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Increasing SaaS Sign Ups And Conversions With A UI Redesign

Peter spoke with John Wright, Co-founder of StatsDrone. StatsDrone is a B2B data analytics software tailored for the affiliate marketing sector, automating sales and commission tracking for webmasters while centralizing their data.

John shared with Peter:

  • The significant impact of redesigning StatsDrone on user perception and business growth, resulting in improved conversion rates and increased user engagement.
  • The importance of continuous iteration in SaaS, highlighting the necessity of listening to customer feedback and adapting the product to stay competitive in the market.
  • His positive collaboration with UserActive’s design team, which led to successful feature implementations and an enhanced user experience.


Peter Loving: So we’ll be speaking live now on Facebook and on our YouTube channel. And so, John, do you want to take just a moment to introduce yourself, who you are and what you do?

John Wright: Sure. I’ll try to be quick. I’ve been in affiliate marketing for over 20 years. We’ve got a software project that I’m super passionate about, and I’ve just seen a lot of problems not being solved in affiliate marketing. So that’s what we’ve created. So I am an affiliate marketer, but we’re building tools for affiliate marketing. And I can say becoming a SaaS company is exciting, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. And it’s constant learning. And it’s been a great opportunity to meet people like you, Peter. And it’s a brand new world, and and quite an exciting community.

Peter Loving: So you’ve been building StatsDrone, which is an analytics platform for affiliate management, but it also has more features.

John Wright: I describe it as the QuickBooks for Affiliates and pulling the data in. So we started from a data concept, and that was the main reason of why are we creating this in the first place? And then from running affiliate sites, I’ve known that to do other parts of the business, it’s you need other tools. And then as we realised that this is a great platform for building those additional add-ons, it’s like there’s business intelligence and CRM. And we realised that affiliates seem to not want to have to use five apps to do five things. They want one app to do those five. So it’s an accidental discovery. It’s just living and breathing, being an affiliate and listening to them. And the deeper we go, the more what we thought we were building and where we are right now, it’s not the same path. And I think you know how this is in the SaaS space where you build something. If you’re not listening to your customers, the customers might not only tell you what you should be doing, but they might even totally sidetrack you into a wonderful new business.

Redesigning StatsDrone

Peter Loving: Yeah, it evolves from what you started out doing at day one. And so, John, can you talk a bit about your experience redesigning StatsDrone. And obviously, we work together on a project and we really enjoy working with you and your team. Can you tell us what that has been like on your side?

John Wright: Yeah, it’s a great question. I thought I was a pretty good designer. I’m a self-taught designer. I learned how to build websites in Photoshop, and then I started doing the same thing in Sketch. And I actually I built the first version of our app and website using Sketch before later on switching to Figma. So I already had maybe my own ego that I could do this myself. And I was about to start taking more advanced design courses. And then I basically said, maybe this might be good if I get an expert. And once I discovered one of your webinars, I realised that there’s multiple layers of design. There’s design over here, like graphic design. Then there’s user experience and the one thing that I never really even thought about was product design. And ever since we had our first discovery call with you, I said, I know there’s something here. I know it’s not just product, but I was mostly looking for your experience in having redesigned hundreds of different SaaS companies. So I can say, going through this, I would never, ever, ever do this myself again. I feel confident that if I had to do this myself again, this was the best learning I could have done, is understanding product design and watching what your team does for helping us rebuild the app.

John Wright: It was just so amazing. It was actually a fun experience. I’m just so pumped at the work, the entire process, what we got at the very end of it. And we get to brag that we have this nice, shiny new app. But like I said, just before we were chatting, our North Star metric has, I haven’t I looked at the stats, but I just know for a fact that we are getting a bit more overwhelmed with our customers because they are having success. And that’s the problem we’ve been wanting for years. We finally now have it.

Improved conversion rates

Peter Loving: That’s really great. You’ve noticed an improvement in your user’s ability to get value from the product. And also you mentioned you were a few other wins you’ve had recently, one being conversion rates have improved. Is that a result of design?

