How The Tapping Solution Uses Braze To Boost Engagement and Drive Subscriptions
Launched in 2018 by three siblings, The Tapping Solution is a meditation app that provides more than 500 guided EFT tapping sessions aimed at calming the nervous system and relaxing the body. I spoke with Kelly Plummer, Director of The Tapping Solution App, and CRM Manager Renee Claude about how they use Braze to increase engagement, run A/B tests, and retain subscribers.
Tell us about The Tapping Solution; how would you explain the app to somebody new to the EFT Tapping concept?
Renee: EFT tapping is similar to meditation. It uses principles of acupressure combined with modern psychology. Essentially, there are different points on the body that you tap with your fingertips as you go through a session. We often hear that tapping is easier than meditation. In The Tapping Solution app, we have over 500 guided sessions that help calm the nervous system, lower cortisol, and help reduce and shift patterns of stress and anxiety.
Kelly: The app itself is a library of tapping sessions that you can use for a variety of situations, like to improve your mood, sleep better, or release stress. Recently, we've started adding different types of content as well, like a Daily Inspiration that isn't tapping but is a short, inspiring message. Prior to launching the app, we spread the tapping technique via online webinars and programs, a documentary film, and multiple New York Times best-selling books.
What are your roles at The Tapping Solution? How long have you been with the company?
Kelly: I have been with The Tapping Solution since 2015. I started out part-time in HR when one of our founders, Nick, needed a little bit of contracting help. After helping to hire the agency to do the development work for the app, I got pulled more and more into the product and eventually shifted my focus entirely to the app.
Renee: I come from a digital marketing background and joined the team in June of 2021. It's been lots of fun. My role is CRM manager and split tester within Braze.
How many employees do you have today vs. when you started using Braze?
Renee: We’re at about 24 employees now, though not all are focused on the app.
Kelly: The interesting thing is that we don’t have higher headcount than we did, say, four years ago. But the work is shifting more and more to focusing on the app.
What teams work in Braze?
Renee: Within our marketing team, there are a couple of us using Braze, as well as copywriters helping out with emails, push notifications, and other content. The development team also has their hands in there.
Had you used Braze before you started with The Tapping Solution?
Renee: No, not at all! I took it over from somebody else. He taught me what he knew, and I watched a lot of webinars to get up to speed. I’ve found Braze Learning and Braze Bonfire super helpful. I would go to Bonfire a lot at the start and search for the challenge I was having and find answers that way. I also poked around, tested things out—I’d develop Canvases that only were sent to me as a way to practice.
Over time, how have you changed your usage of Braze?
Kelly: When we first got Braze, we just started trying things since we were so new at this as a team. Over time, we learned that understanding our data and events was critical to being able to run effective campaigns and Canvases. We’re now in the process of switching from a homegrown subscription management system to a new revenue system. The groundwork is almost repaved and we’re expecting it to accelerate our Braze usage exponentially. We’ll be blasting off soon.
Renee: We’re really excited to conduct split testing more than we ever have, especially with Canvas Flow. We have lots of ideas. We’re definitely not short on what we want to implement. We're really about to blast off, just like Kelly said.
How are you figuring out what from your backlog to build first?
Renee: First, we’re focusing on campaigns that tie to subscriber retention or converting free trialists to paid subscribers. So things like win-backs or trial conversion campaigns. Another ongoing goal is continually improving the onboarding experience for our users, so they get the most out of the app and tapping, as well as getting people to try that very first meditation, and then coaching them through to their second and third.
You mentioned Canvas Flow, and I'm excited that you're using our new journey builder! How do you plan out your journeys and the experiments that you're running within them?
Renee: First, we talk as an app team to decide what experience we want to create, as well as what data we want to either leverage or gain from a test to help us keep making the app experience better. When it comes to planning the Canvas Flow itself, I really like a tool like LucidChart. I can really quickly draw up a flow layout. It helps me think it through before getting into the builder.
We’ve also been using the Experiment Paths to run in-Canvas tests. I love that I can build those right from the get go, even if we don't have a variation we want to run right away. You can set them to 0% traffic and just have them standing by, ready for when you are ready to iterate.
I also noticed that you’re using our Braze Currents tool, and streaming data to Amplitude, a Braze Alloys technology partner. Can you tell us more about that integration?
Renee: I use it a lot as a way to visualize our user’s completion of tapping challenges. Like, what is our Challenge completion rate, and which pushes and in-app messages drove the most user engagement within the Challenge time-frame? I’ll also send audiences from Amplitude into Braze, and use that cohort as an audience for a Canvas. Then, I can send that journey data through Currents into Amplitude and get stats. They play well together, and it makes for a nice way to visualize some of our app experience in one place.
Do you share those visualizations with others so they know how things are going?
Renee: Yes, I share those with others. Sometimes we'll give a little presentation to the team, too. So many people contribute to our tapping challenges. I think it's really rewarding to share how it's going and show them the stats and be able to show them how well the work is paying off.
I noticed as I was going through the onboarding flow in The Tapping Solution that you ask users to rate the intensity level of their feelings before and after. Can you tell me more about how you use that data either directly or indirectly in your engagement strategies?
