When David Broomhead was working with his uncle who operated a construction company, he observed two things. One, his uncle was looking for construction workers mainly through his personal network. Two, most of these workers weren’t part of the usual job-oriented service platforms like LinkedIn or Monster.com. Sensing a strong opportunity to create an online community for construction workers, he started Trade Hounds in 2014.
Trade Hounds was built to help tradespeople build connections with peers in the construction industry, showcase their skills, and find jobs. Today, Trade Hounds is America’s largest professional platform for construction workers – since launching their mobile application in 2019 they’ve grown to more than 250,000 tradespeople on the platform.
To understand more about Trade Hounds’ user acquisition and growth strategy and how CleverTap helps them build a great community, we spoke to Franco Iudiciani, Head of Growth.
In his role, Iudiciani looks after customer acquisition and retention efforts. Some key metrics for the growth team include new user growth rate and user retention on a weekly and monthly basis. “We also keep track of other engagement metrics, like what percentage of our users are posting and what percentage of users are applying to jobs on our platform,” explains Iudiciani.
Before using CleverTap, Trade Hounds used another engagement tool that didn’t offer the necessary capability, scalability, and ease of use they expected. They needed a dynamic solution that could accelerate the way they sent push notifications to their user base.
App growth is no accident. It is generally the result of providing an amazing mobile experience that makes users come back to the app again and again. To boost growth and retain users, Iudiciani needed a cross-functional platform that could effectively combine real-time analytics and messaging through multiple channels.
Engaging users without a deep understanding of user behavior is like throwing a dart in the dark: it’s nearly impossible to hit your “target” or in this case, your business goals. For Iudiciani, understanding how their campaigns and journeys fare is important so the team can engage with users and retain them. He needed a platform that could help him see the bigger picture while also illuminating behavioral patterns and trends.
After exploring a myriad of marketing automation solutions, the Trade Hounds Team chose CleverTap. Iudiciani found CleverTap to be the most complete and capable platform to help him build a dynamic, personalized messaging experience for all Trade Hounds user archetypes.
“Journeys is the main feature we use in CleverTap, and it helps us target a variety of user cohorts, depending on their actions or segments,” says Iudiciani. Trade Hounds uses journeys to target both new and existing users.
With journeys, they can orchestrate a sequence of campaigns aligned to retention and engagement goals. For new users, this translates into journeys that encourage tradespeople to explore the app while educating them about the benefits offered like employment opportunities, professional advice, and the opportunity to discover desirable construction projects and content from across the US. Recurring journeys focus on reminding users what they’re missing out on and reinforces the app’s value proposition.
“Journeys are very dynamic and give us the flexibility to experiment to find ways to optimize user engagement,” he adds.
“We refer to CleverTap’s suite of analytical features like cohorts, events, funnels, and trends every day to help us understand user behavior, optimize our journeys and also influence product decisions,” says Iudiciani.
Trends help the growth team compare different events against one another from a user and event perspective. In the end, Trends help them gain a pulse of the user community along with a clear view of how their engagement efforts are paying off.
Cohorts help them understand how different groups of users behave during onboarding, registration, and app uninstall. Furthermore, cohorts help them identify users who perform key actions like posting content or applying for a job.
Iudiciani measures the real impact of their journeys by isolating a control group of users and A/B testing his campaigns and journeys against this group. This helps him understand the influence every single message has on user engagement and retention.
“In comparison with the control group, we’ve seen a meaningful lift in nearly every push notification or messaging we’ve sent through CleverTap. If we hadn’t sent the push notification, we wouldn’t have gotten as many users to do the desired action, like launching the app or making a post, etc” he states.
Trade Hounds has seen a 10-30% boost in key action conversion rates by using CleverTap to send their push notifications.
Currently, the core focus for the growth team at Trade Hounds is to increase their active user base at an even faster pace than the impressive growth they’ve undergone over the past two years. With a solid plan in place to retain users using CleverTap’s journeys and real-time analytics, they look forward to becoming the number one networking platform for construction workers on a global scale.