How Four Dots Implemented Advanced Tracking, Analytics & Reporting Solution for SaaS Product – Case Study
Creating, developing and launching a SaaS product is a fun and edifying journey. It teaches team members how to work together towards a mutual goal and typically involves both positive and negative experiences. However, the journey doesn’t stop once the product has been successfully rolled out.
In order to make sure your SaaS gains traction quickly, the team behind the product needs to figure out how to reach as many potential users as possible, without spending an arm and a leg on advertising campaigns and without any reaching for low-hanging fruit. This can be done organically via the tracking implementation process for a SaaS product, which is a very effective and data-driven way of increasing your Conversion Rate, overall ROI, cost-effectiveness, etc.
Article Structure: What’s inside
- About Reportz
- About Four Dots
- Tracking & Analytics Challenges
- Tracking & Analytics Goals
- Approach: Tracking, Analytics & Reporting Process & Deliverables by Four Dots
- Overall Case Study Results
- Conclusion and Additional Tips
In this transparent, data-packed case-study-like article, we will granularly approach the following segments of the aforementioned process: challenges, goals, approach, and results; and delve deeper into each of these components that helped the reporting SaaS tool Reportz overcome all the challenges mentioned below.
But before we do just that, a word or two about the two entities involved.
Reportz is a dashboard-based, white-label, client-reporting and data tracking tool that can help you reduce the time-consuming process of client reporting to mere minutes and clicks. Reportz helps you automate the reporting process and bring your dashboards to life with an intuitive interface that allows you to assemble informative, real-time, metrics-packed but concise reports in the form of fully customizable dashboards and widgets.
About Four Dots:
Four Dots is a Digital Marketing Agency with more than 60 specialists located in New York, Belgrade (Serbia) & Hong Kong providing SEO, PPC, and Analytics Services to more than 200 clients worldwide. The company specializes in Advanced Tracking, Analytics & Reporting Solutions for SaaS Products, and this is one of 20+ implementations the company has successfully tackled.
That said, let’s delve deeper into the raw data and processes that permeate the process of tracking and analytics implementation.
Tracking & Analytics Challenges
- Spending money on advertising without proper Conversion Tracking
- Google Analytics installation by copy/pasting code without an advanced website and in-app behavior tracking
- Strategic decisions based on vanity metrics instead of data-driven decision making
- Tracking and calculating SaaS KPIs
- Missing proper channel/campaign attribution which identifies top-performing channels/campaigns
- Tracking a complete user journey
- No efforts towards Conversion Rate Optimization and UX website improvements by A/B Testing
- Missing email automation for user activation
- Product & Marketing Team spend so much time on reporting and deeper understanding of in-app user behavior
- GDPR Compliance for websites and in-app platforms
Tracking & Analytics Goals
1. Highly Customized Implementation to Meet our Specific Tracking Objectives
At the end of 2018, we’ve implemented tracking for Reportz, one of our SaaS Products. Four Dots, as an all-around digital marketing agency, had the right mindset and the technical expertise to implement a tracking solution in a short period of time for this complex product.
“Four Dots Team did a remarkable job of understanding our business needs and guiding us to build a Tracking & Measuring Solution that provided us with actionable insights. The end result is that we now have tools in place that help us measure the ROI of all our testing efforts. Also, we have data that helps us understand the behavior of our customers.” says Nina, Product Manager at Reportz
One of our suggestions was to separate blog from Marketing Website so blog articles wouldn’t affect trial conversion rates. Reportz blog generates a significant number of sessions on a monthly basis and we wanted to analyze Blog in another GA Property. This number of sessions on a Blog website would make any other conversion data from Marketing website useless.
Reportz needed advanced Intercom integration with custom events and custom attributes that should be sent to Intercom for highly customizable email automation based on the user’s in-app activity.
2. Definition of the Most Important KPIs Tracking & Reports
Since Reportz.io was a new tool at the time, there was no tracking set up, neither within the app itself nor on the marketing website or the registration funnel. Tracking SaaS apps can be tricky. Most SaaS tools are single-page applications (SPA-s) and tracking them properly demands a bit more effort than implementing the Google Analytics snippet to the website’s code. This was just one of the challenges Reportz Product Team faced when they tried to implement the tracking by themselves.