Renee: The rating of intensity before and after is part of the EFT tapping protocol, not just specific to our app and helps the user keep track of their progress. We also use this as a way to improve and customize the customer experience.
On a larger scale, it's a good way for us to look at which tapping sessions are consistently having the biggest impact for our users. It gives us good data points on what the percentage of improvement we might expect to see cumulatively for a session. Take, for instance, our Release Anxiety session. Users rate it as a 41 percent decrease in their anxiety within that 10 minutes, and we have data from one million plays to back that up. We feel so excited to be able to offer that kind of impact to our users, and it is a great, measurable thing to be able to share with people as well!
We are sensitive about personalization versus giving the user their privacy and not making them feel like we're judging them on their worst days, though. So we try to be strategic about when and how we use that data.
How has Braze helped The Tapping Solution work either more effectively or efficiently?
Renee: Braze helps us to garnish powerful action and interest-based insights, and see what's best supporting our users in their tapping journey. It also allows us to autopilot our marketing and engagement campaigns! Especially with the release of Canvas Flow, it's a great tool for experimenting, iterating, and easily seeing what works best for us. It also plays well with other analytics tools we use, like Amplitude. As a small team, I benefit from features like the AI Copywriter which can be helpful in mixing up our approaches or generating fresh ideas if I feel stuck. I like to include a variation from the AI and see how it can perform in our Challenges—and sometimes, it wins!
Any other highlights from your time using Braze?
Renee: One of our earliest wins was a “recommended for you” in-app message that still appears after onboarding. It’s been effective at driving users to start their first meditation. We take them to one of our instant boosts to get them their first quick win with the app. It’s been tried and true for us.
And as I’ve mentioned a couple of times, we have tapping challenges as a premium feature in the app. Historically, we’d been doing about one a year that we'd open to anyone for a week. We’d promote that free access through individual campaigns and emails. Recently, after seeing a really great engagement peak last April, we realized as a team that it could be one of the best things for us to be doing on a regular basis. We've expanded on our multi-channel approach to running them, as well as moved from sending campaigns to automating our message sequencing with Canvas Flow. We’re on our fifth one for this year now!
Being a small and mighty team, Braze is really useful for us to be able plug and play, build a Canvas, let it run. It's just been almost criminal how nice it is that I can just run on autopilot. I think that's one of our biggest wins. It's been consistently good for increasing our engagement, but also increasing our post-onboarding conversion to a premium subscription. Braze helped us see that running more challenges was a good idea, and made it really easy to run once we got the first one set up.
The Tapping Solution is a small company, and your founders are a central aspect of your product. Do you work closely with them? Any advice you have for startups in similar situations?
Renee: I get to work with Nick, Alex, and Jessica—the three siblings that founded The Tapping Solution—as well as Martin. There are so many members of the Ortner family behind the Tapping Solution. It’s part of why I love working here. They are all involved with the brand. I think that's valuable and special to work with the founders.
Some advice for others? On any small team, it's great to work for people whose work and message you believe in and are passionate about. That shared passion is what drives such a small team to continuously make things better. Our founders help us bring our bigger visions to life. We work alongside them to make ideas a reality.
What is next for The Tapping Solution?
Kelly: We are hard at work designing and rolling out new app features, adding tons of content, and improving the overall design and usability of The Tapping Solution.
Renee: From the Braze perspective, I’ve got push primers on the priority list. I've been excited seeing the updates around this. Mobile push is how we release all our new meditations, so these push primers will help us reach even more of our users. We’ll also be doing a lot of testing on our onboarding journey, as well as starting to bring an onboarding journey to our premium users. I'm also very excited for the new drag-and-drop in-app message builder—right now, we use a third-party tool but I can’t wait for the native one!
Any final advice for startups or small companies considering Braze?
Kelly: I’m really passionate about this one! When we implemented Braze, we didn’t have a data/analytics strategy as a team. We created analytics events we thought were right at the time, but did not understand the importance of keeping track of what they were, carefully defining them, etc. We didn’t have a data dictionary at all. I’d set that up from the get-go.
I’d recommend aligning your tools as much as possible, right from the start. It’s better to do it right than do it fast. It’s so important to have a data strategy and to think about things like naming conventions ahead of time. It makes things so much simpler when you actually start sending your messages. Otherwise, you’ll have to wonder every time you build a Canvas or campaign if you’re using the right event or targeting the right people. Do the planning as a team at integration, so your brain doesn’t have to think so hard in the future.
Looking for more advice for startups using Braze to drive engagement, increase retention, and generate revenue? At our annual customer conference, FORGE, we sat down with various startups to learn about their customer engagement strategies. We’ve rounded up the top pieces of advice for other companies looking to grow their business through better customer activation, retention, and monetization.
Ashley Christiano is a Principal Customer Marketing Manager, Global SMB based out of Los Angeles. When she’s not helping customers get more out of Braze, she’s probably sorting her books by color, writing horoscopes, or hanging out with her cat Gracie and dog Louise.