personalization to improve user engagement

How to Use Personalization to Improve SaaS User Engagement

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Mariano Rodríguez
Apr 28, 2021

Our economy may be attention-driven but in the SaaS industry views without sales won’t cut it. You need to be able not just to attract potential leads but to guide them to the point of conversion. Your users are on a journey of discovery, and a personalized experience will help you increase engagement, get more leads, retain users long-term, and even convert some of your detractors into loyal promoters 💝. In this article, we’ll explore personalization in three major areas: communication, participation, and usage. Let’s go!

personalization SaaS

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to use personalization to improve SaaS user engagement

Personalized communication and onboarding

We usually think of “journeys” as the travel between point A and point B, and maybe back. For a SaaS company, the customer journey is far more complex and hard to understand

Your users don’t just arrive at your product from a single point of entry. They come from all over the place! The first step to personalize the customer journey requires to identify and customize the first points of contact, creating targeted landing pages, ads or specialized content.

Look into your leads’ path to discovery and get hints on how they arrived at your product. That will help you understand what information is more important for each type of customer. Instead of giving them a long and generalized list of all the things your SaaS product can do for them (I know you love all your features 🤓), you’ll be able to focus on the vital points for each kind of user and communicate your specific value from the beginning! 

1. From leads to users

If you have done your research, like identified buyer personas or any other metric, you can personalize your landing pages, ads or content to target specific audiences.

Start onboarding with a few questions that will help you qualify your leads and personalize the next steps. For example,  you can create multiple onboarding emails or landing pages depending on the lead qualification to show them that you know exactly what they’re looking for. The more you personalize the onboarding process, the more value you’ll customers will get from it

For those leads that visited your website but left before converting or for those that converted but quickly abandoned, you can apply retargeting strategies to bring them back to your site. That includes showing them ads again, sending them more target specific content or even contacting them directly.

2. A warm onboarding process

Everybody calls you by your name these days! At least most of the emails in my inbox do. What may have seemed personalized before has lost its original charm. To improve your onboarding process you’ll need to do more than simply knowing their name. You need to personalize the experience by making it smoother and less confusing. Some ways to accomplish that are:

  • Make them feel that every step of the onboarding process has a purpose.
  • Use clear call-to-actions to grab their attention and to explain what will happen in the next step.
  • Don’t ask for unnecessary information and let them skip steps that can be filled later when they are more invested in your tool.
  • Track the process with a checklist or a progress bar to give them a feeling of completion.

You can complement that with walkthroughs and product tours to guide their attention to the most important features of your product. But don’t get too excited showing them everything at once!

Personalization also means knowing what to show and when to show it. Many products have so much clutter in the very few seconds of usage that distracts the newcomers from the main goal: to learn quickly and start using the product right away.

 

3. Communicate your value with the right numbers

Even when your customers may have been using your product for some time, they still can be oblivious to the real advantages you provide. 

Sure, it’s nice to see them comfortable not thinking about the hassle that would mean not to have your product in their life, but you need to make your value noticed! One way to do that is to quantify the benefits through comparative metrics

For us, at Beamer, it means measuring the user interactions of our customer’s posts and notifications. So we try to remind them, that we help them build larger and more engaged audiences.

personalized metrics

For example, if your SaaS company offers more efficient team communication, remind them how many hours of tedious meetings or how many hundreds of emails they have avoided this week. If you’re all about workflow optimization show them how their times have improved over the last month. Don’t forget to do this periodically to keep them engaged. Report back to them monthly or weekly with personalized metrics that will prove your value in real numbers.

4. Don’t overwhelm your audience

There’s a fine line between helpful reminders and clingy behavior. Curated reports, newsletters, and notifications are excellent tools to keep users engaged. But I think everyone knows first-hand how constant pop-ups can hinder a user’s perception of a brand or service. 

To avoid those issues you don’t need to limit your content output. Instead, learn how to deliver the right message to the user that will value it the most. Push notifications are a great solution for keeping your users updated. Users opt-in so that means they want to hear from you! 

You can personalize that experience by curating content that targets their interests and reflects their previous interactions with your product. For example, use segmentation to track their history, previous purchases, demographics, and all sorts of metrics, and then use it to filter what notifications will reach what groups of users (if you want to learn how to implement web push notifications we have a guide for you).

 

Participation and personalized interactions

Do you know how many times a day our support team gets asked if they are robots? That number you’re thinking of is not near enough! I’ve met them and they seem perfectly human to me 🤖. 

People like efficiency but also like to know that their voices matter. Even when reporting bugs, users tend to look for humans that can understand their frustrations and tackle their problems flexibly and specifically. 

For example, if a user has problems with your service and the only way they can communicate with you is through a standardized form, what happens when the issue is not on the list and there’s no human (or even robot) to listen to them? They’ll probably think that you don’t care or that their problem won’t get fixed at all. So…

1. Listen to your users’ feedback

Your customers are avid to talk to you, not only about bugs but also about their experience in your platform and to give suggestions on how to make it better. Tap into their firsthand knowledge of your product and use it to improve brand experience and personalize your product messaging. If you listen to them and tackle their pain points, you’ll get far more loyal customers and demonstrate that your product is constantly evolving. 

