How Pastime Overcomes Startup Challenges with Customer.io

Pastime is a startup on a mission to help older adults who are over 60 to stay socially active after retirement. By matching vetted older adults across the world in small-group video chats available around the clock, the company aims to foster meaningful connections and help retirees stay socially active. 

Bringing a fresh idea to market is rife with challenges for an early-stage startup like Pastime: growing their user base, engaging customers with personalized messaging, scaling their operations. With their recent switch to Customer.io, Pastime has found the features and flexibility they need to build out their vision as they grow. 

“To me the big impact is not just the business KPIs, it’s the resource KPIs. Using Customer.io’s capabilities and flexibility frees up the resources we would otherwise need to allocate to another tool or doing things ourselves. That’s a game-changer.”

Oded Rochman, Co-Founder and CEO

Challenge: Increasing concurrent users
Solution: Strategic cross-channel campaigns

Pastime envisions a global network in which anyone can join a group chat and find new friends, day or night. But to do that, they need to overcome a tricky problem: ensuring enough people are available at any given time. 

The solution? Using waitlists to activate customers in groups instead of one at a time. Once someone joins the waitlist, they can get online faster by building out their profile and inviting friends to join.  

To put the strategy into action, Pastime built a multi-branched, cross-channel campaign that captures every path a customer might take. Through a combination of SMS and email messages, customers receive personalized prompts that deepen engagement and build the company’s user pool more rapidly. The result: daily retention is on the rise, and more older adults are making meaningful connections; a win for everyone. 

“In a startup, you have to begin at zero. The waiting list campaign helped us increase signups incrementally over time. Our daily retention is growing steadily, and Customer.io is a key part of that.”

Oded Rochman, Co-Founder and CEO

Challenge: Send the right message at the right time
Solution: Easy time zone personalization

When it comes to engagement, timing is everything, and getting it right is a hurdle when your customers are spread across the globe. Pastime needed to optimize message delivery times, but with customers in both hemispheres across many time zones, messages that arrived right on time for some people were hitting others’ inboxes in the middle of the night.

Pastime’s team solved the problem with Customer.io’s Time Zone Match feature. With this simple yet powerful piece of personalization, every message arrives at the ideal moment for each individual, no matter where the customer is located. 

“The time zone feature is great, and you can see that someone really thought about it. Using Customer.io is so easy and smooth because you can tell everything was thought of carefully, and it just works the way it should the first time.” 

Oded Rochman, Co-Founder and CEO

Challenge: Pull in data from across the tech stack
Solution: Seamless data integrations and webhooks

Most startups weave together a diverse tech stack, and bringing it all together is key to enabling the kind of efficiency that fuels serious growth. Integrating everything, while critical for scaling, can be difficult with a small team.

With Customer.io’s data integrations and webhooks, Pastime can pull their data into the platform quickly and easily from any location. The automation multiplies the capacity of their team to personalize messages across channels at a granular level. 

“Any startup needs to scale. Even when you’re small, there are all these touchpoints for customer engagement and communication. Customer.io does the heavy lifting of taking all the complex touchpoints and channels and integrating them. To me, that’s irreplaceable.”

Oded Rochman, Co-Founder and CEO