Converting website visitors to paying customers is the goal of most software providers. For B2B firm Tresorit, funnel optimization – including reviewing its business model – enabled the firm to increase paying customers by 12x in 2015 while reducing overall marketing costs.
Here’s insight into how they did it.
Tresorit is an online data storage firm that touts exceptional data security. Businesses can encrypt, store, sync, and share files in a guaranteed secure environment at costs comparable with other services such as Dropbox and Box. The company invests in Google AdWords and other lead generation programs to attract prospects to its website, but took a hard look at its conversion processes in 2015.
The Tresorit marketing team conducted 120 A/B tests on different aspects of its sales funnel in the first quarter of the year alone – on average, more than one a day. “At the beginning of 2015, we had one person sign up for a trial out of every 1,000 website visitors. Now we have 30,” says Erna Kindli, VP of Marketing and PR. “That’s a 30 times more efficient funnel.”
Changes that have reaped results have ranged from tweaking the design of the sign-up button to altering registration form information capture requirements. But by far the biggest impact was in replacing its freemium offering with a free trial upon registration. Customers can still use the free, Basic version of Tresorit, but only after a free trial of a premium, subscription-based package.
“This change wasn’t to force people to pay us,” says Kindli. “When people started with our free service, they did not invest too much energy into discovering it and many ended up abandoning it. Today, two-thirds choose to be a subscriber after the free trial. They keep their documents safe with Tresorit, instead of using less secure services. That’s a win-win.”
Bye bye freemium?
Should all companies consider eliminating the freemium model? “They should be aiming for showing the best of what their product can do,” says Kindli. A free trial ensures that customers can evaluate the service before their card is charged.
She adds: “When you give away something for free, customers don’t appreciate it. With the free trial, our customers are putting more thought into the evaluation process.”
Tresorit also experimented with different positioning of its business package on the Pricing page. Tweaks to the sign-up form added another boost: for example, additional language spells out the length of the free trial, and reinforces security. The order-summary page also includes the length of the free trial, and calls out the date it will convert to a paid subscription. “Reinforcing that customers don’t have to pay anything right away has had great results,” says Gabor Farkas, Digital Marketing Manager, Tresorit.
During the free trial period, Tresorit sends between six and eight emails to offer information about the service, including reminders about the end of the free trial. “We find that during this evaluation period, customers need much more hand-holding to understand what the product can do for them,” says Kindli.
The company uses its own in-house system to automate the emails. “We don’t use a marketing automation tool because we take customer privacy seriously,” says Farkas. “We keep the users’ data secure in our system.”
Tresorit uses a minimum of marketing analytics toolsets to measure and track, including Google Analytics. “We have enough data from Google Analytics to make a real measurement,” says Farkas, noting that it is easy to customize it for their needs. The company also uses Optimizely to test changes to website copy and design without involving the website developers. For heatmap testing, Tresorit recommends Hotjar, which can record visitor sessions and issue feedback polls in addition to monitoring visitor interactions.
To determine which aspects of the funnel to test Tresorit combines input from analytics and a post-signup survey with feedback from everyday conversations. “Very often, ideas are simple common sense,” says Kindli. “We ask for feedback from people who are familiar with what we do and those who are not, and we learn a lot from these conversations.”
The efforts of the year have been impressive, but the team plans to continue to refine every step of the funnel. “Being 30 times more efficient is great, but I’m sure it could be even 30 times more,” says Kindli. “This is a never-ending process.”
A/B Testing Points
Tresorit has increased the number of prospects who convert to paid by a factor of 30 within the past year by testing every aspect of its funnel. The company offers the following examples for what to test:
- Benefit statement
- Social proof
- Trust signals
- Call-to-action style & copy
- Subject line
- Plain text or html
- Link vs. button
- Most important: message and timing
Registration and signup forms
- Length of the form
- Grouping of the form elements and/or splitting into separate pages
- Whether or not to make a step required
- Field names
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