This is a map of all the marketing technology companies that existed back in 2017.
This is all the SaaS companies competing for a space in the marketing technology landscape. In 2017.
This is a hellscape. And 2019...is worse.
There are more than 10,000 private SaaS companies out there today. 10,000 products that all want to be market leaders. 10,000 teams selling hard to a limited number of customers.
Chances are: You're selling exactly what 10 other companies are.
There's a SaaS for everything now: even the very 'unique' thing that your product does. Your product is superior, with extra features and add-ons, but to the customer—you probably sound the same.
You've probably done all the competitive research possible, explored all the corners of the market and have created a product that solves the problem the fastest, and the most efficiently.
But the customer does not see it from the outside.
They don't have the insight into your product like you do.
Your demos and website talk about your unique features, but a small feature here and there probably won't matter to the customer.
To the customers' eyes—you're the SAME.
So they bring in the monster to do the deciding for them.
What do you do at this point?
Engage in a price battle with your major competitors like a reverse auction where no one wins?
Scout the leftovers? Accept defeat?
Your mama didn't raise no quitter.
So what do you do?
You stop feature-dumping.
You start talking value.
You position your product as the unbeatable solution, that leads to real, quantifiable outcomes.
You stop pretending you're on the same level as your competitors. You rise above them, and talk to the customers as the only viable solution.
Your website is where the decision-making begins, and if you fail to make a statement...you're losing the war.
In this article, I will walk you through what a successful, value-positioned, customer-converting website looks like.
And you'll be surprised to find that most SaaS companies are doing it WRONG. (Even your biggest competitors!)
Here's what you will learn:
(Click to skip to the section)
- The 8 red flags that tell you that your website is not differentiating you from your competitors, and killing your business
- What the main purpose of your redesign should be
- Why the other steps to optimize your website for conversions are failing
- The strategic process behind a redesign: What to do before you start 'designing'
- How to identify your best customers
- Understanding your customers and asking the right questions
- Nailing your messaging, and building a high converting website
Now, without further ado, let's dive straight into the meat of the article, and get you a website that helps your customers select the best solution in the market: YOU!
8 Reasons why you need a website redesign:
- Your conversion rate sucks.
You're sending great, juicy traffic to your website—but the people are not convinced.
They're leaving your site without signing up. Without opting in to your newsletter.
You know it's people who are right for your product, people who will love your product...if only they signed up.
Sound familiar? This is when you need to rethink your website!
Is it reallllly explaining your product?
Explaining it in a way that makes sense to your customers?
Probably not. Time to mix it up!
- Your customers don't really get what your product does for them.
Your support inbox is flooded with questions about how your product works—what it's supposed to do, and how to see results.
Your customers are not using its best features, there's so much potential...and so little actual usage.
Or maybe your customers are using it in ways different than what you intended.
You made your product for businesses to find customers easily—but people are using it to find love.
You're suddenly officiating marriages.
At this point, you need to change your website so it targets lonely people looking for magic, than boring businesses. A makeover, so to speak.
- Visitors bounce off your site.
Your site is not speaking for and to your right customers: the traffic you're driving is not the right kind.
You need a change of stance. You need to rethink who your best customers are, and how to connect with them right away, so that they stay engaged.
You're spending so much money on customer acquisition...and ALL of it goes to waste if your website doesn't send out the right message to your visitors.
- Your customers are unhappy, and churning.
You know your product is amazing.
It's taken sweat and blood to develop. It's a goddamned solution if there was one.
And yet, customers constantly request new features you don't plan on launching.
They grow inactive. They churn.
This means your marketing and your website aren't converting the customers they're supposed to convert.
They're converting BAD customers. And bad customers mean terrible business.
You need a rescue team for your messaging right away.
- You're getting thrashed by competition.
If your product is better than your competitors' and they're still getting all the customers—you're not making enough noise to grab your audience's attention.
You need to position yourself as the next new thing in your industry, that's better equipped than the competition.
You need a website that convinces them that your product is better.
- Your website is ugly.
If your last redesign was in 2014, or anytime before that—it's safe to assume that your aesthetics have changed since then.
