Tag Archives: value proposition

How to use pricing psychology to motivate your shoppers: Two test results just in time for Black Friday

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How to use pricing psychology to motivate your shoppers: Two test results just in time for Black Friday

How to get evergreen results from your landing page optimization

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Landing page optimization is old news.

Seriously. A quick google will show you that Unbounce, QuickSprout, Moz, Qualaroo, Hubspot, Wordstream, Optimizely, CrazyEgg, VWO (and countless others), have been writing tips and guides on how to optimize your landing pages for years.

Not to mention the several posts we have already published on the WiderFunnel blog since 2008.

And yet. This conversation is so not over.

Warning: If your landing page optimization goals are short-term, or completely focused on conversion rate lift, this post may be a waste of your time. If your goal is to continuously have the best-performing landing pages on the internet, keep reading.



Marketers are funnelling more and more money into paid advertising, especially as Google allocates more and more SERP space to ads.

In fact, as an industry, we are spending upwards of $92 billion annually on paid search advertising alone.

landing-page-optimization-SERP-space
The prime real estate on a Google search results page often goes to paid.

And it’s not just search advertising that is seeing an uptick in spend, but social media advertising too.

It makes sense that marketers are still obsessing over their landing page conversion rates: this traffic is costly and curated. These are visitors that you have sought out, that share characteristics with your target market. It is extremely important that these visitors convert!

But, there comes a time in every optimizer’s life, when they face the cruel reality of diminishing returns. You’ve tested your landing page hero image. You’ve tested your value proposition. You’ve tested your form placement. And now, you’ve hit a plateau.

So, what next? What’s beyond the tips and guides? What is beyond the optimization basics?

1) Put on your customer’s shoes.

First things first: Let’s do a quick sanity check.

When you test your hero image, or your form placement, are you testing based on tips and recommended best practices? Or, are you testing based on a specific theory you have about your page visitors?

landing-page-optimization-customer-shoes
Put on your customer’s shoes.

Tips and best practices are a fine place to start, but the insight behind why those tactics work (or don’t work) for your visitors is where you find longevity.

The best way to improve experiences for your visitors is to think from their perspective. And the best way to do that is to use frameworks, and framework thinking, to get robust insights about your customers.

– Chris Goward, Founder & CEO, WiderFunnel

Laying the foundation

It’s very difficult to think from a different perspective. This is true in marketing as much as it is in life. And it’s why conversion optimization and A/B testing have become so vital: We no longer have to guess at what our visitors want, but can test instead!

That said, a test requires a hypothesis. And a legitimate hypothesis requires a legitimate attempt to understand your visitor’s unique perspective.

To respond to this need for understanding, WiderFunnel developed the LIFT Model® in 2008: our foundational framework for identifying potential barriers to conversion on a page from the perspective of the page visitor.

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The LIFT Model attempts to capture the idea of competing forces in communication, narrowing them down to the most salient aspects of communication that marketers should consider.

I wanted to apply the principles of Relevance, Clarity, Distraction, Urgency and Anxiety to what we were delivering to the industry and not just to our clients. And the LIFT Model is a part of that: making something as simple as possible but no simpler.

– Chris Goward

When you look at your page through a lens like the LIFT Model, you are forced to question your assumptions about what your visitors want when they land on your page.

landing-page-optimization-LIFT-Model
View your landing pages through a framework lens.

You may love an interactive element, but is it distracting your visitors? You may think that your copy creates urgency, but is it really creating anxiety?

If you are an experienced optimizer, you may have already incorporated a framework like the LIFT Model into your optimization program. But, after you have analyzed the same page multiple times, how do you continue to come up with new ideas?

Here are a few tips from the WiderFunnel Strategy team:

  1. Bring in fresh eyes from another team to look at and use your page
  2. User test, to watch and record how actual users are using your page
  3. Sneak a peek at your competitors’ landing pages: Is there something they’re doing that might be worth testing on your site?
  4. Do your page analyses as a team: many heads are better than one
  5. Brainstorm totally new, outside-the-box ideas…and test one!

You should always err on the side of “This customer experience could be better.” After all, it’s a customer-centric world, and we’re just marketing in it.

2) Look past the conversion rate.

“Landing page optimization”, like “conversion rate optimization”, is a limiting term. Yes, on-page optimization is key, but mature organizations view “landing page optimization” as the optimization of the entire experience, from first to last customer touchpoint.

Landing pages are only one element of a stellar, high-converting marketing campaign. And focusing all of your attention on optimizing only one element is just foolish.

