The traditional SaaS signup process needs to evolve. Let me explain.
Although I don't think the traditional approach is wholly flawed, it could be improved. I'm simply not sure if it's giving us all the information we need to understand what causes a user to become a customer.
The majority of businesses implement their signup flow as follows:
User signs up → Pre-activated X-day Free trial with all features → Tries to explore everything → Free trial ends → Acknowledges that they should pay for a premium function.
Even if thousands of individuals join up, the likelihood that they will convert is lower if they are unsure if they require the paid version or just another free tool.
Now, here's how to do it better:
User Signs up → Gets a Free plan by default → After 3 days, gets an option to unlock features available in a paid plan → Unlocks full plan → Takes time to determine whether the cost is worthwhile given the potential gain → Buys tool if needed.
With a user-activated flow, the user decides whether they want all the features and, after unlocking the full version, they immediately switch to evaluator mode. So instead of checking out every option within the first 15 days, the user will start to notice the features that they utilize moving forward.
Several factors lead me to believe that this is a better approach. Here’s my theory:
The user is given the option of activating the complete plan or not. With this, you will be able to identify potential customers and those who merely require a free plan to meet their demands.
Instead of nurturing each signup the same way, marketing teams may focus more on the activated users.
You can tell which features cause customers to activate the entire plan when they click on a feature and then activate the full plan.
The user-activated signup flow has many benefits, and these are just a few of them. This technique is already used by HubSpot to increase the quality of their signups.