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E110: Leveraging Email To Help Users Through Activation Points

by Sean Boyce

Email is an often overlooked element of helping your users make their way through the activation points of onboarding with your B2B SaaS.

Let’s talk about how and when you can leverage it to help them (and you) be more successful with your product.

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Episode Transcript
Hey folks, Sean here, and today what I want to talk to you about is why you should not assume that using your product will be intuitive for your users and your customers. Now, of course, when we’re designing the experience for how our product is going to solve the top problem or top problems that our customers supposedly have, We are trying our best to make sure we’re doing so in a simple and straightforward way to make sure that the experience is rather easy for them to understand in terms of how to get value out of the product.

But that’s not always going to be intuitive for your user. It’s easy for us to overlook. What might not be obvious for them because we’re building it. It’s one of those can’t see the forest through the trees type problems that we often experience. So if you keep this on the front of, keep this top of mind while you’re building and while you’re launching and while you’re trying to grow your product, then it’ll be easier for you to understand that people may be getting stuck at certain points in that.

Now analytics and tools like that can help you to better understand where your users and customers are getting stuck when it comes to your product experience. Your job is to then move them through those various steps and figure out the best way to do so. Now, that might be taking one step and making it into two, or taking two steps and making it into one.

There’s different things that you can do in order to help your user. Through the process of onboarding so that they can continually get value out of using your product or that you can measure whether or not they’re able to do so. If they can’t, then you’ve got other things to fix. But for now, the focus of what I’m talking about is largely where I’m focusing with one of the products I just launched, and it’s understanding these activation points, knowing where the user is at at certain points in the experience and figuring out how to get them beyond.

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So that they get to the next step in the process. Now, one of the often overlooked elements here is how important it can be to leverage tools like email to communicate with your user in terms of what they can do in your product. It’s like after they have filled out your lead capture, important thing to grab, of course, would be their email, and then keeping them informed along the way as your product is either under development or sharing with them.

Show notes, release notes, things like. In terms of what you are producing in terms of updated functionality or features within your application, as you are building new features, probably the most straightforward part of this experience that most of us are used to, you can share with them, Hey, fyi, we’re making improvements.

Here’s what we’ve improved recently. Here’s what it is. Here’s how it works. Here’s an example perhaps of what that looks. And you conclude elements like that as well too, with links into the application and directions to help them understand where they can go to experience and for themselves. Other pieces can be figuring out and helping them learn what functionality is already in the product experience because again, it may not be obvious for them.

So as I do more usability testing with a new product and some early stage users, I get a better understanding in what’s obvious for them or not obvious for them versus what was obvious or not obvious for me. So I’m trying to put myself in the perspective of someone new in the product experience whenever I’m doing testing, but that’s much becomes more difficult to do as you become more familiar with your own application, especially if you’ve built it.

So in order to figure this out, you need to do more testing. Again, the analytics tools can help. But educating and training your customers and users along the way should help as well. And all of this is made significantly easier. Again, by keeping your product experience as simple as possible, as you’re laser focusing on the top problem and you’re looking to design into the product experience the simplest, but the most elegant way to ultimately solve that problem, that’s gonna make your life end theirs a lot easier as well too.

So anyway, I wanted to talk to you more about how you can better leverage tools like Email to both educate your users. On how to use your product for something that might be obvious to you but not for them. As well as sharing with them any updates that you’re making to the product experience so they can continually learn how to get more out of it and they see you managing it.

And then option optionally requesting feedback from them in terms of how can we make this even better for you? We want to engage with you. Please share and send us that feedback.