Are you sure fast sign-ups will generate more paying customers? Think again

Check out these numbers from a B2B SaaS company:

The question is: which is better, for people to sign up as quickly as possible, or to spend a lot of time on your website before signing up?

Fast sign-ups or considered sign-ups – that is the question

So, which is better? Looking for an answer to this question is like choosing between winning the 100 meters or the marathon.

Let me put this bluntly: there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question. How could you ever choose between legends?

If you are going for gold, it’s all about what suits you best. Company-wise, it’s about which method works best for you and your business. And it’s up to you to figure it out.

The easiest way to do it is to simulate different sign-up strategies and see which one generates more profit. So, make experiments, analyse the results, and then start adjusting and tweaking.

What works for one business may not work exactly the same for you, but you can’t know that without experimenting and testing.

Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. Let me take you through the main ones:Crunching numbers

All this theory aside, let’s see what happens in reality.

Let’s take a look once again at the initial example of the B2B SaaS company we are collaborating with and analyse the numbers:

As you can notice from the table above, the visitors with the highest conversion rate are the ones who spend the longest on the site before signing up. However, they are also the smallest category of visitors.

The highest efficiency is reached in the mid section where a high conversion rate is coupled with a high number of visitors. To be more specific, in this case it was the visitors who spent between 30 seconds and 5 minutes on the site, reading about the product, who converted best.

Here at InnerTrends we’ve noticed this behavior time and time again in the companies we are working with.

What does this mean?

Besides the fast and the considered sign-up, there is always an in-between approach.

It’s actually referred to as the mixed sign-up strategy. It combines the best of the two worlds and is adapted more to the customer’s needs.

Mixed sign-up strategies are hybrids most often used when targeting both small companies and enterprises. For example Dropbox, Hubspot, 2checkout, Buffer, Evernote, Trello or Slack.

On the one hand, companies who have chosen the mixed sign-up strategy offer visitors enough time to learn about the product, making sure that they are better informed and thus more prone to becoming stable paying customers. On the other hand they try not to leave their visitors linger too much, as they could lose interest in the product.

So, if there is no wonder sign-up method, how can you choose between them?

Test these methods out till you find the right one. That’s the only way to figure out for sure which one fits your company.

What you need to find is the right balance between the time it takes visitors to sign up and the number of visitors who are going through this process. So it’s both timing and volume you should be looking at.

How can you find that balance? Take the example I was talking about earlier on. In this particular case you should find ways to get visitors to spend an extra minute or so on your site to get more knowledge about your product so that you convince them to sign up.

Author: Claudiu Murariu

InnerTrends' founder and lead analyst Claudiu Murariu is also the author of DataDiary, a weekly newsletter about and for companies that use data in their business decision making process. You can follow him on Twitter @cllaudiu.