How to Increase Product Adoption: 6 Proven Strategies

How to Increase Product Adoption: 6 Proven Strategies

Simon Zynda
Simon Zynda10 minOctober 12, 2022

So, you’ve developed a product, now what? Build it and they will come - great strategy, but in reality, it rarely plays out that way. So on top of developing, you invest money into marketing to drive new customers. But alas - those new customers don’t stick around and become active users.

Besides creating a great product, you also need to try hard to make your customers use it to solve their actual pain points. Ultimately, your aim is to keep those customers around for as long as possible and create an amazing customer journey, as well as key actions for user onboarding. The best way to do that? Increasing product adoption.

What is product adoption?

In the simplest form, product adoption is the process your customers go through to see the value in it, solve their pain points and become regular users of it. It’s the progress from a one-time user to a regular customer of a product you created, through different product adoption strategies.

Product adoption is the key to growing many crucial SaaS and product adoption metrics, such as customer lifetime value. It’s also the key to reducing some other metrics, such as customer churn.

In short, new signups are great, but if you want long-term success and sustainability, you really need to focus on improving product adoption. Today, we’ll give you some examples of how to do just that.

Why should you care about product adoption in your SaaS?

#1 it will tell you if you’re going in the right direction

If customers do not adopt and use your product, your company will not be successful – sad, but true. Therefore, it is essential that you focus on product adoption and do everything you can to increase it. It gives you insights into your product design, onboarding experience of current products, valuable customer segments, key activity, and more. 

#2 it leads to revenue growth

Simply put, if more people adopt and use your product, you will make more money. As your product adoption increases, your costs might decrease, which will also increase your profits. For non-product teams, that’s often the main reason why they get interested in stages of product adoption.

#3 it works towards increasing CLV

Customer lifetime value is the amount of money that a customer will spend with your company over the course of their life. If a customer uses your product for a long time, they will likely spend more money with your company than someone who only uses it for a short period of time. This helps with estimating a predictable revenue. 

#4 it works wonders for reducing churn

Churn is the percentage of customers who cancel their subscription or stop using your product within a certain period of time. A high churn rate can be very harmful to a SaaS company, as it means that you are losing customers at a faster rate than you are gaining them. Therefore, reducing churn should be one of your main goals when it comes to strong product adoption.

#5 the right approach improves customer satisfaction

Having customers who use and adopt your product means that they are likely to be satisfied with it. Otheriwse, why would you even bother using your product? Happy customers are more likely to continue using your product and recommend it to others. Your product growth can be fueled by that!

Tip 1: Use data analytics

If customers are not adopting your product, there is always a reason why this poor product adoption curve is happening. Perhaps the onboarding flow isn’t set up properly. Maybe the crucial functionalities in your tool are glitching or an entire feature is completely broken, leading to a poor product adoption process.

There is a way that you can track this - use a tool such as Google Analytics and see if any numbers are off, affecting your adoption rates. However, this takes time to catch potential errors and unfortunately, not everyone is a Google Analytics expert.

Instead, you can use a data analytics tool such as LiveSession to track what customers do on your website and within your product. For example, you can see where they drop off, what paths they take in your product, when active users become inactive, where they spend the most time, and more.

LiveSession can also spot if there are any errors in your code so you get notified about them just in time - before causing any customer service issues or even customer churn. Our tool even diagnoses something called “frustration signals”, the page elements that cause stress with your active users. If you’re looking to improve your retention rates and grow your customer satisfaction, this is a quick hack that can deliver great results.

Tip 2: Have tips within the product

If you’re as old as the writer of this piece, you probably remember the paperclip in the early versions of Microsoft Word. It was super annoying but it serves a purpose - to help you find an answer you were looking for while you are in Microsoft Word. Many products today do the same, albeit with less annoyance.

For example, the moment you join a new Slack workspace, the app does its best to show you around. It shows you where your contacts are, what channels are, where to type and send a message, and more - all for the purpose of growing product adoption rates.

Whenever you feel like a customer may be stuck within the product and not know what to do next, put pointers for them to flatten the product adoption curve. Whether it’s in the form of popups, hello bars, notifications, or something else - show them the way. In the case of Slack, for example, you only see the onboarding process tips once.

If you don’t want to write complex code, there are plenty of apps nowadays that can help you add in-product messaging for your product adoption process. You can even connect live chat apps (such as Intercom) directly in your product so customers can quickly get in touch if they get stuck.

Tip 3: Make use of your email list

If you run a SaaS product, you probably collect quite a few emails and you have multiple audiences set up in your email service provider. From free trials to your brand evangelists, everyone should have their own segment in your mailing list. Most importantly, you should have a segment with individual users that are not making full use of your product. These are ideal candidates for your product adoption process improvement.

These could be customers that…

  • Signed up but never used the product
  • Have not reached a certain milestone in the product experience (using a certain feature, completing a certain action and not becoming power users)
  • Have not used the product for a certain time period (i.e. inactivity from paying customers or other customer segments)
  • Have upgraded to a higher pricing plan (power users) but are not using all the available features

In essence, you can use your email list in combination with data analytics to reach out to the right audience at the right time. And the best part is, all of this can be automated so your product teams don’t have to manually send or write any emails.