Our Analytics Team developed a SaaS Tracking & Measuring Framework that contains two parts:
“The level of insight we had after the Tracking implementation phase was incredible. We were able to track an individual new user from their first exposure to our brand all the way through Sign Up and purchase. That level of detail completely removed personal opinions from the decision-making process and empowered us to be data-driven marketers. Now we are using Multi-Channel Funnel which goes beyond the last-click attribution model to give us insight into the full path to conversion over a 30-day period. Now we see each channel’s and campaign’s contribution to conversions and how all the channels work together to create a sale. Also, Data-driven decisions allow us to scale our growth and skyrocket our MRR.” says Nina, Product Manager at Reportz
3. Conversion Rate Optimization and UI & UX Improvements with A/B Testing
Conversion rate optimization is an ongoing process and if you want it to be successful and get all of its benefits, you need to create and test a huge backlog of testing hypotheses. In order to define all these hypotheses, you need to understand the intent and behavior of your users and the problems they are facing on your website/landing pages. Four Dots’ Analytics Team defined over 60 testing hypotheses and created a testing calendar with a plan to test them one at the time, running tests for a minimum one week period. A/B testing yielded an annual return on investment 20 times the cost.
We are always striving to make it easier for website visitors to find the best flow from the homepage to their first interactive dashboard inside the platform without the need to speak/chat with customer support. A/B testing helped us achieve this goal by improving the onboarding flow and changing website segments for a better understanding of the tool.
One of A/B tests resulted in an 83% increase in the Trial conversion rate. For this particular test, we changed the registration flow that led from the homepage “Free trial” buttons to the pricing page, and then to the register page, by simply cutting out the middle step. Now when someone clicks on the “Free Trial” button, they get directly to the register page and into the application, which increased conversion rate for trial users from 3.15% to 5.76%.
This works mainly because Reportz still offers a free trial period without credit card information needed, so users can focus on the features of the tool and the quality of the reports rather than on the price itself.
Also, we ran several tests with the goal of boosting the effectiveness of the landing pages and growing the conversion rate. One of them was CTA Personalization. Call to Action Buttons’ copy was changed from “Claim Your Free Trial” to “Start my Free Trial” and this change increased conversion rate by 73%.
Increasing the conversion rate was one of the most important and effective goals & strategies, as it not only gave Reportz additional revenue through a greater number of leads but also enabled Product & Marketing Teams to allocate marketing spending on traffic acquisition more wisely.
4. Easy & Centralized Tag Management Solution
We decided to use Google Tag Manager for Tag Management, thus enabling a much faster publication of tags to both the marketing and the product development team. All tags can now be managed centrally with the Four Dots Analytics team as an overseer. This has increased the publication frequency of new tags significantly. It has also led to increased efficiency and security within the organization and its partners.
Our overall Tracking Implementation resulted in 140 Tags, 136 Triggers and over 50 Variables. Some of the platforms where we track conversions and/or send in-app engagement data: Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Pixel, Google Optimize, Amplitude Analytics, Hotjar, Capterra, LinkedIn, Quora, Intercom, etc..
Later on, we configured one Web+App property which goes beyond Session-based tracking to User & Events based tracking.
Approach: Tracking, Analytics & Reporting Process & Deliverables by Four Dots
Our Tracking, Analytics & Reporting Process involved several phases with each of them having deliverables for the client.
Tracking Audit & Health Checkup – Since Reportz didn’t have any tracking previously set up, we jumped straight into getting to know the website and the app itself – all of the features it has and all of the different actions users can take.
Stakeholder Interviews – The Product Management team knows the app the best. Neat and orderly communication with their product team was crucial. In order to get most out of the Tracking setup, we had to sit down with them, define KPIs and plan out the tracking strategy that best suits their needs.
Measurement Plan – Based on the first two phases, we gained a clearer picture of what needs to be tracked and the next step was to develop a comprehensive and tangible Measurement Plan with detailed implementation instructions.
