He is the founder of Planscope.io, a blogger at DoubleYourFreelancing.com, a solopreneur, author, podcaster, a growth genius and a father of two kids. He doesn’t like being called a “growth hacker” though 😉
Brennan Dunn introduced us to “6 Tricks That Helped me Triple My SaaS growth rate”.
The all important sales funnel
For a SaaS business, your average sales funnel consists of four things:
Visitors – Trials – Activations – Paid customers
Then comes the “paid customer churn” which is how many of those paid customers cancel their subscription later on (something often overlooked).
An easy way to increase your revenue, profit and make your business more successful is to:
Identify & tweak points of optimization
Lesson 1 – Reaquiring Drive-Bys
The goal is to drive interested people back to you, all the time. For example, on Planscope’s blog, Brennan has a ton of useful stuff for a variety of people.
Information on how to double your consulting rates, a super useful project management software, a book, newsletter and much much more.
Now imagine your average joe using Google’s retargeting. He’s going to retarget the person who read the blog post, or someone who read the software and send them both back to one place.
Do you think someone who was looking for advice on consulting rates is going to convert for a project management software? Probably not.
Retargeting is more than just converting visitors. You shouldn’t take the one size fits all approach, instead, segment the people who visit different areas of your site and address them accordingly.
Also, they usually leave your site for a reason – they’re not interested.
That also means that there’s no point in sending them back to the same place. Instead you should send them to useful materials that might convince them. Invite them to a webinar, send them to a video tutorial or a success story blog post, a user guide, show them product updates etc.
To use an over-used cliché.. Provide them with value and they WILL buy from you.
Lesson 2 – Segmentation
Your product (initially) should be targeting one specific persona.
If your customer is someone who has a development consultancy and bills out $10,000 a week, you want the information presented to them to match their criteria. If you’ve done the same thing in the past, tell them how. Project examples should be of the same nature as their business. Marketing headlines targeting their problems and fears and so on.
When you have more than one type of customers in your audience, segment them and treat them all individually.
A freelancer looking for a product will look at that $10k a week example and hit the back button, because they can’t relate to that as of now. Show them what’s relevant to their business.
A more advanced approach is to segment everyone for future use. How people came to your site, where they landed, what they did next. i.e. if someone comes to your blog and only looks at freelancing articles, it’d be a good idea to show them more of that type of content and send them to your freelancing ebook, instead of a piece of project management software.
The key takeaway:
A perfectly place “if” condition can go a long way toward improving conversions.
If you run a $10,000 a week consultancy, do this. If you’re a freelancer looking to get higher rates, do that, click there.
Lesson 3 – Trial Scores
This is probably the most brilliant thing from the whole presentation.
Studying the customers who have taken a trial of the product and optimizing outreach towards them. See what’s common about the people who buy your product after taking a trial. When you figure out what they have in common, you can then focus on helping the people who are more likely to buy, a bit more than the ones who don’t really care.
The people who take a trial from Planscope and in the end purchase usually:
- Create a project
- Invite a client to join the project
- (For team accounts) Invite their team members
- Integrate with a 3rd party invoicing app
- Log 20+ hours of time
He created a “trial_happiness” score for all Planscope customers:
- Login frequency x 30 = 30 score
- Client or team member added = 20 score
- Hours logged x 20 = 20 score
- Invoicing intergration = 15 score
- Internal communication = 15 score
That means the perfect customer does all of those things. But if you see someone with 20 hours logged, 30 logins and no team member added, it might be a good idea to send them an email with a tutorial on how to do that.
The score divides people into groups.
30% score = lost (Don’t bother)
60% score = needs a push (Help them out, guide them, convince them)
90% score = buying (You’ve got him.)
Your job is to nudge people toward converting, but as you can see from the scores above, not everyone is worth nudging 😉
Lesson 4 – Educate Everywhere
The goal is to focus on the customer, not the product. Here are two examples, take a guess which one will be more effective:
- “Click this button. Now enter a price in here. Then, click…”
- “Here are some tricks you can use to win this new project…”
It’s a no-brainer and that’s the type of approach you should be taking all the time. You heard the same thing in the keynote by Rachel Andrew – Don’t sell features, solve the problem.
You can also set up “milestones” in your service or tool to get notifications when people achieve something – then you help them do it even better.
Let’s use a different example this time – GetResponse or Aweber.
Let’s say you just created your first newsletter, sent it out and then Aweber sends you a “congratulations” email with 27 tips to make your next newsletter more efficient? It’d make a big difference.
Takeaway: What actions align with why someone actually wants your product?
Lesson 5 – Do an Exit Interview
No matter what you’re selling, you’re always going to have some people who cancel, ask for a refund or just leave. Your goal should be to stop them from making that mistake or finding out why the product is not for them.
This is why it’s brilliant to ask for credit-card details uprfront – it requires people to actually cancel, they’re not going to forget you.
When people come to cancel, give them an opportunity to tell you why they’re cancelling, add a text-box. Whether it’s a plain “F#%k you!” or “I didn’t like it”, you’re going to get some valuable feedback eventually. Save all the data in a spreadsheet and it’ll be obvious which ones come frequently and what you could improve upon.
Here are some reasons why people might be cancelling:
Takeaway: People are at the high water mark of their emotional entanglement with your product when they cancel
Lesson 6 – Ways to Increase CLTV
Customer Lifetime Value is a huge part of what was covered at Microconf, so you’ll be hearing a lot more about this.
Most SaaS products offer a trial, but a big part of them don’t seem to know why. The goal of the trial is to establish a product fit and then CHARGE!
In lesson one, you learned about “customer churn”, it’s when people start canceling. I.e for a product like Moz, the churn point might be after 90 days, when the person has made their on-page adjustments and don’t have that much to do with the tool anymore. You should be decreasing the churn and trying escpecially hard at that time to please the customer. Offer them a discount, show them extra features, tutorials, give them tips etc.
Here’s a slide by Brennan that sums up the routes you could take to increase your growth rate: