Talk To Your Users: A Developer's Introduction to Web3 Communication

Talk To Your Users: A Developer's Introduction to Web3 Communication

February 29, 2024

As developers, when building a new application we tend to overestimate the value of the idea and underestimate the importance of user retention. If we build it, they might come, but will they stay? 

At the core of user retention is the ability for us to communicate with our users and for them to communicate with each other. In Web3, we often come up with complex ways to measure user activity. By using native Web3 communication protocols, we can meet and communicate with our users where they are. 

In this article, we will explore how developers can leverage wallet-to-wallet communication at each stage of a user’s journey with our products. To benefit both users and our applications, it is important to understand what types of communication we want in our application. Let’s explore this first: 

Types of Communication 

Communication can be divided into asynchronous and synchronous. The focus of synchronous communication where messages are typically short and responses are urgent. Chat applications are an example of this. 

Asynchronous communication is suitable for longer messages where responses are not required immediately. It is also important for the sender to know the message has been sent and received. Email, although having its roots at the birth of the internet, still remains the best mode for this type of communication. 

Both types of communication can be useful for an application. Just look at the type of notifications you receive daily to understand that users can process both. 

In Web3, your users are drowning in Discord and Telegram DMs. Asynchronous communication via email has its unique benefit of allowing your most important messages to float in this flood of communication. Mailchain allows developers to communicate directly with wallets like a traditional email which unlocks new use cases for Web3 applications: 

User Onboarding 

We all know the traditional product onboarding story by now. You sign up for a product or service and immediately get 2-3 emails from the CEO, the Customer Success team, and the Marketing team all welcoming you to the product and instructing you how to "maximize your experience."

It's a tale as old as (internet) time, but if it ain't broke, why fix it? Comparing this to the Web3 user onboarding where a user connects their wallet to your application and has to forge their path to figuring out your product, surely there is a less spammy middle ground.

The key here is relevancy. 

Blockchains enable developers to understand and map out a user's persona based upon their onchain activity. Solutions like Pikespeak, make it even easier now for developers to get insights on their users. Instead of sending generic onboarding messages to their Web3 identities, you can send personalized messages targeting how you envision that persona using your product.

User Activity 

Once a user has been onboarded, Web3 and blockchains allow for visibility into their activity and needs. For example, if you are a trading application, users might want to be informed when they receive trade offers on an NFT from other users.  After completing these trades, instead of forcing users to search via a block explorer, your application can send out a clean trade receipt. 

We are living in an increasingly multichain world. You might have users trading on Solana, Ethereum, or NEAR. Each of these chains offers its own unique identities such as .eth and .sol. Figuring out a way to manage messaging across all of these chains and identities is enough for any Web3 Developers to give up and go back to building a Web2 B2B SaaS. Fortunately, using a protocol like Mailchain makes this seamless. 

Integrations with services like Alchemy Notify and Tenderly Alerts allow you to create webhook triggers on transactions and events. These types of updates are essential in DeFi applications especially where the timing and volume of trades can be significant to users managing their funds. By setting the user's expectation that they will receive these types of updates in their Web3 inbox makes it easier than fighting for their attention in traditional inboxes full of useless spam. 

In addition to communicating with users, users might also want to be able to communicate with each other. A perfect use case of this would be managing a DAO and updating members of governance activity. While there are multiple ways to get a message across such as social media posts and direct messaging, email reigns supreme for its ability to be easily both distributed and easily referenced later. 

Product Updates 

Web3 changes a lot. Your product must also keep up with these changes. But are you leaving your users behind? How are you updating them on product updates or the unfortunate news of hacks? 

At the moment, many products take to their social media to make these announcements. Hoping that the message goes viral enough that the information reaches the affected users. But instead of praying that the social media algorithms pick up your message, you can directly get your message across to the ones who need it the most, your users. 

For example, instead of just making a Lens post, you can also send an email to the .lens handles of your users. Or, by integrating with a service like Unjumble, you can provide easily digestible updates on the latest DAO happenings or product releases. 

Wrapping Up

Whether you have 1 or 1,000 users, as a developer, it pays to start thinking about communication early when building Web3 applications. We don't have to commit to the traditional models of communication but instead, create native Web3 messaging experiences. Users have an expectation to be informed about the products they use. Starving them of this information is starving your product of user retention.

Adding messaging might seem like a large effort, but it doesn't have to be. To get started building out your messaging integration, check out this developer guide that will show you how to send an email via the Mailchain Send-API.

Meet the writer

DappaDan is a technical writer and developer educator focused on improving the developer experience in Web3. A proud member of Developer DAO and proud memer of the internet. You can also find him on Telegram, here. https://t.me/dappadandev
Dappa Dan