What Is SaaS CRO and Why Is It So Important?
SaaS conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the art of improving your SaaS website to turn more of your visitors into signups and increase your revenue.
SaaS CRO involves improving many elements on your SaaS website, including your homepage, features page, pricing page, and your signup page. You can do this by enticing users with free trials, incentivized referrals, exit pop-ups, and many more tactics.
CRO was first applied to eCommerce sites, but in recent years it’s become particularly important for SaaS websites. This is because they also rely on their users taking action, whether it means converting a first-time visitor to a free trial user or a free-trial user to a paying customer.
Here are the main benefits of SaaS conversion rate optimization:
- Increases the usability of your website so that more users purchase.
- Generates many more signups on your website using existing traffic.
- Maximize your marking spend ROI and lowers cost of acquisition.
- Gives you a much better understanding of your visitors and customers.
- Helps boost your customer retention strategy and increase long term value.
- Takes advantage of the organic traffic that your SaaS website already has.
What Are Good Conversion Rates for SaaS Businesses?
The conversion rate of your SaaS website is determined by the percentage of users who convert into a free trial or paying customer.
It’s not as simple as ecommerce conversion rate though, as there are multiple types of conversion rate depending on how you sign up users, and therefore conversion rate varies signficantly on SaaS websites.
Free trial conversion rate
The majority of SaaS websites offer a free trial. For those that do, there are two conversion rates you need to consider:
- Free trial converison rate.
Above 7% is good, and will be higher if you don’t require credit card details to sign up.
- Free trial to paying customer conversion rate.
Above 30% is good, and will be higher if you require credit card details for your free trial.
Examples of websites that offer free trials are Unbounce.com, ActiveCampaign.com and Convert.com.
Freemium to paid conversion rate
This is the second most common type of sign up on SaaS websites, and is where you offer users a free limited version of your service. This is either done by limiting the features you offer, or limiting the frequency it can be used. Slack.com, Typeform.com and Spotify.com are good examples of freemium websites. Between 1-10% is the average for freemium conversion rate, and really depends on the type of product you offer, so anything above that is considered good.
Demo to paid conversion rate
This is final and least common type of conversion rate on SaaS websites, and is where you get users to sign up for a demo, and then try to convert them to a paid customer. Examples of these type of SaaS websites offering demos instead of free trials are Klaviyo.com and Optimizely.com. The average is about 2-3% for demo conversion rate but varies by industry and how expensive your offering is. Therefore anything above 3% is considered good.
Expert Tips to Increase Your SaaS Conversion Rate
Now that you know why SaaS CRO is so important for your business, you may be wondering how to make the necessary changes to your SaaS website.
In this section, you will discover some expert tips that you can use to increase your SaaS conversion rates and revenue.
With over 15 years of experience, I have become an expert in this field and, by using these tips, I have helped many SaaS businesses increase their signups and conversion rates.
1: Offer a free trial and promote the benefits of it
One of the best ways of getting users to try your service is to let them try it for free. But don’t stop there. You need to do the following:
- Ideally don’t require CC details for users to begin, and mention that by your signup CTA buttons
- Use a sticky navigation menu with a ‘Start free trial’ CTA so it can be seen anywhere on your website
- It’s best to offer all of your features in your free trial, and clearly mention that
Convert.com do this well by prominently showing they have a free trial on their CTA button, how long the trial is, that no credit is needed, and that fast support is avaible during the trial.
2: Clearly explain your unique value proposition
One of the biggest elements that influence conversion rate on SaaS websites is how well you explain and promote your unique value proposition (UVP). These are the reasons that a user should choose your business instead of competitors.
Here are the best ways to explain and promote your UVP:
- Use a homepage headline and intro text that highlights the main reasons to choose you
- When mentioning each feature, explain what makes them better than competitors
- Create a comparison table to highlight why you beat competitors, and show on your homepage and on a ‘compare us’ page
Userfeel.com do this very well by mentioning their UVP in the headline, and really helps users understand why they are different to other user testing tools.
3: Ensure your pricing plans are easy to compare
Many SaaS businesses have too many plans or make it hard for users to compare and understand which is best for them. Here is what you need to do to optimize your pricing plans so that your users choose a plan quicker and more often:
- Only have three plans at the most, or you risk users getting confused
- Use tool tips to explain each feature on your plans
- Mention who each plan is best for, which saves the most money, and which is most popular
- Don’t use technical terms or jargon, as it’s always better to presume your users won’t understand
- Clearly show savings when paying annually, and let users switch between monthly and annual
Webflow.com do all of these very well on their pricing page.
