May 12, 2019

Referral Program Landing

5. Referrals  >  Set A Referral Program Landing Page

Set a referral program landing page to reduce SaaS churn

Highlight and promote your referral program and its benefits on a dedicated landing page. Show visitors what’s in it for them and why they should promote it to their friends. Focus on your app’s benefits with an emotional appeal.

INTUITIVENESS

Fiverr

Fiverr has a perfectly designed landing page that clearly explains everything to the customers.

LastPass

LastPass has a simple referral landing page that explains the benefits of the program in one line.

GetResponse

GetResponse has a very detailed referral landing page that shares benefits, steps, and has FAQs.

How to use the technique

  • Create multiple landing pages for better targeting. Create at least one referral landing page for each buyer persona for personalization. Grab our free churn optimization framework for more details. 
  • Explain the benefits of the referral program. Use bullets. Have a clear and catchy headline. Use power words and emotional appeal (e.g. your friend is waiting for you).
  • Explain the benefits of inviting friends. What is the reward? How they can benefit from it? Sharing benefits of referral program only won’t help. Pre-sell your app too.
  • Keep form short. Make sign up easy. Reduce form fields. This will increase conversions and reduce churn.
  • Make link sharing easier. If someone decides to enroll, make referral link available immediately. If your customers visit the landing page, make links visible upfront.
  • Make CTA prominent. Add a clear and contrasting CTA on the landing page. Keep CTA text descriptive. Show customers what they need to do to get access to the program.
  • Make landing page visually pleasing. Remove navigation. Reduce friction. Add white space. Use images and videos.
  • Split test for conversion optimization. Creating a perfect landing page needs several tweaks and A/B tests. Test all the variables on the landing pages to boost conversions. Not sure how to do it? Get our free actionable guide.

Mistakes to avoid

  • Not adding form above the fold. Utilize above the fold. Show signup form above the fold so that interested customers can sign up right away without having to scroll.
  • Lack of personalization. Creating a general all-purpose landing page is a lethal mistake. Personalize landing page and make it relevant to your customers.

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Research evidence

Marketing Benchmarks From 7,000 Businesses report by HubSpot found that the number of landing pages is positively associated with the number of leads a business generates. More landing pages mean more leads. Companies with 6-10 landing pages generate 55% more leads than companies having 1-5 landing pages.

55%

Companies with 6-10 landing pages generate 55% more leads than companies having 1-5 landing pages.


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May 12, 2019

Easy Referral Links Sharing

5. Referrals  >  Easy Referral Links Shharing

Make referral link sharing easy to reduce SaaS churn

Make it easier for customers to share their referral link. Making it convenient will reduce drop-offs and will increase the number of referrals. It should be a one-click procedure.

INTUITIVENESS

Althea

Althea offers multiple sharing options to its customers with simple and quick UX.

LogoUp

LogoUp shows the number of steps involved in the referral program and allows customers to send emails directly to friends.

Hired

Hired offers its customers multiple sharing options.

How to use the technique

  • Add relevant sharing options e.g. social media, email, copy-paste, etc. It is best to offer all available sharing options to all the customers irrespective of their preferences. Use our glorious in-depth free churn optimization framework for further details. 
  • Make it one-click. Reduction friction. Sharing should be immediate. Don’t ask them to login via a social account or connect email account for sharing. Keep it simple.
  • Keep referral code short yet meaningful. Make remembering your code easy so customers can remember and recall it easily.
  • Allow copying of the referral code. Add a copy button with the code.
  • Show a success message. When the code is share successfully or copied successfully, notify the customer. Let them know that is has been shared so they can notify their friend.
  • Reduce the number of steps. Reduce friction. Keep it dead-short. A one-step sharing option works best for engagement.
  • Show progress bar. Let customers know how many steps they need to take to share a link. Show number of steps or a progress bar, whatever works better. Use A/B testing to identify what works best. Read our free guide on actionable techniques for churn optimization.

Mistakes to avoid

  • Asking for social media integration when a customer is about to share a referral link on the social network. It’s not recommended at all. It will increase drop-offs.
  • Lack of success notification/email. Not keeping customers in the loop isn’t a good idea. Tell them when the link is shared and then keep them updated on the progress of new referrals.

