Workshopping User Onboarding Problems
Colleen has people using her service...but there's a big drop-off, so Michele and Colleen workshop how to fix that. Also, some exciting news: we were nominated for Best Podcast, Best Hosts, and Best Episode in the MicroConf SaaS Podcast Awards! Vote for us: SaaSPodcastAwards.com
Colleen's Heroku landing page: https://elements.heroku.com/addons/simple-file-upload
Michele Hansen 0:00
So I got a pretty exciting email yesterday. We were nominated for the MicroConf SaaS Podcast Awards!
Colleen Schnettler 0:09
Michele Hansen 0:10
In three categories.
Colleen Schnettler 0:13
Wow, that's so funny, Michele, because when we started this podcast, I was pretty sure no one was gonna listen to it except for me. So I can't believe like people listen to it. I feel like a little uncomfortable that people listen to it actually.
Michele Hansen 0:30
Yeah, we kind of expected it would just be like our husbands and some close business friends of ours. I'm totally floored and surprised and so honored that people are listening, and you guys nominated us and really, really, genuinely touched by that. So it's kind of a fun thing that's going on.
But there are also other fun things going on. With Colleen, because you're now in you know, the Heroku marketplace. There's people using it. And I think I saw you mentioned this week that you even got feedback from like somebody you don't know using it and they have something positive to say?!
Colleen Schnettler 1:13
It's not my friend. Actually.
Michele Hansen 1:16
that's always awesome.
Michele Hansen 1:19
A total stranger using your thing. That's a milestone.
Colleen Schnettler 1:20
That's a milestone. So I feel like this is just a really exciting time in terms of launching a product. So the product has been in beta, I think for about seven to 10 days. And as of this morning, 31 teams have signed up,
Michele Hansen 1:38
You're a third of the way there!
Colleen Schnettler 1:41
Well, 31 teams have signed up, but they're not all right, that's true for the I have to get 100 like I'm a third of the way there. But what is interesting about this is the way the Heroku cycle works. So if you are in the Heroku marketplace, you're going to search for I don't know file upload, you see my you see my add on, you click a button to install it. Then, if you want your personalized instructions, you have to go to the dashboard for your application, and click on it again, in your application. And that's the single sign on. So they provision the application which they can use it without ever doing single sign on. But most people use single sign on because then the directions are personalized with their API key. So of those 31 people 13 have actually made it to single sign on. And of those 13. Six have actively uploaded files. So for like a week, I'm feeling really good about these numbers.
Michele Hansen 2:42
Colleen Schnettler 2:44
I think there's just a huge benefit to being in like using this marketplaces attraction channel, I think that is just been a huge benefit. Because I know so many people who have launched products, and they literally cannot get anyone to sign up. And that would be that would be tough. So basically, what I'm doing is I don't get a contact email until they hit single sign on. Now there's one team that never single signed on. And they're just using the documentation from the Heroku. Doc's so good for them. So I don't have contact information for them. But the other 13 I do have contact information for so I have hand emailed all 13 of those contacts of the 13. I emailed three have emailed me back. So that's pretty good. Not bad, right? I don't know. Like I myself tend to ignore emails. So
Michele Hansen 3:37
Like my feedback emails, I think the highest I've ever gotten the open rate to know the open rate is like something like 60%. But the reply rate is usually in the eight to 10% range. So that is good.
Colleen Schnettler 3:51
Yeah. And I was just kind of asking, like, I just have an email. It's like, hey, do you need help setting it up? Let me know. So that's like, a really exciting first week. I mean, I feel like things are are going well, I've been hustling. Hold on. Wait,
Michele Hansen 4:05
tell us what they said though. Like, don't skip that. I want to hear what these people had to say about it.
Colleen Schnettler 4:12
So the first person had a feature request, which is like a totally reasonable request. The second person had the same feature request. And the third person. Yeah, I mean, it's okay. It's embarrassing. I shifted. Okay, now I have to tell you, so I shipped a file storage solution without giving you the ability to delete files.
Michele Hansen 4:34
I mean, everything is a feature. Like we shipped a product without the ability to charge people
Colleen Schnettler 4:40
It seemed like like, everything is a feature. I'm not charging them. So you know, it's not like they're paying for it. If I was asking them to pay for it, then yeah, I would have let them I would have shipped it with the ability to delete. But since I'm not charging them it doesn't matter.
