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How Canva uses AI-powered features to drive PLG

How does Canva incorporate AI-powered features into its PLG strategy? What is effective? What work is needed? In Pendo’s PLG Teardown web series, a panel of experts takes a deep dive into the design platform’s strategy. Read on to know what we learned.


Across industries and businesses, people can’t stop talking about the disruptive power of AI. From the ability of programs like ChatGPT to generate emails, texts, and reports based on simple prompts, to AI programs’ ability to analyze business results and advise on strategies, the corporate world is in awe of how this technology can Will prove to be disruptive.

Companies are starting to take advantage of AI to enhance and improve many of their products and features. Consider Canva, the popular app for creating social media graphics and slide decks with ease.

With a new AI-powered offering called Magic Design, users can now not only get help creating the design and layout of a deck, but content preparation, Amid ongoing economic uncertainty, where workforces are frozen or shrinking and teams are forced to do more with less, this type of feature is especially attractive—and a great way to drive product-based growth. is the way.

Helping clients reach big “aha” moments faster

This AI-powered deck creation tool is the focus of the latest “PLG Teardown” episode, where the team looks at how well Canva uses it in service of the six key principles of product-based development. By creating content that is well designed and fundamentally to the point, Canva’s magic design tool demonstrates immense value to users – getting them to that “aha” moment as quickly as possible. And it does so through a free user experience (another core PLG principle). Here are two ways Canva is combining the power of AI and PLG.

Craft upsell moments that give users a choice

As businesses think about how to most effectively convert software users from free to paying, many take the traditional approach of limiting features on their “freemium” platforms and imposing hard paywalls on other offerings. Are. Canva’s approach is more nuanced and nuanced.

Consider what happens when a user decides they want to export and share the deck they just created using Magic Design. Instead of stopping them in their tracks and giving them no choice but to move to a paid plan, Canva gives the user a set of options. If they don’t want to pay, they can share the deck for free with watermarks on the images. They can pay a one-time fee to share images in the deck without watermarks, or opt for Canva’s Pro plan and access the entire image library on an ongoing basis.

By empowering the user to choose their own path forward, Canva is delighting them with choices, and letting those who choose the paid path feel like it’s the natural next step as a result of pressure.

Make collaboration easy and natural

Creating assets (such as slide decks) to share is the perfect opportunity for a business to infuse virtuosity into product-based development – ​​and it’s one that Canva seizes. They believe the power of a feature like Magic Design is one that happy users will want to spread, and so they make it easy for users to collaborate with colleagues and friends by sharing links and inviting to the platform with simple and clear prompts .

In product-based development as in other areas, AI is not replacing human work and creativity but complementing and enhancing it. When it comes to PLG, AI features are delighting more users, driving more conversions, and driving better business results in the process.

To see more of Pendo’s PLG teardown, visit the series page here.

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