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Research evidence

A research study by Forrester revealed that a well-thought and frictionless customer user experience can increase conversions by a whopping 400%. Making it easier for customers to share a referral link can, therefore, drastically improve the performance of your referral flow.

400%

A research study by Forrester revealed that a well-thought and frictionless customer user experience can increase conversions by a whopping 400%.


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May 12, 2019

Referral Program Discovery

5. Referrals  >  Referral Program Discovery

Make referral program discoverable to reduce SaaS churn

Your referral program should be easily discoverable across multiple channels. The customers should be able to find your program and their referral link with extreme ease. Make it clearly visible.

INTUITIVENESS

Google_Suit

Google Suite offers multiple ways to its customers to invite friends.

Polymail

Polymail has published a blog post on its new referral program for discovery.

Sugarsync

SugarSync has a detailed FAQs page on its referral program for discovery as well as information.

How to use the technique

  • Identify discovery methods. What touchpoints you'll use? What is the preferred method of your customers? What buyer persona is more active on the social network? Refer to personas and customer behavior. Don’t panic, we have created a free churn optimization framework for you. Grab it now. 
  • Offer multiple discovery points. Use in-app messages. Send emails. Create a web page for the referral program. Share on social media. Introduce it to your most active customers over the phone.
  • Add a CTA whenever you share your referral program. Make it clear, descriptive, action-driven, and prominent. Tell customers what to do and what to expect next.
  • Communicate the benefits of the referral program. What’s in it for your customers? Is it just about the reward? Answer their questions. Focus on mutual benefits that they will enjoy.
  • Make the reward visible. What your customers will receive (this will reduce churn and boost engagement) and what the referral will receive (to motivate new users).
  • Send reminders to customers who have invited at least one referral. Use their potential. Send emails to encourage them to invite more people.
  • Track performance of different channels. Does social sharing outperform email? What do your customers prefer? What’s the channel that contributes maximum to the referral program? Use data for improvement. This free guide has got you covered. 

Mistakes to avoid

  • Not reaching out to customers who haven’t used your referral program. It’s highly likely that they don’t know about it yet. Reach out and let them know about your program.
  • Program details aren’t clear. Your customers don’t know what they're supposed to do and why they should do it. Make what, why, how, and where of your referral program absolutely clear.

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Research evidence

Hoyer and Brown published an article in the Journal of Consumer Research found that awareness is significantly positively related to consumer decision making. A brand that’s known is more likely to be chosen by a consumer over an unknown brand. The same technique applies to the discovery of the referral program. A known program is more likely to be shared as compared to a program that’s not visible.

Show

Awareness is significantly positively related to consumer decision making.A known program is more likely to be shared as compared to a program that’s not visible.


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May 11, 2019

Release New Versions

3. Retention  >  Release New Versions

Release new versions to reduce SaaS churn

Customers are more likely to churn if they get bored with your app. Release new versions often, upgrade, and add new features to keep customers hooked. Share details of the new version and let customers know how it’s different (and better).

●● INTUITIVENESS

Trello

Trello uses its own software to share complete development roadmap with the users. It’s a perfect way to communicate updates and new versions.

Mind_The_Byte

Mind the Byte informs its customers of the new version by publishing a new blog post.

Medium

Medium has a dedicated product announcement page where it talks about new versions and releases.

How to use the technique

  • Plan new releases based on customer feedback and usage analysis. Prepare a development roadmap (schedule) for new versions so as to plan everything. Refer to our free churn optimization framework to learn more. 
  • Add new features to reduce churn. Simply updating features won’t work. Provide customers with something new and interesting with each new release.
  • Clear communication is essential. Use development roadmap to share details of the next release with customers well before time. This will keep them engaged and reduce churn. Tell them what they should expect with the new release.
  • Announce maintenance hours. Send multiple reminders via email and in-app notifications. Keep customers in the loop.
  • Share the benefits of the new version with your customers. They aren’t interested in version name and number rather they're interested in what’s in it for them. Share benefits through email, blog, and social networks.
  • Analyze performance. How new version influenced churn and customer engagement? Did it improve login activity? Not all new versions perform well, don’t forget to measure success. Here is a free guide for you to read more about analytics.