Michele Hansen 4:57
But when really get feature requests, like explicit feature requests for something specific, are our processes always, you know, whatever it is we always capture it. And so how this works for us is we just create an issue and GitHub related to intercom, it's not the cleanest way to do it, but it works for us. And then if somebody else or like multiple people ask us for it, then we look into it. So it's pretty interesting that you've already had two people asked for the same thing. Now granted, as you say, it's a fairly table stakes kind of thing. But it's, it's always interesting when you have multiple people asking for something, because that is pretty clearly indicates interest.
Colleen Schnettler 5:38
Yeah, so I'm obviously gonna add that. I mean, I didn't add it for a very specific reason. And the reason I didn't add it is because I'm concerned, like if a user drops up, if a user adds a file, like let's say they add their avatar, and then they add, drop it again. Now, I don't know, why would they would do that. But let's say they do. So let's say they drop the same file twice, that actually gets saved in my service as two different files, because I have no way to know that that's the same file, because the font because I don't want to overwrite file names, right? Because your file might name might be avatar, and mine might be avatar, so I'm not overwriting files. And so if that happened, the developer who's implementing it is going to be saving the most recent URL in their database, so they can access that file in the cloud. If they then go into their admin dashboard, and they see two of the same files, and they delete one, and they delete the one they have linked in their database, then they're no longer going to have access to that file. Does that make any sense? I feel like I need to like whiteboard that. But basically, there's a way where if two of the same, same images get uploaded, but the URLs are different. And they have one database URL, one URL in their database pointing to the file and they delete the wrong file, that file will then be gone.
Michele Hansen 7:05
So you're trying to make it sort of human error? Yes, fault tolerant, right? Yeah, they would have, like a timestamp or something to help them differentiate between them, like someone who has, you know, a scren shot saved at 10 1530 2am versus 10 1530 5am.
Colleen Schnettler 7:27
That's actually a great idea. So there's a couple ways I can implement deletion. Or every time the user drops a file, I can just overwrite the previous file. I didn't do that, because I want to give myself the ability to expand to adding multiple files. But I like the timestamp idea that could just be like, here are the same files have the same file name? And here's the most recently updated one. So if you want to delete one, delete the old ones, yeah, I'm just worried that's a mistake, or like an operating system would add 123?
Michele Hansen 7:52
You know, yeah...
Colleen Schnettler 7:56
I checked the problem is, yeah, I mean, there's ways I can do it, I have to think about it a little more. Because I don't want users I don't want my admin users to inadvertently delete a file they have referenced in their database. But you know, I'm learning more about how people are actually using it. Like some of the things I thought people would ask for, they haven't asked for yet. Some of the things I didn't even think of people are asking for, I mean, all three people that responded to me, but it's fun to get feedback.
Michele Hansen 8:23
On the the duplicate files. Yeah. Have you asked the people how they would want this to work? if they if they uploaded a duplicate file?
Colleen Schnettler 8:32
No, I think I'm going to though, I think that's a great idea. That's I have to explain, I think I'm going to explain to them that. That is why I have not done it yet. I need a good way to like, I really do think I should make like a image or something. So people understand what's going on behind the scenes. But that's a great idea.
Michele Hansen 8:53
Did we talk about I think it's called whimsical, it's like a flow charting tool.
Colleen Schnettler 8:56
We did not talk about whimsical.
Michele Hansen 8:59
Okay, maybe someone else I was talking to, but it's a it's a really cool little flow charting tool that I learned about a couple months ago. And it's just super fast to make a flowchart. And, and, and, and maybe that would be good for this. I also like using whatever that sketching app is on the iPad is, is pretty fast, too.
Colleen Schnettler 9:19
Yeah, that's it.
Michele Hansen 9:20
Yeah, I think and I think when you talk to people and say, like, you know, here's some like scenarios I've thought of, can you think of other scenarios, and then, like, here is like, and we want to make sure that this is you know, understanding that people accidentally delete stuff like it like it happens and and just kind of have a conversation about them about things going wrong. Because designing for when things go wrong is a huge part of design.
