5 Top Tips for Making Your SaaS Product Sticky

August 07, 2019
Hilary Rich's picture
Director, Product Management

Did you know that 39% of businesses are replacing their SaaS applications, a rate higher than the industry average for tech employee turnover? With a stat like this, every SaaS company needs to be asking itself: 

How are we making our SaaS application sticky?

While there are a range of tactics to take, there are five that stand out as the most successful to me. We’ve uncovered these five over the course of working with over 50% of product managers from Fortune 500 companies and seeing how they manage their products, and these tried-and-true strategies are proven to create a sticky product experience that has enabled these companies to retain customers, drive adoption, and grow revenue

1. Make it personal!

Building a product that is sticky for end-users isn’t about adding lots of features or advanced technology. Instead, it’s about knowing your users well enough to make sure that your product is solving a real problem for them. After all, the best products are adopted and spread like wildfire because they provide a solution to a problem that no one else has been able to solve. So get up close and personal with your users, understand their needs, and design solutions for their persona and their unique needs. This is the best—and most natural—way to make sure your product becomes sticky. 

2. KISS: Keep it simple, stupid

Imagine that you’re using an application that's loaded with lots of options, tons of ways to configure our settings, and lots of buttons to press. We’ve all been in this situation. Frustrated with the UX flow and superfluous, irrelevant options in our way, we’re likely to quickly abandon this application. And that’s the key takeaway: More features do not mean more value. Instead, design a less-is-more experience for the average user, and you’ll find that your users will thank you. If you insist on adding lots of options, consider a default mode designed for an average user, then provide options for the more advanced users. 

3. Habits die hard; go with the (work)flow

There is nothing more tedious for users than having to jump from application to application or navigate through a clunky workflow experience. That means that your product has to be such an improvement that it becomes part of their routine—and designing for your users’ workflow is a great way to do so. 

If you follow the tip from above about knowing your users, this means you’ll already know your users’ workflow, so design your product to fit within that workflow and become part of their daily routine. Habits die hard, if you master the art of making your product part of a workflow, users will blindly adopt your product. Then you can introduce new revenue growth strategies like product tiers or freemiums. Like fish, once you get them hooked, all you have to do is reel them in.   

#1 REASON ZENDESK CUSTOMERS UPGRADE IS BECAUSE OF GOODDATA ANALYTICS

Read the case study

4. Reduce time to value

Put plainly, users are not always looking for new features. What they really want is their problems solved quickly and easily. If you want to make your product sticky, make it easier for users to find the value in your product. For example, if your SaaS product is a CRM or a training enablement platform, instead of adding a new feature, consider providing analytics. Yes, embedded analytics. Analytics help people figure out how fast, how often, or how well they are performing. With analytics, people are able to spend their time more effectively and efficiently, and they’re able to see the value they’re getting out of your product. Consequently, you can quickly and easily reduce the time to value of your application by adding embedded analytics.

Learn how Saleshood reduced time to value by adding embedded analytics

Read now

5. Learn why users churn and be client obsessed 

Time does not stand still, nor does the market or your customers’ needs. Just when you think you’ve done all that you need and your product is growing, something is bound to change. So don't get comfortable. Today’s competitors can easily copy you, and they can potentially deliver something that works better and faster. This means you need to always be in touch with your customers. Build relationships, improve the customer experience, and understand what factors would drive them to a new product. Lastly, focus on your core strengths. Don't try to build everything; partner to add more value while focusing on core innovation. 

“It would’ve taken us at least 18 months to develop a minimum viable product on our own, and it would’ve pulled a lot of time, energy, and money away from our own product. With GoodData, we had the first MVP in a matter of weeks” - Travis Favaron
Senior Product Manager

ByPass created a competitive advantage by partnering to add new value

Read now

With how fast technology changes and businesses evolve, following these 5 tips will help make sure your application become part of the 39% of SaaS applications being replaced. Take a few minutes and ask:

How are you making your SaaS application sticky?

Are you making your application personal, keeping the functionality simple, yet valuable and powerful? Are you designing for end-users workflows and making your product become part of a daily routine? Are you thinking about how you can add features that reduce the time to value of your application, like embedded analytics? Check out this eBook to help you identify if your product needs analytics. 

Does Your Product Need Analytics?

Download Noww

Want to ask about something specific?

Contact us