The bordered text, heavy shadows, yep, we need to get rid of all of that.
The aesthetics are as good as any reason to go for a website redesign: but you don't have to be limited to aesthetic changes while you're at it.
Let me explain.
The Purpose of the Redesign..
..is more than making it pretty.
Your new website needs to not just look amazing, but also speak to your customers and sell your product better than your best salesperson.
It needs to convert more and better customers, it needs to establish you as the leader of the market.
It needs to explain your product and show your visitors the true value in it.
But aren't there other ways of optimizing your website for conversions and better customers?
- Conversion Optimization?
Conversion optimization is like shoving your terrible metrics under the carpet and pretending the issues are sorted.
It's not a cure for a website that doesn't connect with your visitors. And more customers are DEFINITELY not equal to better, high-quality customers.
- A/B testing?
Look, we've all done it, and seen one side work better and convinced ourselves it's a valid, reliable test.
And sometimes it is. When there are zero external factors affecting this result.
Maybe people just converted better on one headline because all those people were just having a more frustrating day and wanted a solution.
Maybe more people opened your email because they got stood up on a date and needed to pass time as the waiter looked on in pity.
You never know.
And like I said—A/B testing won't change big things.
It changes the small things, over loooong periods of time. It won't make 200 okay customers double into 400 loyal ones.
- Bringing more traffic?
I know you have MRR goals to meet but seriously, there's better ways to get people to convert on your SaaS website.
If you're addicted to driving more and more mediocre traffic to your website to help your revenue, visualize me smacking your hand away.
Reasons: Customer acquisition costs. High churn. Probably unhappy customers. Just no.
Well, what should you really do then?
Improve your website. Create a website that your customers look at and think: 'This is EXACTLY what I need.'
But before you head off to revamp your entire website, ask yourself:
Do I really know what will make my best visitors convert?
Do I know what I need to do different?
If the answer is no....you've got to do your research and create a better strategy.
But those words sound really tedious, like something one would say in meetings where one is dozing off, just to sound intelligent—'We must strategize'—Indeed Henry, that's the whole point.
The actual process is super fun. Trust me, I do this for a living.
It involves talking to your best customers and finding what's at the core of your business and why it exists in the first place.
It's about the unexpectedly amazing things about your product, and why your customers love you.
In the end, it's about using all that data to make your business more successful than it's ever been: and that's not tedious.
Let's get to STEP 1:
Identifying your real, loyal, best customers
This step is pretty straightforward. These questions will guide you to your best customers:
- Your best customers are the ones who NEED your product the most. What section of the market do you think would unhesitantly pay for your product and use it?
- Who has been using your product for the longest period of time?
- Who has been leaving great reviews of your product online?
- Who has been using a competitor of your product?
- Who is bringing most of your revenue?
(More about these in my free email course: Why and how to find your best customers!)
When you create an exhaustive list of your best customers, you'll notice a common pattern.
Perhaps, they're all named Evan. Perhaps they're all financial products. Perhaps most of them have a desk in WeWork.
A thread will emerge, connecting them. Not all your best customers will fall into the same category. Maybe there will be multiple categories.
Regardless, you will have a better idea of who you need to target for maximum conversions hereon.
And if you follow the next step, you'll also learn HOW to convert such visitors best.
Understanding your Best Customers
When you start talking to these real OGs, you will notice that there are a few repeated reasons to why they bought your product, why they love it and what they use it for.
You'll start to see how the customers look at your product and make it their own. And this is where the true fun begins.
The first and most important question is:
What problem did your product solve for your customers?
All SaaS products are purchased because the customer needs a better way out.
They want to improve the current situation, transform it into something new.
So the root of the buying decision lies in the problem that they're trying to solve.
You need to figure out the reason your best customer is buying your product—because that will help you speak to your visitors, and appeal to them.
Also: What was the IMPACT of the problem on their business? What were they losing out on by not using your product?
- Were they wasting more time on easily automated processes?
- Were they losing more customers?
- Did they have unproductive meetings?
Getting super specific data on exactly how much time they were wasting or how much of an MRR boost your product has brought can change how your future visitors view you.
