5 Simple Ideas to Immediately Improve Your Conversion Rates in SaaS
Recently, I was asked a great question about Improving Conversion Rates. ¬†If you haven’t done this in the past, I’ve got my 4 best suggestions that will work to get your conversion rates up. ¬†If you’re past this point — my apologies.
However, before we get there, let me state the obvious, that there are limits here.¬†Many obsess about improving conversion rates — which is important — in the early days, when their real issue is the denominator, i.e. insufficient growth in the user base.¬† I.e., you aren’t growing¬†qualified¬†leads fast enough.¬† If you are, I believe it all works itself out.¬† If you aren’t growing the denominator fast enough — I’d focus on that first, and conversion rates second.
If you look at the chart in the upper right, which I want to use again in a few more posts … it illustrates the point … what really moves the needle in the early days is simply getting the user number way, way up. ¬†Increasing conversion rates of free-to-paid by 4% is great and all, but increasing the user base 1000x sure helps a lot more.
Having said that, 5 things that work/worked for us to improve conversion rates — and that are easy to implement quickly:
1.¬† Overinvest in Pre-Sales/Free User Customer Support. ¬†This is expensive but clearly, unambiguously works.¬† Have more people available to answer every question on the front-end.¬†¬†Have someone answer the phone, every single call¬†— not just respond to tickets.¬† Expensive, but it works.
Note that while suboptimal, you can outsource this, at least some of this.¬† Prior to our acquisition we had a primary internal team but also a secondary outsourced team to answer the phones.¬† It worked.¬† Better if your own team answers the phone, but far better someone smart on your product answers than no one.
2.¬† Drip Marketing.¬† This clearly works and isn’t that expensive.¬† Tools like Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot, Hubspot, etc. that enable you to on a recurring basis — but without being a total nudge — remind your sign-ups about how great you are and to consider trying again / buying / etc.¬† If you aren’t doing drip marketing over an extended timeframe (months and then years), you’re leaving a¬†ton¬†of money on the table.¬† Some users / leads will take years to convert.¬† For us, sometimes even 7+ years! ūüėČ¬†http://saastr.wordpress.com/2012…
3.¬† Dynamic Landing Pages.¬† Consumer marketers swear by this, I think it’s a lot less effective for business / SaaS apps because the lead volume is lower — but it does work to a measurable extent.¬† Get different segments seeing the right messages when they come to your site.¬† You can do a B+ version of this out-of-the-box with most of the drip marketing tools listed in point 2 above.
4. Optimize Your Choke.¬† This works.¬† Even if you optimize nothing else, get the “choke” from free to paid optimized, and/or optimize your free trial duration length if you do that but not Freemium.¬† At EchoSign, for us, on the Freemium side of the business, you can see 5 transactions / month (with some dynamic tweaks) turned out to be optimum after a great of testing in the early days.
5. ¬†Hire Your First Sales Guy(s) Early — As Soon As You Have 10 Customers if You Can. ¬†Don’t Wait. ¬†Having someone to answer every call in Point 1 is key, but that’s not the same as pre-sales and sales. ¬†Having someone besides you and the core team, that can take more time with any potential customer, and lead … it will work. ¬†It may not be ROI positive on Day 1. ¬†But it will work. ¬†And hire 2 if you can. ¬†Granted, this is a bit more work and $$$ than steps 1-4, and you may be forced to wait a bit if you are running it lean … but I wanted to include it nevertheless. ¬†Because just one good sales person¬†will dramatically increase your conversion rates ¬†— and your revenue per lead.
Again, I believe growing the denominator is key.¬† That gives you the base to play with and optimize.¬† Then, conceptually at least, you can optimize how you monetize it.