How Earthly Transformed Their Self-Serve Funnel

Earthly, a developer-focused company, struggled to track user progression through its funnel without visibility into user behavior. FunnelStory provided the visibility Earthly needed to define effective funnel stages and optimize customer journeys.

Alok Shukla

By Alok Shukla

Oct 05, 2023 4 min read

Back in the day, traditional continuous integration (CI) systems tackled basic integration concerns, but they weren't ready for today's complexity. Today, developers increasingly navigate intricate codebases, diverse languages, containerization, monorepo, and polyrepo setups, all while needing speed and simplicity. Imagine spending over 40 minutes on CI builds, multiple times a day, leaving you little time to focus on actual work.

Enter Earthly, a lightning-fast, easily manageable CI platform that is ready to revolutionize your development workflow. How? Earthly streamlines CI pipelines via simple syntax and container isolation. The best part? You can run CI pipelines locally, speeding up development and testing. Every step is cached automatically - no upload or download is necessary. This means faster builds without guesswork and speed times up to 20x. All of this saves your developers time, reduces context switching, and increases overall productivity. 

We chatted with Earlthy’s CEO, Vlad A. Ionescu, to learn how his team is using FunnelStory to ruthlessly search for product market fit and scale his developer-focused business. 

Knowing where to start 

Earthly is built by developers for developers. Knowing that you can’t force tools on developers in a top-down fashion, Vlad and his team decided to pursue a bottoms-up growth motion - offering a self-serve and open-source approach. The aim, like most self-serve offerings, was to convert awareness into free usage and then nurture these users into paid engagements. This approach aligned well with their developer audience, allowing Earthly to grow quickly. 

The problem with identifying PQLs 

At the same time, this also created some challenges, as many developers entered their funnel. Early on Earthly struggled to understand its user base, especially the free users, and tracking their progression through different stages of adoption. Without visibility into user behavior, they couldn’t identify product-qualified leads and define these user characteristics. 

“We do have analytics, but deciphering them and finding the answers we need was like finding a needle in a haystack.”

This problem was exacerbated by their open-source offering because they had no visibility into who was logging in and what they were doing. The key to solving their problem was a mixture of aggregating their user behaviors at the account level and then visualizing their behaviors in stages - or said differently a funnel view.  

Some learnings along the way

Since Earthly is a company that creates a lot of data, you can believe they have a solid data tech stack.  Initially, they tried using their data flowing through Segment and Snowflake but realized that this data was more noise than signal for visualizing and tracking adoption. 

Another idea they had was to use their Product and Data Analytic platforms Amplitude and Hex. However, they quickly realized that while these tools are great at aggregating data to track specific ‘fine-grain’ metrics, they are not built for tracking account progression in a funnel view. 

“So they're [Amplitude and Hex] mainly focused on aggregate data, which is useful for understanding cohorts, but they don’t provide funnel intelligence. You use them for very different purposes.”

When Earthly met FunnelStory

When Earthly learned of FunnelStory they were thrilled that they could use the platform to visualize user activity and progression through different stages of the funnel - at the account level. This visibility was instrumental in defining effective funnel stages and optimizing customer journeys. Because FunnelStory has its own built-in reverse ETL capability, Earthly could flow data directly from its Snowflake data warehouse to FunnelStory. Not only did this make for an easier implementation, but saved them thousands of dollars by avoiding this incremental usage of Segment or any other Reverse ETL tools. 

The team, including Vlad, Product Marketing (PMM), and Solution Architects (SA) all use FunnelStory to gain insights into user behavior and account statuses. This 360-degree view of user behavior has helped them understand which accounts require attention and support. Today when customers get stuck or stall in their funnel they send in an SA to help and have the PMM team optimize their funnel with support content. 

Results and Future Plans

Since Earthly is an early-stage company, they’re laser-focused on finding product-market fit. FunnelStory continues to play a vital role in enabling them to quickly iterate, optimize their funnel, and experiment with customer journeys. None of this would be possible without having visibility into account progression, to help prioritize efforts and decisions. In the future, Earthly plans to further refine its funnel and expand its SA team's usage of FunnelStory. This ongoing utilization will aid in understanding account statuses - creating a glide path to growth. 

FunnelStory to the rescue 

FunnelStory proved to be a valuable tool for Earthly by addressing their challenges with user tracking, conversion, and funnel optimization. The platform's ease of integration, intuitive UI, and compatibility with existing data infrastructure contributed to its successful implementation. As Earthly continues its journey to achieve product-market fit and beyond, FunnelStory remains a crucial component of its growth strategy.