For example, you can reach out to customers whose accounts are inactive for a month with an automatic email reminding them about what they’re missing out on. Or you could do new feature launches and email everyone who has not used that feature with one quick email.

When they say that the money is in the list, it really is - this way of encouraging strong product adoption can be extremely effective for individual users.

Tip 4: Create product-driven content

If you’ve been in online marketing and SaaS for a good minute, you can’t miss Ahrefs. This SEO tool is popular for a variety of reasons, but mostly the fact that it delivers results and exceptional customer experience. You can use Ahrefs for keyword tracking, competitor research, backlink analysis… You name it. The main point is that Ahrefs has a faithful customer base thanks to one thing - product marketing content.

Ahrefs covers a variety of topics on their blog, all related to SEO, content marketing, affiliate marketing and related themes. What is common for all of them is that you can use their own product, Ahrefs, to get better at them. This is a common way to improve the product adoption process, and Ahrefs are masters at it.

Each blog post solves a certain problem for their target audience and it’s the perfect opportunity to pitch Ahrefs as a solution to that problem. In fact, every blog post on their blog mentions Ahrefs in one way or another, with screenshots and use cases directly from the product:

Source: Ahrefs

This strategy has many benefits for your feature adoption rate. Primarily, it shows existing customers new ways to use the product and solve even those problems that they didn’t even know they had.

At the same time, this is a superb content asset that drives new organic traffic from Google from people who are potential customers.

Tip 5: Run webinars and events promoting certain aspects of your product

If you’re wondering about the effectiveness of webinars in 2022, you’d be surprised. The average webinar has an attendance rate of 40-50%. With a strong email list (as discussed before), you can easily invite hundreds if not thousands of people to a webinar - there are no physical limitations here.

With a platform like this one, your options are limitless. Here is where you can teach your customers how to use your existing features in a more effective way so they can save more time, make more money or just get a job done in a better way.

In the same way, webinars are excellent platforms for exploring new, freshly launched features in your product. Here are some examples of webinars by a well-known product management tool, ProductPlan:

Source: ProductPlan

Webinars are effective for many reasons, but we’d like to point out the fact that your attendees can ask questions immediately after your sessions. Depending on the webinar software you use, you can also split them up into groups for breakout sessions.

And as you can notice from the image above, these webinars are already finished and uploaded to the website. All you have to do is record your product webinars and upload them and your customers can go through them if they need to explore new ways to use a certain feature.

Tip 6: Retarget your customers on social media

Social media ads are incredibly effective because you can use them to retarget just the right people at the right time. In fact, next to PPC, it’s one of the marketing strategies with the ROI that is the easiest to calculate. Platforms like Facebook have complex user segmentation strategies that let you zero in only on your interested leads. But then again, this can get really expensive and it’s difficult to scale it.

Unless…

You retarget your existing customers. If they’re already within the product, this is a chance to trigger a Facebook pixel for this specific percentage of users. They may have used the product but not the feature(s) you want them to try out. So, just run a Facebook ad promoting this specific feature in your product, and improve your product adoption curve.

The main advantage here is that you know exactly who you’re targeting in your user base and why so you’re not wasting your ad spend on someone in the wrong stages of product adoption. However, you need to make sure that the product features you’re promoting have an immediate effect on adoption rates, customer experience, and customer retention, among other things.

Wrapping up

Focusing on your product adoption is one of those things that can completely revamp all of your product metrics. An improved product adoption process based on customer feedback can improve the user experience, reduce customer churn, improve your lifetime value and in the end, bring more revenue from your loyal customers.

If you’re ready to get started today, you need reliable and powerful tools to help you get to this point. Give Livession a try and with our data analytics and session records, you’ll know exactly how to guide your customers to better product adoption. 

Product Adoption FAQ

1.  What is product adoption in SaaS?

Product adoption is the process of a customer using and becoming familiar with a new product or service. For SaaS companies, it is important to track product adoption rates as it can be an indicator of customer satisfaction and whether or not the product is meeting customer needs.

2.  Why is product adoption important?

The importance of product adoption for SaaS companies lies in a number of reasons. This can help identify areas in which customers struggle with the product. In addition, it can help determine whether customers are finding value in the product. And, on top of that, high product adoption rates can increase customer loyalty and retention. 

If you’re not monitoring product adoption, you may also not be aware of issues with the product until it’s too late. For example, if there is a bug that prevents users from completing a key task, you may only find out about it after users have already churned. Identifying these issues early on allows you to fix them before they cause too much damage by tracking product adoption.

3.  How do you measure product adoption?

As a SaaS owner, you can track the number of active users over time. Another method is to track engagement metrics such as time spent using the product or number of features used. There are also qualitative methods of measuring product adoption – companies can also survey customers to ask about their level of satisfaction with the product and their likelihood to continue using it.

4.  How do you increase true product adoption?

Start with providing better onboarding and training materials to help customers familiarize themselves with the product. Keeping the product up-to-date with new features and functionality that meet customer needs is another way to ensure it meets their needs. To encourage customers to use the product more often, companies can also offer incentives.

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