Case studies/ Braintree

Creating an irresistible target for acquisition


From startup darling to massive acquisition.

Making that leap requires staying power. Braintree had steadily amassed a small, dedicated following who loved their simple, elegant payment platform. However, significant growth would require a scalable marketing approach with an audience that was highly skeptical of marketing: developers. We worked closely with Braintree to truly understand the mindset of this audience, helping them build an ever-growing, passionate community of users and advocates.

Braintree Featured

The approach

The quickest path to reaching developers

By raising the collective profile of its most active audience, we raised Braintree’s own public profile in turn. Each of our efforts focused on empowering their community and placing their work in the public eye. And as the developer community grew, we increased customer acquisition metrics across the board while dramatically decreasing acquisition costs.

apps using Braintree's payment technology

Reaching developers where they are

After improving usability and design on the Braintree website, we placed custom content where developers needed it most. SEO updates and a trigger-based email program got content in front of our target audiences, and we spread media outreach to international markets.

Crafting intentional messaging

Developers can easily see through profit motives, so we ensured messaging was to-the-point and unobtrusive. Users enthusiastically engaged with the brand — and each other — across development hubs, social media, paid media, and even our sponsored pedicab fleet at SXSW.

Creating high visibility & an engaging brand

After our initial success, we ensured that developers continued to see Braintree as a thought and culture leader. Conversions from the campaign climbed to record levels, and with ongoing conversion rate optimization, we constantly found ways to turn engaged audiences into customers.


“I believe one of our greater achievements when partnering with Braintree was our ability to infiltrate and ultimately win over that elusive, fickle and highly skeptical developer audience. With thoughtful, solutions-based messaging (matter-of-fact vs. salesy, marketing speak) and strategically placed assets, we were able to help create a groundswell among the dev community that ultimately led to Braintree's popularity as an authentic and highly strategic tool that developers could rely on and actually seek out to bring their solutions/products to life.”

Keith Solomon Keith SolomonPartner, Envisionit

The work

Developing the developer community

Key to building a successful relationship with Braintree’s most important audience was understanding their mindset. More than anyone, developers and engineers understand when someone’s trying to trick them, and can sniff out disingenuous marketing immediately. Efforts to speak to them must be straightforward, clear, and honest — and above all, useful. Content with purpose is far more compelling to engineers than content without inherent value, so each and every campaign had to have a use case.

SXSW Braintree Ad

“Thoughtfully” developer campaign

Since developers can easily see through profit motives, we ensured messaging was to-the-point and unobtrusive. Responding enthusiastically to our “thoughtfully” campaign, developers engaged the brand across forums, social media and paid media.

Thoughtfully - Developer Campaign

Let’s go global

With the significant growth came new reach — across four continents. We worked with them to run media programs wherever they were.

Global media programs

“Thoughtfully” evolved

As we built trust within the community, we pushed messaging even further. Staying true to the nature of the campaign, we began to include subtle nods to pop culture that were just obvious enough for our target audience to get the joke, but not so much to distract or turn off the uninitiated.


“The Envisionit team played an instrumental role in the success and growth of Braintree. Their partnership with our marketing team and deep understanding of payments helped us build campaigns that drove results and positioned Braintree as a leader in fintech.”

Tracey WeinbergSVP of Marketing, Braintree

The results

The biggest move in the industry

Braintree’s biggest asset was not its product, but its dedication to the developers and entrepreneurs building a new economy on its payment platform. By raising the collective profile of its most active audience, we made Braintree an essential, irresistible target for acquisition. Because of these successes, Braintree was able to acquire Venmo, a mobile peer-to-peer payment app that sweetened the deal for PayPal.