Ahh, the key question on every SaaS startup founder’s mind – ‘how to improve sign-ups for saas’. From brand awareness and marketing to user experience and design, there are many elements that could affect your SaaS sign-ups.
At Strafe Creative we specialise in conversion-led design. Over the last 10+ years, we’ve worked hard to identify the exact formula that helps e-commerce companies increase sales and SaaS startups (and scale-ups) convert more users and increase their MRR.
Before we improve sales we’ve got to get our users and prospects interested in our software first. Getting those saas sign-ups is crucial yet many organisations struggle with that initial conversion…
We’ve identified eight common problems and we’re going to explain how to improve sign-ups for SaaS through easy-to-implement updates. We’ll be using examples from OptinMonster* to bring some best practices to life.
OptinMonster is the best lead-generation plugin for WordPress, used by over 1,000,000 websites. It allows you to create beautiful attention-grabbing opt-in forms that are proven to boost conversions. Their goal is simple: Help you turn more of your website visitors into email subscribers and customers.
So here goes, 8 reasons why your SaaS sign-ups are low…
1. You’re trying to target everyone
By targeting everyone, you’re essentially targeting no one. With everyone’s pain points and problems in mind, it’s so much harder and more complicated to communicate why your SaaS solution is the best for them.
How to fix it? Starting with a niche audience and their pain points is a much more effective way to grow your business in the beginning. You can be clear and specific in your message about why you are the solution for them. Then once successful in one niche you can branch out to new ones, later down the line.
Example: OptinMonster originally targeted ONLY e-commerce organisations with a very niche offering. Over time they have expanded to offer solutions for publishers and agencies too.
2. You’re unclear about your main benefit
How can you expect anyone to sign-up if they’re not clear exactly what they’re signing up for? This links nicely with the first point. Without a niche, it’s much harder to clearly communicate your main benefit.
How to fix it? Identify the main pain points your SaaS solves and therefore the benefits it brings to the user. Use the pain points and the benefits in a short elevator pitch on your main web landing page so that users can quickly see what they’ll get from using your software.
Example: OptinMonster does this really well in its opening text “Stop losing visitors! Instantly grow your email list, get more leads and increase sales”. It’s very clear what they can help you with straight away. Further down the page, they go on to explain this in more detail.
Without this clarity on your main benefit, you’re going to lose people immediately.
3. You don’t have any social proof
Ok, you’re a brand-new business. No one has even tried your product yet, let alone written a review – it’s a chicken and an egg situation. How can you get people to buy your SaaS without other people saying it’s great?!
How to fix it? Give out free access to as many people as you can, in exchange for a review or comment you can share on the website. This is a great way to beta test and then improve your software – people love giving feedback and seeing their ideas taken into consideration. Once you’ve garnered reviews and you’ve got some good feedback share it proudly on your site.
Example: OptinMonster* offers up plenty of social proof. You can see their WordPress 5* reviews, the number of websites that have installed their software, the logos of big credible clients, the number of visitor sessions the tool has optimised and they even have a purchase pop-up every time someone new installs the plugin. A fantastic way to demonstrate trust and quality through third-party experience.
4. Your offer sounds too complicated
It’s tempting to use complex words and detailed descriptions to explain your SaaS. After all, it’s a complex product and you’ve spent lots of time on it, right?
Wrong – your users don’t need or want to read detailed descriptions and explanations, they just want to know if it’s going to solve their problems. If you make it too confusing users won’t want to commit.
How to fix it? Break down any long explanations or descriptions into short digestible sections. Use icons and bullet points to showcase features and benefits. If you are targeting more than one user type (or industry) then create separate pages for each so you can simply explain the benefits to them.
Example: OptinMonster* offers three different pages, one for each of their target industries. On each, there are 6 ways the software will help you, explained simply and to the point.
5. You haven’t shared your pricing
Often, SaaS organisations assume that sharing pricing information will put customers off signing up. In actual fact, it’s the exact opposite. When I cannot find pricing on a website I always assume it’s going to be very expensive, but in some cases, this isn’t true.
Whilst concealing your pricing may have been the way to go a few years ago, today being transparent about how much your SaaS costs is essential.
How to fix it? It’s so easy, be transparent. Offering a range of pricing options depending on users, features and benefits and showcase it on your sales page. It avoids confusion, users can immediately see if it’s within their budget and you won’t annoy people later on in the sign-up process when they realise it’s more than they thought.
Example: OptinMonster offers clear pricing options via a page you can easily navigate to via the main menu. You can see what’s included for each different pricing plan and there are even some extras available for everyone.
6. You only offer an annual payment option
With monthly recurring revenue (MRR) as a key measure of success for every SaaS organisation the temptation to just offer annual payment plans is real.
Yes, we totally understand, you’re worrying you’ll lose people after just one month and so by getting users signed up for 12 months your targets are looking much better.
Unfortunately, however, encouraging people to sign up for a whole year isn’t a great way to get conversions. It does infact put them off – it’s too much of a commitment for software they’re not that familiar with.
How to fix it? Easy – offer monthly and annual payment options. Whilst annual plans are usually offered a slightly lower price, new sign-ups will want to have the option to cancel on a monthly basis. If your SaaS is great for them, then they won’t will they – and you make that extra revenue per month!
7. Your sign-up and onboarding process is too long
There’s no better way to disengage a potential customer than via a long and tedious signup process. Long boring forms are offputting.
How to fix it? Make it as simple as possible to get started. Then during the onboarding, a short, to-the-point conversational approach to answering questions and filling in user details can be a great solution.
8. You don’t offer a trial period
If you’re not giving users the chance to trial your software then you’re missing a trick. A trial for 2 weeks to a month, is a simple way to help prospects see the value in your software before handing over any cash. It’s a great way to improve conversions and help customers have that ‘ah ha’ moment when they realise the true value of your SaaS.
How to fix it? Offer new users the opportunity to trial your software for a period of time before signing up. It typically leads to more sign-ups.
Example: OptinMonster* offers a money-back guarantee. Whilst this is very different to a trial, it does give the user the reassurance that if it doesn’t offer the value to them that was promised, they can still get their investment back.
Conclusion: test and learn
When you’re working on your own offering it can be hard to see the wood for the trees, so we hope that these pointers have helped you identify a new idea that could help you improve sign-ups for your SaaS.
Of course, every business is different and what works for one SaaS organisation might not work for another. Test and learn – see what does and doesn’t work over a period of time. All our recommendations are based on experience so we hope that they can help you improve sign-ups for your SaaS.
If you need further support in the development of a high-converting SaaS product or sales page, get in touch using the Project Planner below.
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