From testing your featured ads, to tracking click-through rates of Thank You emails, to tracking returns and refunds, to tracking leads through the rest of the funnel, a better-performing landing page is about much more than on-page conversion rate lift.

landing-page-optimization-big-picture
On-page optimization is just one part of the whole picture.

An example is worth 1,000 words

One of our clients is a company that provides an online consumer information service—visitors type in a question and get an Expert answer. One of the first zones (areas on their website) that we focused on was a particular landing page funnel.

Visitors come from an ad, and land on page where they can ask their question. They then enter a 4-step funnel: Step 1: Ask the question > Step 2: Add more information > Step 3: Pick an Expert > Step 4: Get an answer (aka the checkout page)

Our primary goal was to increase transactions, meaning we had to move visitors all the way through the funnel. But we were also tracking refunds and chargebacks, as well as revenue per visitor.

More than pushing a visitor to ‘convert’, we wanted to make sure those visitors went on to be happy, satisfied customers.

In this experiment, we focused on the value proposition statements. The control landing page exclaimed, “A new question is answered every 9 seconds!“. Our Strategy team had determined (through user testing) that “speed of answers” was the 8th most valuable element of the service for customers, and that “peace of mind / reassurance” was the most important.

So, they tested two variations, featuring two different value proposition statements meant to create more peace of mind for visitors:

  • “Join 6,152,585 satisfied customers who got professional answers…”
  • “Connect One on One with an Expert who will answer your question”

Both of these variations ultimately increased transactions, by 6% and 9.4% respectively. But! We also saw large decreases in refunds and chargebacks with both variations, and large increases in net revenue per visitor for both variations.

By following visitors past the actual conversion, we were able to confirm that these initial statements set an impactful tone: visitors were more satisfied with their purchases, and comfortable investing more in their expert responses.

3) Consider the big picture.

As you think of landing page optimization as the optimization of a complete digital experience, you should also think of landing page optimization as part of your overall digital optimization strategy.

When you discover an insight about visitors to your product page, feed it into a test on your landing page. When you discover an insight about visitor behavior on your landing page, feed it into a test on your website.

It’s true that your landing pages most likely cater to specific visitor segments, who may behave totally differently than your organic visitors. But, it is also true that landing page wins may be overall wins.

Plus, landing page insights can be very valuable, because they are often new visitor insights. And now, a little more advice from Chris Goward, optimization guru:

“Your best opportunities for testing your value proposition are with first impression visitors. These are usually new visitors to your high traffic landing pages or your home page […]

By split testing your alternative value propositions with new visitors, you’ll reduce your exposure to existing customers or prospects who are already in the consideration phase. New prospects have a blank canvas for you to present your message variations and see what sticks.

Then, from the learning gained on landing pages, you can validate insights with other target audience groups and with your customers to leverage the learning company-wide.

Landing page testing can do more than just improve conversion rates on landing pages. When done strategically, it can deliver powerful, high-leverage marketing insights.”



Just because your landing pages are separate from your website, does not mean that your landing page optimization should be separate from your other optimization efforts. A landing page is just another zone, and you are free to (and should) use insights from one zone when testing on another zone.

4) Go deeper, explore further.

A lot of marketers talk about landing page design: how to build the right landing page, where to position each element, what color scheme and imagery to use, etc.

But when you dig into the why behind your test results, it’s like breaking into a piñata of possibilities, or opening a box of idea confetti.

landing-page-optimization-ideas
Discovering the reason behind the result is like opening a box of idea confetti!

Why do your 16-25 year old, mobile users respond so favorably to a one-minute video testimonial from a past-purchaser? Do they respond better to this indicator of social proof than another?

Why do your visitors prefer one landing page under normal circumstances, and a different version when external factors change (like a holiday, or a crisis)? Can you leverage this insight throughout your website?

Why does one type of urgency phrasing work, while slightly different wording decreases conversions on your page? Are your visitors sensitive to overly salesy copy? Why or why not?

Not only are there hundreds of psychological principles to explore within your landing page testing, but landing page optimization is also intertwined with your personalization strategy.

For many marketers, personalized landing pages are becoming more normal. And personalization opens the door to even more potential customer insights. Assuming you already have visitor segments, you should test the personalized experiences on your landing pages.

For example, imagine you have started using your visitors’ first names in the hero banner of your landing page. Have you validated that this personalized experience is more effective than another, like moving a social proof indicator above the fold? Both can be deemed personalization, but they tap into very different motivations.

From psychological principles, to validating your personalized experiences, the possibilities for testing on your landing pages are endless.

