PLG: Don't Get Lost in Vanity Metrics.
Measure What Really Matters.

We're bombarded with data. Every click, like, swipe, and purchase gets tracked and measured. It's easy to get caught up in the numbers game, especially in the world of PLG (Product-Led Growth) and all the various go-to-market growth metrics. But we believe there's a deeper story waiting to be told.

Think about the last book you truly loved. It wasn't just the number of pages or the genre that hooked you, right? It was the characters, the plot, the way it made you feel. That's the kind of connection we strive for in PLG – a connection that goes beyond cold numbers and taps into the human experience. Because that really matters!  

Feeling overwhelmed by data in your PLG strategy?

Many businesses get bogged down by vanity metrics – numbers that look good on the surface but don't translate to actual revenue. This can lead to wasted resources and a stunted growth trajectory. That’s why it is crucial to disclose the actionable indicators important for PLG success in discovering buyers, optimizing the user journey, and achieving sustainable growth.

Ditching Vanity, Embracing Value

Vanity metrics like website traffic or freemium user count might seem impressive, but they don't tell the whole story. They are the metrics that may look impressive on the outside but don’t reflect actual business performance for your SaaS. You can't apply them to formulate accurate strategies since they are not actionable. For example, while 12,000 new subscriptions can seem excellent, they represent nothing if there are only 200 monthly active users. You cannot develop any tactics that are specifically aimed at this nebulous measure.

A study by Forrester Research, found that only 17% of B2B companies believe their customer satisfaction metrics accurately reflect reality. This disconnect highlights the danger of relying solely on vanity metrics.

Why Vanity Metrics Don't Tell the Whole Story

Imagine a bustling marketplace filled with people. It might seem like a thriving space, but are they actually buying anything? Similarly, high website traffic doesn't guarantee user engagement or conversions. These vanity metrics can be misleading. Here's why:
  • They lack context.  A high number of visitors might sound good, but are they the right kind of visitors? Do they match your ICP? Are they interested in your product, or just browsing? Without understanding their intent, the data becomes meaningless. .
  • They don't measure value. A user who signs up for a free trial but never explores the features isn't adding real value. Focusing solely on quantity can lead to neglecting the users who truly matter – those who actively engage and find value in your product.
  • They don't reveal user journey problems. High bounce rates or quick exits could indicate a confusing user interface or a lack of clarity about your product's value prop. Vanity metrics alone won't pinpoint these issues.
By prioritizing useful metrics over vanity metrics, you can ensure your PLG strategy is data-driven and focused on delivering real value to your users.

5 Keys to Unlock PLG Success

  1. Quality Over Quantity (finding the ideal ICP)
    The traditional lead generation model is a numbers game, chasing a vast pool of generic possibilities. But what if there was a better way? PLG offers a powerful alternative: identifying your ideal customer profile (ICP).

    According to Gartner, when it comes to lead generation, only 5-20% of the leads that businesses generate are of high quality. That means up to 95% could be unqualified leads that you're wasting precious resources on.

    Think of it like this: instead of wasting resources on unqualified leads, you can attract a dedicated group of users who are a perfect fit for your product. Aptivio empowers you to do exactly that. By analyzing user signals, Aptivio helps you pinpoint the characteristics, needs, and motivations of your ideal customers.

    This targeted approach ensures your marketing speaks directly to the users most likely to convert into paying customers. It's about quality over quantity, building a strong foundation for long-term, capital efficient growth.

  2. Engagement, Not Just Visitors
    High website traffic is a good start, but user engagement within your product is the true goldmine. By analyzing feature usage and time spent on core functionalities, you can reveal which features are most valuable to your ideal customer. Then, use these insights to optimize your product experience, ensuring users discover and leverage the features that provide the most value. By using Aptivio to understand user behavior and optimize features for engagement, you can significantly improve conversion rates and drive the right type of product qualified leads for your go-to-market strategy.
  3. Conversions that Matter (Tracking User Actions)
    Clicks and visits are one thing, but conversions are the lifeblood of PLG. Track the actions users take within your product, focusing on clear goals like free trial signups or in-app purchases. This data helps you identify where users hesitate and pinpoint conversion roadblocks. By analyzing these points of friction, you can tweak your product experience to nudge users towards taking the desired actions.
  4. Identifying Drop-Off Points
    No user journey is perfect. Analyze where users are abandoning your product and pinpoint the exact drop-off points in your sales funnel with Aptivio. Maybe your onboarding process is confusing, or perhaps a critical feature lacks clear instructions. By identifying these leaks, you can optimize your product and guide users seamlessly through the conversion funnel.

    Here's a quick benchmark to give you an idea of what to aspire to:
    - Website conversions:
    For B2B SaaS businesses, the average conversion rate falls between 0.9% and 2.3%, depending on your niche. This translates to a potential drop-off rate of 97.7% or lower.
    - Free trial conversion rate:
    The average free trial conversion rate is between 17% and 25%, and can reach 50% when credit card details are required at sign-up. This means a drop-off rate of 83% to 88% might be typical.
    - Freemium conversion rate:
    This varies depending on the product and industry, but generally falls between 1% and 10%. So, a drop-off rate of 90% to 99% could be expected.
    - Activation rate:
    The average activation rate is around 36%, indicating a potential drop-off rate of 64%.
    - Gross retention: Median gross retention hovers around
  5. Building Long-Term Value
    Product-Led-Growth success is a marathon, not a sprint. While acquiring users is crucial, fostering long-term relationships is paramount. Here's where metrics like net revenue retention (NRR) and customer lifetime value (CLTV) come into play. NRR measures the revenue retention generated from existing customers, while CLTV estimates the total revenue a customer generates over their entire relationship with your business. By focusing on these metrics with Aptivio, you ensure you're not just acquiring customers, but acquiring valuable, long-term partners who fuel sustainable growth.

    Slow growth and resource waste might result from concentrating only on vanity metrics, such as website traffic or the number of freemium users. They hide issues with the user path, lack context, and cannot measure actual worth.  

    The solution? Making data-driven decisions top of mind by prioritizing metrics that can be put into action. You can go beyond vanity metrics and create genuine connections with your users by adopting the five essential strategies we discussed.  

    The world of Product-Led-Growth is a constant evolution, not a fixed destination. By prioritizing user insights and iterating based on data, you'll ensure your product remains relevant and valuable, fostering long-term success.  

    So, ditch the meaningless stats and make use of Aptivio to create a product that your users love and connects with, just like that unforgettable book you couldn't put down.