The second thing you need out of your customers is:
What is the outcome they're trying to achieve with your product?
When you have a problem, you have the 'Before' side of the image. The reality they're trying to escape.
The problem will help you grab the attention of your visitors—because they will see themselves represented on your site.
But what their eyes will search for is the 'After'.
What is the final outcome of your product?
What is the new and improved version of their job that your product brings?
This helps visitors understand the real value in your product—because your product is always more than a tool. It is a means to an end: a HAPPY end.
When you understand the outcome that your best customers expected (and achieved) from your product, you will be able to exactly pin down what your visitors want—and then deliver it to them.
Outcome-selling is one of the least done, and most effective ways of positioning yourself as the market leader.
(Click here to read my article on how Mailchimp uses this technique to convert visitors)
The third thing you need to figure out by talking to your best customers is:
Where and how did they find you?
Yes, it sounds more of a marketing question than a website-building one.
But when you know where your best customers found you, you know what stage of awareness of the problem they were in.
Once you know this, you will be able to understand crucial things about the audience you will be targeting.
- If they saw an ad for you, they probably do not know much about the problem you solve.
This means your website will need to shine light on the problem, its impact on their business, and the cost of not fixing the problem.
All BEFORE you get to your solution.
- If they Googled the problem and your product came up, you can lay down much of your 'problem' weaponry, and speak about why your product is best equipped to solve the problem.
Where and how your best customers find you is essential in creating a website that connects and caters to them.
Because you do NOT need bad customers.
You need more customers who are like your best customers.
And the first step to getting them, is to make your brand ABOUT them.
An ancillary question is—At what point did they decide to buy the product? What prompted them to turn from visitor to customer?
At what point were they like:
This will help your website get to the turning point faster.
The next question is:
Why did they pick you instead of your competitors?
You beat them—the answer to this question is your edge over them. It's what you need to toot out loud for all customers to hear.
Why are you better than other solutions in the market?
This section on your website, comparing you to other solutions in the market, show your visitors why you're the better purchase.
But remember: your competition might not even be another SaaS product. It might be Excel. It might be a human, manually doing the job.
When you know what they were using before you, and the alternate ways of doing what your product does: you understand why your product is a better choice for them.
And then, you explain it to your visitors.
Also ask them:
Who decided to buy the product, and what objections came up right before it?
Which person in the company do you really need to speak to?
The founder? The managers? The customer support team?
Who is making the buying decision, and actually uses the product—both are of equal importance, because the concerns and priorities of different people in a company are, surprisingly, different.
The objections; you know why we need those.
We HAVE to answer objections on your website.
Now you actually KNOW your customers, and can begin Step 3.
Crafting your Messaging and Building the Website
Your messaging needs to include all and ONLY the parts of a website that push a visitor towards a conversion.
Zero fluff. One hundred percent business.
Combining all the data you have gathered, you need to figure out what makes a visitor buy. Awareness of the problem. The hope of a better solution. The benefits of your product over others.
Use the language your customers use to talk about their problems in reviews, forums and on social media. Speak to them in your own tongue.
You can use the format I go with, by downloading this free SaaS website template, and adjusting it to fit your industry and customers!
You need to write your copy before you even think of design. Your copy is what convinces visitors, and crafting it should be your first priority.
The one major rule about SaaS website copy is:
Don't be vague—speak exactly what you mean. No metaphors.
Building your website is more than filling out a template. It requires a thorough understanding of what your specific audience is like, and how a website needs to be structured to appeal to them.
Think carefully about each element of your website, from the problem to your features and the CTA, and based on your research think what would convince your visitors the most!
You need to write out all the elements of your website, one by one!
Lucky for you, I am making the only checklist you'll need for redesigning your SaaS website. Click here to signup for my secret list and you'll be the first one to get it!
Or just hire me. Really.
I'm here to do the whole process for you, offering outsider and expert perspective. 😬
Because you know—your marketing team, your designers, your customer success team...
Let's talk about your website and what we can do to get you more customers and meet your MRR goals. Book your free clarity call here!