Building a SaaS company takes a tremendous amount of work - acquiring and monetizing customers, and then retaining them as long as possible. And what’s more, competition in the SaaS world is ever-growing.
Objective data becomes critical in making the right strategic decisions to drive your long-term growth. Acquiring a SaaS customer means you put lots of effort into optimizing your funnel and conversions. Every small optimization can lead to more customers. Benchmarks found for the SaaS vertical, however, are often conflicting, incorrect, and lacking data.
To prevent you from focusing on the wrong parts of your business, or simply getting anxiety attacks, the Oribi team has analyzed the behavior of over 1.6M visitors to 56 SaaS websites.
Give you a clear understanding of what a good signup rate is
Helps you to compare yourself with other SaaS businesses across the metrics that matter the most
Know what you can change in order to get better results
It’s the first step on the way to becoming a paying customer.
One of the key questions for every SaaS company marketing team is: what is a good conversion rate from website visitors to users who start a free trial?
To make any comparison and start optimizing, it’s crucial to calculate your signup rate correctly. The signup rate is the number of people who complete the signup, such as those who reach the thank you page or click the “Complete” button, out of all the people who saw the signup button. Many web analytics tools calculate the rate across the total number of visitors to the website. This may include people that never considered signing up or never had the opportunity to sign up, such as existing users logging in to your product or visitors to pages that don’t include a signup button.
On average, 4.7% of visitors to a SaaS website sign up to a trial or free plan. For top performing sites, the total conversion rate can reach up to 29%, or go as low as 0.03% for sites with poor performance or a complex setup.
Total Conversion Rate
As you’ve probably noticed on your site, visitors are more likely to complete the signup process on weekdays rather than weekends.
Prospects are most likely to complete the signup process on Tuesdays. In the middle of the week, the likelihood drops, but it’s interesting that the rate seems to recover towards the weekend.
One of the main questions every marketing team faces is how much to invest in each marketing channel. On some channels, it’s easier to get ‘cheaper’ leads which don’t necessarily convert, while other channels may result in a very low number of high quality leads. This benchmark will help you evaluate your spread across different channels, as compared to other SaaS companies. It will also help you benchmark your conversion rate for each channel in order to optimize how you invest your marketing budget, ultimately achieving better results.
For the accuracy of this report, we have excluded Direct traffic, which mainly consists of users entering their accounts - not prospects.
Facebook (paid), Google (organic), and Google (paid) are the top converting channels for SaaS companies, taking more than 70% of the total share.
When comparing signup completion rates, however, the Oribi team found two hidden champs: prospects from Twitter or tech discovery channels like Product Hunt are 3x more likely to complete the signup process than prospects coming from more popular channels. Their signup completion rates are almost as high as the ones from visitors coming through Google (paid) campaigns, which usually arrive on the website with very high intent already.
|Tech Discovery Channels||6.6%|
|Small Search Engines||1.2%|
Tech discovery channels, by nature, have a user base that is highly interested in SaaS products. These prospects are already looking for new tools and will enter your website with a greater interest in trying your product than prospects from other channels. More surprising is the high conversion rate found for traffic from Twitter. The neglected child of the marketing channels may contain some fruits that are much easier to harvest than exhausted channels like Facebook.
Which type of visitors are most likely to sign up?
4.5% of visitors sign up using a desktop, as opposed to 3% coming from mobile. While in most cases it’s cheaper to get mobile traffic, it’s harder to convert these users. For Facebook and Instagram, it’s almost impossible to avoid having the majority of the traffic come from mobile when advertising on a large scale. Even though fewer mobile visitors end up signing up for the product, in most cases it’s still profitable and the overall cost is lower than desktop. Most SaaS companies invest lots of effort in their mobile funnel.
While the average conversion rate for sign up to free trial/freemium is 4.7%, the bad news is that it’s about half that for the users you’re most likely to target.
Visitors from the western world, from countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and the EU, average a conversion rate of around 2.5%, while visitors from less-targeted countries like India or African countries are much more likely to convert, with a conversion rate of about 10%.There are a few reasons for this, with the first one being that these users usually arrive via organic search rather than paid acquisition and therefore have higher intent. The second reason is that there’s much less competition for these users and they are less likely to be exposed to other similar products.
Which actions drive signups?
Share of Signups by No. of Sessions
Only 9% need more than 4 sessions to convert. Unlike in Google Analytics, a session in Oribi doesn’t end after 30 minutes, but is instead counted for as long as a visitor is on the website.
This has a big impact on the SaaS marketing strategy. The earlier you manage to convert a visitor, the better. Or, in other words, if you don’t manage to convert a visitor on their first visit, you’ve most likely lost them. Strong, highly visible Calls-to-Action and an optimized signup process become most important for SaaS marketers.
The Features or Product page is said to be one of the most important pages for a SaaS company. Oribi’s analysis proves just how important it is - visitors that have seen the Features page are 5x more likely to sign up. Strong content and the right calls-to-action can greatly influence your signup rates.
Contrary to expectation, no significant correlation was found between company blog pages and the signup rate. SaaS companies invest a lot of time into writing powerful blog posts, optimizing their content, and placing the right links in order to drive conversions. Your blog may get a lot of traffic, but chances are, these visitors will never sign up.
Are visitors who visit the Features page more likely to sign up?Yes, 5x more likely
The Pricing page also did not show a significant correlation with the signup rate. SaaS pricing models can vary a lot - free plans, high prices, credit card required for signup… This may greatly affect the likelihood that prospects will sign up. In the following section, we’ll take a closer look at successful SaaS websites - also in regards to the Pricing page.
What are the key elements of high-converting SaaS websites?
Our research also revealed that most successful websites use animated content next to their Call to Action to help draw attention to the main content.
Although this may seem obvious, we see many websites that don’t highlight their main Call to Action enough.For all top performing websites, the main Call to Action:
The signup process helps you collect information about your new user to build a customized experience. We see the amount of necessary information correlated with the complexity of the product. More complex products usually require more steps in the signup process. The more information the user provides, the more commitment it can create.
Nobody wants to work too hard, though. Friction, i.e. the amount of work a user has to put into something, is a conversion killer. Keep the length of your form, the number of fields, and the decisions a user needs to make within the signup process to a minimum.
The signup process for successful SaaS websites ranges from 1-2 steps for simple products to up to 4 steps for more complex ones.
Our research did not find a significant correlation between the number of fields and the conversion rate.However, when constructing your form, think of yourself as a user. Only include the fields you really need.
The Pricing page is one of the key pages for any SaaS website and is usually the first one prospects who are more serious about using a service turn to. As prices vary among SaaS products, so do the content and design of the Pricing pages. Other than the fact that all SaaS companies offer a free trial or freemium plan, our research did not show any pattern across top performing SaaS websites.
We found between 1 and 5 different pricing plans, ranging from <$10 to >$500 per month, and there was some serious variety. Some pages required prospects to request a quote before seeing any prices, some pages made use of customizable plans while others didn't, some pages included compelling testimonial statements and user logos, while still others were very clean pages with minimal content.
All this goes to show that what works for one SaaS business will not necessarily work for another. Optimizing your Pricing page requires regular testing -- and not just A/B, but A/Z testing.