John Wright: I think so. What’s weird is that the core functionality of the app over a span of six months hasn’t really changed much. Now, we built some advanced features, and they’re sitting there. But those advanced features don’t mean as much if users aren’t discovering them. I know I’m saying the obvious, but it’s really weird that as soon as we relaunched with the redesign with UserActive as of November of last year, the perception of what we are has changed. It’s ironic. We still had the same amazing functionality, but the perception is that we take this more seriously, which we do, but people just think we’re better with the new design. And yeah, of course, maybe it’s unfortunate that’s the reality, but people realise that it just shows that we cared a lot. We actually did care to make a better app that we listened to users. And even in the redesign process, we started sharing screenshots of some of the work in progress and getting feedback. And all of them were very excited. But as soon as we relaunched, it was night and day for the reaction. When you get messages from your customers saying, I heard about you because someone was talking about you in a private chat group of your community.

John Wright: I mean, that means a lot. To hear word of mouth and recommendations is really, I think, a lifeblood and it makes me realise that our strategy to go product-led growth rather than sales-led growth was the right one. And we wouldn’t be in our position today if we hadn’t taken this product-led growth mindset.

Winning an award

Peter Loving: That’s really cool. And so you’ve also been generating a lot more business, a lot more inquiry. It sounds like you have a lot more customer support that you need to deal with from all of these new signups. And you’ve also won an award recently. Can you tell us a bit about the award, how that came about?

John Wright: Yeah, we applied for an award. It’s one of the most prestigious in our affiliate marketing spaces. So I actually personally wasn’t expecting to win. I did believe that the work we did for our customers was worthy enough for getting the award. But my mindset was like, if we don’t win the award, what matters to me was that people are talking about us in private forums. They’re recommending us to other people. That was the most important thing. I feel like the award is a reflection of that reality. So I do believe that the redesign changed a lot of perceptions about how people perceive our company. So I believe it was actually a contributing factor. I’m never going to know the true value. Was it 25%? Was it 80%? 100%? I don’t know. But I have a hard time believing that if we didn’t do the redesign, I don’t know if we would have won the same award. And we’re quite pumped about it. It’s just been quite a year of building features, the redesign as a big part of that. And then having the award at the very end was just like, we’re still in a bit of shock that we got this amazing award.

John Wright: It’s one of the biggest ones we could have got. And yeah, it’s helping us out a lot.

Next steps

Peter Loving: Yeah, it’s really good to get that recognition because you put a lot into the past year since we’ve been in touch and working together. I’ve seen you put so much effort and time and invest in your product and the business. So it’s really good to see you getting some recognition for it. John, what are the next steps for you at the moment? Are you going to continue developing the product? Do you have other areas that you’re focusing on right now?

John Wright: Yeah, it’s a really good question. I don’t think we’re ever going to stop iterating and developing and designing. I think one thing that any SaaS company should be doing is constantly listening to their customers. And my belief is that if you just stand still, you’re going to give that opportunity to someone else. And yeah, it’s like, I don’t think we want to slow down. I already look at what we’ve redesigned. And it’s not to say that we’re going to rebuild a redesign on top of that. We now have a really good framework for building upon. And we’re starting to realise even more nuances. The deeper we go, there’s more we can do. And so, like I said, we’ve already chatted before. I envision that we are probably going to need more service from UserActive in the near future, where we get the feedback and we say, what else can we iterate and where can we go a bit deeper or what features need a bit more time. It’s just amazing that you can redesign something and think you’re done, but it’s almost like you’re never done. And that’s actually should be a good thing because you start realising the more customers you get, you get even more feedback.

John Wright: And like I can say, since launching the redesign, we’ve got a lot more users signed up. We’re getting more conversions. So it’s not just the signups, it’s the fact that they’re actually using the product, which becomes an amplified feedback loop. So we’re just getting so much feedback that we’re just like, okay, we have extra features to build and then the existing features we know to iterate. And we’re just learning from our experience as well as the mistakes of things we take for granted for user experience. And yeah, just working with you has really opened up our mind to say, we know what we can do, but we’ve got a better attitude towards not just letting things sit. It’s to take that proactive mindset to say, okay, let’s fix this and let’s not disappoint the users.

