PLG motion FI
By Owen Fay . Posted on December 6, 2022

If you’ve ever bought a car, you know how important the test drive is.

User experience is everything: it’s what will make or break your product!

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A fantastic user experience (UX) is a key component of a product-led motion.

UX encompasses every aspect of your product — whether it’s the features, website, customer service, and more!

A product-led growth (PLG) model is all about the perfect test drive.

Your product’s user experience plays a crucial role in helping users derive value. Having a bulky and outdated product isn’t going to make the cut — your product should be easy to explore and use!

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With the right user experience strategy, your SaaS company can scale beyond the size of your sales team.

Not convinced? Here are five reasons why UX is vital for a successful PLG motion.

5 Reasons Why User Experience Is Paramount to a PLG Motion

1. Delivering a Low-Touch Aha! Moment

The “aha!” moment is when a user looks at your product and thinks,

That’s when a user recognizes the value of your product for the first time. This is most likely to happen from the get-go if your onboarding process offers a low-touch experience.

What does this mean?

This process mostly relies on automation, meaning that there is minimal human intervention. It is self-service, in a way.

You start by providing instructions that customers can use as a guide to go through the setup process and quickly take action.

Case in point: Canva is a freemium online design tool. When you visit Canva’s site/app, you’re welcomed with an automated tutorial that guides you through a four-step workflow.

Why does this work?

Let’s say that you visit Canva to create a design. The tutorial will walk you through actionable steps on how to create one – hence, task completed, and share it with others.

All of this, without any intervention from sales or marketing! And a bonus: no arbitrary, lengthy forms to fill!

This tutorial also includes a self-service box where you can find answers to FAQs. This way, you can solve your problems independently and continue exploring the tool!

Pretty neat, right?

2. Improving Activation Rates

Activation rate is an important metric to improve since you don’t just want free users to try out your product — you want those users to convert and start paying.

It tracks the number of free users who complete certain milestones in your onboarding process. A milestone can be any action that increases the likelihood that the user will come back and continue to use the product.

But you don’t want them to keep using your product for… free… right? Yikes.

Activation rate is a metric that tracks the number of free users and also converts them into paying customers.

“But why would someone pay for this when they can get it for free elsewhere?”

A fantastic user experience is one of the biggest reasons someone would want to continue using your product, therefore boosting your activation rates. Here’s how it works:

  • Product tours: As the name suggests, it’s an interactive tour that shows your users the product features they need in order to get started. These are especially helpful for complex products that may feel difficult at the start for customers to navigate!

To give you an idea, Routific is a route-planning software for delivery businesses. They used product tours to eliminate any confusion about how and why their product is useful.

And voila! This helped them see a 20% lift from previous results in SaaS activation!

  • Checklists: You know that awesome feeling you get when you tick off ALL the checkboxes on your list? That’s what you’re delivering to your customers.

Checklists help users complete their desired actions. By onboarding checklists, you’re ensuring that new users experience your product the way YOU want them to. This means that your customers are prone to experiencing the benefits of your solution. Checklists also encourage your customers to finish what they started. The result? A boost in your activation and conversion rates!

3. Delivering Delight

  • The most successful product-led companies have one key point in common… and that’s an obsession with delighting their users!
  • If customers like your product, they’re more likely to stay loyal to your product and share their positive experiences online and with others!

The world we live in today has countless software, apps, and tools that are just a click away. Delivering delight to your customers can help form a bond, a special connection that’s unique to your long-term relationship.

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But how do you deliver delight to your users consistently?

You need to create a product that your customers just can’t get enough of. One way to do this is by creating an amazing product experience that your customers vibe with.

If there’s a place in the user journey where your users can interact with you in any way, there’s an opportunity to create delight.

Let’s break it down a little further, you can create delight by:

  • Educating your customers. Offering interesting and relevant educational subject matter, will not only delight your customers but also attract a high number of users.

For instance, HubSpot Academy has become one of the most trusted sites, with over 165,000+ professionals who have completed their courses.

  • Ensuring that your customers have all the resources they need to solve their own problems, like chatbots, tutorials, a knowledge base, and so on.
  • Standing out against competitors – With the myriad of websites, software, and apps, users are bound to interact with your competitor’s products. If your product doesn’t stand out, it’s very likely to get lost in the sea of other resources.

Here’s when you really need to think of a glow-up for your product! By offering something special and relatable, for example – a community, your product is set to shine among the rest.

4. The Problem of Plenty in PLG

Let’s imagine that your PLG company gets thousands or even millions of new users every month. Sounds like a dream, right?

Now imagine what happens when your sales team doesn’t have the bandwidth to reach out to them and secure the deals…?

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This is precisely what happened with InVideo. InVideo had millions of new users, but its sales team wasn’t able to reach out to all of them. Plus, they didn’t know which users to prioritize.

To find a way to prioritize users, they tried experimenting with the product usage data. However, these experiments turned out to be all the more complex and time-consuming.

But a company like Toplyne understood the assignment, and sought out the perfect solution:

  • By building a 360° view of their users, including parameters like product usage, demographics, billing data, and so forth.
  • By segmenting users into – most likely to convert, buy and churn.

As a result,

  • InVideo improved its conversion rates by 1.8x
  • Ran over 250 product experiments without depending on engineering bandwidth.

5. Not All Users Want to Talk to Sales

Here’s an interesting analysis: around 68% of customers would rather find solutions independently online instead of consulting your sales team.

Fortunately, you can strike the perfect balance between being too “salesy” and throwing customers into the deep end by using a sales-assist go-to-market (GTM) strategy.

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Sales-assist is about letting customers decide if they want your assistance. For example, while a customer is exploring your free trial, have a chatbot ask if they would like to book an onboarding session with your customer success team.

This way, customers get the freedom to self-serve, while knowing that there’s always someone there to offer assistance if they need it.

The Best Way to Test UX Before Launch

In the same way, there are a number of tools and resources available to every user, there are a number of ways a business can optimize UX for their PLG motion. However, the best way to make sure your user experience will help drive conversions and lead to that “Aha!” moment is with Poll the People.

Through UX testing, you can optimize your users’ experience. The method of examining the user experience of websites and applications is known as UX testing. It assists in finding any UX problems and ensuring that users enjoy using your services.

To do an efficient UX test, you must:

  1. Decide what you want to test. You must first establish your goals and objectives before you can begin UX testing.
  2. Next, Choose a method and make a strategy after you’ve decided what you want to test. Design and carry out your experiment.
  3. Finally, you must put your plan into action and evaluate the results. Examine the findings and make adjustments.

When you conduct UI/UX testing, you are essentially trying to utilize your website or app from the perspective of your users. By identifying any sections that are unclear or challenging to use, you can then make adjustments to enhance the user experience as a whole. UX can be tested in a variety of ways, such as A/B testing, usability testing, and open-ended testing.

Key Takeaways:

You will always have an ace up your sleeve if you remember that:

  • An exceptional and effortless user experience is the cornerstone of a PLG strategy.
  • PLG companies that prioritize user experience have their value recognized from the very beginning, which in turn, boosts conversions!
  • A fantastic user experience can also help SaaS companies scale beyond the capabilities of their sales teams.
Owen Fay

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