Bill Farrell, Director of Product at HelloSign, joined us to discuss how he and his team have been using Heap. HelloSign is a cloud-based electronic signature tool that makes it simple for businesses to offer fast, secure, and legally binding eSignatures to their customers through a powerful web application and a developer-friendly API. Bill and his team have been using insights found through Heap to help guide every product decision.
Making HelloSign more data-driven
Before Bill joined HelloSign in early 2015, he used Mixpanel in a previous role. As a Mixpanel user, Bill experienced the benefits an event-based analytics tool can have on an organization. A few weeks into his role at HelloSign, he realized they had to improve tracking and analytics and create a more data-driven culture.
With Mixpanel and other, more traditional analytics tools, there’s an inherent cost built into managing custom code, up front cost of development resources, time lost going back and forth building tracking requirements, and real mental overhead for the product team. The moment they realized they were missing some data, they had to start all over again and the pain of waiting for data came back once again.
With Heap, they simply installed the tracking code and could decide what to track in the future. The insights they could parse from the data become limitless. Meanwhile, the feedback loop between data and insights had been reduced to zero. So, they managed to save both time and resources with almost no heavy lifting.
“What immediately appealed to me was the idea that you could add a few simple lines of code and make sense of it later,” on why Bill was first drawn to Heap. After reading up a bit on Heap, BIll had his team look into the platform during a free 14-day trial. After playing with Heap for a week, the decision to use Heap as the backbone for HelloSign’s analytics became easy.
Finding holes in mobile conversion
HelloSign’s first initiative using Heap data surrounded investigating potential issues with their signer page, which is the focus of their application, and where users sign their documents. They had an inclination from speaking with customers that the current page was causing some confusion for mobile users. Within a few days of using Heap, they found that signer conversion was indeed worse on mobile devices. This insight solidified their intuition that they needed to build a mobile-first signer page.
HelloSign puts a high value on their customers’ experience. Heap data allowed them to identify a potential product gap and deliver value to their customers. “Conversion rate is important to us because it’s important to our customers – one of our core values is to make our customers shine, meaning we want to build products that let them shine in the eyes of their customers or within their organization.” According to Bill, Heap has been instrumental in ensuring that HelloSign stays true to their core values by prioritizing changes that provide the most value.
Rapid iteration driven by Heap insights
For HelloSign, moving quickly is essential to compete against larger organizations. Yet, rash decisions make for bad product experience. “Heap allowed us to be diligent in our rollout, and find and fix issues with the most minimal impact,” Bill said, key for any product team. As a result, HelloSign began to see conversion rates climb with Heap data providing specific goals in which the team could measure against success.“
We established KPIs, what to analyze and what areas needed the most help, and directly scored our backlog based off the Heap data.” Rather than using anecdotal feedback, Product Managers began to use Heap to understand user behavior in more depth. Most importantly, it helped prioritize feature requests when little data was available. “The Heap data drives our focus. Prioritization is key when competing against much larger organizations.”
The data-driven approach spread within the organization; Creative, Product, and Engineering teams started to use Heap for specific use cases. Marketing began using Heap on the homepage to think about ways to collect more leads and to extend the insight their A/B testing tool provided. Bill was able to use Heap to democratize access to data within the organization: “As an organization, we’ve become far more data-driven.”