4: Optimize your onboarding after a user signs up
CRO for SaaS websites doesn’t stop when you have got a user to sign up. You then need to go further and increase the chances of them understanding the benefits of your tool and features, so they convert to a paid customer, and keep them as a customer for longer.
Here are some of the best ways to optimize your SaaS user onboarding process:
- Show a good welcome screen that includes tips to get started
- Include an interactive tour of your service by showing tool tips for key parts of your tool
- Create a good series of automation emails that walk them benefits of your tool
- Send automated emails if they don’t use the free trial after signing up, with discounts
Canva.com offer a good interactive tour that guides new users through the key parts of their design tool.
5: Fix your hidden website issues
It doesn’t matter how well you improve your SaaS website if issues on it aren’t discovered and resolved.
And I’m not talking about 404 issues or broken links — it’s the less visible things impacting user experience that you may not have checked very well.
Here are some of the other most common SaaS hidden websites issues:
- Poor or not understandable field error validation in signup
- Broken/squashed layout on smaller devices with 375 width
- Mega menus that cover important content and CTA buttons
- Layout broken on tablet due to stretched buttons or too large images
- Live chat widgets covering and blocking CTA buttons on mobile
See more examples of hidden common website issues that you need to fix.
The best way to discover these hidden issues is by using a tool like BrowserStack.com to check your website in the most common browsers and devices. You should also be doing regular user testing with a tool like Userfeel to discover hidden issues.
Fixing these has a huge positive impact on your conversion rate and sales.
Get Expert Help from a SaaS CRO Consultant
Conversion rate optimization services don’t have to be expensive to get good results on your SaaS revenue. Unfortunately many agencies are expensive and don’t often deliver on their promises.
I’m an expert SaaS CRO consultant with 15 years experience, offering services with ROI on your SaaS website revenue.
Why Use Rich Page To Increase Your SaaS Website Conversion Rate?
- I have over 15 years experience in CRO and have optimized many SaaS websites like Userfeel.com and FormPros.com.
- I’m the author of two popular books about CRO, ‘Website Optimization: An Hour a Day’ and ‘Landing Page Optimization’ 2nd edition with Tim Ash.
- You get CRO help from just me, a seasoned expert. Not from a team of rookies or outsourced help.
Recent Examples of CRO Success For Clients
- My improvements for UnboundMerino.com increased conversion rate by 44%, which generated an extra $36K in revenue in just 2 months.
- One of my A/B tests for ManlyBands.com increased conversion rate by 164%, which generated an extra $19K in revenue in just 1 week
- One of my A/B tests for an online mattress retailer increased conversion rate by 66%, which generated an extra $50K in revenue in just 1 week.
I Specialize In These High-Impact CRO Services
Expert Website CRO Reviews
Using my extensive experience with conversion rate optimization, I review your SaaS website and give you many high-impact recommendations to quickly improve your conversion rate.
This is done live via an interactive screen share with you and your team. It also includes a website improvement roadmap with the key recommendations.
Here are a few examples of CRO teardowns that are short versions of my live website conversion reviews:
Homepage and pricing page teardown for VWO.com
In this review, we discover many ways they could improve their sign-up conversion rate, and convert more users to paying clients.
Here are just a few other improvements that I cover:
- Adding their free trial details and benefits.
- Highlighting their unique value proposition better.
- Improving their social proof to include expert testimonials.
- Making it much easier to understand which plan is best.
Pricing page review for ConvertFlow.com
Here are just a few pricing page improvements that I cover:
- Reducing plans from 4 to 3 to make it easier to choose
- Using tool tips to explain features instead of other pages
- Improving pricing tables on mobile to compare easier
- Adding 4 essential words to significantly increase conversion rate
Conversion Research For High-Impact User Insights
You cannot do effective SaaS CRO without understanding your website user’s main issues, doubts and hesitations. Without this you will be guessing at what to improve and won’t convert them very often.
That’s why I focus on doing conversion research to discover this and generate much higher impact ideas for improving your SaaS website revenue. This includes:
- visitor and customer surveys
- user testing for your target audience
- session recordings and click maps
These factors are ignored by most companies that do conversion optimization services, who instead focus on A/B testing. Although they may use best practices, they often fail to get good results.
My conversion research gives you a comprehensive understanding of your website visitors to convert them into sales more often.