This UX Audit walks through onboarding for SendFox, an email marketing tool for creators. The audit focuses on improving trial to paid conversion, and we finish up with four takeaways to improve YOUR onboarding.
(You can skip the backstory and head straight to the review if you like.)
A year ago I rage-tweeted at Mailchimp.
My friend Noah chimed in:
So I gave SendFox a go for my company Savio and loved it. It had a simple and clean design, was battle-tested (running Noah’s site OKDork and built from the lessons running AppSumo), did automations and manual campaigns, and was easy to use.
Plus, the price was right AND I could send as many test emails as I needed to get the copy right.
🔥🔥🔥 SendFox 1, Mailchimp 0 🔥🔥🔥
Since my company Savio helps B2B SaaS businesses track feature requests, I often send feedback to companies I love because I want them to improve. I’m sure David – SendFox’s GM – is sick of seeing my name in his inbox at this point. 😃
But since I also help product-led B2B SaaS companies improve trial to paid conversion, I asked Noah if he wanted a review of SendFox’s onboarding flow. He said heck yes:
SendFox UX Conversion Review
Note: if you want a digestible PDF you can grab what I sent Noah and David here.
When I do a UX review for a client I provide an executive summary, a deck, and the actual UX review.
That’s overkill for this article, so you’ll get:
0. Tl; dr. A high-level summary of opportunities to improve SendFox’s conversion.
1. UX Review. Screenshots of SendFox’s signup flow and app experience where you’ll see opportunities for the SendFox team to improve the conversion funnel. You’ll also see “quality of life” improvements that would make using the app less frustrating.
1. Tl; dr.
This is pretty high-level. So let’s cover how we get to each of these insights.
2. SendFox UX Review
In the review I walk through key screens on SendFox.com, include my thoughts, and annotate screenshots to make things abundantly clear. I sent Noah a PDF / deck which some people prefer to read versus a blog post. If you subscribe here I’ll send you the exact deck I sent him.
Let’s check out the SendFox Homepage.
I’m a consultant. Does that make me a content creator?
Social Proof on the Homepage: ✅✅✅
I want embedded signup forms and drip email sequences. But there’s no features page. Maybe clicking “Blog” will tell me something?
The Blog isn’t that helpful
Hm.. the blog just looks like case studies. Those are useful. But maybe call it that?
Let’s dig into a Case Study on the Blog
Looks like some good benefits to SendFox vs. Mailchimp, but they’re buried in a wall of text.
They’ve got Landing pages and Drip emails. Great! Maybe embeddable signup forms too?
Yep they’ve got signup forms too!
Let’s hit up Pricing to see how much this costs.
SendFox Pricing Page: I’ve definitely got some questions about what I get here.
SendFox could remove this friction with simple hoverable tooltips:
Also I’m a little surprised there’s no tiering based on list size. That seems like a straightforward value metric that I’m used to seeing that could easily push me from free to paid.
🤔 Which plan should I choose? At first I thought I could choose between three plans…
But then I saw the Empire Add On requires the Lifetime Plan…
The visual framing doesn’t seem quite right. I’m choosing between two plans, not three. Because I can’t buy the Empire Add On without the Lifetime Plan.
Maybe simplify to two choices and treat add-on differently, like this:
Moving on to the pricing calculator….
The pricing calculator doesn’t work as I expected it to. It never tells me to sign up for the free plan. Which makes me question whether it’s trying to help me decide between plans or whether it’s masquerading as a helpful tool but is really pushing me to upgrade.
OK, let’s Sign Up. I think this is how I do that. I’m gonna pay $0 for now anyways!
It does indeed only take a second 👍
After I sign up I get an offer to Upgrade
This is a bit like asking me to jump into bed without dating first. Some people do it #nojudgies
And I did just commit to trying SendFox out (so I commend you for asking)… but it seems like this sales page could work harder in a few ways to get me to convert…
First, it could describe the benefits more thoroughly (Reduced branding or NO branding - IIRC the pricing page said no branding? Where does the branding appear, and how is it reduced? How many more emails can I send if I upgrade?)
It could also describe other features that I get. I recall from the pricing page there was something around deliverability? That seems important enough to not leave out.
Also a one-time payment isn’t that compelling since I signed up for $0/m. Maybe time-limit this to e.g. $39 now only?
Basically, help me understand how my world will be better if I take this offer now vs if I don’t.
Let’s skip the offer for now….
The Onboarding Checklist
FANTASTIC screen. Straightforward, clear, and gives me presumably easy actions to take. I love checklists for onboarding.
