Delivering meaningful content with privacy in mind:

How we drove Burner user engagement and increased email registrations

burner case study


increase in email registrations


CTR on top newsfeed items

The Challenge

To identify a product-channel fit in order to best engage with the Burner user base and provide them with relevant content. In particular, the Burner team wanted to thoroughly test out Email as a new channel. Implementing the functionality natively would require significant time and resources on their side. Since Burner is highly focused on privacy, users' email addresses are not collected during onboarding, so the traditional “push first strategy” did not necessarily apply.

“Phiture’s expertise in building custom in-apps helped us accelerate our retention program. Their hypothesis-driven approach to testing and iterating made them a pleasure to work with.

Greg Cohn, Co-Founder & CEO@ Ad Hoc Labs, makers of Burner and Firewall

The Solution

The Phiture team’s experience with building highly interactive in-app messages, high performing email templates, and hypothesis-driven channel testing meant they were ideally positioned to find a strategy. The approach was carried out in two phases.  
  1. Exploratory phase:
Phiture’s Retention team experimented with in-app messages to collect users’ email addresses, which proved very effective. This is something that would normally have to be done in the product. The in-app messages were engineered to only recognize valid email address formats and populate the user’s email address automatically within Braze. Phiture also tested Newsfeed as a channel to identify which topics users found the most relevant in their first few days of engaging with the app. Staggered Newsfeed onboarding cards were used to slowly release and onboard users. As they became more familiar with the app, they would receive information on more advanced privacy topics.   
  1. Execution phase
The team constructed an email onboarding flow based on use cases (personal vs business). The order of screens for the corresponding in-app messages was also tested. The onboarding flow went through continuous iterations to significantly optimize the efficacy of these campaigns and collect more emails as a result.

burner case study

The Results

The team at Phiture successfully identified that the optimal product-channel fit for Burner was a combination of in-app messages, newsfeed, and email. They were able to use in-app messages to enable a whole new channel (email), doing something that would normally need to be done in the product. There was high engagement with the in-app messages as a format and immediate validation that users wanted to receive more information via email. They were able to significantly improve email collection efforts through iterative optimization of the in-app message by 39% over the initial campaign performance. The email database can now be used to send informative and educational emails to users, further increasing engagement and retention. The engagement with the different cards and topics ranged from a low 5% to some cards that saw a very high engagement rate of 45%. This variation across different newsfeed cards helped us fine-tune content for our onboarding email series.The newsfeed onboarding strategy provided additional value by providing insight into what users were clicking on most within their feed. In turn, this gave us an understanding of what topics users wanted more information about and what they were interested in during their first weeks with Burner. This insight helped to inform the onboarding email content, increasing the relevance of new-user communications.

Burner is the market-leading private phone number app — a second line for calling, texting, and picture messaging in everyday situations. Burner is made by Ad Hoc Labs, Inc., a fast-growing startup based in Los Angeles, California.Client: Adhoc Labs - BurnerWebsite: The Phiture team designed, built, deployed, and iterated on all in-app, push notification, newsfeed, and email experiments.Project period: 2019