Your product is amazing.
It helps people achieve wonderful things in the world of business or perhaps helps people enjoy great entertainment in their precious spare time. Whether you run a number-crunching data analytics service or media-streaming digital wonderland, there’s a huge gap in your SaaS right now.
And that gap is the distance between the value you promised in your marketing material and the point when the user actually reaches that value, otherwise known as the “Aha!” moment.
The space that occupies this huge gap is your user interface (UI). You’ve invested thousands of dollars making it as good as you possibly can. Perhaps you’ve invested in some user feedback with controlled tests in user experience or hired a consultant to show you how you can make it easier to navigate.
But unless you determine, specifically, at what point your customer reaches the elusive “Aha!” moment, they’re lost, meandering around in this wide-open space trying to figure out how to get there.
But what is your “Aha!” moment? Let’s start by seeing some examples.
1. See examples to understand the “Aha!” moment
Let’s see some examples from the 2012 Growth Hacking Conference where the concept was originally introduced.
- Twitter: Josh Elman is the man at the helm of Twitter’s growth team. He determined that the company’s “Aha!” moment was when users reached the milestone of following 30 people. Once that happened, they were hooked on the product and tended to stick around for life (just like you want your users to do).
- Facebook: The person at the forefront of Facebook’s growth team, Chamath Palihapitiya discovered that Facebook’s “Aha!” moment was when users reached 10 friends in a 7-day timespan. Once Palihapitiya’s team knew that, their onboarding strategy was clear.
- Dropbox:The head honcho for growth at Dropbox, ChenLi Wang, found that the companies “Aha!” moment was when users put at least one file in one Dropbox folder.
It’s interesting seeing these “Aha!” moment examples because they’re all intrinsically linked to the specific value offered by the product. All of these services do a lot more than simply allowing you to follow people’s Tweets, add friends to a list or put a file in a folder…
But once that connection’s been made, whatever your own SaaS “Aha!” moment may be, users are infinitely more likely to get hooked on your product.
2. Consider onboarding milestones as potential “Aha!” moments
As you decide on this most special moment, it’s worth sitting down and taking a long hard look at your SaaS product to produce a hypotheses about what you think your “Aha!” moment might be.
For example, if you’re a music service like Spotify, will it be when a user makes a playlist? If you’re a visual content rights management and publishing service such as MavSocial, do you think it will be the point where the user has created and published a piece of content via your interface?
Take a moment to think about what yours could be, and once you are finished, it’s time to act and analyze some data.
3. Analyze the data
Analyzing data is an everyday part of the SaaS owner’s life. But, depending on which data you analyze, you’ll get different stories. Although the analytics process will vary slightly from product to product, the important thing is that you focus on trends.
Separate your users into those that signed up and stuck around for a long time and those who abandoned early. Once that’s done, try and spot the primary differences between the two different group’s user behavior.
Chances are, you’ll find a particular action or metric commonly shared among your long-term users that’s simply missing from those who did not sign up and stick with you.
4. The three leading indicators
According to Elliot Schmukler, the man responsible for growth at LinkedIn, “Aha!” moments typically fall into one of three categories.
- Network density: For social networks, it’s typically the number of friends or connections made, often within a certain timeframe.
- Content added: for data storage and sharing services such as Dropbox or Evernote, it typically boils down to the amount of content added within a given time frame
- Visit frequency: For many SaaS products, it boils down to a simple matter of the number of repeated visits during a certain time frame, also known as “user retention”.
According to Richard Price of www.growthhack.com, the best method to employ is to carefully focus your onboarding efforts on the one metric that’s most relevant or important to your particular SaaS, while tracking and monitoring the other ones.
5. Plan and implement tutorials
Once you’ve decided on what your “Aha!” moment is, analyzed user data, and incorporated the expertise from these hugely successful SaaS growth experts, it’s time to implement tutorials that grasp your users carefully by the hand and nudge them encouragingly towards that special moment.
Ideally, you’d sign up to the nearest awesome code-free tutorial service that lets you do precisely that, while simultaneously relieving your web development team from the burden. Better yet, would be finding one that offers a built-in data tracker so you can see how well your tutorials are working and tweak them as needed for better results. And, if that tutorial service just happens to offer a generous 2-week free trial, well, all the better.
The “Aha!” moment might just be the single most important concept to work with on the road to SaaS success. The fact that it’s so commonly overlooked is genuinely a little frightening. But, fortunately, you found this article and the awesome myTips blog!
Now that you’re armed with this insider knowledge and have a solid process to follow, you should easily be able to determine what your “Aha!” moment is, set up an onboarding process, and guide your users towards it, producing a more profitable SaaS in the process.
P.S. Sign up for the MyTips Free trial to create your first interactive tutorials