Tracking Customers & Visitors In Trakio Is Changing

After talking to most of our current customers and to many companies who have shown interest in using Trakio, we’ve decided to make some pretty big changes to the way our API and JS library tracks your customers and website visitors.

For 95% of our users, these changes will have a positive effect on how you use Trakio. And it means our upcoming feature roadmap will align exactly with your current business challenges and will mean Trakio becomes even more valuable within your organisation!

However, for 5% of our current users, these changes may remove functionality that you currently rely on and you may need to start relying on other tools (i.e. Google Analytics) to gain answers to some questions that you would usually answer from within Trakio.

This post will explain why these changes are necessary to allow us to focus our product strategy. With a laser-focussed approach we can create a more valuable customer success solution, something that’s simple and easy to use and which solves the problems facing companies who need to optimise how their existing customers are engaging with their products.

What Exactly Are We Changing?

Previously, when the Trakio JS library was added to your website, blog and app, it would begin to track every single visitor. This means as soon as a person landed on your site, we created a profile for them inside your Trakio dashboard with a name like “Guest 454”.

Our code snippet would record information about each visitor such as any Google Analytics campaign variables (utm_*), referral source, browser/OS etc. and then the events the user performed during that session, including page views. We’d mark the visitor with a cookie, so we could identify them when they returned.

We would connect Guest profiles to a known user profile if they went on to login or signup to your application. By connecting this “first touch point” information to actions further down the funnel such as registrations or purchases, marketers can optimise campaigns to drive better traffic.

However, with our new product focus, we will no longer automatically track these anonymous visitors to your website and app and we will no longer create guest profiles within your Trakio dashboard.

Trakio will now only record information about the people you tell us to. So you will only see your email subscribers, free trial signups, existing customers etc.

Analytics For New Customer Acquisition

Most people use Trakio to monitor how their users are engaging with their product. This means optimising free trial signups to convert into paying subscribers, and then retaining those subscribers. The link being that customers who are regularly engaging with the product are more likely to be successful, and therefore are more likely to pay at the end of their free trial and less likely to cancel their subscription.

What most people do not use Trakio for, is answering marketing questions. Sure, people would check a few metrics around acquisition (and I’ve certainly created a lot of guides and advice around that area), but Trakio just isn’t an amazing marketing analytics tool.

One tool that is great for answering questions such as “Which ad campaigns generate the most revenue?” is Google Analytics. Which is free. And supported by Google.

But Lots Of Other Tools Already Focus On Acquisition

When we analysed the feature requests that made Trakio a more valuable tool for answering marketing questions, we realised that nearly every use-case was something that could be answered within Google Analytics.

But people were still requesting these features from us, even though we could see they had GA tracking code in their app and website.

Maybe there’s an education gap in using GA? Or maybe people prefer our interface design?

We realise there’s something to be done here, and to make sure we keep a handle on this in future we’re going to explore how we can do more around Google Analytics. But for the immediate 6 months, we aren’t focussing the product on answering questions for marketing departments.

Analytics For Existing Customers

We know that 80% of revenue in a SaaS company comes from existing customers. Some of the fastest growing SaaS companies have already embraced this, and invest heavily into their customer success programs. We see more and more of Trakio’s customers coming to us looking for an analytics solution for their customer success programs.

Other tools either don;t focus on this, or they’re incredibly expensive and complex. They know that they need a tool that’s simple to use, has a beautiful interface and is able to track their customers on an individual basis.

We’ve realised that when combined with our automated engagement tools, this is where our product really stands out. We’re great at tracking your existing customers, and we want to focus all of our product development efforts on improving this.

Most Users Won’t Need To Change Integration Code!

For nearly all of our users, you won’t need to change anything about your integration. From the point in which your app struts tracking known customers (i.e. when they register or login), Trakio will track them exactly as it did before.

However, you should remember that we’ll only start tracking a person’s session following an identify() call where you define a distinct_id for the user (such as their email address, username or local database ID) or if we detect a cookie from a previous session where they were identified (i.e. if they came back while on the same computer and browser).

If you have any code that tries to track events for anonymous visitors, our API will simply reject these requests (but it won’t break any code on your site).

We are updating our developer docs and integration guides to reflect this new integration setup and the subtle difference. We are also beginning to clean out all profiles for ‘Guest 123’ that currently fill up many accounts.

Bonus: Performance Improvements!

As an added bonus, when we ran some calculations on our database to see just how much data was on disk and held in memory for guest profiles, we realised it was pretty significant! This means that many users will notice that any new segments calculate a little bit faster and searching for a particular user will become a bit faster.

Ask Us If You Any Questions?

While we’re speaking individually with many existing customers about this change, if you have been considering using Trakio and would like to know more about how this change may affect your use case, please contact us on hello@trak.io and we’ll be happy to chat through your particular business challenges and how Trakio can solve them.

Published by

Liam Gooding

Liam is the cofounder and CEO of Trakio. Previously an engineer, he writes about growing subscription companies using data-driven techniques and inside glimpses to Trakio's own growth journey. He wrote a book, "Growth Pirate!" which discusses data-driven growth strategies for startups.