Tracking Implementation & Testing – For implementing and testing the tracking, we used Google Tag Manager, a tool that allows us to implement all the tracking codes in one place, at ease. Their developers’ engagement was needed on a couple of occasions and our Analytics & Technical teams provided full support for them during the entire implementation process.
Tracking Manifest – We like to document all the Tags, Triggers, Variables from Google Tag Manager, so everyone who would work with Google Tag Manager container in the future could have a clear idea of what we wanted to achieve. Tracking Manifest is a comprehensive document containing all parts of the tracking implemented by our Analytics team.
Reporting – Once the data started to accumulate, we’ve created specific reports for all of their stakeholders based on the KPIs defined in the Interview phase, and we grouped these reports periodicity according to the following bases: Daily, Monthly, Quarterly, Mid-Annually, and Annually. All these reports combine data from multiple data sources and help them to get a broad picture of all of their marketing efforts.
Testing & Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) – After the initial Tracking Implementation & Testing Phase, when all conversions were set up properly, we provided A/B Testing & CRO Services to the Reportz team. We wanted to run these tests to optimize website conversion rates for certain landing pages and the entire website.
All Eventual Tracking Changes in the Future – We provided additional tracking Implementations on an ad-hoc basis. For example, when they implemented new CTAs, new Landing Pages, or features inside the app, etc; all those changes and additions were followed by our tweaks in Google Tag Manager in order to make the data up-to-date.
Overall Case Study Results
→ Overall Tracking Implementation resulted in 140 Tags, 136 Triggers and over 50 Variables.
→ Avoided vanity metrics with developed SaaS Tracking & Measuring Framework
→ Improved Onboarding Flow by eliminating pain points
→ Saved 50+ hours on a monthly basis with predefined Daily, Monthly, Quarterly, Mid-Annually, and Annually Reports
→ A/B testing yielded an annual return on investment 20 times the cost
→ CTA Personalization increased Conversion Rate by 73%
→ Improved Onboarding resulted in an 83% increase in Trial Conversion Rate
→ Conversion Tracking for all our Marketing Assets & Platforms
→ Easy & Centralized Tag Management Solution
→ Complete Intercom Integration & Onboarding Email Automation based on In-App activity
→ Saved 35+ hours for the Product & Marketing Team with Comprehensive Tracking Manifest Documentation
→ Over 60 testing hypotheses for A/B Testing with Schedule & Calendar
→ Tracking Conversions and/or sending in-app engagement data to Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Pixel, Google Optimize, Amplitude Analytics, Capterra, LinkedIn, Quora, Intercom, etc..
→ Going beyond session-based tracking to user-and-events-based tracking by configuring Web+App Google Analytics Property
→ Tracking a complete user journey from the first exposure to the brand to purchase and retention
→ Tracking, Calculating & Reporting SaaS KPIs such as ROI, MRR, CAC, LTV, Trial Conversion Rate, Trial to Paid Conversion Rate, Churn Rate, Average Order Value, CAC/LTV Rate, etc.
Conclusion and Additional Tips
The Decision-Making Process based on Data is an important part of growing and scaling up both your product and your company, but it comes with a few prerequisites:
- Data accuracy
Data is only as good as the quality of its collection process. Making decisions based on inaccurate or incomplete data is often worse than making decisions with no data at all.
- Focus on important metrics only
Avoid the decision-making process based on vanity metrics. It’s more important to focus on user actions that benefit your business the most. For that purpose, create a comprehensive measurement plan that helps you understand user journey from the first touchpoint and brand interaction to Conversions, Purchases & Retention.
- KPI Reporting that suits the needs of your stakeholders
Identify all the SaaS KPIs such as ROI, MRR, CAC, LTV, Trial Conversion Rate, Trial to Paid Conversion Rate, Average Order Value, Churn Rate, CAC/LTV Rate, etc – as these influence the company bottom line the most. The level of detail in your reports should be tailored to the Stakeholders. For example, C-Level Stakeholders should get general reports that provide an overview and a broader picture of all marketing efforts, while reports for marketing and product teams should cover more detailed data with advanced breakdowns that provide additional insights.
And remember, always strive to design your measurement plan and the entire tracking implementation process based on client needs and be sure to devote your know-how and efforts to client success.