Colleen Schnettler 9:49
Right? Right. That's why just and so for the initial rollout. I was like, Look, I'm not charging for storage. It's going to be cheap, even when I do so storage is cheap. I'm just gonna not worry about But, but it has been requested a few times. And I can see why you'd want to do that. Because in your admin dashboard, you can see everything that all your users have uploaded. So if both of them are testing it out both of the people who requested this feature, so you know, the person was like, hey, I want to delete all these files, I'm just testing it, like, I don't want them sitting there. So even maybe like for your visual organization, as you look at your dashboard, it'd be easier to be able to get rid of those files, you know, you're not using,
Michele Hansen 10:28
I guess another like, thing there is like, does it? Does it erase the record that it was ever there in the first place? Like, can they see that there was a file uploaded? And then at that file was deleted later? Like, is there going to be a record of that for them? And I would just, it may not be something you need to add right this moment. But I would just surface that with the customers just in case. I know, like audit logs, were something that we had requests for for a long time. Yeah. And they also ended up helping us where if we had a customer say, Why did I get charged for this? I never uploaded this file. Now we can be like, actually, you did? And then you deleted it a week later. Are you like trying to fool us that you didn't upload it? Yeah. But also just for their own purposes, that Oh, like that file was uploaded, and then we accidentally deleted it, but like, not something you need to do at the second. But while you're talking to them about the file deletion process, like kind of just work through with them other scenarios where this information is useful?
Colleen Schnettler 11:35
Yeah, that's a great idea. What do you think of email versus trying to get these people on a call?
Michele Hansen 11:43
I might have it on a call if you have the time to do it. Because I find that talking it through might be helpful. But then again, they might be the kind of people who like to sit and consider something on their own. But I usually find it very helpful to have people talk me through a process.
Colleen Schnettler 12:06
Okay, well, I'll just email them and ask them, like, what they're proud kind of explain and see, see what their preferences because I, you know, I can obviously make time for a call. But um, yeah, so that's, that's all great feedback. And that's, that's kind of where I am so far with this
Michele Hansen 12:21
week, what the third person say,
Colleen Schnettler 12:24
Oh, the third person heard me on a different podcast and wanted to try it out and told me that he would give me feedback, which I was excited, hey, if anyone wants to just try it out and has a Heroku account, it's free right now. So just try it out? Let me know what you think.
Michele Hansen 12:42
So do you have a limit on how much people can use? Like, it's free right now? But like, is it basically your free tier? Or is it like just, you know, totally, like wild west free?
Colleen Schnettler 12:55
No, it's, it's just the free tier, I do have a limit. And if you hit the limit, it when you go to render the UI, you just get a little message that says you've hit your limit or something. No one is even though like I'm checking every day, and I thought people would upload bigger files, the majority people so far, and there's only six, right? Well, I mean, 10, because there's me and other people who were using it before it was in beta. So I thought people might use bigger files, but people are still predominantly doing images, and not particularly large images. So no one's close to even like busting through their, their limit. But something else I want to talk about is I worked hard to make it available off Heroku. So by the time this podcast airs, it will be available off Heroku. And so it was funny, because last week, by the end of our recording of the podcast, I was convinced I was going to do a free tier. And then I was editing our podcast. And by the end of that I was convinced I should not do a free tier, I should do a free trial. So I was so funny. So I did all the work to make a free tier. And then on Sunday, after I was finished editing, I was like, No, I need to do a free trial, not a free tier. So I went back and changed it to just be a free trial. Just some of the things you said about like, I need to know if people are gonna pay for it. Right? Like, that's why I changed my mind. At first I was like everyone does a free a free tier. That's the best way to get people hooked the like it and then they'll want more storage and they're going to upgrade. But I don't really want to support a whole bunch of people who aren't paying me. And if people won't put their credit card down then they probably never I don't know. I don't know. Anyway, so since I since I did it on Sunday, I changed it to now be a 30 day free trial. Hit me with your thoughts.
Michele Hansen 14:56
Sounds like you're worried about adverse selection basically? Attracting people who aren't going to pay you in the first place.
Colleen Schnettler 15:04
Yeah. And and hear here in this stage, it's fine, right? Like, I have my 100 Heroku users who So sure, hopefully, I'll get enough feedback from that group to kind of see where I stand. But I don't want to then set that out to the rest of the world and have to support every person who never ever has any intention of paying for it. Because like, this has to be a business or not be a business like this isn't gonna be this isn't open source software, right, like storage is not free. So kind of
Michele Hansen 15:34
interesting. You're basically AB testing your pricing model.
