Converting a visitor to an active user is a difficult task. Most product teams focus on the initial landing page but forget one of the top activation strategies is a well-designed tutorial that encourages new users to complete key tasks that leads to activation.
When I signed up for Ecquire a few days ago (a tool that fixes outdated contact information in CRMs through detecting and capturing relevant data sources from all across the web), I was very impressed with the attention to detail and creativity in their activation flow, so I reached out to the team to hear their inspiration.
When a visitor signs up for an Ecquire account, a new user will notice the lack of a typical registration form. To start using Ecquire, there is no need to submit your email, give username, or create a password. “We wanted to have the best privacy and security as possible while having no restrictions on the new user funnel,” said Paul DeJoe, co-founder and CEO. That is very bold. “Our team did a great job of finding the best sequence to deliver on the flow of least resistance: no username, password, or sign up. Since we launched this, we’ve never been below 25.0% conversion from a visitor to user on our landing page.
The Ecquire team built their product as a Chrome app to balance security with an easy registration process. Despite having a low friction sign up flow, Ecquire ran into a user experience challenge with their technology of choice. A drop down modal appears when a visitor wants to install Ecquire. This modal is standard on all Chrome app installs. For Ecquire, this modal intimidates a visitor due to the permission phrase of “access your data on websites you visit”. This jolts a visitor into bailing due to the phasing. To solve this problem, the Ecquire team tested different phrases that read less obtrusive.
After installing Ecquire, a visitor officially becomes an Ecquire user; however, new users sometimes failed to connect their experience on Ecquire.com to using the product day-to-day. “The old flow just told new users how to use our product but people did not get it,” said DeJoe. In response, the Ecquire team invested heavily in product tutorials to educate new users while using the product.
Ecquire offers two tutorials, Gmail and LinkedIn, for two of their main sources of registrations: SalesForce AppExchange and Highrise. Each respective new user referrals found value in Ecquire for different reasons. SaleForce users wanted to use Ecquire for LinkedIn contact hunting and Highrise users wanted a better way to organize contacts in Gmail.
Selecting the Gmail tutorial opens a user’s Gmail account in a new tab with an injected modal to “Start the tour”. The first step in the tutorial educates a new user on the core experience and provides more information on the new user to Ecquire. A new email window pops open with pre-filled text and the email address of Toan Dang, Ecquire’s Chief Marketing Office. In this flow, a new user is learning a core product interaction and connecting their respective email address to a their account, which is not required to download Ecquire.
“The tradeoff is a higher number of users and a user relationship without asking for an email,” said DeJoe. “Sending an email as part of the tutorial shows how the product works and creates a relationship with us at the same time. Win, win.” The Ecquire team played their weakness (Chrome apps do not require email to register) into a strength. Since implementing this flow, sending email campaigns to their new user base has not been a problem.
After sending an email to the Ecquire team, the next step introduces the Ecquire bar with a step-by-step guide. Ecquire’s initial product was focused only the Ecquire bar (above), which appealed to Gmail and Highrise users. “We had thought that our core product was our Ecquire Bar, but we found 80.0% of our users utilized the Ecquire button on a regular basis,” said Dang.
Ecquire can collect contact information from almost any user profile on the web, from Zerply to Quora, with the Ecquire button, but the Ecquire button was secondary in the mind of the team to the Ecquire bar. This assumption was wrong and the Ecquire button was growing rapidly in popularity. “The crazy thing is that we never even told users about our Ecquire button. They discovered it themselves,” added Dang. This trend mattered to the bottom line.
“We saw that users were getting the most value from pulling contact info from LinkedIn via the Ecquire button,” said DeJoe. “Heavy LinkedIn utilization typically translates into a paying subscription.” The Ecquire team built a LinkedIn tutorial to increase the likelihood of a user upgrading to a paying account and using the Ecquire button.
Since implementation of the LinkedIn tutorial, the utilization of the Ecquire button has increased 75.0% over the course of a month. By understanding what their users really want, the Ecquire team saw an increase in the number of users upgrading accounts.“We only recently started optimizing for LinkedIn but the results are very promising,” said Dang.
After focusing on the new user experience for a several months, the Ecquire’s team investment is paying off. The number of new users who finish the tutorial is now 97.0%. Activation of new users improved from 48.0% to 58.0% and overall retention of new users improved by 81.3%. “Our team focuses on the entire funnel, from acquisition to revenue,” said DeJoe. “Reducing every constraint we could during the onboarding process has been critical to our growth.”
While focusing on priming new users on a landing page is crucial, heavily investing in activating users with product education will pay dividends in your long-run growth.