Copyright DIRECT SPARK SRL, 2019

Zona plictisitoare

Meet Danny

Part 3/4

Rather than opening any data analytics tool, Danny first spends a couple of minutes to think about what he really needs.


If my free users are getting lost so easily there could be several things happening:

  • Traffic is not targeted correctly so I’m not getting the right visitors

  • My site is not convincing enough to turn (the right) visitors into trials users

  • Free trial user experience is not good enough to convert trial users to customers

The report I got from the agency shows that most of my visits come from keywords that revolve around invoicing. Which means traffic is reasonably well targeted.

I could start working on the site but that would be a longer shot. Meaning that even if I do a great job in getting more trial users, that won’t necessarily impact the thing that interests me the most.


So what I will do is rather start optimizing closer to the money. Which is finding out what stops free trial users to sign up for one of our paid plans AND FIXING IT.

Even the smallest improvement in this free to paid conversion rate will instantly bring me a growth in revenue.

So what I want to know for starters is:
– how many people sign up for the free trial
– how many of those actually manage to issue an invoice (complete the onboarding)

This should be the first thing I’m looking at.

I built some cool features in there and I want to make sure users get to experience those.

After checking how many of them get lost at onboarding, I will check to see how many of the users who managed to actually use the app converted to paying customers.

The latter group would most likely have a different set of objections.


So in the beginning I have to look at the entire journey from signing up for a trial account to the actual invoice creation. To track all this stuff I will need to get really granular with analyzing each event users perform in the app.

Since Google Analytics (GA) doesn’t do a great job in that, I will sign up for Amplitude‘s and setup the tool.

Unlike GA which was made for analyzing websites traffic and is largely based on pageviews, Amplitude is an event based analytics tool made for analyzing the way people use digital products. They also have a very generous freemium plan which covers my needs very well.

Now for an Invoicing X trial user to create an invoice, he has to:
– complete sign up
– add his company data
– add his first client-company
– create the actual invoice.

So I’ll tag in Amplitude all key events across that journey, as follows:


After a couple of weeks, as data is gathered, the funnel report will look something like this.

Funnel visualization report in Amplitude Analytics

Only 120 out of 800 trial users get to actually create their first invoice.


That’s a heartbreaking 15%

Seems that most people get lost when they have to add clients.


What the hell happens in there? Why can’t they add even a single lousy client-company?!

He goes in and tests himself.

Asks for his team to test as well.

All seems to work fine.

He could just blame it on users for being idiots. It’s what most tech guys do. But decides to really dig deeper and understand them better. Maybe there’s still something he could do.

So he signs up for Hotjar Analytics and sets up their screen recoding tool.

What makes Hotjar hot

This will help him actually replay his visitors onboarding sessions. See their clicks, taps and mouse movements inside the funnel.

Lets data being collected for about a week.

Then he spends a couple of hours going over the recordings.

Two usability issues and a bug affecting first time product users are revealed.


Users were not that stupid after all.

Sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know.

He gets his team to start fixing the newly discovered issues. New features under development are set ON HOLD.

Why add more bells and whistles when we can’t even get users to complete their most basic task?


Has a heated debate with his team about how to fix the onboarding usability issues. Specifically, how the design and wording should be like for users to be crystal clear on what to do next.

So instead of taking a few days/weeks to code a brand new, more intuitive onboarding interface…

Danny creates a prototype using Moqups.

A demo screen of how Moqups works

While the end result still looks raw, he only needs two hours of ‘drag-and-drop’ work to build a functional prototype where users can actually click around and experience the new flow the team had imagined.

He uploads that prototype on WhatUsersDo.

In just two days, Danny will get the recorded videos of 5 users going over the prototype thinking out loud about their experience (testers’ both screen and voice are recorded)

The scenario testers will go through is going over the current onboarding steps, then go over the prototyped onboarding to see which one users find easier.

The feedback is very revealing and ensures Danny that he’s on the right track. All users say the prototyped process is way easier and they give interesting ideas for further improvements.

With this validation, they take a week and a half to code the new onboarding. After it goes live, Danny looks again at his funnel report in Amplitude.

After another couple of weeks, his funnel will look like this.

The % of free users who create their 1st invoice goes from 15 to 35%.

No of onboarded free users went from 120 to 280.


This also has a good impact in the number of upgrades from free to paid accounts.


Danny also prepares a user survey.

I could just blast out a few questions to ALL users. But free users are very different then paying ones. So I’m gonna send one to the free and one to my paying users.

See how each category of people thinks.

Basic questions like ‘how do you like our stuff‘ won’t tell me a lot. I can’t rely entirely on these. Users might just answer with ‘it’s okay’  What do I do with that?

Not much!

So I’ll use better questions that go deeper into identifying the users profile, context and perception in both segments.

Examples of specific questions for paying users

• What is your occupation?
• What convinced you to pay for our service? (open answer)
• Have you used other invoicing services before us? (yes/no) If yes – which one?

Going over the survey results he notices that unlike his free users, most of his paying customers are…


Designers, trainers, coaches, accountants, lawyers.


Wasn’t his main target group initially but they seem to be his best users.


He’ll invite 10 freelancers for a 1-to-1 interview to find out.

Offers each freelancer three months for free of their premium plan for a 45 min call via skype.

These interviews will take about a week to complete.

They reveal A LOT of the freelancers’ specific needs and wants from an invoicing app and their overall experience.

What does Danny do with all these:

• finetunes his site language
• gets his people to do a landing page specifically for freelancers
that will transmit everything the surveyed and interviewed part of this group mentioned to like about this product.
• gets his agency to start a campaign to send freelancers on that landing page.