Colleen Schnettler 15:38
Yeah, I've got zero people are going to sign up for the the free trial, because you know, how stripe has it set up like so. Or at least the way my code base is set up, is even with a free trial. And this is how most SAS is work, I think you have to enter a credit card, because that's the easiest way to get everything set up on stripe. So my free trial, okay, now I'm going to further complicate this, my free trial is actually a free tier. So if you, Michelle, sign up for my free trial, at the end of 30 days, I'm not going to delete your files. At least that's my plan right now. So you can keep your files you just can't upload any more. So it is kind of like a fake free tier. You're looking at me funny.
Michele Hansen 16:25
Okay, so Well, I guess the deleting the files wouldn't happen after 30 days. Because at that point, do you automatically charge them at 30 days? Yeah. Or do you instead turn off their account, because that's also know that like some people, most people automatically convert it? Yeah, but some people require you to opt in to upgrade it.
Colleen Schnettler 16:47
So the way it is set up right now is you are automatically converted at 30 days to a paid plan. And I made it really cheap, I started at 10, the cheapest plan is $10 a month. But if you cancel, let's say you use it for 29 days, and you cancel. I'm not gonna delete all your files, but I might change my mind, I don't actually have that in my in my copy anywhere. Just for now let's see if anyone even signs up. Because people do not like putting their credit card down. I get it. I don't like putting my credit card down. Like, I totally get that. But some
Michele Hansen 17:23
different scenarios there. Right, like so like, somebody has an account, they let's say they upload one file to test it out. And then they forget about it. And then do you. So you let's say you charge them right, so and then they cancel after you charge them. So that's one scenario, then there's somebody who say you upload, they upload a file, they cancel before you charge them, they upload files, you charge them, the payment fails, and you're never able to get it to successfully go through. They upload files, they up, they upgrade or you upgrade them, and then they stay on the plan like so there's a couple of different scenarios there. There's all assuming that you have an automatic conversion. I guess in the cases of somebody who cancels, I question whether you would you should hold on to that, because they may not want you to hold their data forever. I feel like there should be an expiration date like that's like It Will you know, your account will be deleted within 60 days. Because that's a liability for you to be Yeah. Holding on to somebody else's data.
Colleen Schnettler 18:38
Yeah, that's a good point. I think what I have now with Heroku is I have a two week grace period. So if you sign up with Heroku, you upload some files, and then you change your mind or you don't like it or whatever, I delete all your stuff in two weeks, I'll send you an email and I'll be like, Hey, I'm going to delete all your stuff in two weeks. I'll probably just do the same thing with this other with the other customers that don't come from Heroku I guess I mean, I need someone to sign up first. So I'm not too much. I'm not really worried about it. Like I can literally do it by hand at this point. I can kind of I
Michele Hansen 19:11
think the tricky thing with billing, right is like all of those. Okay, so you know, in your head, you're thinking okay, oh, somebody puts in their credit card, and then they or their use it or they don't. And when it comes down to it, there's like all these other weird ways that things can happen. And it's like, well, what if the credit card fails? What if they cancel before the renewal date? What if they cancel after the renewal date? What if they forgotten about it? And then three months later, they asked for a refund or what if they like it? You know, all of these, like different things can happen. And while you're flowcharting it may just be like again, you don't have to build for these things right now. Yeah, but just so you're thinking through some potential avenues people could go down of like What like, what are the different touch points of? So it's like they create an account, they add a credit card. Also things can go wrong at that stage, like, what if their credit card is invalid? What happens then? And then and like, how do you do you try to figure out if that credit card is good or not like, like, you can or you cannot like that that's an option. And then they upload files, and then what is their upload or cancellation flow look like? Like, what are all the possible options from there?
