April 24, 2019

Do you have suggestions on how to improve my SaaS?

Shane @shanehoban

Hey IH,

I'm opening this up to the floor in an attempt to find new avenues to take my SaaS. I have a todo list of course - but I've never actually thought about opening it up and asking people what ideas they have - and what direction do they think I should take this?

I have done 0 marketing and I originally built Survais from a personal need - I run an information site, and I wanted a way to ask the readers (couple of hundred per month) what content I should focus on - hence Survais was born.

I've since evolved it quite a bit adding new features, and rewrote it twice too in the meantime.

I'm very open and eager to hear suggestions you might have!

Feel free to reach out to me too if you have questions or need my help with anything. I'd be happy to return the favour!


  1. 3

    @shanehoban - The product market fit is definitely proven by the likes of HotJar Polls which I believe is available for free. Unless I'm mistaken, it seems your platform has support for few additional media types that can be embedded in surveys unlike HotJar. If so, you might want to call out why yours is better when compared to free or other such alternatives. Also, I'm with @colaba on the name Survais. You might have very good reasons for the affinity towards that name but I'd have concerns on its stickiness . But who am I to say when names like GoDaddy, Porkbun etc can become successful. :)

    1. 1

      Thanks @STARTUPHUBS,

      Yep, I definitely need to work on the landing page material. Not enough content on there at the moment. Could definitely do with putting more info about the capabilities and customisability of Survais on there, thanks :)

      The name isn't a worry for me going forward, but thanks for your opinion, I appreciate it!

      1. 2

        You're welcome @shanehoban. Go get them.

  2. 3

    Hi Shane 👋

    I quite like the product. I didn’t really ‘get’ the product until I saw the example widget on your site. The product is a lot
    More compelling than your landing page would suggest.

    As an outsider looking in, the name looks a little odd. I get that it’s a play on the word survey, but survais leads my brain in another direction - it’s trying to read ‘survive’ but the cooks out. I am dyslexic though, my brain is weird - could well make perfect sense to other people.

    Personally, I think the concept is strong. What you’re basically offering is a micro survey. I hate filling in surveys normally, and I don’t fill them in. With yours I probably would to be honest - the level of effort commitment feels considerably lower than a typical survey.

    Do you have any stats on how many more people fill in a survais than a survey? I suspect it would be a lot higher, and getting more people to engage in a survey than otherwise would be a killer USP.

    ‘Micro surveys that your users will actually complete’

    1. 1

      Hey @colaba,

      I really appreciate your advice here, and your ending tagline is just... perfect! I'm with you regarding filling out surveys and whatnot - hence why I wanted to make Survais less intrusive, more user friendly, and just simple to use.

      I hadn't come across the term 'micro survey' - so I must thank you for that as that is exactly what Survais is!

      The name doesn't bother me actually. I realise it's not super catchy but feck it. I believe that if the product is good enough, the name won't matter.

      I haven't got the user base at the moment to come up with some statistics like you've mentioned but absolutely this is the way to go.

      Thanks again!

  3. 2

    Hi Shane,

    First of all, congrats on the launch! It ain't easy :)

    Here are some of my personal takes.

    The good:

    • I like the Survais monthly update blog post. It really feels genuine and authentic, and it conveys the message that you as a founder is working on this. In my opinion, it's also a marketing strategy by itself.
    • The Social widget is super unique. Never seen something like this before. What's the target audience you had in mind while building this?

    The can-be-improved:

    • Product positioning: Some other people had pointed out the lack of content on the landing page, but I'm sure you're working on it! I'd strongly recommend you read this piece about positioning: https://growandconvert.com/marketing/positioning/ - you already have competitors who do similar things, you should differentiate yourself from them through positioning and messaging. I re-read this post every 2 weeks or so. Think about your target audience, who needs this? @colaba's advice on the term "micro survey" is fantastic.
    • Pricing: There might be too many tiers here, and I agree with @NakoQuant about using your features to segment. Check this piece by Baremetrics' Head Of Growth Corey Haines about SaaS pricing: https://www.coreyhaines.co/unconventional/price-packaging-plans
    • Don't hide your benefits! Try to sell them on the landing page.