Mistakes to avoid

  • Unnecessary upgrades are useless. A new version for the sake of a new version or to reduce churn might backfire. Don’t release a new version if it doesn’t add any value.
  • Rolling out upgrade during peak hours will ruin customer engagement. Don’t hurt UX. Roll out upgrades after midnight when the majority of customers don’t use your app.

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Research evidence

According to Customer Service Barometer 2017, consumers appreciate it when brands meet or exceed their expectations and are clear in communication. Millennials are more likely to share their great customer experience with friends and family. When SaaS clearly communicates software upgrades, it is appreciated by customers and they tend to stick with the business.

v2.0

When SaaS clearly communicates software upgrades, it is appreciated by customers and they tend to stick with the business.


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May 11, 2019

Host Webinars

3. Retention  >  Host Webinars

Host webinars to reduce SaaS churn

Hosting webinars consistently will keep customers engaged and will reduce churn. Webinars provide you with an opportunity to interact with your customers, listen to them, guide them, and get feedback to improve your software.

●● INTUITIVENESS

Intercom

Intercom increased its activation rate 6x by hosting educational webinars.

Autopilot

Autopilot went from zero to 2000 customers in 1.5 years by hosting webinars regularly.

Adespresso

Adespresso conducts several webinars and it has created a dedicated page for webinars where you can find recordings of all the previous webinars.

How to use the technique

  • Create an editorial calendar for webinars. When you need to host a webinar and what it should be about are the two critical questions to answer. Host webinars for different buyer personas, customer types, and address all lifecycle stages. We have an awesome free churn optimization framework to guide you further.
  • Host no more than one webinar a week. Attendees don’t have the potential to attend more than a single webinar in a week.
  • Set clear objectives. Each webinar should have clear goals. Is it to reduce churn? Is it to boost engagement? Is it for inactive users? Is it to promote an upgrade? Craft webinar based on its objectives.
  • Send multiple registration reminders preferably via email. Tuesday is the best day for webinar registration.
  • Add a Q&A session. It lets you understand customers and get feedback. It boosts engagement. What’s better than solving a customer query in real-time?
  • Record webinars and share them with registrants who didn’t attend. Publish recording on your blog and YouTube channel. Don’t let it sit on your server.
  • Measure the success of each webinar in terms of conversions, engagement, retention, and reduction in churn. Track performance based on webinar time, day, duration, and other variables. Tweak to improve performance. Read this free guide to master testing and tweaking. 

Mistakes to avoid

  • Not addressing customer issues. While it’s essential to achieve webinar objectives but it’s equally important to address customer issues at the end of the session. Listen and respond to make them stick with your software.
  • Not sending reminders for webinar registration and for attendance. Remind attendees of the exact date and time and send them reminders on their email and phone on the webinar day.

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We use this exact framework to get solid returns for Foundkit clients.

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Research evidence

According to the Big Book of Webinar Stats 2017 73% of marketers said that a webinar is the best way to generate quality leads and 57% of marketers reported that they plan to host more webinars next year. Webinars are a powerful source of customer engagement and retention since you can move customers through the entire lifecycle with multiple webinars.

73%

73% of marketers said that a webinar is the best way to generate quality leads. 57% of marketers reported that they plan to host more webinars next year


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Implement with our proven SaaS Churn Optimization Framework

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May 11, 2019

Early Warning System

3. Retention  >  Develop An Early Warning System

Develop an early warning system to reduce SaaS churn

Developing a warning system to predict churn is a decent approach to reducing churn proactively. Assign churn score to customers that will help your sales team to identify users who are about to churn. Take necessary action to retain them.

●● INTUITIVENESS

Asana

Asana has developed a metric that it calls Account Health Score to measure customer success.

Upscope

Upscope has a simple ranking system that ranks users on the basis of usage.

UserIQ

UserIQ measures five key metrics to that it calls churn indicators.

