How I'm reducing signups to my SaaS

One of the things I like the most about building Perspectiva, or any product I build, is that I get to make any and all choices.

When I work with clients, (at least when I used to work with clients since I seldom do now) I can inform them, guide them, suggest stuff, but ultimately, I'm building a product for them, and, more importantly, I'm building their vision.

Perspectiva is my vision of what an online journal for someone who wants to write but fails to do it consistently should be.

Last week I started building a trial for Perspectiva. It's not a free trial. Why? I'll tell you why later, but it's a cheap trial. Just a buck. Yup. $1.

The important thing is that I don't want my customers to forget... or to subscribe "by default", because they didn't notice it.

You may or may not know about them: dark patterns. Things product do to "strongly suggest" you take an action they want you to take.

It could be Facebook burying the "delete account" button under a bunch of confirmation dialogs and hoops. Or Amazon removing all navigation bars and distractions from the website when you are approaching the checkout page.

I don't mind a lower subscription rate if it'll mean that the customers that join in are honestly excited and eager to subscribe.

It's not about honesty, it's not about a sense of moral high-ground, it's simply the type of people I want to work with on Perspectiva.

The trial flow on Perspectiva doesn't sneakly try to push you to convert... like Dropbox's does:

Screenshot 2020-07-22 at 10.27.46 PM.png 289 KB

Not meaning to single out Dropbox here. EVERY single SaaS I've tried does something like this. Well, not every one, Basecamp doesn't and I appreciate that.

To be honest, Basecamp is one of the companies I base lot of my product decisions on: they are playing the long game. It seems they just want to have happy customers and let the score... as they say... take care of itself.

I also want to play the long game. If a customer wants to upgrade, they upgrade. If they want to stay, they stay. If they forgot to cancel and their card is charged without them remembering, when I see a cancellation within a few days of a charge I email them offering a refund.

Oh, about the non-free trial: like I said, I want the customers that come in to be really committed: starting a journal is a serious commitment: I don't want people who are just trying one app after the next, creating accounts on dozens of Product Hunt launches just to see what's inside.

So we (my wife and I, aka the Perspectiva team), decided to put a barrier to make sure the people who make it in have some true motivation.

Yes. We are doing something to REDUCE signups.

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