Let’s create a landing page…
This is promising a lot of value with a little bit of work. A whole landing page just from my URL?
Let’s see how this goes…
Daaamn. That’s awesome!
There are a couple of opportunities to upsell here.
Is this thing on? Let’s test out the signup experience.
Let’s drop my email in the box and see what happens.
Very clean. Love the sharing built in after I sign up.
There’s another upsell opportunity on this page
Let’s go check out the email I received.
Let’s click to confirm my subscription
This page is also pretty sparse. It would be nice to edit this so I can provide value (e.g. a link to a content upgrade or whatever else I promised users for signing up).
Now that we’re done testing this new subscriber signup flow, let’s take a look at our lists.
I want to see my list of subscribers so I click on the list name…
Huh. That’s not what I expected….
Clicking the name of the list promises to show me the list. But instead it takes me to upload a list of contacts.
Given uploading new contacts is less common than viewing a list, you may want to point the list name link to the list of subscribers.
Let’s go back and try again.
To see the list I need to click on the NUMBER of contacts. That’s unexpected.
This persistent reminder that I have onboarding stuff to do is great.
Back to the Onboarding Checklist
It’s super satisfying to see some progress just by entering my site’s URL! Minimal work and some value delivered already. Makes me feel like I’m making progress. Good stuff
Let’s go upload some subscribers.
I’m surprised that I’m taken to a Create List page. Especially since SendFox already created a Landing Page list for me when I created a Landing Page above. I’d expect that I could pick from my existing lists OR create a new one.
Wait, what’s this about limited contacts?
Just noticed this - is there a limit to the number of contacts I can have on the free plan?
Seems like this is important enough to call out on the pricing page. Surprises around money leaving my pocket 💸 are bad!
I’m going to go to Lists => Add Contact to add a contact to my Landing Page list.
I was able to add a contact to my list… I think?
Looks like it worked but this message is confusing. I’d expect it to say something like “Contact added to list!”
Back to onboarding.
Let’s create an automation - that’s one of the things that’s important to me.
The Automation Page
I want to send this to people who join my landing page list. It’s not clear how to do that.
I ❤️ the clean interface
Oh god I love the minimalist interface. Everything I need and nothing I don’t. Faaaantastic!
But! how do I send a test email to myself? I’d expect to do that from the interface. But it doesn’t appear to be here… Maybe it’s on the automations page?
Yep, you send a test email from the automations page
The workflow around sending test emails is usually:
- send test
- modify email
- send test
- modify email
If sending and modifying happen on different pages it’ll be a pain in the 🍑. Moving the ability to “Send a Test Email” to the email composition page would be a cheap and good quality of life improvement.
Let’s click Test to send myself a test email…
Sending a test email surprisingly opens a new tab
Clicking Test Email opened this up in a new tab (instead of in a modal or in the current tab). That was unexpected.
Let’s send the test email…
How did I get back here?
Sending the test email sends me to this page. Super confusing that I’m not back at the automations page. I guess I can just close the tab? 🤷♂️
Another upsell opportunity on the test email
The test email’s in my inbox. Along with a potential upsell opportunity to remove branding.
Back to SendFox…
I recall something about upgraded sending. Maybe this page is a place to call out what that means and how I can pay SendFox to get it.
And what about DKIM and SPF settings? Do I need to set those up somewhere? 🤔
My Welcome Email looks good. Let’s Save this automation.
Where’s the onboarding widget? I guess I completed onboarding? Celebrating this would be an easy win to make me feel good about my progress!
That’s it for the UX review. Now let’s talk about how you can improve YOUR onboarding.
Improving YOUR Onboarding
Here are a few takeaways that you can use to improve your onboarding at your SaaS company:
First make sure you’ve built your onboarding strategy so you’re clear on which customers you’re building onboarding for and what success looks like for them.
When you look at your current onboarding flow, what tweaks can you make to help customers become successful? If you want an expert set of eyes, I offer a reasonably-priced UX audit like this one I did for SendFox.
Onboarding is an iterative process. It’s never finished. Richard Hawkes describes the process he used to improve onboarding at Customer.io. You’ll note he describes several small-but-effective UX tweaks that require a deep understanding of what his customers expect.
Have patience: when you make changes, think of them as experiments and learn from the results. Then funnel those learnings back into your next revision.
If you want more reads like this, I’ll send you actionable articles twice per month when you sign up here (when you sign up I’ll send you actual SendFox PDF I sent Noah before I wrote this article - many find the PDF more digestible than a blog post).
And if you’re looking for email marketing software for content creators, definitely take a look at SendFox 😉.