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How We Improved Our Conversion Rate 46% In One Hour

Oct 4th, 2012 / Optimization Tour Conversion Rate

ThetaBoard DEmoWe spend most of our time at ThetaBoard trying to build the most simple and fun-to-use project management app we can. When we aren't writing code, we focus on getting people to try out and (hopefully) upgrade to one of our more powerful plans. We always have three figures in our mind:

  1. How many people are coming to our site?
  2. How many people are signing up for our free tier?
  3. How many people are upgrading to a pay plan.

Show and Tell

Very early on, we decided to make it super simple for visitors to figure out what ThetaBoard was all about. We experimented with screenshots and videos but decided rather than show or tell people about ThetaBoard--we should let them try it for themselves. Demo Guided TourWe re-engineered the app a bit and started offering a one-click demo from every page on our site. We immediately saw a massive increase in the percentage of visitors who tried out ThetaBoard. On average 20-30% of our visitors kick the tires.

More and more visitors were trying out ThetaBoard (which was great!) but those visitors weren't signing up for our free trial as often as we would have liked. Now, ThetaBoard is a young project  so we didn't mind that not everyone wanted to sign up, but we felt like we were missing something.

A Little Hand Holding is Nice

Last month I found myself sitting on a train talking to Brennan Dunn, founder of Planscope and he suggested I try out Bootstrap Tour. He said it had made a big difference in helping his new users get acclimated with Planscope. I had a look at it—and several other options—and decided it was worth a shot. Since ThetaBoard is built with Twitter Bootstrap, it was a cinch to drop a tour of my demo page in place.

Hit the High Points

Save BoardI experimented with the tour a bit—trying to find the right amount of features to point out. Too few tips and you aren't educating your visitors enough—too many and you just bore them. By measuring how many visitors closed their tour before reaching the end, I decided 7 steps was the magic number (your mileage may vary). These tips pointed out the main features that new users need to get started right away.

Give them a Nudge

When a user completes the tour (either by progressing through all 7 steps or closing it prematurely), I show them one more tip--"Don't forget to Save This Board"--with a gentle reminder that ThetaBoard is free and there is absolutely no reason not to sign up for their free account.

1 Hour, 46% More Customers

The results of the experiment were incredible. The hour of work I put in creating the demo tour increased the converstion rate from demos accounts to free trials by 46%. Sure, these are just free accounts but, well, you have to have an account before you can upgrade it. An added benefit of educating visitors was a significant drop in support related emails. All in all, time very well spent!

49% Increase in Conversion

Why not try out ThetaBoard and let us know what you think!

Or join the conversation on Hacker News.

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