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How Codetree Improves Trial Conversion Rates with Insights From HookFeed

Derrick Reimer, Founder of Codetree, shares his tactics

Derrick Reimer

Derrick Reimer,
Founder of Codetree

"Figuring out if I’m actually capitalizing on my efforts of making the trial experience better is a huge priority."

The time between trial signup and converting to a paying customer is of significant importance. Not simply because it's your chance to reel in the fish on the hook, but rather because trialing customers are often the source of some of your greatest learnings.

I recently spoke with one of our long-time customers, Derrick Reimer, the founder of Codetree, about how they've improved trial conversion rates with the info they've gotten from HookFeed.

"I'm constantly asking myself, ‘what can I do to make the trial experience better, and can I measure it?’"

A few months ago, Derrick noticed some recurring things happening with his trialing customers. The first is that he was getting the same kinds of emails, saying things like, "It looks like Codetree is just a list of Github issues." People were missing some of the core features and benefits of the product. On top of that, he noticed, through behavioral tracking in Mixpanel, that a good chunk of trialers weren't using some of the key features of the product.

It seems obvious that the next step is to address what appears to be a clear problem. The not-so-obvious step is how. There are all kinds of things to try.

  • Was it a problem with the interface?
  • Is it something that can be fixed with better onboarding?
  • What might that onboarding look like?
  • Is it a phone call, long educational email, small bite-sized drip campaign?
  • Is it all of those things?
"Are the things I’m trying actually impacting conversion?"

These are questions we all ask ourselves at one time or another. And the way to solve them will be different for all of us. But the first step is simply tracking if what you're doing is working.

Trial-to-Paid Cohort Table

The bars represent the # of trials that started during each week or month, and the line represents the conversion rate, or the % of those trials which have converted...so far.

Armed with this info, Derrick rolled out a Drip campaign heavily focused on educating trialers and ensuring they understood everything they could do with Codetree. Then, he'd know that non-converting customers wouldn't be doing so due to lack of knowledge about what could be accomplished with Codetree.

From there, he could tweak the copy and play with language refinements to see if that might move the needle further. He tailored his messaging toward the most common questions he was being asked, and not only boosted his conversion rate, but built stronger bonds with his customers by helping them be successful.

Once he got a handle on his trial conversion rate and onboarding process, he looked a bit further down the funnel to examine churn.

The Product Hunt Effect

The biggest surge of single day signups came after Codetree was featured on Product Hunt. Unlike most of his previous customers, that came in from referrals or other qualified leads, the folks coming in from Product Hunt were a bit mysterious. So the question really became, were these signups “qualified?” Sure, there were a bunch of them, but would they stick around?

Churn Cohort Table

Each row represents a group of customers who converted in the same week or month.
Each cell across the row represents the number of weeks or months since each person signed up.
Within each cell, you'll see the churn rate for that group of customers, during that time period.

With the information from a Churn Cohort Table, Derrick could look at the cohort of people who signed up the week he had the Product Hunt spike, and compare their churn rates over time compared to customers that came in through his other channels.

“There’s so much more to churn than can be shown in a rolling graph. That's why I love the cohort table.”

The Churn Cohort Table helped him determine whether or not it was worth his time to build and release something that was “Product Hunt Worthy” to try and repeat this surge, or keep his efforts on other channels like content marketing and direct sales.

For software companies of all sizes, it's critical to truly understand your customers, and the motivations behind their actions. By analyzing customer behavior, Derrick has been able to alter the early customer experience and build stronger relationships with new customers, increasing the likelihood that they'll stick around in the long run.

"What's HookFeed?" It's a software product that helps your whole team understand your customers on a deeper level based on their behavior and our research about them. Check it out  >

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