Growth-Driven Design: A Perfect Methodology for SaaS Companies

Software as a service (SaaS) is one of the fastest-growing industries in business today. Cloud software is in high demand across all verticals, and the number of cloud solutions used by small businesses is predicted to double by the year 2020. 

This high demand has resulted in strong competition. In most verticals, multiple providers are vying for the same market, and not all of them succeed. Those that do have one thing in common; a website that is constantly optimised and iterated to drive conversion and reduce churn. 

The website is the centrepiece of the business for SaaS companies. For new-to-market businesses, it’s also often the sole salesperson. The growth-driven design methodology provides SaaS companies with an effective framework for data-driven optimisation and iteration, mitigates the risks inherent in website design projects, and offers a superior cash flow alternative to expensive up-front project costs. 

Growth-Driven Design Definition 

Growth-driven design is the answer to an outdated and inefficient process. Traditional website design projects require large upfront costs and frequently run over deadline and budget. More significantly, the end product often underperforms because the design was built on assumptions and opinions. Even if those assumptions were correct at the beginning of the design process, they might no longer be by the time of the project’s completion. 

In answer to this frustrating and lengthy process, growth-driven design projects begin with a launchpad website that goes live in a drastically reduced time frame. Launchpad sites include all of the fundamental elements needed to produce results. However, they are intended as a base from which to improve over time.

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Once the launchpad site is live, it’s subjected to ongoing analysis using a suite of tools, like Hotjar for user tracking and traditional analytics programs for standard metrics. The remaining project budget (which would have already been exhausted in a traditional design project) is then used to make data-driven month-on-month website improvements. 

The result of a growth-driven design project is a better cash flow for businesses, a more efficient project timeline, and a far superior website that is optimised based on real user data.

Growth-Driven Design for SaaS Companies

As mentioned, a website optimised for peak conversion and reduced churn is a SaaS company’s greatest asset. SaaS companies, particularly those that are relatively new to the market, simply cannot afford to invest considerable resources into a website that doesn’t perform as anticipated.

The growth-driven design methodology allows SaaS companies to engage in an efficient program of optimisation and iteration. Furthermore, it’s a methodology that is almost tailor-made for websites where small tweaks can yield breakthrough results. For example, as described in our award-winning growth-driven design program with software company Buildsoft, a call-to-action copy change resulted in a 400% increase in conversion rate on free product trials. 

Other successes in our growth-driven design work with Buildsoft include;

  • Increasing monthly lead volume by 93%
  • Increasing visit-to-lead conversion rate from 0.6% to 5.07%
  • Increasing monthly site visits by 47%
  • Increasing monthly page views by 23% 

SaaS Website Calls-to-Action

The SaaS marketing model relies on fundamental calls-to-action like, 

  • Get a Trial
  • See a Demo
  • Get Started

The rigorous optimisation of these calls-to-action is therefore essential to improve conversion. Whether it be copy, design or placement changes, SaaS testing and optimisation programs should be strategic and regimented. Under a growth-driven design program, calls-to-action are a focal point of strategic, data-driven improvement. 

Growth-Driven Design and Customer Retention Strategies

Customer retention is critically important to building a viable SaaS business. In fact, 55% of SaaS companies say customer retention cost is the single most important metric to measure. With the average SaaS company losing 10% of its revenue to churn each year, customer retention strategies should be an ongoing focus within a growth-driven design program. 

After sale initiatives like product support, webinars, tutorials and feature rollouts can allow SaaS businesses to reduce churn rates. To continue with the Buildsoft case study, our product webinars growth-driven design initiative sees hundreds of enrolments each week, and has proven to be an unexpected source of lead generation.

How to Start Using Growth-Driven Design 

Before you engage an agency to begin a website design project, we highly recommend considering the growth-driven design methodology as a more strategic alternative. Things to look for in a growth-driven design partner include: 

  • A documented framework for logging website changes, their priority, predicted impact, target metric, funnel focus, cost and progress
  • A sustainable testing program that uses relevant and reliable analytics tools
  • Documented personas
  • Overall website strategy including lead generation tactics and focus metrics. 

If you’re interested in learning what your website design project will cost, try our Cost Estimator Bot below: 

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