Copper CRM combats churn and innovates with Recurly

Overview

Founded in 2013, Copper is the Google-recommended customer relationship management (CRM) platform that helps thousands of companies build and maintain enduring relationships with their clients. While most CRM platforms are hosted in separate databases and require specialized training to navigate them, Copper is unique in that it lives right where customer interactions take place: Gmail. Its Google Workspace integration allows customers who use Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive to add leads, track email conversations, and manage tasks without leaving their inboxes. 

Finding a flexible solution to fit Copper’s business model

From the beginning, Copper adopted a recurring billing business model to achieve its ambitious growth goals. The company needed a subscription management and billing platform that was user-friendly, flexible, and rich with actionable insights to scale alongside it. As an early innovator in the subscription management space, Recurly was a natural fit—and it's been along for the ride with Copper’s explosive growth since 2014. 

Recurly’s flexible subscription billing models allow Copper to easily experiment with different plans and pricing—which especially came in handy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Like everyone, we faced huge unknowns heading into the pandemic,” says Rick Smith, Copper’s VP of Finance. “Thanks to Recurly’s help, we were able to focus on serving our customers by providing flexible payment options, allowing them to adopt and continue to make use of Copper’s selling tools in the face of unprecedented economic circumstances.”

Recurly has all the functionality we need to grow and be as flexible for our customers as possible.

Rick Smith,  VP of Finance

Many subscription-based companies needlessly lose revenue due to involuntary churn, which occurs when they lose customers unintentionally as a result of failed transactions (for instance, when a customer’s card has expired). Copper relies on Recurly’s Revenue Optimization Engine, which uses over a decade of transaction data to prevent churn and maximize revenue recovery through targeted features like dunning management. “We automatically ping a customer after a certain number of days and let them know their payment has failed, which gives them the opportunity to pay within a specific time frame before their subscription gets cancelled,” Smith says. Copper also takes advantage of the other aspects of the Revenue Optimization Engine, including intelligent retries, Account Updater, and expiration date forwarding, to keep involuntary churn at bay.

Innovating through integrations

While Recurly itself is the centerpiece of Copper’s subscription billing tech stack, the company relies on a few key integrations within Recurly to power its business and deliver a seamless customer experience, including:

  • Avalara, which automatically handles taxes in states Copper collects sales tax in.

  • NetSuite, which sends customer information along with invoice, credit, refund, and payment details from Recurly to Copper's accounting software. Once the numbers and plan information are in NetSuite, they're then amortized appropriately. “We’ve gained tremendous efficiencies from the Recurly integration with NetSuite. I’ve never seen something reduce the amount of work as quickly and efficiently as that has for us,” says Smith.

Super big kudos to everyone we’ve worked with at Recurly. The NetSuite integration was a Herculean task, and it’s definitely paid off for us.

Rick Smith,  VP of Finance

  • Stripe, which processes payments.

  • Snowflake and Looker, which pull data from Recurly so Copper’s Financial Planning & Analysis team can forecast future growth and identify areas of improvement. “Every day, we process changes that occurred for every account and append information from other data sources, like Marketo and our own Copper instance,” Smith says. “We have dashboards that look at all new business, expansions, contractions, conversions from different subscription plans, churn, reactivation, etc. Before this, I’d get up at midnight every month and do a manual export to see what happened in a month. Now it’s all seamless in our data warehouse and is super slick and much easier.”

  • GoCardless ACH, which allows customers to pay via ACH.

Saving money—and time—with Recurly

Since adopting Recurly, Copper has achieved its highest revenue recovery rates ever with recovery rates substantially above the 50-60% industry benchmark. Recurly has also helped Copper drive down its overall involuntary churn rate to industry-leading levels. 

With Recurly, Copper has saved on another valuable resource: time. “When I joined Copper, it took us weeks to close the books using other payment-management software,” Smith says. “Now with Recurly’s NetSuite integration, that timeframe has shrunk from weeks to days.” 

Conclusion

As Copper continues to grow and explore new ways to bring in business, Recurly will be there every step of the way through its features and integrations—just as it has since 2014.

In Smith’s eyes, Copper’s future is bright with Recurly. “I have used other billing platforms that have been so expensive and ridiculous for what they did,” Smith says. “We’re happy, we’re growing, and we’re excited to see where we go from here.” 

Download the Copper case study