How Formstack Increased Revenue by 4x with an 18x ROI Using Lift AI

By Lise Reddick, VP Product at Lift AI

Quick Summary:

  • In our previous case study, we showed how Lift AI helped Formstack quickly increase website coverage, conversations, and pipeline via Drift 
  • The increase was generated in just 90 days - a rapid transformation of their Drift channel activity and output
  • Since then, Lift AI has helped Formstack generate a 420% increase in MRR from Drift, and increased pipeline by 392%
  • Formstack’s sales team has maintained their first-in-class sales conversion rates in spite of the fact they went from covering 6% of the website traffic (pricing page) to covering 93% of the website traffic
  • These game-changing results are thanks to scoring the buyer intent of each visitor, then optimizing the Drift experience for each visitor based on their real-time intent, regardless of where they are on the website
  • Want to watch the Formstack marketing team walk you through the case study? You can watch it here.

How it started - 88% more pipeline in 90 days

When Formstack first launched Lift AI, they had hoped to generate more revenue from their Drift channel while maintaining their strong sales conversion rates. They wanted to expand the use of Drift, but not at the expense of sales efficiency.

At the time, Formstack was relying on catch-all experiences (“playbooks”) in Drift to engage visitors.

The common strategy - “catch all” experiences

These standard Drift playbooks allowed Formstack to set up basic engagement criteria, such as:

  • Engage-All on Pricing Page - This playbook sent a chat invitation to any visitor on the pricing page
  • Skip the Form - This playbook sent a chat invitation to visitors on any page that included a form, allowing them to speak with a sales person instead of sending an email and waiting for a response

A good start, but with challenges:

These playbooks set a good foundation for Formstack’s Drift implementation, however they incurred a few challenges.

  • Not every visitor that went to the pricing page was sales-ready, which resulted in wasted conversations with the sales team
  • By focusing on the pricing page and form pages, Formstack was only targeting 6% of their overall website traffic (called “coverage”), leaving 94% of their website visitors without a real-time, personalized chat experience

With these challenges in mind, Formstack engaged Lift AI to help.

Switching to a buyer-intent strategy for 88% more pipeline

Lift AI immediately started scoring the “buyer intent” (likelihood to convert) for each and every visitor in real-time based on their behavior as they navigated Formstack’s website. 

Lift AI’s pre-trained machine-learning model accurately assigns buyer intent scores between 0-100, then sends those scores to Drift so that custom playbooks can be designed for each visitor based on their intent. Lift AI buyer intent scores are based purely on visitor behavior and require no other data to predict with accuracy. Due to the vast majority of Formstack website traffic being completely anonymous, this capability is even more critical:

Table 1.0: Formstack Breakdown of Visitors

By switching to an intent-first strategy, Formstack didn’t have to target specific pages - they could engage high intent visitors anywhere on the website.

In the first 90 days post launch, Lift AI helped Formstack: 

  • Increase in site coverage from 6% to 93%
  • Increase in opportunities by 68%
  • Increase in pipeline created by 88%
  • Identify that 79% of high intent visitors didn’t even go to the pricing page

At the time, Formstack said this about Lift AI:

"Can't say enough good things about the team at Lift AI! Super fun/smart group of people to work with and have made our Drift lives so much better!"

  • Tyler Hinkle, Director of Marketing Operations at Formstack

With significant results achieved quickly, Lift AI and Formstack had laid the foundation to optimize the Drift program, website, and sales team efficiency. 

How it’s going - 420% increase monthly recurring revenue, a 392% increase in pipeline and 18x ROI

The 90 day results were primarily thanks to a “Lift AI High Intent” playbook, which targeted any visitor across the website with a Lift AI buyer intent score between 60-100, then directed them to any online sales team members.

Figure 1.0 The “High Intent” Playbook

Since then, Formstack has worked with Lift AI to create a series of more segmented playbooks.