How to use the technique

  • Identify key metrics that predict churn and engagement. For instance, login sessions, usage details, account activity, email open rates, satisfaction score, etc. are some of the metrics that determine the engagement level of a customer. Identify ones that accurately predict churn. Use our free churn optimization framework for more details. 
  • Develop a system to evaluate and monitor these metrics. Create customer health score or churn score metric based on identified metrics. The customer health score is used to identify customers about to churn.
  • Develop a dashboard for your team where they can monitor customer health score, share details, and work on campaigns to retain customers. The warnings should be displayed in the dashboard so that your team knows everything about customer’s health. Such as dashboard will streamline the process.
  • Create an engagement plan. The purpose of early warning is to engage customers who have low health score and are likely to churn. Create an engagement plan such as email series, retention callback, promotions, discount offers, etc.
  • Assign users to sales reps for engagement. Don’t automate the retention process. Ensure customers are taken care of by your sales team. Assign a reasonable number of customers to a rep.
  • Track performance. Is your warning system working fine? Are you tracking the right metrics? Is engagement plan delivering? Amend the warning system if it isn’t working. Read this free guide for more details.

Mistakes to avoid

  • Not defining customer health or churn score. Doing it all manually won’t work. Create a robust warning system so that customers with low health score popup in the dashboard right away.
  • Not reacting on time. The whole point of developing an early warning system is to reduce churn by taking proactive precautionary measures. Take action on time.

Research evidence

Khan, Manoj, Singh, and Blumenstock developed an analytic framework to detect signs of churn. This was achieved by assigning a churn score to customers. This approach to developing a rigorous system to create a warning system helps reduce churn.

%%%

There is a lot of research going on to develop models for calculating customers churn probability. Use their findings for your SaaS!


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Implement with our proven SaaS Churn Optimization Framework

Download a PDF with an exact process we use with our SaaS clients to research, define optimization opportunities and test.

May 11, 2019

Set Customer Expectations

3. Retention  >  Set Customer Expectations

Set customer expectations to reduce SaaS churn

Setting customer expectations lower than what you can deliver is the best approach to reduce churn. Customers churn when you fail to meet their expectations so don’t overpromise. Set crystal clear expectations upfront.

●● INTUITIVENESS

Skype

Skype clearly tell users what to expect when they purchase a Skype number.

Customer_Success_Box

Customer Success Box has a video that shows visitors how the software looks like and what they should expect.

Constant_Contact

Constant Contact has a huge list of features with pricing details to let visitors know upfront what exactly they will get with their selected plan and what they won’t get.

How to use the technique

  • Understand customer expectations. This should be easy because you have buyer personas. Ask customers and users directly after they sign up. Use our free churn optimization framework to master the art of marketing research. 
  • Start early. When new user signups for a free trial, the expectations are already set. Focus on your marketing strategy. What expectations your marketing (and sales) team are setting? Work from the beginning to ensure you don’t experience a high churn rate.
  • Optimize content including ad copy. The copy of the landing page, ad copy, and content published across various channels are how you develop customer expectations. Optimize content and copy to set clear expectations.
  • Encourage customers to read terms and policies. Clearly state everything in terms and policies. Tell customers you have added relevant information and it’s essential to go through these pages.
  • Communicate and engage. It is the crux. Even if you have developed high expectations, you can still overcome them with constant communication via blog posts, social media, email, etc.
  • Create a help section so customers can understand more about your app. It is an indirect approach to setting appropriate expectations.
  • Get feedback from customers to understand their expectations and how these are developed. Identify content pieces and tweak them if there are any content out there that’s not consistent with your strategy.
  • Improve your app to meet customer expectations. It’s hard to change customer expectations once set, however, you can amend your app. Make it consistent with expectations. Improve it. Here is a free actionable guide for more details.

Mistakes to avoid

  • Creating hype in the early days of launch is where things get out of control. Train your marketing teams and copywriters. Tell them what your app is all about so they can do it right.
  • Sales-focused marketing approach. When you focus on sales, signups, and new customers and don’t look at other metrics, your marketing and sales team will naturally set unrealistic customer expectations. A sales-focused approach should be coupled with intensive training.

Research evidence

Allon, Bassamboo, and Gurvich published an article in the Operations Research journal that focused on managing customer expectations. The findings revealed that when businesses share service delay or outage announcements with customers, it improves their probability and improves expected utility. Setting customer expectations is a predictor of a firm’s profitability.

