On May 4, three months after Preceden’s launch, I started charging for it. Preceden, for those of you who are unfamiliar with it, is a web app for making timelines.
Not completely charging for it though; I’m employing a freemium business model, which basically means I give it away for free and charge the folks who want a premium version of the product. In Preceden’s case, users can add a limited number of events to their timelines (20) but if they want to add more than that, they need to upgrade for a one-time payment of $29.
I haven’t followed the numbers too closely, so I decided to spend this weekend figuring out just how well the site was converting visitors into paying customers.
Here’s the result:
There’s good news and bad news.
The good news (great news!) is that 5 people upgraded, for a total of $145.
The bad news is that only 5 people out of 316 upgraded (1.62%). Actually, I have no idea if this is good or bad. It seems bad. Regardless, I’d like it to be higher.
Until several days ago, the homepage didn’t have a “Pricing” section. I did mention the price in the FAQs, but I think a lot of people signed up without realizing that you were limited until you upgraded. A preliminary analysis of the new numbers shows that adding the “Pricing” section cuts the visitor to sign up conversion rate in half (12% to 6%). However, there should also eventually be a corresponding spike in the paid conversion rate, because everyone who signs up now should understand the limitations of a free account.
To complicate things, I also just changed it from a max of 10 events per free account to 20 events per free account. This is a tricky number because too low and users won’t add enough events to appreciate the product but too high and no one will need to upgrade. I thought 10 was too low, so I up’d it to 20. I don’t know yet how this will affect the conversion rate, and it’s going to be hard to tell whether that or something else affected it if it does change significantly.
I’ve also considered limiting free accounts in some other way (no printing?) but haven’t decided on anything yet. Another option is to lower the price from $29 to $19 but this is also complicated (what happens when the folks who paid $29 realize you just lowered it to $19?).
AdWords has been a flop so far. At $5/day, I spent $60 on it over this time period without any conversions to paid users. However, with such a small conversion rate (1.62% so far), the lack of upgrades could just be due to variance, so I’m going to keep at it a while longer.
Now that I’ve got a good system in place for measuring the affects of advertising, I’m going to experiment with some other ad programs and see how they measure up. I’ll make a follow up post in a few weeks showing my progress.
If you have any feedback, especially ideas on ways to improve the conversion rate, please let me know.
look past what the infographic is telling you. You received 2534 new visitors, of which 316 registered, 5 of those converting to paid accounts.
Segment the data in two areas: Those who registered and those who didn’t.
Break down the users that registered/didnt register among referring/search/direct traffic. This should immediately give you an idea of which channels are performing well and which ones to focus on.
What were top referrers for users that registered?
Conversely, which keywords performed poorly, or which channels do you think you need to devote more resources to?
Then look at the users who visited but didn’t sign up for a free account.
What keywords/referrers brought these users to the site?
How many pages did they view per visit?
I think ultimately it comes down to fine tuning your landing page. Try split testing a couple different versions and start from there. Looking at the source code, it looks like you’re already doing that.
Try re-arranging the different callouts and sections of the landing page, for instance bundling them into a tabbed interface which immediately gives new visitors a chance to click around and see the benefits/features etc.
anyway, sorry to rant, from here on out its a lot of tweaking and testing, good luck
Great feedback, thank you. I’ve made some changes and will post a follow up when the time allows.
Thanks for a good article. Are you going to do a update on how it’s been going since then?