The product is everything
We should think holistically about every self-service touchpoint a user has with Visor as part of the product. That means our product includes our knowledge base, our social posts, our automated emails, our blog posts, and, of course, the core Visor application. We need to balance our efforts to expand the power of the entire product, not just the software application.
Everything is gradual
Users should not be required to make any major decisions, commitments, or changes to get value from Visor. Everything about the experience should be broken into small, rewarding chunks of progress. Like a long, sloping incline vs. a sudden cliff. There should be a magical, magnetic draw that pulls users in with gradual bits of reward and satisfaction. We should seek to get those gradual commitments at every opportunity to pull the user in deeper.
There is no decision and no trial
Trials suggest the user has to make a decision at the end, but there doesn't need to be the pressure of a decision. Rather than a decision, the users have varying levels of commitment. The more time and money they invest, the more committed they are. We want the excitement of solving their problems to quickly draw them in until they are so invested that they are hooked. Even paying should not be treated as a final decision. It's just another investment in using Visor to continue achieving their goals.
Minimize upfront commitment
Encourage free exploration. The whole experience of using Visor should be low-commitment, low-risk to start. Even billing should avoid pushing too hard for commitment with annual plans. We are okay with gradual commitments that expand over time. As users get more invested, the upgrade to an annual plan or expansion to additional users should be a part of the natural experience.
Do not make users unnecessarily aware of the future need to pay
We don't want users to just kick the tires because they're afraid of a paywall or losing access to their work. We want users to start with real data and real use cases. Users should not be made to fear the limits of the free plan or some future expiration of free benefits. While we don't want to make it hard for them to discover the paid plans or understand their usage if they have questions, we don't want to bring their attention to them unnecessarily before they've paid. We want them to run right through their limit like a marathoner through the finish line.
The free plan must be powerful enough to encourage investment
We want to charge users for using the product, not discovering it. Since the free plan is our main way of “selling”, we want it to be as strong as possible. That means that we shouldn't hide valuable features behind paid tiers. The free plan should be as fully-featured as reasonable.
Only ask people to pay when they have the most to lose by not paying
People pay to avoid pain. It's harder to get people to pay for some future benefit. The payment decision should not come at an arbitrary point in time — it should come right in the middle of receiving value, when Visor has become sticky enough to warrant payment. That's why we believe that usage-based triggers, not time-based triggers, are right for our business.
Ask for time instead of money
People overvalue their money and undervalue their time. Replace upfront commitment of money with a "less costly" commitment of time. Instead of asking users to upgrade, ask users to spend more time with Visor. Ask them to take in-product actions that deepen their investment in Visor and help them get value. Ask them to provide reviews for us online. Ask them to follow us on social media. But don't outright ask for money unless they have something to lose by not paying. The more time they spend with Visor, the more likely they are to want to leverage that investment.
We don't have a sales team; we have a success team
Nobody on the team should ask users to upgrade or make a decision. The goal of our success team is to guide users to deeper investment so that they will get prompted to upgrade automatically by the product. In sales-led companies, the product is there to help the people make the sale. In product-led growth companies, the people are just there to help the product make the sale.
Every human interaction should inform product strategy.
We can learn from every interaction with users. No question or request is too small to be valuable for our learning. Our goal is to take the friction points that require human intervention and find ways to automate them so future users don't have similar frictions. We can reduce future friction through knowledge base articles, revised product design, guidance prompts, and automated emails. We want to build a money-making machine that requires very little human intervention.