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When businesses share service delay or outage announcements with customers, it improves their probability and improves expected utility


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Implement with our proven SaaS Churn Optimization Framework

Download a PDF with an exact process we use with our SaaS clients to research, define optimization opportunities and test.

May 11, 2019

Interview Customers Often

3. Retention  >  Interview Customers Often

Interview customers often to reduce SaaS churn

Your customers are the best judge. Interviewing them will help you identify loopholes. You get data for decision-making. You get to know what exactly you should do to improve user experience and reduce churn.

●● INTUITIVENESS

Woodpecker

Woodpecker conducted 65 interviews to get feedback from customers.

Groove

Groove increased the conversion rate by 2% when it tweaked its copy based on feedback from customer interviews.

Moz

Moz increased sales by 52% after conducting live interviews with customers.

How to use the technique

  • Identify triggers for interviews. For example, when a customer uses a feature, when a customer updates information, when a customer unsubscribes from the newsletter, etc. When a customer has experienced something or an action is taken, you’re more likely to get real feedback. Refer to our free churn optimization framework for step-by-step instructions. 
  • Customize interviews. Don’t be a robot. Refer to customer’s recent activities and usage details in the interview. This will improve the response rate and engagement.
  • Ask relevant actionable questions that will help improve retention and reduce churn rate. Questions that your data analysis team cannot use for inference are useless.
  • Conduct interviews from all types of customers. This is a must. Satisfied customers tell you what they like while dissatisfied customers identify potential loopholes.
  • Have a schedule. Conduct two interviews a year per customer. It lets you keep them engaged and will reduce churn.
  • Discuss – not ask. Don’t name it an interview explicitly. It will reduce the response rate. Just call your customers and have friendly chitchat.
  • Measure results and use data for decision-making. After making a change based on customer feedback, measure performance. Did it really reduce churn? Collect feedback again. It is a continuous process. You can read this free actionable guide to improve your analytic skills.

Mistakes to avoid

  • Not conducting interviews with happy customers. It’s a big mistake. Your happy customers are more likely to share honest and actionable feedback than unhappy customers. Don’t ignore them.
  • Making it too formal. A formal question answer call will ruin the response rate. Keep it informal to get better feedback.

FREE PDF

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We use this exact framework to get solid returns for Foundkit clients.

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Research evidence

An article published in Harvard Business Review by Peter Kriss discussed the importance and value of customer experience – and measuring it. Customers having the best experience with a brand spend 140% more than customers having a poor experience with the same brand. Collecting actionable data from your customers (both happy and unhappy) is the key to increase retention.

140%

This is how much more customers having the best experience spend in comparison with people having a poor experience with the same brand.


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Implement with our proven SaaS Churn Optimization Framework

Download a PDF with an exact process we use with our SaaS clients to research, define optimization opportunities and test.

May 11, 2019

Ensure A Superb UX

3. Retention  >  Ensure A Superb User Experience

Ensure a superb user experience to reduce SaaS churn

Superior user experience makes using your app easier. It boosts engagement, retention rate, and reduces churn. User engagement is the most important metric for user retention which is driven by great UX.

●● INTUITIVENESS

Clearbit

Clearbit improved its trial conversions by changing the design and simplifying it.

SE_Ranking

SE Ranking improved its user experience which increased subscribe rate by 25%.

Vocier

Vicer increased its conversion by 75% after a series of a small UX improvements.

How to use the technique

  • Understand your customers. User experience is all about your current customers. How they use your app? What are their needs? Are they able to get what they want from your software? Use analytics and usage details to understand customers better. Use our free churn optimization framework for details. 
  • Heuristic evaluation to improve UI. Does your app inform users of what’s going on, does it support undo and redo, is UI and UX consistent, is it easy enough for users, are errors and bugs communicated in understandable language, and do users have access to support documents? If not, incorporate them.
  • Collect feedback from customers. This is the best way to understand them, improve UX, and reduce churn. Use email surveys, in-app questionnaires, and social media surveys to collect feedback related to UX.
  • Constant improvement of UI and UX. Don’t stop. Keep improving UI and UX. Not only will it reduce churn but it improves engagement. Customers feel they're not being ignored.
  • Improve customer support as it’s related to user experience. Offer live chat. Be active on social media. Monitor brand mentions. Interact with customers on multiple channels.
  • Send regular emails to customers. Keep them engaged. This is a perfect technique to improve the retention rate. Informative emails packed with quality content works best.
  • Measure app engagement. Are customers actively using your app? Are there any features that they don’t use at all? A decline in app engagement means customers won’t stick and might churn. Measuring app engagement will help you take precautionary measures on time.
  • Tweak your app because this is the only way to improve UX and provide users with something new every time they sign in. Don’t hesitate. Test different features and UI tweaks. Measure performance with A/B tests. Read our free guide on testing and tweaking your app. 