Segmenting all traffic for personalized experiences

For example:

  • Medium Intent Visitors - These visitors were engaged with a mix of automated Drift chatbots for nurturing and/or further qualification. If qualification and nurturing was successful, those visitors would then be connected to a BDR.
  • Low Intent Visitors - These visitors were also sent to automated chatbots in Drift, with a focus on providing helpful resources and setting them up for further nurturing. Visitors from this segment would rarely be passed through to a live sales person, and only then when it was clear that a sales resource was required. 

The major benefit of medium and low intent visitor playbooks, aside from aligning the visitor’s experience with their intent, is that Formstack’s sales team were able to divert and deflect those lower scoring visitors from their conversations, allowing them to focus only on sales-ready visitors from the high intent playbook or those who were escalated by the qualification bots. This has enabled  the high-performing Formstack team to keep its conversion rates at the same level, while their Drift coverage across their website has increased dramatically. 

So, revenue has spiked while sales costs have remained static. 

Table 2.0 Breakdown of Formstack’s Visitors by Lift AI Buyer Intent

The results of Lift AI buyer intent strategy - 4.2x revenue and 18x ROI

After 6 full quarters of Lift AI on Formstack’s website alongside Drift:

  • Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) has grown by 4.2X
  • Active pipeline has grown by 3.92x
  • The ARR added monthly vs the monthly cost of Lift AI gives Formstack an ROI of 18x on first year revenue!

These results are absolutely game-changing. Not only for Formstack, but for the digital marketing and sales intelligence industries. For years, marketing and sales teams have been chasing leapfrog results but were struggling to capture more than incremental gains. The big difference with Lift AI’s approach is the proprietary machine-learning model that is pre-trained on billions of data points to accurately determine real-time buyer intent for every website visitor, even the significant percentage of traffic that is completely anonymous (which other tools overlook). 

What’s next? Combining Lift AI with ABM Tools for Further Optimization

So far, Lift AI and Formstack have been targeting the low-hanging fruit on their website in the form of hidden anonymous buyers.

However, another series of playbooks is in the works for visitors who also happened to be identified by Formstack’s ABM sales intelligence.

These are visitors who were able to be looked up through their IP address or similar to match them with a contact or account on a database. These are considered “known” visitors. 

The known visitors on Formstack’s website account for 4% of traffic, while the remaining 96% is all considered completely anonymous.

Due to the difference in volume, it is the anonymous visitors who represent the biggest revenue and sales efficiency opportunity by using Lift AI, which does not require any contact, account, or ABM data to work - however Lift AI also helps known visitor intelligence by adding real-time buyer intent scores on top, allowing new playbooks to be created:

  • Known Visitors + Lift AI High Intent - These visitors represent the 1% of traffic who is a known visitor and also demonstrating high buyer intent. These visitors are prioritized over the other segments with the BDRs, representing a needle in the haystack that aligns immediate sales opportunities with Formstack’s ABM programme
  • Known Visitors + Lift AI Medium/Low Intent - These visitors are also identified as known, but demonstrate lower buyer intent. An automated experience is sent to these visitors, with a focus on qualification and escalation.
  • New Account Identification Via Lift AI Engagement - These are visitors who are originally anonymous, but after Lift AI has determined that they should be engaged due to their intent level, have been identified through conversation (e.g. prospect gives sales agent email address or similar)
  • Precise Contact Segmentation - These are individual visitors (contacts) within a target account who are receiving highly personalized playbooks and engagements to further increase the chances of conversion

From here, Lift AI can be utilized across other marketing technologies - not just chat and ABM. For example, Formstack could create retargeting lists based on high intent visitors or push buyer intent scores to their other marketing technologies.

In summary, Formstack saw great results in the first 90 days by creating 88% more pipeline.. Since then, the Lift AI and Drift implementation has become a rocket ship for revenue growth. In the future, Formstack will drive more value out of their ABM tools and other marketing technologies by adding real-time Lift AI buyer intent scores. Stay tuned for more. 

In the meantime, do you want to see results like this for yourself? Sign up for a free trial of Lift AI today.

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