Blinkist Converts Free Users to Subscribers With Targeted Customer Journeys

When Blinkist wanted to better entice free users into purchasing a premium subscription, they turned to Braze to launch a targeted, personalized messaging journey. This campaign drove a 64% increase in subscription purchases.

Blinkist is a leading subscription brand that gives you access to the powerful ideas and key insights from books and podcasts in 15 minute Blinks. Sporting 21 million users and the mission to spark understanding, personal growth, and broader perspectives among their customers, Blinkist sees customer relationship management (CRM) as an integral part of their company’s growth strategy and customer engagement as the cornerstone.

When Blinkist was looking for ways to create highly targeted campaigns that showcased the value of their product, supported a brand relationship with their customers, and engaged their users with the company’s mobile app, they turned to Braze.

Engaging Yet-To-Be Subscribers

Blinkist operates on a subscription-based model, offering a portion of their content to users for free and providing a no-obligation trial of their premium subscription. To make the most of their overall marketing strategy, the Blinkist CRM team wanted to find thoughtful ways to effectively convert free users into paid ones. As part of their review of the customer journey, the team found several touchpoints where it would make sense to send their users free content to highlight the value that Blinkist can provide.

When Blinkist was looking to put this strategy into action, they leaned on the Braze platform. Using Braze Canvas, our customer journey management tool, they built out two distinct messaging flows—namely, an onboarding campaign and a “Daily Pick” campaign that highlighted interesting content.

How to Convert Free Users to Paid

In order to ensure a customized experience, Blinkist set up these campaigns so that when a message recipient engaged with the content they were shown, they received a targeted experience. For these users, engaging with content sent them to a different action-based Canvas that displayed additional content and features only available to premium members.

The key to these campaigns? A Braze Canvas feature, known as Action Paths, which makes it possible for brands to send users down various different customer journey paths based on specific users actions. Using Action Paths saved the Blinkist team a significant amount of time by ensuring that they could provide the experience they wanted without having to set up separate campaigns for each individual flow. Plus, they were able to personalize the flow that each individual received based on their region, language, and customer segment, among other factors, boosting the relevancy of the experience. That, in turn, allowed them to showcase the value proposition associated with their paid subscription at the most relevant moment for each user, making it more likely that they became a subscriber.

“Braze allows us to create deeper, longer-lasting relationships with our users through more personalized messaging. We’re able to deliver valuable content at the moment users want it, which leads to higher engagement rates and more conversions.”


Josephina Drust
CRM Manager, Blinkist

Blinkist Results: More Sessions, Higher Conversions

By taking advantage of the customer journey management capabilities built into Braze Canvas and leveraging Action Steps to drive more timely, personalized customer experiences, Blinkist was able to increase engagement and motivate more free users to take action.

In fact, Blinkist’s approach drove a 50% increase in sessions through their use of Canvas-powered customer journeys and boosted subscription purchases by focusing on targeted campaigns that leveraged Canvas Action Paths.

Final Thoughts

When they needed ways to highlight the value of their premium offering, Blinkist leaned into personalized customer journeys powered by Braze Canvas to make that vision a reality. In the process, they validated both that reaching non-premium users with journeys and free content could boost engagement and that leading with their value proposition at relevant moments could help them better convert free users into paying subscribers.

Interested in learning more about the user subscription lifecycle and how to make the most of it? Check out our conversation with Intuit on “From Anonymous to Upsell: Mastering the Subscription Lifecycle” for an in-depth exploration of this key topic.