before, we only had the one price point, $10 on desktop. Now we've got three price points, $5, $10, and $20, which are actually $4.99. They all end in 0.99 for pricing reasons.
[00:28:35.330] - Jenny Pollock
But I think one of the things that's exciting is you can pick how involved you want to be. If you just want the trial, the test period, you can be gold for five bucks a month. If you want to be all in, if you're on IMVU every day, and you're creating, and you're really into it, Diamond's for you. It's just really neat that we've made this offering available to users to choose what they think is important and how they want to engage.
[00:29:01.520] - Olivier Destrebecq
Was that easy to clarify? Because initially, you only have one subscription, so that was for easy. It was, you're in or you're out. Now that you have three, has it been easy to route the users to the right subscription so that they self-select in a way?
[00:29:15.980] - Jenny Pollock
Yeah. When we launched, we had a really comprehensive go-to market that was targeting different segments. Our legacy VIPs, we were targeting them towards platinum, which is pretty much the equivalent on the new system, the same price point of $10. Then depending on how engaged people were, we were targeting them at the other tiers.
[00:29:35.520] - Jenny Pollock
There's definitely... The on-ramp really does split into three right now, and it is a little bit different. It's actually fun. My team gets to work on upsell from non-VIP to Gold or from Gold to Platinum, and even from our Diamonds to the upselling other products, our in-app purchases and things like that. It's really opened up a lot of different levers for the monetisation team to pull.
[00:29:59.260] - Jenny Pollock
As we pull those levers, we're providing value to the users. It's actually really cool.
[00:30:04.360] - Nicolas Tissier
This is amazing. I like those iterations that you need to do on trying to upsell users, convert them, and so on. This is why we created Purchasely, actually, to help iterate on all this.
[00:30:17.040] - Jenny Pollock
Yeah, that's so fantastic. I think that Purchasely is so important because you're able to test different things so easily. When you showed me the demo, it was really cool to be able to just do that seamlessly.
[00:30:29.480] - Nicolas Tissier
Yeah, indeed. For our listeners, we met in San Francisco with Jenny at the App Promotion Summit. We had a little demo over there. Of course, I was trying to sell my software.
[00:30:39.620] - Jenny Pollock
Of course. Yeah, it's a really cool product that makes it so easy to just hop in and test different things, even if you're not an engineer, which is cool.
[00:30:48.430] - Nicolas Tissier
Exactly. With the no code approach so that you can do it on your end, and don't depend too much on engineers that might have something else to do. But anyway, thank you very much for much, Jenny. It was amazing having you in this podcast. Olivier, do you have anything to add?
[00:31:06.650] - Olivier Destrebecq
No, I don't have any other question. Thank you. It was really awesome to have you on. It even gave the opportunity to Nicolas to give a plug of Purchasely, which was awesome. Thank you so much for coming.
[00:31:18.640] - Jenny Pollock
Thank you so much for having me. This has been fantastic. I always love chatting monetisation and subscriptions. It's so important to get those committed users the ability to engage with the product in the way they want. Thanks again for having me. This has been so much fun.
[00:31:32.740] - Nicolas Tissier
Thank you very much, Jenny. We really appreciate it.
[00:31:35.440] - Olivier Destrebecq
[00:31:36.210] - Jenny Pollock
[00:31:37.280] - Voiceover
On behalf of the Purchasely team, thank you for listening to the Subscription League podcast. If you've enjoyed what you heard, leave us a five star review on iTunes or other audio platform. To find out more about Purchasely and how we can improve your subscription business, visit purchasely.com.
[00:31:54.460] - Voiceover
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