Woman at a laptop using software Alteryx provided free to build student and teacher customer loyalty.

Alteryx Promotes Customer Loyalty with Gated Offers for Students and Teachers

Posted on May 3, 2019 · 6 min read

Big data has triggered a rare conundrum. Companies everywhere are searching for data-driven solutions to their business challenges, and many of them are using Alteryx software to find them. That’s good for Alteryx and their 4,700 customers who are using the company’s analytics platform to make game-changing discoveries.

The trouble is, there aren’t enough data scientists and analysts to do this important work—40% of companies can’t find the skilled talent to fill the job openings they have today. And jobs that require these skills are expected to increase 30% by 2020 across every industry.

Alteryx saw this crisis as an opportunity. The company recognized the need to prepare college students to enter these fast-growing careers, and addressed it by creating Alteryx for Good—a program that fosters the next generation of data scientists, drives customer loyalty, and gives back to the community.

A Three-Pronged Approach to Customer Loyalty

Alteryx for Good gives students and teachers around the world a free license to use Alteryx Designer software, along with the resources they need to master it. The program is a win-win-win:

  • Students build knowledge and experience that prepares them for well-paying, in-demand jobs.
  • Teachers stay on the cutting edge of technological advances and have the tools to more easily develop data science curricula.
  • Companies that need data analysts have access to a highly trained pool of potential employees.

Alteryx for Good is part of a larger corporate responsibility initiative that also provides free or low-cost licenses and support to nonprofits and government agencies. So in addition to driving customer acquisition and loyalty, the program is generating greater brand awareness and affinity.

Customer Loyalty Starts with Students

Alteryx’s program is exemplary in how it serves multiple, positive purposes while also driving a critical marketing initiative for customer acquisition and loyalty. It’s also easy to implement. Alteryx simply:

  1. Gives students and their teachers an exclusive offer on their full-featured software (not a stripped-down version).
  2. Nurtures their experience so they receive maximum value and become enthusiastic fans.
  3. Converts students to full price when they graduate.
  4. Leverages their loyalty as they enter the workforce.
Students in a computer lab using free software Alteryx provided to grow customer loyalty.

Digital Verification is the Key to Alteryx’s Success

When the company launched Alteryx for Good, it initially used a manual review process to confirm student and teacher eligibility. But the program was so popular a backlog of applicants quickly developed, and the lag between document submission and verification grew to 21 days.  

Alteryx knew it needed a way to speed up the process to make it more customer-friendly and free up valuable employee time. The company also wanted to ensure the free licenses—worth nearly $5,200 each—were protected from fraud.

Alteryx solved the problem by gating their offers with SheerID’s Digital Verification Platform. With SheerID, students and teachers simply provide basic information, such as name and school, and SheerID’s authoritative data sources verifies their eligibility instantly.

The entire experience is in-brand, fast, and easy for students and teachers, and it gives back valuable time to Alteryx employees who can now focus on more mission-critical tasks.

4 Best Practices to Running a Student Seeding Program

Alteryx’s program showcases a winning approach that any software or subscription-based company can take to seeding customer loyalty:

01 Go With a Full-Featured Product

Some companies are afraid to give students free access to their full product, so they create special “student versions” that have limited features. But giving students a stripped-down experience undermines the strategy of “wowing” them with the full range of a software’s capabilities. It also limits the skills students can develop, which in turn weakens their product loyalty.

By providing access to their full product, Alteryx:

  • Gives students a richer experience that will make them even more valuable to potential employers.
  • Eliminates the strain on internal resources that a “student version” would require, such as duplication of effort across product management, development, QA, marketing, and finance.
  • Simplifies the process of converting students to full price; students don’t have to switch to a different version, as they simply
    pay more for the same software after they graduate.

02 Let the Experts Do the Work

Using SheerID, Alteryx saved both time and employee resources. A verification process that took up to three weeks now occurs instantly, which ensures their next generation of users gets off to a positive start—the first step in building customer loyalty. And because SheerID uses thousands of authoritative data sources, Alteryx can be confident their offers are protected.

03 Avoid the .edu Curse

Many companies use an .edu email address to verify eligibility, but this just makes them vulnerable to other problems, including fraud. An entire cottage industry has built up around helping people get fake .edu addresses to take advantage of programs and discounts. And an audit of SheerID customers revealed that discount abuse can occur at rates as high as 35%.

Relying on an .edu email address also keeps companies from reaching a large number of students: 43% of college students were never issued an .edu email address.

Female student at a desktop computer using free software Alteryx provided to grow customer loyalty.

Alteryx avoided both these problems by using SheerID to verify eligibility for their offer.

04 Secure Opt-In Data to Engage Customers Directly

Because Alteryx can now gather customer data quickly and voluntarily, it can engage students and teachers with nurture and retention programs.

For example, students and teachers can use Alteryx for Good Co-Lab to access volunteer data science professionals to ask questions and see how their work is being used in the real world. And they can tap into the Alteryx Community to find real-world workflows and analytics templates.

The customer data also enables Alteryx to re-verify eligibility each year and to monetize the relationships it forms with students by inviting them to purchase the product when they graduate.

Why Target Students and Teachers with Gated Offers

Companies like Alteryx, Tableau, and Intuit know that gated offers for students and teachers are terrific long-term plays for growing revenue and building customer loyalty. Why? These are huge, cost-motivated market segments with a lot of collective spending power.

With SheerID, Alteryx can reach 230 million college students worldwide who have $574 billion in spending power in the US alone. And the company can reach 4.8 million US teachers who have $3.1 billion in spending power.

Capturing the attention of students pays off: Deloitte reports that college students have a 10-year customer lifecycle preference. And gated offers are an effective way to generate student customer loyalty and entice sharing: 91% of students would be more likely to shop with a brand that gives them a gated offer, and 83% of shoppers 18-34 years old say they would share a gated offer with friends and family.

Ninety-one percent of students would be more likely to shop with a brand that gives them a gated offer.

Likewise, teachers show a great deal of customer loyalty and are willing to recommend products they love. Eighty-eight percent of teachers actively search for brands that offer teacher discounts, and 84% of teachers recommend to friends and family those retailers that offer teacher discounts.

For Alteryx, seeding students and teachers with free software today isn’t only a good strategy for fueling customer acquisition and loyalty, it’s helping to build a stronger data science and analytics workforce for the future—and that benefits us all.

Learn How to Drive Long-Term Customer Loyalty with Gated Student Offers

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Tony Coray by Tony Coray