One of the most important SaaS metrics that's often ignored

(apologies for the clickbait title)

One of the single most important factors for a user converting is your TTV.

Time to value.

Time to value is the time taken for a user to 'get' your product or experience their first 'aha' moment.

It's the time taken for them to get something out of your product and it is often so underlooked.

If your not obsessing over reducing your apps TTV you really should be.

🤷 Why do this?

  • Increase Conversions
  • Which leads to a reduction in churn
  • Which leads to an increase in MRR
  • Which leads to a decrease in CaC (for converted users)
  • As well as forcing you to better understand your product and the value it delivers

🙋 Whose doing this well?

  • First thing Airbnb asks you is where you want to go. They don't ask for a lick of information until you are ready to book.
  • Stripe makes it ridiculously simple to get your first payment through by providing best-in-class documentation and test credit cards.
  • Duolingo get you speaking another language during onboarding

⚡️ How do you do this?

  • First thing you need to figure out is what your AHA moment is
  • Requires you to talk to your customers
  • Understand the value you deliver
  • A good question to ask yourself - If your product could only do one thing, what would it be?
  • Get your users to do that action as fast as possible.
  • Remove all barriers to getting them to that action.
  • Need payment details or more information? Collect after they've gotten their aha moment
  • User dropped off before getting to aha moment? Follow up with an onboarding email.

💻 Tell me what to do

Onboarding Flow

  • Make the aha moment apart of your onboarding flow.
  • E.g. Duolingo get you to translate something as early as possible in the onbaording flow


Guided tours

  • Use a guided tours (the little popups that take you around an app, introducing you to features)
  • Let's you highlight certain aspects of the application whilst allowing you to funnel them towards the aha momemnt
  • E.g. Slack get you to send your first message as soon as possible through hints


Follow up emails

  • If your user dropped off before hand - you can try sending them follow up emails.
  • The email should be lazer focused on getting them to complete that aha moment.
  • Don't pollute it with random crap.
  • Include a value benefit headline
  • Include a direct link to where they need to go
  • Asana do a great job of this, including a gif in the emails.


📕 Learn More

If you liked this I'd appreciate a retweet on twitter!

  1. 2

    Isn't TTV just a different definition for the FTUE (First-time user experience)?

    TTV is a bit hard to define, a shorter value is not necessarily better. For most products you get more value the more use use them and the more they are integrated into your life. You could have a short TTV that does bring some value to the customer, but doesn't enable him to take full advantage of the product.

    Imagine getting a new PC, the TTV is really short because once you get it you can immediately open the browser to browse the web, but in this case the value is any greater for the PC than for a phone or tablet.

    For simple products the "value" is indeed an "aha" moment, but for more complex products it is a continously expanding value, comprised of many such "aha" moments.

    Is the first "aha" moment considered the "value" in TTV?
    How do you decide between the ratio of "time" and "value" (eg. should the onboarding be a bit longer, but allow the user to get more value of the product, or should the onboarding be shorter but only show the user a very limited set of features and benefits)?

  2. 2

    We did this pretty well on https://heyzine.com without knowing it had a name. The main CTA is the upload so the users can get the flipbook as soon as possible without signin up, they have to register to keep it and then they can purchase to add some features.

    Nice post, I think you are right it's an important metric and I tend to understimate the guided tours and the follow up emails, it's probably more important than it seems.

    1. 1

      100% just checked it out and you have hit the nail on the head. Deliver value first, let them see it, then ask for the $$ or signup.

  3. 2

    Thanks for the great info.

    Now I need to have a deeper look at my products to reduce TTV.

    1. 1

      Glad it helped! Let me know if you need a hand with anything

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