Use multiple channels to gather user feedback. You can do it directly with comments and reactions to measure interest and engagement. Or indirectly with surveys, tracking, and heat maps to get metrics that you can use later for a vast array of improvements from data-driven bug fixing to targeted marketing.

2. Identify potential promoters and detractors

Net Promoter Score or NPS is an easy way to measure user satisfaction and loyalty. It also provides you with a reliable metric to set goals, because as you listen to your users, personalize their experience, and improve your product you’ll improve your NPS score too. 

By using NPS surveys, you can identify your promoters and reach them directly. You can share their positive reviews or ask them to amplify your message. As loyal customers, they’ll be thrilled to participate and improve your service. Make them part of the team by offering them early access to your new features and use their feedback to make adjustments to your product even before rollout.

Sure, not all users will love your product, but when you have the right tools to measure their satisfaction, you’ll be able to do something about it. Learning from your detractors will help you understand why your users churn and personalize your product to win them back. For example, if your pricing is not affordable, you can create new custom plans that are more suited for them. If they say they don’t have enough time to fully test your product then you can extend their trials. Or if your content doesn’t resonate with them you can target your users better, improve your messaging, and create more relevant content for different user groups.

3. Personalized support

Feedback may be positive or negative, and you must learn from both. But support can skew a little to the negative side 😅. It doesn’t need to be that way though.

One of the most common praises we got when we started with Beamer was how amazing our customer and user support was. We are really proud of that! We understood that support is not just solving a problem a user is having at the moment, but improving our product for the future too. Giving your users a personalized support experience may improve their loyalty and even change a detractor into a promoter. 

Users search information differently and a personalized support experience needs to offer options. Just as you need to have multiple channels to gather feedback, do the same to provide answers. There are lots of ways to diversify and personalize your support strategy:

  • Customize email responses by including content that is specific to the user.
  • Curate a personalized FAQ or help center.
  • Offer targeted guides and tutorials to different user groups.
  • Have a robust documentation or knowledgebase for your more tech savvy users.
  • If you have a support chat, make an option available to send emails if the communication breaks.
  • Ask your users a few quick questions before any interaction to engage them personally.
  • Track user data to build support profiles that will help you solve their problems quickly. Are they paying users? What browser and OS are they using?
  • Save interaction history to always know if and how you have interacted in the past, and to track if the users are having recurring issues.
  • Measure satisfaction after every conversation, and use that data to improve and personalize further interactions.

Personalization inside your product

One of the hardest and at the same time most vital parts of a SaaS success is to develop a good customer retention strategy.

We have discussed ways to personalize messaging, onboarding, and interaction, but what about the product itself? How do you personalize your service? The most obvious answer is to give your users features that allow them to customize their dashboard or work environment.

 

1. The road to feature discovery

As your product evolves you’ll be adding new amazing features, I’m sure. But do your users know what they are and how to use them? 

If you have rolled out and they aren’t engaging with the new additions, you may need to focus on your feature discovery strategy. By that I mean the elements within your interface that alert users about the new features or highlight one that they may have missed. Feature discovery can improve your user engagement and it’s the simplest way to show your users that your product is constantly getting better.

But how to announce product updates successfully? Don’t dump your content on a page hidden away from the world or completely separated from your users’ day-to-day experience.

Beamer is an easy to install changelog that can help you communicate product updates directly in your app or site. You just need to copy and paste the code and a widget will be embedded in your users’ interface. All the news and updates about your product will be there, front and center! You can share all sorts of content, make them as visually engaging as possible, gather feedback with comments and reactions, get useful analytics and send personalized notifications.

Beamer changelog

 

2. Personalized release notes

Implementing a changelog is not enough to create engagement. Even if you use one that really stands out, if your content is a long list of fixes and dry posts your users won’t read them and will probably resent it.

As with everything else, the trick is to create a personalized experience. If you have been following our recommendations so far you are surely ready to gather all sorts of user feedback. You can use that to segment your audience in different groups and serve them content that will interest them in particular. They’ll see the content that they’re most likely to read and interact with!

You can show your main features to newcomers, your more advanced tools to your recurring users, bug-fixing updates for developers and targeted promotions based on real data instead of just a single promo to everyone.

With Beamer, you can personalize your posts even more! Use your users’ data to customize your content, addressing them directly. Pick among a series of metrics to include them in your content. When a user sees it, they’ll get information that is specific to them.

personalized updates to increase user engagement

 

Personalizing your customer journey is a must for all SaaS products today! It will help you deliver a more relevant message, increase engagement, and reduce churn. For the easiest way to personalize your changelog and release notes, track NPS and gather feedback, try Beamer today.