Just keep testing, Dory-style

Your landing page(s) will never be “optimized”. That is the beauty and cruelty of optimization: we are always chasing unattainable perfection.

But your landing pages can definitely be better than they are now. Even if you have a high-converting page, even if your page is listed by Hubspot as one of the 16 best designed landing pages, even if you’ve followed all of the rules…your landing page can be better.

Because I’m not just talking about conversions, I’m talking about your entire customer experience. If you give them the opportunity, your new users will tell you what’s wrong with your page.

They’ll tell you where it is unclear and where it is distracting.

They’ll tell you what motivates them.

They’ll tell you how personal you should get.

They’ll tell you how to set expectations so that they can become satisfied customers or clients.

A well-designed landing page is just the beginning of landing page optimization.

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How to get evergreen results from your landing page optimization

Small changes, big LIFT

“Less is more.”

Did you ever wonder where that phrase came from?

Steve Jobs? Yoda?

Turns out, Robert Browning first penned those words in the 19th century, in a poem inspiring minimalist designers to push the limits of simplicity.

Keep testing.
Big changes or small, always keep testing.

Although we know this recommendation colloquially, it’s sometimes hard to accept it when making investments in business decisions.

It’s tempting to assume that dramatic redesigns are necessary for major impact, but with the right hypothesis, pinpointed to solve the right conversion barrier, you can see the right kind of lift even without dramatic changes.

The devil’s in the details

(Another stalwart minimalist precept).

One of testing’s many benefits is isolating sensitive areas and seeing the reactions to micro changes. While it’s tempting to brush off these isolations and small adjustments, the results they yield can sometimes outweigh major redesign tests – if the hypothesis is solid.

More times than not, it’s the simplest experiments – ones that rely on good ideas and not on UX fireworks – that produce the best results.

Alhan Keser, Optimization Strategist

In other words, even a small change can have big impact if it’s based on a great hypothesis.

Here’s what I mean:

Strengthening the ‘scent trail’

One of WiderFunnel’s clients runs a strictly Facebook ad campaign: they use information from Facebook profiles to cue a single ad, which sends visitors to a landing page funnel that is directly correlated to this ad.

The client already had the Facebook ‘Like’ button on their page, but it was given low prominence in the footer.

Facebook widget
To add social relevance, we moved the Facebook widget from bottom to top of the page.

Taking the visitor journey into account, we wanted to test the power of social context: in one A/B test, we simply brought the Facebook button to the header of the page.

This is clearly a minor change. Some may say it’s inconsequential.

So, why did we plan such a small isolation test in this case?

In planning the test, we referred to the LIFT Model™, and identified a Relevance LIFT barrier.

LIFT Model
The WiderFunnel LIFT Model.

We believed that visitors arriving from Facebook needed a stronger tie-in to the source media, and hypothesized that moving the Facebook icon above the page fold would improve relevance in this specific landing page context.

And, that hypothesis was proven to produce a winner: moving the widget to the top of the page yielded a 10.7% lift in completed orders!

This isn’t a one-off result: isolations like this help determine the sensitivity of users to various factors, often leading to more dramatic tests based on those insights.

No, we’re not talking about buttons, or bringing in BOB. Some of the most impactful small changes can involve testing your value proposition – AKA what makes your users tick? (Trust us, they want to tell you).

Value proposition tests can often entail just a few carefully-selected, yet highly impactful words. Taglines, for example, are great value proposition target area to test.

Are taglines important?

For another client, we created an experiment that added a tagline below their logo.

Added a tagline
Turns out, this logo just needed some clarification.

Again, this might seem like such a microscopic change – a few letters being rearranged like a half-hearted scrabble game – but think again!

After all, the right small changes can create big lift.

In the above test, all we did was isolate the changes of the copy – creating a value proposition that communicated ease for the user.

This was a sitewide test, which means every new visitor was entered into this experiment. The impact was astounding: a 67% increase in completed orders across the entire website!

Now, of course, that’s not a typical result for such a minor change. We believe it was so impactful because of a Clarity problem throughout the website. Our qualitative conversion analysis during the Explore phase of our optimization process had revealed an insight: many visitors weren’t sure what this particular company’s products did.

We hypothesized that adding a tagline to summarize what the company does would lift sales, and it did!

The two examples provided may not be impressive from a design perspective – no fancy overhauls, no methodical UX considerations. But, they both delivered big wins because they were based on great hypotheses.

What about dramatic changes?

This isn’t to say that dramatic redesign A/B tests aren’t also necessary. In many cases, it would be too time-consuming or even impossible to iterate your website or landing page from it’s current point to it’s ultimate potential.

