The Fiction that Friction Improves Customer Onboarding

A few months back an article was published that talked about how this popular brain training game (I can't remember what it's called) made their onboarding process MORE complex - not less - and increased their active users by 10%.While the … [Continue reading]

Customer Psychology and the Unexpected Power of Surveys

Surveys can be dangerous if used wrong, but can be super-powerful if used correctly!Whether it's the Net Promoter System to gauge customer satisfaction, doing pre-launch customer development work for your startup, or one of the myriad methods we … [Continue reading]

How Social Proof Actually Works in Marketing

I'm not a psychologist, but I play one every day as I try to figure out why people (users, customers, visitors, etc.) do what they do... and how to get them to do more of what I want them to do.I spend a lot more time reading books about - and … [Continue reading]

Customer Success Starts at Sales Done Right

After getting a demo of their new product from their Chief Data Officer (Luke Deka) while I was in Poland, I was excited to catch-up with Greg Pietruszynski, CEO of Growbots, when I got back to San Francisco.We talked about lots of different … [Continue reading]

Achieve Network Effect on a Smaller Scale

I was talking to my friend Piotr Zaniewicz the other day about the importance of network effects on SaaS businesses.I mentioned how the common misconception around network effects is that, in order to achieve a real network effect (this is the … [Continue reading]

Podcast: Customer Success is the Foundation of Your Success

Micky from Kahuna Accounting sent me an email to share that they grew their B2B business from 0 customers/0 revenue to 180 customers and $40k/month ($480k Annually) in just over a year, and a major part of that was their use of the Ideal Customer … [Continue reading]

3 Secrets of High-Converting SaaS Free Trials

While just about every B2B SaaS company offers a Free Trial - especially those with self-service sales models - in my experience, the percentage of SaaS companies that feel their Free Trial is "successful" is fairly low.Disappointingly low, … [Continue reading]

How To Get Sales To Help Test your Ideal Customer Profile

I was talking to the CEO of a SaaS startup on Clarity about a dilemma many companies go through.They've decided it's time to get deliberate about their progress and start testing their Ideal Customer Profile... but there's a problem.They … [Continue reading]

Stick Point: When Your SaaS Customer is Truly a Customer

In my recent article on accurately calculating your SaaS metrics, I mentioned how some customers shouldn't be considered customers yet.I referred to the fact that there's a "stick point" or that point in time in the early part of the customer … [Continue reading]

Free Trials Do Not Devalue Your Enterprise SaaS

The CEO of a SaaS company reached out to me on Clarity the other day and he had a very dangerous misconception that could seriously impact their potential as a company.I hope by talking about it here I can save more SaaS companies from falling … [Continue reading]

4 Undercover Ways to Hack Social for More Sales

How often do you hear the term "Social Selling" and either can't figure out what it actually means or just want to call shenanigans on it?You know you're not going to close a six-figure deal on Twitter, right? That's not reality. But that doesn't … [Continue reading]

The Success Gap: A HUGE Opportunity You Haven’t Considered

There is often a gap between the functional completion of your product and the customer's Desired Outcome.I call this the Success Gap.And this Success Gap that stands between what your product does and your customer's Desired Outcome is a … [Continue reading]

Your SaaS Metrics Are Wrong if You Include These Customers

A user is someone that uses your SaaS product, right? Or is it someone that signed-up? Or someone that's active? Or someone that logged in a few times? Hmm.Okay, so maybe defining a user is hard, but defining a customer is easy, right?A … [Continue reading]

Active Users are a Vanity Metric

Active customers churn. And when they do we're shocked and confused.How can this happen? Your customer was very active, logging-in several times in the last month.I think it's fair to say that if Active customers churn, then "active" - as a … [Continue reading]

CAC Strategy is the Key to Scaling your SaaS Company

Starting a SaaS company and scaling a SaaS company are two very different things.The same is true for "scaling" a SaaS company in the very early days vs. scaling a SaaS company through the growth phase.And since every company is different and … [Continue reading]

Let Your Customers Write Your Marketing Copy

I spend a lot of time talking to SaaS companies about how they should identify their Ideal Customers, understand how they operate, know what their Desired Outcome is, listen to what they say, etc. etc.Whether it's a focus on acquiring new … [Continue reading]

Exposed! A Top-Secret “Enterprise Pricing” Growth Hack

When it comes to SaaS, you basically have two sales models: high-touch and self-service. Small, bootstrapped SaaS companies often like to go the low-touch, self-service way.Large, venture-backed startups often like to take the high-touch, … [Continue reading]