    Hope this helps! Happy to bounce ideas with you

    1. 1

      Thanks @jovian for your feedback and kind words, especially regarding the blog!

      The social widget is something I came up with randomly actually, and expanded it from YouTube onwards. I feel as though this slide type alone expands the potential user base to all types (gamers, musicians, YouTubers etc) who have a website.

      One of my problems actually, as I begin to think about marketing is actually my target audience. Survais would basically fit anyone who has a website and wants to connect with their users on some level.

      Yep, I do need to come up with some content for the landing pages. What I don't want is to fill the pages with useless garbage though. I want to keep it as succinct possible. I appreciate your links and will go over them in due course.

      Yep, definitely too many tiers. With Stripes updates to payments coming through for EU users, I'm going to take it as an opportunity to rework the plans and tiers for the better. 3 is a nice number of tiers.. well 4 including a free tier I guess.

      Again, thanks for your comment; it has been very helpful!

  4. 2

    I agree with changing the name as well - but aside from that, modifying the section that says, "Survai Slides," from:

    "Survai Slides," to "See Survai In action," or alternatively, "How does Survai work?"

    I feel that when I first looked at your page I was kind of confused - is this something like SurveyMonkey, or Qualaroo? And this section is crucial to explaining how the product works, but with the title of the section "Survai Slides" + the click actions = could make it easy for someone to miss if they're spending less than 3-7 seconds on your website. So, I think this section of the site might need to be communicated better.

    Also, the web copy in the hero section of your website, I believe doesn't exactly match the examples in the Survai Slides section - so both of these sections might need some simplification/fine-tuning.

    1. 1

      Agreed, more explanatory copy is definitely needed. I also need to update some of the visuals as they are little bit out from the current state. I may even implement actual Survais in this carousel style piece.

      My other point about the name still stands, not an issue going forward, but I appreciate your thoughts on it.

      Thanks again!

  5. 2

    Charge More. It looks like this is marketed toward businesses. The data generated would be useful to people in product management/ownership roles (like your initial need). I would consider having $49/mo be the entry level. A product in this space has a high-end (published) price of probably closer to $299/mo or higher.

    That said -- using impressions as a metric feels weird. At a minimum, it requires the user to guess how many impressions her site has before signing up. Don't make her do the mental exercise. Instead, use your features to segment. Ideas: media types (does the plan let me post Survais with non-text elements like video); full-page Survais that can expand to fill the screen when the user engages; the option to remove the Survais branding; branching Survais; Mailchimp integration; CRM integration; Google Sheets/MS Office integration for results; helpdesk integration; automatic identification of cases where human attention is warranted (i.e. in a customer satisfaction survey, when a customer says they are unhappy, that should get immediate attention); survais via email; survais in response to exit intent; participation rate; participation rate linked with cohort/other information about the visitor; ability to link surveys with customer data to do better reporting ("our silver tier customers are happy, but our Gold tier customers are not"). Maybe meter on the number of results that can be received in a month (you will always keep all the responses so that they can upgrade to see them). So there are a lot of ways you can differentiate plans without using impressions.

    Make the free plan full-featured but limit the number of responses they can see. So if 100 people respond, let them see the first 5 or 10 but let them know that if they upgrade to a paid plan, they can see all the results.

    These are just off the top of my head.

    Good luck!

    1. 1

      Thanks @NakoQuant,

      I hear you regarding the pricing, I do. It is priced low to start out. When more features / functionality / benefits are added, the price will go up for sure.

      You have then listed a lot of future potential for Survais which I am grateful for. I agree regarding the tiers somewhat based on impressions; they are actually not hard enforced at the moment - it is just another metric to differentiate between tiers for now. I again agree and believe tracking responses is a better metric to base the tiers on. I appreciate all the feature suggestions too... There is a lot to go through here and see what suits and fits with Survais.

      Last point about the free tier suggestion is also quite interesting, something I'll likely implement.

      This has been very helpful, thanks again!