Dramatic redesign tests should be used to create a consistent value proposition approach, to experiment with a new design treatment, or aim for fast and large revenue lift. The crux of the matter is knowing when to use which experimental design.

The art of the Optimization Strategist

This is where the art of the strategy comes into play. A skilled and experienced optimizer must balance the tradeoffs between testing large changes and small changes, taking into account traffic volumes, risk capacity, and the hypothesis pipeline.

A great experimental design will balance the competing variables and, over time, maximize both (a) revenue lift and (b) insights, producing what we call profitable ‘A-ha!’ moments on a regular basis.

What about your tests? Have you seen massive lifts from micro changes?

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Small changes, big LIFT

How To Build A Landing Page From Scratch

A while back, we discussed ready-made landing pages in some detail. We evaluated how to customize lading pages “out of the box” and even reviewed the top landing page providers. For many businesses, ready-made landing pages are the way to go. You don’t have the time, expertise, or team to tackle landing pages without help, […]

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How To Build A Landing Page From Scratch

Understand This BEFORE You Start Your Business

The success of your business depends on 3 major factors. Team Product Market Fit You can’t succeed if your business isn’t running properly or nobody knows about it… of course. But even if you’re an efficiency machine with a killer marketing strategy, you’ll never succeed if the product/market fit just isn’t there. I might be […]

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Understand This BEFORE You Start Your Business

How To Put The UNIQUE In Your Unique Value Proposition

According to ConversionXL, value proposition is the #1 factor influencing whether a visitor to your website will “peace out” or continue reading. In other words, it’s kind of a big deal. When visitors reach your homepage, you have only a few seconds to catch their attention. This requires you to be something they haven’t seen […]

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How To Put The UNIQUE In Your Unique Value Proposition

5 Tips to Craft a Better Value Proposition

Value propositions are everywhere—some good, some bad. Essentially a value proposition is your statement of what your company does best. But a lot of people have trouble communicating that in an easy-to-understand manner. Let’s imagine that you explain what you do simply and concisely. Clarity alone doesn’t cut the deal. Does your value proposition matter […]

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5 Tips to Craft a Better Value Proposition

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27 SaaS Customer Retention Strategies You Need to Be Using Today

In SaaS, customer retention is everything.

In order to be truly successful, a SaaS must have steady customer acquisition and successful customer retention. But since retention is less expensive than acquisition, you’re most cost effective strategy is to…you guessed it…hang on to those customers!

Existing customers are where the big spending happens. According to Groove, there’s a 5-20% chance of selling to a new prospect. What about your existing customers? You have a 60-70% chance of a successful sale!

image002Image source

Existing customers are a lifeline of cash, value, money, and everything nice.

Retention is your number-one strategy for profitability. Churn is public enemy number one. So, the question, is, how do you retain customers?

Thankfully, I have a bunch of strategies to share with you. These strategies truly work. Why? Because I’m not giving you mere gimmicks.

I’m giving you real business-altering approaches that transform you from a customer-in/customer-out churn machine, and into a customer retention unicorn.


27 SaaS Customer Retention Strategies You Need to Be Using Today – by @neilpatel
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1. Raise your price.

A higher price creates a perception of greater value. Such a perception turns into a reality once the customer spends the money. They have committed to a cost, and that cost is reflected on their balance sheet.

Now that they’ve made the expenditure, the customer is far more likely to use the product (engagement). Engagement is the number-one predictor of customer retention. You’ve effectively sparked engagement and reduced the likelihood of that customer canceling.

2. Reconsider your value proposition.

Why did your customer become a customer in the first place? You may not know the exact reason for every customer, but you can get a good sense of the reasons why by understanding your value proposition or unique selling proposition.

I suggest that you take a look at that value proposition, because it forms of the core reason the customer started with you. Very likely, the reason they are still with you is because of the value you offer.

If you’ve somehow gotten off center from your value proposition, make whatever changes are necessary to continue to offer that same great value to your client.

3. Reassert your value proposition.

And just in case the customer has forgotten, remind them of it. A value proposition that was successful in attracting a client should be the same value proposition that is successful in retaining the client.

You can use email marketing and regular touch points with the client to keep making your value proposition stand out in their mind. The more you prove your value, the more they will believe it, experience it, and stay devoted.

4. Re-analyze the onboarding process.

Anything that got the customer to become a customer in the first place should also serve to retain the customer for the long term.

Look at your onboarding process to see what features of your service are appealing, compelling, and motivating to a potential customer. These are the same traits that will keep customers happy for the long term.