The Only 3 Acceptable Pricing Page Discount Tactics

I get this question from time to time:"Lincoln, is it okay to offer discounts right on your pricing page?"Short answer: No.The longer answer, with some nuanced yesses thrown in,  along with some tactics that you can employ, is below... … [Continue reading]

Engaging at Scale: The Secret to Automating Personal Emails

About a year ago I shared my super top-secret way to automate personal emails more effectively - called the "Customer Success bot" method - with the awesome folks on my mailing list.Since then, I've come up with several new uses for this … [Continue reading]

5 Growth Hacks to Supercharge your Invite or Referral System

When was the last time you referred your friends or invited co-workers into an app after you just signed-up for the free trial?When was the last time you imported your address book right after you opened an app for the first time?Right.So … [Continue reading]

The Myth of Unavoidable Churn

When it comes to customer churn, there are two kinds: avoidable and unavoidable.But I guarantee that the amount you label as "unavoidable" is actually much smaller than you think.I know, but..."Most of our churn is out of our control, so … [Continue reading]

Understanding Your Customer’s Desired Outcome

So... what does Success look like for your customer? That's the question that's at the base of my wildly popular "The Secret to Successful Customer Onboarding" article.BTW, this article is good... but I have another one that goes into more detail … [Continue reading]

The Secret to Successful Customer Onboarding

Também disponível em Português por Mathias LuzCustomer onboarding has come up a lot lately, which is great since having a poor onboarding experience for your customers can pretty much kill your growth... if not your business.The first in-app … [Continue reading]

7 Sanity Checks for Sending Cold Email

Email Prospecting, the once-secret method (still) used (to great effect) by the hottest companies to get the attention of the biggest enterprises out there - even if all they talk about publicly is inbound marketing, adwords, and social - is no … [Continue reading]

You’re Doing Annual Pre-Pay Renewals Wrong

Getting customers to pay up-front for a year is great... the challenge comes 12 months later at renewal time.There are four ways to do renewals, but only one right way.This came up on a recent Clarity call with a SaaS founder, and since … [Continue reading]

10 Growth Hacking Lessons from Dodgeball

I hit Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, right in the gut.And then I took a hard shot to the chest by Gainsight's New Business director.Working in a startup is rough, lemme tell ya.As Nick and I stood on the sidelines during this company … [Continue reading]

How-to Avoid SaaS Free Trial Abuse

At the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, a security research duo showed how they built a cryptocurrency-mining botnet by leveraging cloud platform services - like Amazon Web Services, Heroku, or Google App Engine - using only Free Trials and … [Continue reading]

SaaS Free Trial Extension Requests are a Bad Sign

I got this question about SaaS Free Trial Extension requests and I thought I'd answer it here, for all to see."Lincoln, that was a great guest post by Steli Efti from on sales mistakes that lead to churn. I was reading Steli's blog and … [Continue reading]

The Best SaaS Free Trial Length

Here's a secret no one talks about: SaaS Free Trial Length is a Marketing Gimmick.There isn’t a best SaaS Free Trial length that works for every SaaS company, in every category, for every market. I know, that contradicts my reputation for saying … [Continue reading]

Ideal Customer Profile Framework

Having a clear definition of your Ideal Customer is one of the most important things you can do for your business.Your Ideal Customer Profile - ICP - dictates (or should dictate) everything from the features and functionality of your product you … [Continue reading]

4 Sales Mistakes That Lead To High SaaS Churn

I've said many times that the seeds of churn are planted early. Whether it's in your marketing - both the things you say but also the types of customers you target with your messaging and outreach - to the things you say and do during the sales … [Continue reading]

SaaS Free Trial: Requiring a Credit Card is Shortsighted

I got this email asking whether to require a Credit Card to start a SaaS Free Trial or not and what the best Free Trial length is.So instead of just answering him directly, I decide to use it as the basis for this article.Here's the … [Continue reading]

5 Steps to Unstick Your User Onboarding Flow

The other day I got an email from a SaaS CEO friend of mine telling me his product team is finally ready to tackle a major problem with their onboarding flow during their Free Trial.It turns out they have one screen in the flow that is causing … [Continue reading]

22 Ways to Reduce Churn with Growth Hacking

22 ways to Reduce Churn with Growth Hacking

As the SaaS industry continues to rapidly mature, more folks are looking at churn in SaaS companies - investors, analysts, executives, consultants, etc. - and more and more methods of measuring churn are going to surface... and that's awesome.Of … [Continue reading]