The biggest challenge a start-up faces in its first year is not discovery but assertion. Assertion comes from customers agreeing that the product is of value and can provide RoI for both time and money. While advertising dollars can bring your audience to you, only quality can keep them engaged and interested.
As a SaaS based solution, your website is THE most important avenue for your customers to see. Did you know that on an average customers spend only 15 seconds on a web page? If you are in the SaaS business, those 15 seconds are all you have to present your case and convince your customer. A startup could have a brilliant product but when it comes to customer acquisition, a poorly designed website or a weak positioning message could kill your customer’s interest in your solution in a matter of seconds.
Let’s say you rework your website with an improved positioning and value proposition and start attracting an audience. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
– Do you know what actually worked on your website?
– What percentage of your audience are your target customers?
– How many of these customers can you actually retain or convert to paying customers?
When you go from a website that doesn’t work to one that does, it is important to analyze what is driving those conversions and use that feedback to iterate the website design and improve your positioning. Unlike product usability testing, this process cannot be simulated in a controlled environment; you have to let it play out in the wild. In the context of muHive, there are two things that helped us figure this out: Customer feedback and Analytics. Never discount a conversation with the customer. When we started talking to our BETA customers, we asked them what about the marketing message caught their eye. Their answers caused a radical shift in the way we perceived our own value proposition and led to us iterating our message over and over to appeal to a wider audience. We validated these iterations with comprehensive web analytics.
All of this is definitely not an easy process. It took us more than 4 iterations spaced out over a year to get to a value proposition that actually works, but we still haven’t stopped tweaking it.
Here are some of the optimizations that have given us a big advantage in our customer acquisition initiatives. I hope some of these will work for you as well.