5. Follow up on every interaction with the customer.

I’m not talking here about service requests. I’m talking about going the extra mile after the customer’s problem has been solved.

A typical service request and solution looks like this:

  1. Customer: We have a problem.
  2. Support Team: I’ve helped you. Have a nice day.

I recommend that you add another layer of follow-up to this process:

  1. Customer: We have a problem.
  2. Support Team: I’ve helped you. Have a nice day.
  3. Bonus Follow-Up: Hey, we helped you a couple weeks ago. How are things going now? Anything else we can help with?

How’s that for customer care? Not only are you ensuring that the problem is solved, but you’re also making sure that the customer is satisfied. In the customer retention game, solving problems is just as important as satisfied customers.

6. Avoid customer satisfaction surveys, or any unnecessary surveys for that matter.

Let me piggyback on the point above by discussing a common scenario.

Often, this is the situation that I see.

  1. Customer: We have a problem.
  2. Support Team: I’ve helped you. Have a nice day.
  3. Annoying Follow-Up: Hey, please fill out this survey. We know you’re miffed about the problem, but now that it’s fixed, please fill out the survey. Please. Please. Please.
  4. Customer: (Ignores the dang survey.)
  5. Bonus Annoying Follow-up: Didya fill it out?! Huh?! Why not?! Come on!

What’s the result of this exchange? The customer is not happy anymore. Sure, their problem is fixed, but are they happy about it? No. They’re annoyed. From their perspective, you care more about your survey then you do about their productivity and well-being.

Surveys are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you might get important and valuable data. On the other hand, you might tick some people off. I would much rather gain data automatically through customer usage then going the survey route.

Another way to gain valuable data is through phone calls. When you’re making your rounds, calling clients to check on their status, ask them a few diagnostic questions to assess the performance of the SaaS and their experience.

Are customer satisfaction surveys universally evil? No, not always. But they are risky. The very fact that a customer receives a survey can reduce their satisfaction level.

7. Upsell.

A SaaS upsell is the process of engaging an existing customer at a deeper level. You raise the level of service and they pay you more. Upsells improve your profits (as long as you’re pricing them correctly).

Upselling accomplishes three very good things: 1) deepens relationships, 2) raises the value that the customer receives, 3) increases the customer’s customer lifetime value (CLV).

We shouldn’t view upselling as a dirty word, or some underhanded technique to filch extra cash from gullible customers. Upselling is a win-win. Customers get better stuff. You get more cash. And here’s the kicker:  The customer is going to stay around longer.

It’s time to start viewing upsells as a retention strategy.

8. Emphasize engagement as soon as possible.

The most important way to improve your churn rate is to drive engagement. Here’s how Lincoln Murphy defines engagement:  “Engagement is when your customer is realizing value from your SaaS.”

How does a customer realize value from your SaaS? By using it. Whatever you can do to and for the customer to get them to use your product, do it. Emails, questions, phone calls, encouragements, bribery: get the customer to use your service.

The sooner they use it, the quicker they realize value. The quicker they realize value, the less likely they are to quit.

9. Develop a regular interaction schedule.

Interact with your customers as frequently as is realistic. This depends, of course, on the nature and size of your SaaS. If you offer enterprise-level services at thousands of dollars per month, you need to have a stick-close-to-them approach to interacting with your customers.

Don’t just call them for upsells. Don’t just call them about billing problems. Call them to be awesome. Call them to say “hi.” Call them so they can vent if they need to. Create a partner approach, and you’ll lose way fewer clients.

10. Send targeted tips.

When a customer completes a significant action in the SaaS, create an automatic email to send to them.

For example, if a customer creates an invoice on your bookkeeping software, automate an email saying “Hey, that was easy, wasn’t it? Want to get more tips, like creating invoice templates?” Show them your YouTube video on the topic, or point them to an article where they can learn even more.

With simple techniques like that, you can add more value and lose fewer customers.

11. Provide free training.

The more complex your software, the more users will want to learn about its power. Provide free webinars or training sessions to coach users on how to get more value out of the SaaS.

There are several advantages to such an approach. First, you’re increasing the value of the SaaS to the customer. Second, you’re creating a deeper relationship between you and the customer. Both of these features can help to reduce churn.

12. Invite feedback.

When customers suggest improvements, they are investing themselves in the life and existence of the company. They feel a sense of ownership.

Since this is true, make feedback a significant part of your retention strategy. I’m not simply referring to some “suggestion box” tucked away in a dark corner of your website. Instead, create overt invitations for improvements on your pricing page, a link from your monthly invoice, or some other place where customers will see it.


