“No matter how great your product is, it is very likely that 40-60% of your free trial users never see the product a second time.”Samuel Hulick, UserOnboard Founder

People perceive and understand value differently.

Two perfectly qualified prospects can look at the same ads, landing pages, messaging, and feature sets, and come to completely different conclusions.

One might become hyper-engaged recommending your product to all his/her friends, while the other might misunderstand the product completely, posting on social media how he/she is looking for the exact product you built.

But the responsibility of figuring out your product, shouldn’t fall entirely on your users’ shoulders.

How to Learn From New User Signups

To understand value perception, Dan Martell recommends surveying new user signups, asking them how they would explain the product to others:

“How would you explain [ Product ] to friends or colleagues?”

Dan says that 80% of the time when he first begins working with clients, the answers to this question differ from the messaging on the company’s homepage.

To get started learning about signup reasons, set up a single-question survey prompting users with an open-ended question.

By targeting users during their first session with a survey as an In-App message or a popup, you’ll be able to capture spontaneous reactions—your users’ original reason for signing up will still be fresh in their minds.

You can ask Dan’s question, or you could perhaps ask:

  • When you signed up, what expectations did you have for our product?
  • What is your main goal for using [ Product ]?
  • What were the three main things that persuaded you to sign up today?

Eventually, you could also ask about alternatives:

  • Which other options did you consider before choosing [ Product ]?

This will help you to understand what product category prospects perceive your product to be in.

How to Improve Your Product’s Fit on the Market

Look through the profiles of new signups—do they match the profile you’re targeting? If less than 30% of new user signups resemble your target profile, then improve your messaging and acquisition strategy.

Focus on the responses of users that do match your target profile—do at least 30% of them ‘get it’?

Iterate until more than 60% of the users from your target profile sign up for your product’s core value.

As advertising expert Dave Trott says: “Once you know the niche your market’s in, you can spend a lot of time publicly turning off everyone else.”

Quickly disqualifying wrong-fit prospects will help free up resources, and will allow you to spend more time acquiring the right users, and getting them to experience the product value.

Refine your messaging until signup reasons match your product’s core value. This begins with setting the right expectations.

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This post in an excerpt from Solving Product. If you enjoyed the content, you'll love the new book. You can download the first 3 chapters here →.

Categories: Customer Research Technique