Refrens streamlines the daily operations of freelancers and SaaS businesses through a suite of tools, including lead management software, invoicing, and bookkeeping. However, their true differentiator lies in their emphasis on P2P networking, enabling freelancers and agencies to connect and grow their businesses.
With a vast community of over 100,000 freelancers on their platform, Refrens wanted to introduce social features that would truly engage their users. And as with most social peer-to-peer platforms, if they could get their app inbox and notifications right, it would trigger a domino effect leading to improved engagement rates. To achieve this goal without overwhelming their development team, Refrens implemented SuprSend for scaling their notification infrastructure needs.
Refrens sends out notifications for two specific use cases for encouraging user engagement:
Additionally, Refrens' website is built on React, which adds complexity to managing notifications due to server-side rendering and state management, requiring a lot of engineering bandwidth upfront.
After comparing their build vs buy option, Refrens finalized on SuprSend for the following reasons:
With SuprSend’s React SDK integration, Refrens was able to set up their app inbox within just 60 minutes. This involved creating subscribers (using HMAC authentication), and notification workflow, building templates (with variables), testing, and deploying the system for their users. While Refrens focused on building notification UI native to their website, we handled the technical aspects of delivering the right notification experience to the users.
Refrens leveraged React headless components to create a visually appealing and interactive app inbox, seamlessly integrating JSON data to incorporate additional components such as personalized avatars, clickable links, dynamic CTAs, and matching UI themes. Our SDK handled the backend infrastructure of fetching notifications, tracking unread notifications, marking notifications read/ unread, and monitoring notification clicks.
Check app inbox customization capabilities here: Customize Inbox (suprsend.com)
With our SDK handling the Refrens' app inbox notification system, their development team was freed up to focus on other core business use cases.
Refrens implemented our time-based batching system (time-window-based aggregation and event coalescing), which helped to minimize network overhead and improve the scalability of the notification system. This grouping of notifications of the same category within a specified time interval ensured that users receive only one notification instead of being bombarded with multiple ones, preventing notification fatigue.
Refrens also set up cross-channel notifications to ensure important notifications reached their users on fallback channels in a meaningful manner. Their time to live for messages was 6 hours, with their primary channel as app inbox, and email as a secondary fallback channel. We divided the time between the two channels, and if the user didn't check the app inbox notification within 3 hours, the email notification was triggered automatically. Once the user checked the app inbox notification in its timeframe, the email notification workflow got canceled.
To give users more control, Refrens also utilized SuprSend’s preference management system, allowing users to choose which channels they prefer to receive notifications on.
Once these backend capabilities were in place, Refrens relied on centralized reporting to track the success of their notifications. This allowed them to check the status of notifications, as well as their routing to different channels, and monitor the rate of views and clicks. All of this was done from a single dashboard, providing Refrens with a complete view of their notification system.
Refrens used these real-time analytics to identify their customer's touchpoints and optimal interaction times for notifications. This allowed them to tailor future notifications based on new data metrics, resulting in a continuous increase in engagement (144% uptick compared to their initial notification system with email alone) due to more relevant delivery and frequency.
Refrens understood early that while creating an in-house notification system could be done, the challenges outweighed the benefits. Buildings all the above capabilities in-house would have easily cost up to 2 permanent engineering resources, which they saved with us.
Refrens saw a 144% increase in user engagement with the app inbox notification system, resulting in higher customer satisfaction because timely and relevant notifications were sent when users were most active on the platform.
With a native app inbox and streamlined notification system in place, Refrens continues to amaze its customers with timely and relevant notifications delivered right when they are most engaged in the platform, improving customer experience and engagement, all while saving precious development resources.