“Make feedback a significant part of your retention strategy” @neilpatel
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13. Respond instantly to customer needs.

Make it your goal to respond to all customer inquiries in 24 hours or less. If it’s during the workday, shave that time down to two hours. Customers deserve your immediate attention.

14. Follow your customers on social media.

If your customers follow you on social media, follow them back. This serves two purposes. First, you make them feel good — like they are a valued part of your social circles. Second, you can listen to them and respond to their feedback.

One VentureBeat article puts the issue plainly:

By constantly monitoring the social web, the customer success team ensures that they quickly reply to all inquiries or feedback. In fact, many users have lauded companies for their quick responses on Facebook and Twitter.

15. Build out social profiles to develop multiple ways of interacting.

The more touch points you have with your customers, the more likely they are to stay highly engaged. Be sure to create a robust social presence so your customers will both see you and be able to reach out to you on whatever forum they prefer.

Obviously, social media is not strictly a retention strategy, but it does encourage awareness of your SaaS in front of the customer. This awareness, in turn, can improve engagement. And engagement, as you’ve learned, is the number-one way to reduce churn rate.

16. Consider a loyalty program.

Loyalty programs work. You’ll find that a simple loyalty program can keep customers coming back and sticking with you.

A loyalty program doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated to be effective. Often, simple rewards like an occasional discount or gift card can help users understand that they are recognized and valued.

17. Create progress towards a goal.

Psychologists have discovered that when people progress towards a goal, they feel much happier and fulfilled.

You can apply this truth to your life as a whole, and you can apply it to the microcosm of SaaS. When SaaS users work towards a goal, they develop an eagerness and intensity to have more interaction with the SaaS.

The most obvious place we see this is with games, in which users attain new levels and rankings. But the same holds true for non-game applications. LinkedIn, for example, indicates a user’s progress towards filling out their profile. The Audible App gives users badges for listening to their audiobooks at a certain time or with certain patterns.

If you can delight your customers with simple goal-focused actions, you can retain them better and reduce church.

18. Create a retention team.

If you create a retention team, it proves that you’re serious about customer retention.

Plus, a retention team provides you with a dedicated resource for engaging with clients. Here’s what your retention team can do:

image003

The more aggressively you tackle the problem of turnover, the better you’ll succeed in retaining your customers.

19. Measure customer engagement.

As explained above, customer engagement is the number one predictor of retention.

Since this is true, it’s important not only to encourage engagement, but also to measure engagement. Whether you develop a customer success map, or perform cohort analysis, it’s important that you get the data that tells a story.

20. Set customer expectations.

Let’s just ask a simple question that gets at the heart of this article. Why would a customer leave?

One blanket reason goes like this:  Their expectations were not met.

How can you affect that factor? The customer’s expectation is their problem, right? Wrong. It’s your problem. Who is responsible for setting the customer’s expectation? You are.

Before a customer signs on the dotted line or downloads a free trial, tell them what to expect if they become a customer.

Pro tip:  Make sure that you set the customer’s expectations lower than you can realistically achieve. Remember to under-promise and over-deliver. But whatever you do, set expectations. As you meet those expectations, customers will be satisfied, and you’ll keep them around for a long time.

21. Brand yourself as a service, not a software.

SaaS providers live in a tricky world. They have to be both a service and software. They can’t fake it on either front or just pretend that they’re a software or a service. They have to truly be both.

But why is it that your customers pay you every month? Because you’re serving them. Can they see that? Can they feel that? Do they know that? If you can provide service in tangible ways, you will become vastly more successful at retaining customers.


“Provide service in a tangible way to become more successful at retaining customers.” @neilpatel
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I recommend creating a strategy to roll out service improvements on a schedule that corresponds to your billing schedule. Every month, the customer watches a payment withdrawn for their recurring billing. They need to feel like they are getting something in return. Increase security, upgrade storage, or implement other features that make the customer feel like they’re getting additional value.

22. Add new security features.

What do your SaaS customers want most?

Thankfully, you don’t have to guess. A survey from Vormetric discovered that security is a top concern, especially for SaaS enterprise customers. SaaS is oft-criticized for its lack of security.

In reality, SaaS can be incredibly secure. You just have to prove it to your customers.

Customers want to hear that you are taking active measures to secure their data. The way that you can do this is by incrementally adding new layers of security, rolling it out, and announcing it to your clients.

With every new security iteration, you can build the confidence of your customers. Be aware, however, that this technique has diminishing returns. If you keep making things more and more secure, they may start to wonder why you’re beefing up security. Is there a threat?

Make the changes, with a full disclosure that there is no threat, but you are simply committed to the highest level of security that technology allows.

