Accelerating customer growth and retention for Slack partners

Learn how platform features announced at Frontiers help developers reach and engage more people

By the team at SlackNovember 16th, 2021Illustration by Francesco Ciccolella

Employees are undoubtedly shaping our new hybrid environment. The latest research from the Future Forum says that people want the flexibility to choose not only where and when they work, but also the tools they use. According to research firm Gartner, enterprise IT leaders report that the piloting of digital workplace tools almost doubled to 82% in 2020 from 44% in 2019.

For anyone building software, this rapid evolution of workplace technology presents an opportunity to reach new users directly instead of through the IT team—and adding your apps to Slack’s App Directory has been an effective way to engage and retain existing users. Partners like Zapier have shown that integration with Slack makes a user 10% more likely to convert to a paid Zapier user.

We want to do even more to help you reach new users and grow your business. With new capabilities announced today at Frontiers 2021, our annual user conference, your Slack apps will work harder for you. Get ready to not only keep your current customers happy, but dramatically increase your reach and scale more than ever before.

Acquire users through link shares

By rethinking the constraints of app installations, we’ve created a new set of features that let you reach potential users who haven’t installed your app. The magic happens with a link. Our internal data shows tens of millions of links are shared in Slack daily, providing abundant opportunities to introduce your product to new users and their teammates and get them activated.

When a link from your product gets shared or clicked in Slack, users—even if they haven’t installed the app—are prompted to sign in to their existing account for your product or create a new one. This smooth experience is powered by Sign in with Slack links, a quick and secure way to manage authorization.

We’re already seeing success from our early beta partners: Atlassian, Lucid, Loom and Miro. In just one month, a partner successfully created 54,000 new user accounts and connected 130,000 existing accounts to Slack with one-click access to its product.

“We’ve seen impact both quantitatively on the business front and qualitatively from user feedback. Sign in with Slack has driven tens of thousands of new sign-ups. We’re also hearing a lot of love from Loom creators, who can now close the feedback loop on who’s viewing a video.”

Janie LeeSenior Product Manager, Loom


Scheduled release: By Summer 2022
First-to-market partners: Atlassian, Lucid, Loom, Miro

Customize notifications with ease

Let’s face it, setting up notifications can be tedious for users. Once an app is installed, they need to figure out how to configure notifications deep in their preferences. Our next generation of Slack notifications, Subscribe in Slack, allows users to opt in to third-party tools and configure notifications by simply clicking a button in the platform. Once set, notifications occur in channels without having to install an app or invite it into the channel.

Here’s how adopting Subscribe in Slack helps partners:

  • Gives users a quick, simple way to set up notifications, lowering the barrier to getting started
  • Offers granular controls, allowing users to receive only alerts they care about to better manage their attention
  • Exposes apps to more users by sharing notifications in public channels and not in private DMs

Release timing: By Summer 2022
First-to-market partners: Smartsheet, Mural

Deepen engagement with message metadata

Every company has business processes that rely on separate systems —ones that often don’t work well together and inevitably change as the business evolves. When your product integrates with other software, it can adapt to any combination of tools a customer uses, making your product more sticky.

With message metadata, app builders can send data alongside notifications, making it easy for other systems to process and react to that information. For example, if a message from an app shares that an incident’s priority is “urgent,” a customer can automatically trigger a sequence of events that escalate the incident, ensuring that it gets resolved rapidly. With this out-of-the-box data, customers can quickly integrate your product into the apps and workflows they build internally using Slack APIs or no-code tools like Workflow Builder.

Whether it’s getting a new customer lead or triaging support tickets from your biggest client, workflows can respond and report notable events in channels so that teammates can act upon them immediately—with no coding required. In time, teams will start depending on your product to initiate a sequence of actions across systems, driving deeper retention for your product.

Scheduled release: By Summer 2022
First-to-market partners: PagerDuty, Datadog, Jira Integration+

Build for extensibility with functions

Another way your product can become embedded in Slack is through functions. Similar to Block Kit, our reusable UI framework for building the front end of a Slack app, functions serve as building blocks for the back end. Think of small blocks of functionality that can be grouped together in Slack through either code or no-code tools like Workflow Builder.

The beauty of functions is that you only need to build once and your function will automatically work across multiple places in Slack’s UI, now and in the future. Paired with new and improved developer tools for managing, building and deploying apps, your Slack app development experience will be more streamlined. While functions aren’t yet available for App Directory partners to build, you can start tinkering by applying for our private beta program for Slack app developers.

Scheduled release: Summer 2022

These innovations will not only help you to deliver an exceptional experience for users, they’ll make a positive impact on your bottom line. Interested in learning more about these upcoming features? Subscribe to updates here.

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