Colleen Schnettler 20:30
Yeah. Yeah, I will definitely keep all of that in mind. But yeah, first, I gotta get someone to sign up. I have a lot of work. Like I've been doing a lot of work on the landing page. Yeah, yeah, static sites are not my bread and butter. Like, some something about static site, you're like, there's all this blank space that I have to fill it with words,
Michele Hansen 20:59
that has been doing like a static site in terms of like, a new site, or like, now
Colleen Schnettler 21:02
I got it, like the landing page. I
Michele Hansen 21:04
Colleen Schnettler 21:05
netlify, it's deployed with, okay. natla phi, um, but basically, like, it's just a simple file, upload calm, which is like my landing page. I also want to add, like a documentation section. And I don't know, I mean, people, I think, I don't know if it's too hard to use, or if it's normal for 35 people to sign up and only six to use it in the Heroku marketplace. But I wonder if it's just still confusing people. Like if I need to do more documentation, I basically what I'm trying to figure out, what should I do next? Should I do more copy as terms of like, why people need it? Should I do more documentation and focus? Since I'm clearly getting people from Heroku? Should I really focus on the integration from the Heroku? side?
Michele Hansen 21:54
So you have 31 people who have signed up for it right? And then Ember j said you've had, what, 10 or 12? who've gotten to the sign in part of it?
Colleen Schnettler 22:05
Yeah, yes. Yes. So
Michele Hansen 22:06
you have about 20 people who have kind of dropped off in the early part of the process. Correct? Have you emailed them saying, Hey, I noticed you, you know, indicated an interest in using simple file upload. But I noticed you haven't gone through that. Can you tell me why?
Colleen Schnettler 22:25
So I don't have their email addresses? Oh, because it's that two step process. So to configure to provision it, it's provisioned on their team, but the way that Heroku the way the Heroku communication works, they don't give you any team identifying information about the team that provisioned your add on, not until they go to single sign on.
Michele Hansen 22:46
So what is the process? Like for the user? When? Like, can you walk us through those steps of like they see you on the Heroku marketplace?
Colleen Schnettler 22:57
Yes, so they see me on the marketplace, there's a one click Install button. So they can do that. Or they can install from the command line. If they install from the command line, they will see basically, what I do is I set my API key and their environment variables. So there's two ways let's say they click the button, because I think people like to click buttons, right? It's, it's fun and friendly. If they click the button, they and then they never go in through single sign on. So they just click the button, they would then have to go into their Heroku config, get the environment variable that is their API key, they would then have to go to the Heroku Doc's page and figure out how to install the add on or to use it on their site with their API key in their application. One team has figured this out and has never single signed on, but they're uploading files. What typically you would do as a Heroku user for something you really wanted, you would click the button to install it. And then you go to like your, your overview page for your application. And there's a little section under your resources tab that has all of your installed application, or all of your installed add ons. So that's like Postgres Redis, whatever other kind of stuff you have mine would be in that list, then you have to click on simple file upload in, in your resources tab. And that is your single sign on that takes you to my application. And if you do that in my application, I have your dashboard where you can see all the files you've uploaded, and directions with your API key like in the script. So you can literally just copy the script tag. You don't have to like put the API key in yourself.
Michele Hansen 24:43
I imagine you're not the only person with an app on the Roku marketplace, who has this problem of people clicking the button and then not actually fully completing the install process. So I'm curious Have you been able to like find anything from other Heroku marketplace developers on how they handle this drop off.
Colleen Schnettler 25:05
Michele Hansen 26:09
also be people who are listening to the podcast who want to show support for you. But who don't necessarily need it like that. I that could be a couple of people in there.
Colleen Schnettler 26:19
I mean, we don't have that many pockets, listeners,
Michele Hansen 26:22
Colleen Schnettler 26:23
and dozens of people. I think but I think those people because I've actually talked to a few of those people who have reached out to me on Twitter, PS, if you listen to this, and you want to try it out, reach out to me. Those people are more motivated to install it. Like Like that one person who emailed me he was like, Hey, I heard you on this other podcast. And I wanted to, you know, check it out. And I was like, sweet, I think those people are more motivated to to actually go through the entire install process. Because although we don't know each other in real life, like we internet know each other. And, you know, I would do that for someone else. So I don't know, I don't know, if people are confused. I feel like it's probably a problem with my documentation in that either they don't understand what they are getting. Or they find it too painful to install.
Michele Hansen 27:16
I feel like maybe we should like workshop, your landing page on the Heroku marketplace. Yeah, and kind of think through like, because because it doesn't sound like you have a whole lot of control over what happens after they click that button. And so you need to find a way to make it clear to them that's like, okay, here's what you have to do for the process. And here's what you do next. And basically so that they know to go back there to find the instructions for getting started.