23. Release a new version.

If customers get bored, they’re going to leave.

Is boredom even a thing in SaaS? Well, maybe. Call it lack of interest or engagement if you want to. Customers who aren’t deriving value from the product will eventually wander off and find something that does provide value (in their view).

To increase the perception that your SaaS is valuable, all you need to do is release a new version. Of course, you need to make it free, and you need to make it automatic, and you need to make it truly meaningful.

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You should not release a new version simply for the sake of releasing a new version. Instead, you release a new version because you want to provide more value for your customers.

24. Upgrade the customer automatically.

How would you feel is you were subscribing to, say, Buzzfeed, a content sharing analysis tool. You were plodding along at the pro level for $99/month. You used it a lot, and kind of wished you had enough in your budget to afford the agency level plan.

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One day, you get an email from a BuzzSumo VP. He says, “Hey, I noticed you’ve been using Buzzfeed quite a bit. We’d like to upgrade your membership, at no charge, to the agency level subscription. You’ll get quite a bit more power out of the tool, and plenty more mentions. I hope you find it useful. The change is effective immediately.”

I’d say you’d be pretty happy about that. I’d even go on to say that you’d stick with BuzzSumo for a long time. How much did it cost BuzzSumo to upgrade your membership? Probably not much. A few pennies maybe.

How much did it increase your likelihood of remaining a customer? A whole lot.

Surprise gifts or delightful experiences are a powerful way of turning laissez faire users into passionate evangelists. Not only do you amp up your marketing, but you also improve your retention rate.

25. Make it easy for customers to leave.

Some customers are going to leave. Fact of life. Don’t make it hard for them. The harder you make it, the more loudly they’ll complain.

A SixteeenVentures article makes that point that an obvious exit is an underutilized means of retaining customers. Why? It’s all about the messaging. If you make the exit process easy, then you must also inform them of the value that they are losing.

Here’s how he explains it:

Just like you must sell them on the value of your offering upon sign-up, you must do this on exit, too. Remind them of why they signed-up, and what they’ll lose — not just the saved data but their investment in the product to this point — if they cancel. Remind them a couple of times, too, because if they actually cancel, all is lost. Make them have to re-consider whether that is the decision they want to make right then or not. But also have a big button that will let them cancel right then.

No one likes to see a customer cancel, but if they do, don’t make it hard for them. If they can’t easily get out, they’re going to make a big social stink about the experience, and you’ll be left looking stupid.

26. Conduct exit interviews.

If a customer is committed to leaving, so be it. But can you have a word with them before they walk away?

Some customers will be so disgruntled that they won’t want to have anything else to do with you. Others will be amenable to answering a few questions or chatting on the phone. Remember, your goal isn’t to get them back. Don’t even try.

Instead, make it your point to understand why they left. You can use this information to transform your process and create more value for your existing customers.

27. Assign each customer a retention specialist.

I’ve suggested that you create a customer retention team. To take this a level deeper, I also suggest that you assign each customer a retention specialist.

If you have a few clients, each paying a lot of money, this technique is extremely effective. A customer retention specialist is someone whose job it is to interact with the client on a regular basis. They may not be able to answer advanced technical questions, but they can at least keep customers happy.

If a customer goes on alert, it’s too late to form a relationship and salvage them. The care and relationship need to be happening long before that point. A customer retention specialist will keep that care and nurture in place.

Conclusion

Customer retention is one of the most important activities in a SaaS business. You’re not left to the winds of chance and bad luck. You can do something about churn rate.

Pick one strategy from this list. Keep your eye on the retention rates, and watch them improve.

What is your favorite customer retention strategy?

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Neil Patel.

The post 27 SaaS Customer Retention Strategies You Need to Be Using Today appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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27 SaaS Customer Retention Strategies You Need to Be Using Today

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8 Elements You Need to Nail for a Top-Performing Landing Page

Want to nail landing page conversion? It’s not rocket science. If you follow some tried and true optimization practices, you can get more from any landing page.

We’ve isolated eight elements that, when done right, can all but guarantee better results.

But honestly, you shouldn’t take our word for it. You need to test, so you get the best possible outcome on your website, with your audience. These tips will get you started. Regular A/B testing will drive up your conversion rates.

So what are the eight elements you need to get right? Let’s begin.

positionly - placeitSource: Placeit.net

1. Do Audience Research

Before you create a landing page, you need to know who it’s for. In other words, identify your audience. The chances are, you’re already collecting data to help you to do this, especially if you’re using analytics software. (You ARE using analytics software, aren’t you?)

