User retention is a measure of how many people return to your product over time. Without healthy user retention, your product is a leaky bucket. People sign up, check out your product, and then you never see them again.
You can pour as much money as you like into marketing and still wind up with no long-term users.
No long term users means no sustainable growth.
Focusing on user acquisition is important in the early days, but building sustainable, long-term growth comes down to user retention.
I help SaaS products that need to improve their user retention rates keep more users for longer with thoroughly researched design and copy recommendations.
How does the Retention Retainership work?
Step 1️. Product Data Analysis
Product usage data establishes where the biggest problems are in your user journey. This tells us which areas of improvement will have the most impact first.
Things I look for:
- 📊 How well your onboarding process forms a habit around the product after a user signs up.
- 📈 The levels of engagement and how different groups transition between them over time.
- 📉 Where and how people disengage with your product and what you are doing about it.
Step 2: Customer Research
Analytics are great for understanding what people do but they tell us nothing about why they do it. To understand the why, I listen to people.
This means doing 1-on-1 customer interviews with people who use your product. When interviews are not an option then qualitative customer research can also mean:
- Surveys and polls
- Reviewing customer support transcripts
- Going through public reviews and testimonials
Step 3: Experimentation
I provide design and copy recommendations positioned as A/B test treatments. I will give you copy, wireframes and page-flow diagrams for the recommendations and work with your designer and developer to realise them.
- The treatments can be a combination of client and server-side A/B tests.
- If you have never run product experiments before, I will work with your engineering team to set up the necessary testing infrastructure.
- The goal is to make incremental changes that take the least amount of time to implement and have the largest impact. This isn’t always possible and in some cases, I will recommend reinventing aspects of a product, but only as a last resort.
Here’s what you get after three months of the user retention retainership:
Know exactly where your biggest problems are
A prioritised breakdown of the most damaging bottlenecks in your product’s user journey so that you know exactly where you should be focusing your time and energy.
Detailed, actionable recommendations to fix the problems
A set of, at least, three A/B test treatments designed to target the top three bottlenecks in your product’s user journey so that we can test if the recommendations work as expected before committing to them. I provide copy, wireframes and page-flow diagrams so that your design and development team know exactly what to do.
Ongoing support and guidance at every step
Up to two hours a week to discuss product strategy and clarify any questions around the recommendations I make. I will spend most of this time with your project manager or design & development teams, going through revisions and iterations so that we can start to see results as quickly as possible.
Sounds great — How do I get started?
The first step is a quick conversation to see if we’re a good fit for each other. If you decide to hire me then there’s a little bit of paperwork to fill out before I can begin the analysis. I will need a few days to review your product and then I will send your data lead a series of templates to fill out before I can begin my analysis.
Is this service really for us?
This service is for web-based SaaS products that have at least 1000 new users a month. With less than 1000 new users a month, the return on investment will not make sense. If you have less than 1000 new users a month I suggest you prioritise user acquisition instead.
This service is also only for teams that track product analytics and user behaviour. You must also have dedicated designers and developers to make the recommended changes. If you do not have product analytics set up then I offer a separate service to help product teams set up their product analytics here…
If you are not sure if the service is the right fit for you, we can talk about it. We can discuss your situation and I’ll let you know if it’s the right time to focus on optimising retention.
How much does this cost?
The custom experiment design package costs $25,500/month and last 12 weeks.
If you just need something lighter and quicker, we can do a weekly coaching call. Coaching cost $1500 a month.
On a weekly coaching call I walk you through how to think about and define and measure your product’s retention metrics. I will help you put together a roadmap of experiments you can run to reach your retention goals. You will also receive a recording of each call so that you can review the material as often as you need to.
What do you need from us to get started?
If we’re a good fit and you decide to hire me, then I only need two things from you to begin.
- I will share several data templates for product analytics that I will need you to fill out to begin my analysis.
- Then I will provide an outreach email to send to selected users of your platform. I will provide the wording for the emails asking people to take part in customer interviews. The final requests themselves must come from your domain address and by your team.
What if we don’t have the metrics you need?
If you do not have product analytics set up then I do not recommend the user retention retainership.
I offer a separate service to help the product team set up their product analytics that costs $3600 and takes one month to complete. I will review your product and put together a data tracking plan to track your product’s retention metrics. This will consist of segmentation for different kinds of users as well as key performance indicators for onboarding, product engagement and your churn numbers.
If you’re interested in this service, please click here to book a free consultation and we see if we are a good fit before proceeding.
Who’s behind this service?
Hey, I’m Josh.
I’m a product strategist and I help SaaS companies grow by improving their user retention metrics.
I’ve spent two years working as a UX designer and five years working as a software engineer. I can work on the big picture and plug specific leaks at the same time. This combination of skill sets helps me think about the user experience from a perspective that’s both technical and creative.
Think of me as a power pack for your product manager. Your product manager is the one who focuses on improving your product’s user retention rate. The problem is that they manage multiple teams and are also responsible for acquisition, monetisation, the product strategy and the roadmap. Who knows how many meetings they get caught up in each month.
My job is to help product managers pay attention to the right numbers, ask the right questions, and invest in the best opportunities each month. My goal is to help your product grow by retaining as many users as it can.
Do you have case studies?
I have two case studies at the moment. Unfortunately, I do not yet have permission to publish either publicly. I do have permission to share the case studies on request.
I can also share case studies and testimonials from my previous work as an engineer and a UX lead.
This is a UX design project I ran for a company called Beeminder. It’s a product that helps you develop habits by helping you stick to your commitments. You can read an in-depth case study here https://www.joshpitzalis.com/beeminder
Josh was wonderfully thoughtful about the tradeoffs (newbees vs power users) and did many user tests to single out problem areas in the old design and to test out the mockups of the new design.DANIEL REEVES , CO-FOUNDER OF BEEMINDER
21st night is a software product I built that helps students prepare for their standardised exam. You can read an in-depth case study here, https://www.joshpitzalis.com/21stnight
Overall, it was fantastic working with you. The two big differences between working with you and working with most developers are:
a) You care about your work. Having worked with remote developers a couple times, I’m so used to having to bug-hunt for them, make sure all the features discussed are there, etc. I really appreciated not having to do that with you.
b) You’re self-sufficient. Related to the first, I felt confident that, if I left you on your own, the work would get done well. You solve the problems that come up, without my help.
Overall, it was great working with you. If it’s alright with you, I’d certainly like to continue working with you in the future.TREVOR KLEE , FOUNDER OF 21ST NIGHT
Prolifiko is another engineering product I built with a small team. It is a web app that helps writers develop consistent writing habits.
“We are delighted with the results. Josh was a delight to work with; always cooperative, creative, responsive and technically excellent at his job – went above and beyond. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to anyone.”Bec Evans & Chris Smith, Co-founders of Prolifiko