Colleen Schnettler 27:51
Yes, I think that's a great idea. I tried, and I've been updating it just this week, like using some of the story brand stuff I've been thinking about. Like before I had a paragraph and now I have a list, you know, to make it seem like even easier. Like here's the list of things you do. Man, I know. It's just I wish I could. You're right. I don't have control between when they click the button, like this install button to why they don't actually install it. Yeah, I would I would love to go over the the landing page with you.
Michele Hansen 28:23
Yeah, we can totally do that. So I am now looking at your page on the Heroku marketplace. Yes, I see this button you have been talking about
Colleen Schnettler 28:34
Michele Hansen 28:35
That's the way I do that. And the little flowchart you've made of how the process works. But I noticed that it's not until I scroll to the very bottom that I see the documentation links for it. And I kind of Yeah, I kind of wonder if that should be somewhere near the top at least that's like, I mean, something that basically says like after you click to install this, like here, here's the documentation, kind of making that it doesn't look like you can really make it above the fold per se. But
Colleen Schnettler 29:13
no, so I have control of that image, that image I made with snappa. I have control of all of the language right below that that image that says cloud storage pleasing UI with built in error handling CDN direct uploads. That's what I have control of so I can put links I could also put a link to my real website, simple file upload.com in there, and if I put the documentation there, maybe that would be more helpful get them off, like get them to a page that you know they're more comfortable with or something.
Michele Hansen 29:44
Yeah, yeah, I think I do you have to have this region availability section two, like do you have control over where this
Colleen Schnettler 29:52
uh, I do here I do not have control over that. As far as I know. I have to I have to have that.
Michele Hansen 30:00
Gotcha. Okay, so But does that have to be the first section? Yellow? The copy?
Colleen Schnettler 30:06
I think so I'll double check, but i think i think so. Okay.
Michele Hansen 30:10
Yeah, I mean, maybe just you have a great description here of like, what the process is once they have installed it? Yeah, but less. So what the process to install is. And I feel like I have seen other people with Heroku apps, like, can you have multiple images? And this hero?
Colleen Schnettler 30:33
Yeah, I have that space. So I can do whatever, yes, multiple images, I can do whatever I want with that space.
Michele Hansen 30:39
So maybe you could just have one that describes the process for for getting started, like, you know, you click the button or use command line and you look at our documentation, and then you, you know, like, yes, like a very broad overview.
Colleen Schnettler 30:54
Michele Hansen 31:15
Even where you haven't right now, just step one, install the add on. I mean, that's multiple steps itself. Yeah. But I maybe even just having parentheses. docs with a link. What? Yeah,
Colleen Schnettler 31:27
that's a great idea. Yes, yes. Yes. And you know, the cool thing, if they do install it from the command line, they can open their single sign on from the command line. And that's not obvious to someone who doesn't do that. So even that would be helpful. Yeah, now that I look, again, I'm seeing ways I'm seeing I'm seeing ways to make it even easier to to show people how to get started with it.
Michele Hansen 31:52
Yeah, you've built things that you're basically not talking about.
Colleen Schnettler 31:56
Michele Hansen 32:16
And I guess we can throw a link to the page in the show notes. So if people want to take a look themselves, and like, maybe they have some thoughts on how to make it clear how people get started, or if if something seems unclear, maybe that would be helpful.
Colleen Schnettler 32:34
Yeah, I would love that. I'm open to all suggestions at this point, especially people who might go through this process or like, wow, this, this is unclear, or I thought it did this thing, but it does this thing. Or something like that. Okay, that's a great idea. I love it. Yes, cool. Cool. All right. Well, I kind of commandeered this week's episode. Sorry about that, hey, this is exciting stuff is fun. This seems like a really fun time. Like, right? There's something about this period of time in building a company that I just think is really exciting. So someone mentioned to me it was either on Twitter or Slack. I don't remember. He started a few successful companies. And you know, he was like, this is the most exciting time like initial launch and getting people to use it and like, every customer is exciting. And I was like, yeah, that's exactly where I am. It's super fun.
Michele Hansen 33:29
It's so exciting. All right. Well, I think on that note, we're gonna end for today, and we love to hear your feedback on Colleen's landing page. You can tweet at us at @softwaresocpod, and thanks so much again for nominating us for the MicroConf SaaS Podcast Awards. It really means a lot to us.
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