Universal Analytics includes demographic data so you can find out the gender, age and interests of your audience, and you can get location, technology and more from other reports within your account.

target yours landing page with this insight on your readers

That’s a good starting point, but remember to check out statistics from your advertising campaigns so you can see who’s responding to your marketing and pay per click (PPC) keywords. Put that all together and you will be able to create landing pages that surprise and delight your audience.

Learn more in this presentation from KISSmetrics: How to do Better Market Research.

2. Set Up Measurement

It may seem premature to think about measuring results before you set up your landing page, but it isn’t. It’s essential to know which marketing initiatives are driving traffic to your landing page so you can tweak your strategy when needed. After all, when you know what’s working, it’s easy to deliver more of the same. Using UTM tags helps you figure this out by tying links to campaigns.

Find out how to set this up for your landing page with CrazyEgg’s Google URL Builder tutorial.

3. Align Your Branding

As a web user, there’s nothing worse than following a link to a landing page and being unable to see how it relates to where you have just come from. This can happen if your branding is not aligned across your online presence.

The more cohesive your brand, the easier it is for people to trust you. Your landing page needs to include contact information, social proof (more on that later), and external validation through trust seals and testimonials. If people are visiting from social media, they will expect to see branding, tone and messaging similar to what’s on your profiles, too.

Here are 10 ways to build trust on your landing page, courtesy of UX Movement.

landing page trust elements

Testimonials and association with big brands build trust.

4. Pass the “So What?” Test

You only have a few seconds to make a good impression. Less than 5, actually. That’s not a lot of time to make people care about what you have to offer.

Sure, people who have followed a link from your social media profile or an article you have written are a little bit interested, but when they get to your landing page, you have to grab their attention by showing why your offer is important to them and what they will gain. In other words, you need effective landing page content that demonstrates value, credibility and authority. If you don’t, your audience will say “so what?” and be gone forever.

Check out these tips from Neil Patel on compelling landing page design to help your visitors stick around.

5. Showcase your USP

You know what you absolutely must show in those 5 seconds? Your unique selling point (USP) or value proposition. This is about how product or service is different from any other product or service your audience could choose. As Unbounce points out, this isn’t about you, but about what your visitors need.

An excellent headline followed by a showcase of features and benefits will help highlight your value and improve landing page conversions. If you can’t explain in a few well-chosen words what makes you stand out, go back to the drawing board till you can.

landing page value proposition

Speaking of Unbounce, here’s how they present their value proposition.

6. Use Images and Video

Images and video are red-hot social media currency, and they can make your landing page even more effective. While you don’t want to overdo the technique, getting the right image or video can be a shortcut to delivering your message and building trust.

Video keeps people on your landing page longer, which means there’s more time for them to check out your offer. Short, high-quality videos can give your landing page some much needed oomph. Check out this KISSmetrics guide for tips on harmonizing your videos with your landing page.

7. Include Social Proof

As mentioned earlier, social proof is a proven conversion booster. Anyone who visits your landing page wants to know that other people (especially people like them) have found your offer compelling.

Social media shares, external reviews, testimonials and video testimonials are all examples of social proof that can make a big difference to the effectiveness of your landing page. And if you can also attract some influencers and get them to endorse your product or service, your landing page will be even more compelling. In the end, it comes down to building trust.

For more on social proof and conversions, check out:

8. Nail the CTA

Get the call to action (CTA) right and your landing page succeeds. If people take the action you want, then your landing page works. If they don’t, it doesn’t. It’s as simple as that.

All the elements above lead people to the point where they click, download, buy or take whatever action you want them to take.

It could be text-based, blending into the rest of your copy like this CTA from Bottom Line Publications:

text-based CTA

Or summarize your presentation, like this one from Digital Marketer:

cta - digital marketer

The key is to tell people what to do next while reminding them of the benefits of taking action and minimizing the risk.

There’s a lot of advice on CTAs right here on the Crazy Egg blog, covering everything from button design and psychology to examples and tests. You can also find out about color, timing and more in this article from Quicksprout.

Bonus Tip: Do it All Again

By now you should know who you are targeting with your landing page, what your USP is and have a great CTA, plus using headlines, images and video to reinforce your brand.

The final step is to launch your landing page then test and measure to see if it’s as successful as you hope. If not, come back to this guide and start over—you’ll soon have a landing page that works.

What have you done to improve your landing pages this year?

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Sharon Hurley Hall.

The post 8 Elements You Need to Nail for a Top-Performing Landing Page appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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8 Elements You Need to Nail for a Top-Performing Landing Page