The Time-to-Value Challenge
Humans are, as a group, impatient. Entire industries have been built on the back of that impatience (speed-dating, ‘fast’ food, the cost of ‘express shipping’ and even streaming services are a testimony to the fact that if we could have the things we want a day before we want them, we’ll probably pay top dollar for it).
Premium (or, even, freemium) Software-as-a-Service industries do everything to cater to your impatience. “Sign up,” they say, “and start experiencing value immediately!”
For many SaaS products, you can’t get any value right away unless certain things have happened. Take Slack for an example: if you’re the team leader/account owner, Slack is only useful until your team mates have onboarded. This is not something an average user considers, but for every arbitrary unit of time that your team mates have not become onboarded, the higher the risk of you churning and moving on to a different application. It wouldn’t even be your fault: humans are impatient, after all.
This problem is famously called the “time-to-value” (TTV) problem. It is a measure of how long it takes from customer signup to customers experiencing value from your service. If you have long TTV, you’ll haemorrhage customers.
One important thing we’ve been keeping at the back of our minds since launching Eden is the same ol’ TTV problem. It inspired a question which needs to be answered over and over again until we’re satisfied: are customers able to quickly experience Eden? How can we shorten the cycle from awareness to faithful customer? The latter question goes beyond TTV, but it’s a logical next-thought from that launch point.
So - what's our goal here?
Eden’s time to value is long, and this is by design.
The time between your signup and when you start getting served by your Gardener is an average of 48 hours. In that time, we do a couple of things to get your service running: first, we match you with a Gardener for the plan you’ve subscribed to (and a Gardener closest to your location), then we set up your account so we can start logging your preferences and connect your schedule with Eden’s home management app for Gardeners (which we call Flash). This can typically be done in 24 hours, but we allow an extra day to make sure we’re setting you up just right.
Even though our reasons are justifiable, a long TTV is still a long TTV - no two ways about it. It takes a while for people to wrap their heads around Eden’s value proposition. Current customers still fall in the ‘pioneer’ bucket, and there isn’t anything in the space to use as proxy; unfortunately we aren’t ‘Uber for busy professionals’: Eden is Eden for busy professionals. Once customers snap to the value of Eden, they typically want to get started immediately. The nurture cycle for Eden therefore is a combination of the awareness stage, the interest, desire, action + 2 days TTV.
With Free Trials, we’re killing two birds with one stone:
First, we’re obliterating the need for intense education before customers can finally understand Eden. Instead, we’re literally giving you the opportunity to try Eden for yourself and experience it. So far this has proven to be effective: we cut through the long talk and just give Eden to you and say, ‘here, use it. See if you like it. If you do, we’ll set up your subscription.’
Secondly, we’re solving the TTV problem. Before you even sign up on Eden, we’re giving you a chance to try the product. Just like that, we’ve flipped the formula: where it used to be sign up, then wait a while to get value, you get value then sign up!
We’ve made four updates to the Free Trial, each time seeing an increase in conversation percentages. The Free Trials are our highest-converting acquisition channel and also the fastest-to-iterate. It has also given us useful insight into how to think about building future versions of Eden, along with additional/support features. Perhaps more importantly, it has also taught us how to think of who our customers are.
Interested in Free Trials? Just Tell Us
If you’re interested in trying Eden for free, click here to let us know, and a Gardener will be matched with you if you’re eligible for Eden.