Mistakes to avoid

  • Not investing in UX. Don’t ever do it. It is absolutely essential for your app’s survival. Invest in UX without a second thought. You won’t regret it.
  • No usability testing. Don’t make the mistake of implementing new UI and UX tweaks right away. They might backfire. Make the best use of usability testing.

FREE PDF

Learn our step-by-step churn optimization process

We use this exact framework to get solid returns for Foundkit clients.

LEARN MORE & DOWNLOAD


Research evidence

Sonderegger and Sauer conducted an experiment to measure the impact of UI design on user performance and perceived usability. It was found that phones that were visually pleasing were rated more usable than their counterparts. Well-designed phone reduced the task completion time. User experience is a critical predictor of usability and performance.

UX/UI

In the experiment on theimpact of UX/UI design on performance and perceived usability, better designed phones were rated more usable than their counterparts.


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Implement with our proven SaaS Churn Optimization Framework

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May 10, 2019

Optimize Payment Form

4. Revenue  >  Optimize Payment Form

Optimize payment form to reduce SaaS churn

The way how users pay for a premium plan is a critical variable that decides whether free trial users will convert or churn. Optimizing your payment methods for conversion will improve trail to paid conversions.

●● INTUITIVENESS

Soundcloud

Soundcloud let users pay through credit cards and PayPal, the two leading global payment forms.

Mailchimp

MailChimp offers 6 different payment forms including local ones to boost conversions.

Foodora

Foodora increased conversions significantly after adding mobile payments.

How to use the technique

  • Add payment forms consistent with your audience’s preferences. Do research and find what payment forms different personas prefer (if you don’t have this information already). This will help you offer the most relevant payment methods that users are familiar with. Conducting research will become easier if you'll read our free churn optimization framework
  • Use local payment forms. A credit card isn’t a global payment method. Users prefer local payment methods like Alipay in China, Visa in the US, SEPA in Germany, online banking in Indonesia, etc. Add as many payment methods as you can. The more you have, the better. Don’t give users a chance to churn due to unavailability of a payment method of their choice.
  • Add mobile payments. Not only that you should let users pay from their mobiles such as Apple Pay and Google Pay but the checkout process should be optimized for mobile.
  • Address security. One major reason why users will churn after the expiration of trial is that they're hesitant to share payment details. Make them feel secure. Add trust seals. Use HTPPS.
  • Add reward. It’s a known technique to persuade users to convert. Add a reward with payment details such as PDF, personalized help, a cheat sheet, etc.
  • Test conversions. Are there any payment forms that have a high conversion rate? Track everything related to payment forms for conversion optimization. This free guide will help you with actionable insights on how to do it.

Mistakes to avoid

  • Not addressing cart abandonment. Not tracking and addressing cart abandonment is a big mistake. Connect with abandoned users who left a payment page without conversion. Send emails to identify issues and to offer help.
  • Sticking with one payment form. Visa is a famous payment method but doesn’t make the mistake of only adding credit cards as a payment form. Add multiple methods to make payments easier.

Research evidence

TSYS 2016 US consumer payment study surveyed 1000 consumers to understand payment preferences. The study found that consumers prefer different payment forms depending on where they're shopping. However, credit card remains the most used and preferred payment method among others.

40%

When presented with the question: “When given a choice, what payment form do you prefer?”, 40 percent of participants selected credit


Related techniques SEE ALL THE TECHNIQUES >

Implement with our proven SaaS Churn Optimization Framework

Download a PDF with an exact process we use with our SaaS clients to research, define optimization opportunities and test.