5 min read

Which Features Are Used Most by Business Trialists?

In this analysis we will explore the behavior of Business trialists. We’ll try to see which features are used most and which correlate most with converting. These are the feature actions that we will examine:

  • Connecting a profile
  • Creating a post
  • Using Instagram first comment
  • Viewing the week or month view
  • Viewing post analytics
  • Viewing overview analytics
  • Using the browser extension
  • Using a mobile app
  • Creating a draft
  • Using Shop Grid

Again there is a general positive correlation between feature usage and trial conversion. Certain features like exporting a CSV from the Analytics tab don’t seem to have as much utility for Business trialists as we would like. I also suspect that, because one of the main CTAs on Buffer’s homepage leads to a Business trial start, there are many people just checking Buffer out and not truly evaluating a Business plan. More to come.

Data Collection

We need to find the events in the actions_taken table that correspond to each of these actions. First we’ll collect all of the trialists that were on a Pro trial in the past year, then join the relevant updates, profiles, and actions_taken records. The SQL query used is a big one, so the code has been hidden.

There are over 57 thousand Business trial records to work with. The trials started after August 1, 2018 and before August 2, 2019.

Data Tidying

Next we’ll create a couple new fields that tell us some more information about the trialist.

# determine if started at signup
trials <- trials %>% 
  mutate(started_at_signup = trial_start == signup_date,
         used_first_comment = updates_with_first_comment > 0,
         used_calendar = calendar_actions > 0,
         viewed_post_analytics = viewed_posts > 0,
         viewed_overview_analytics = viewed_overview > 0,
         exported_csv = exported_analytics > 0,
         created_draft = draft_created > 0,
         used_shop_grid = shop_grid > 0,
         shared_update = updates > 0,
         added_profile = profiles > 0,
         used_extension = extension_updates > 0,
         used_mobile = mobile_updates > 0)

Exploratory Analysis

Let’s explore some of these metrics to get a better idea of how people are making use of the Business trial.

Interestingly, a smaller proportion of Business trialists used advanced features than Premium trialists.

The number of profiles is most strongly correlated with the number of updates created, which makes sense. It is also positively correlated with viewing post analytics and overview analytics. Viewing post analytics is strongly correlated with viewing Overview analytics and exporting a CSV with analytics data.

Now we’ll look at each feature individually. We’ll start with the number of profiles trialists had. Note that they could have added these profiles before the trial started, but not after it ended.

Profiles Added

We see here that most trialists added between 0 and 5 profiles. There is a longer tail of trialists that added more profiles. Let’s see how the number of profiles connected correlates with conversion rates.

As the title states, there is a strong positive correlation between the number of profiles added and the trial conversion rate. The relationship is has diminishing returns after users have added around 6 profiles.

Posts Created

Now let’s look at the distribution of the number of updates sent. Because this distribution is more continuous and long-tailed, we will “bin” the number of updates into buckets.

We can see here that many trialists didn’t create any updates. For those that did, the biggest bucket is the 11-50 update range, followed by the 2-5 range. This is similar to Pro and Premium trialists.

We can see again that there is a strong positive correlation between posts created and the conversion rate. The correlation weakens after 100 updates have been created. Let’s take the same approach for posts created from the extension.

Extension Usage

Most Business trialists didn’t make full use of the extension. Did usage correlate with a higher probability of converting?

Yes, to a point.

Mobile Usage

Again, relatively few users are taking advantage of the mobile apps.

Those that do use mobile are much more likely to convert.

Post Analytics

Now let’s see how many Business trialists view post analytics.

We can see here that most people did not look at the Posts tab in Analytics. Let’s see if there is any correlation between viewing the Posts tab and converting.

There is a positive correlation between viewing post analytics and converting.

Overview Analytics

Now let’s see how many Business trialists view Overview analytics.

We can see here that most people did not look at the Overview tab in Analytics. Let’s see if there is any correlation between viewing Overview analytics and converting.

There is, although the sample size is relatively small.

Export Analytics CSV

Now let’s see how many Premium trialists export their analytics reports to a CSV.

This is a rare event.

There could be a positive correlation between exporting analytics and converting, but it’s hard to say. It doesn’t seem like this feature has as much utility for Business trialists as we would like.

Calendar Views

Let’s see how many trialists viewed the Week and Month views.

Very few people viewed the week or month views. Let’s see how this correlates with conversion.

There is another positive correlation here.

Shop Grid

It has been very rare for Business trialists to add a Shop Grid link to a post. That said, the feature was only released very recently.

Let’s see how it correlates with trial conversion.

There still seems to be a positive correlation here.


Creating a draft is relatively rare for Business trialists. Maybe they don’t generally have team members.

Another positive correlation. Business trialists tend to have more team members, so this makes sense.