Peter Loving: That’s great. I really love hearing how things have evolved and developed over these past few months, John so I’m so pleased you’re getting more signups, more conversions, more recognition, and the business is going well. It also sounds like you’re going to probably keep going with this momentum and even speeding up how the product evolves with all this new feedback. So these are all fantastic results. Thanks for sharing them with us, and congrats on all those wins that you’ve been having. I hope they keep coming.

John Wright: Thank you. Once again, I appreciate the work. I’m a big fan of UserActive. I know that this has contributed to a lot of our current success, so there was a lot of work involved in it, but like I said, it was a pretty fun experience. I always look forward to the meetings of going, what are we going to see for the new designs for the standups, and just being blown away at thinking about things in a different way and going, yeah, I’m so glad. So glad I didn’t bite the bullet and redesign this, the last version myself. Would it have been as good.

Peter Loving: Yeah. Well, I know that you have some design background and some skill there, but one of the things that came up when we first spoke is that I know that you’re a founder and I know how busy it is for SaaS founders and the responsibilities that you have. And it was I almost felt a sense of relief on our side that we were freeing you up from the design role because that really gives you the capacity, the freedom to go and think about growing the business and focus on the other things. You’ve been doing so many conferences and so many things in other areas, and it felt from our perspective, it was like, okay, well, hey, don’t worry about design. We’ve got this covered for you, and we’re going to do a great job. Then you could go out and work on the the highest priority things for a founder to do. So I also enjoyed seeing that, and that you really made the most of it too.

John Wright: Yeah. It was a good set up because there’s enough pressure on our side that I know we could keep your designers hanging, but it’s like there’s a bit of homework. So we knew that every stand up that we had to make sure that the designers had exactly what they needed. And of course, they always made time to say, hey, we need a bit of your help to understand this part we’re doing. And sometimes when it was the opposite, when we actually had ideas and said, hey, we came up with the feature idea, and I did a sketch. It was a horrible sketch. I remember we were building out a deal CRM and I had no other website to copy from because I haven’t seen this thing in the market. So I gave the sketch to your design team. And then what they came back in the first iteration, I was just blown away. I was like, this is 10 times better than… I don’t know how they took it and actually they understood it so quickly and then came back with it. And yeah, it’s one of the things that we like showing off and saying, yeah, we’ve got this cool feature, and we don’t really have any other company to say, yeah, we’ve got the same feature.

John Wright: We feel like just to be able to do that back and forth was really great.

How to follow StatsDrone

Peter Loving: I know that on our side, the team, the designers, really love the process of working with you. They’re still super excited about StatsDrone, whatever they see, any news on LinkedIn or a new release in the product, they’re really happy to see it. And I know it was a really fulfilling project for them. Hey, so, John, how can people check out StatsDrone? It’s StatsDrone.com, right? Yes. They can go there and take a free trial or a demo?

John Wright: Yeah, it’s a good question. It’s like we haven’t built a version where it has dummy data for people to experiment. We’ve been lazy in the sense that if people want to trial, we have videos, we have slide decks, And we’ve actually, we’ll do a demo one on one anytime. But we’ve also given access to some of our accounts which actually have real data in them. So we are going to work on a demo, but we have everything available. So if someone wants to do a call and have a look. We always make the time and more than happy to showcase what we have.

Peter Loving: Great. Okay, so that’s StatsDrone.com. And I know, John, you’re really active on LinkedIn, so I’ve found us who are interested in following you. You’re a podcast in the affiliate space, which is great. So, yeah, John Wright, founder of StatsDrone you’re interested in following John’s story, you can follow him on LinkedIn there. Yeah, thanks for joining us, John. It’s been great to catch up.

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