In a world where budgets are tight and competition is high, product teams face a daunting challenge to stay ahead of the game. Driving success requires a magic mix of the right resources, valuable insights, and data-driven decision-making.
But making the right decisions can often be challenging, especially those that don’t drain engineering resources and valuable budgets. And while it can be tempting to rely on guesswork and assumptions, there is in fact a better approach: lean experimentation.
Lean experimentation is a powerful approach that differs from traditional experimentation because it doesn’t require expensive tools or extensive work. Instead, lean experimentation is all about being agile, nimble, and efficient. It enables teams to validate assumptions quickly, optimize user experiences, and ultimately drive growth.
Lean experimentation can be applied to almost anything in your product landscape. But in this blog, we’ll explore three key examples:
Improving your user onboarding experience
Better engaging your prospects
Enhancing monetization down funnel
Now available on-demand: 3 Lean Experiments Product Teams Can Build in a Day
Hear from Connie Yuan, Senior Product Manager at Heap, and Lyla Rozelle, Product Manager at Appcues, as they discuss real examples of how Heap’s product teams overcame challenges by utilizing lean experimentation and tools like Appcues, Marketo, and Contentful.
Understanding the power of lean experimentation
Lean experimentation is a smart way to develop and improve products. By using both qualitative and quantitative data, you can create hypotheses and run fast experiments to test your ideas. This iterative process helps you make informed decisions based on real user behavior, leading to better user experiences and higher engagement. A win-win!
Let's look at three ways lean experimentation can improve your product teams’ success.
#1 - Improving user onboarding
Effective user onboarding is the cornerstone of successful product development. It can significantly impact user engagement and retention, and ultimately determine a product's success. Let’s look at a recent example of how we approached optimizing our user onboarding process at Heap.
We knew that to improve user onboarding, we needed to listen to our users and understand their pain points. With qualitative feedback from session replay, we gained valuable insights into their onboarding experience.
Armed with this knowledge, we embarked on a series of A/B tests to experiment with different onboarding approaches. By fine-tuning elements like messaging, CTAs, and tooltips, we aimed to create a more intuitive and user-friendly onboarding flow, utilizing tools like Appcues.
The results showed significant improvements in user engagement and retention. Analyzing user behavior and comparing experiment outcomes enabled them to identify the most effective onboarding flow, leading to its implementation across the product.
#2 - Engaging prospects
Lean experimentation also plays a big role in overcoming the challenge of engaging your prospects. After all, it can be a pain when you want to motivate your prospects to request and attend a demo meeting, but you have limited engineering resources to create a self-serve demo account.
So what do you do?
Your product team can leverage existing tools and no-code solutions – like Appcues – to experiment with different engagement strategies. With lean experimentation, they can curate user experiences, guide users through meaningful moments, and block off distractions with simple tweaks.
At Heap, we got creative to better engage enterprise prospects. Without engineering resources to rely on, we used their existing CMS tool Contentful to create a variation of the demo request form. In this example, we launched the experiment to 50% of site visitors and manually provisioned access to the demo account within 24 hours.
And the results? A two-fold increase in form submission rate and a 50% demo account login rate!
#3 - Boosting monetization down funnel
Many SaaS tools have multiple pricing tiers, and how to determine the gap between different tiers is through the data you collect on your site. But for many product teams, paywalling customers when they upgrade from a free to paid version, or between different tiers, can be a huge pain.
This is where lean experimentation can really shine. Your product team can start by segmenting users based on usage limits to determine where they should sit across your tiers. Your team can then sync these user groups across tools like Appcues and Marketo, where they can coordinate messaging and block users from certain features.
At Heap, we utilized Appcues as a no-code solution to deploy soft paywalls and hard paywalls and to analyze user behavior. The result was a significant increase in their free-to-pay conversions that positively impacted their monetization strategy.
Key principles for success in lean experimentation
For lean experimentation to be successful, there are three fundamental principles. These principles empower product teams to make data-driven decisions, streamline processes, and achieve positive outcomes in a short space of time.
Leverage both qualitative and quantitative data. In the world of lean experimentation, data is king. Successful products teams should combine qualitative and quantitative data to form hypotheses and gain stakeholder buy-in.
Conduct quick and easy experiments. To stay competitive and agile, product needs must utilize tools and no-code solutions to conduct experiments quickly and efficiently.
Iterate rapidly based on experiment results. The success of lean experimentation lies in the ability to iterate rapidly based on experiment results. This iterative process allows product teams to fine-tune their strategies, optimize user experiences, and drive product growth effectively.
Lean experimentation is a game-changer for product teams seeking rapid growth and data-backed decision-making. By following Heap's lead and implementing these experiments, you can make significant improvements to your product in just one day.
Ready to learn more and put these principles into action? Don't miss Heap's webinar for a deeper dive into these real-world examples and practical tips.