Mar 16, 2024 Paul Sullivan

What are typical Product-Led Growth experiments to run?

PLG Experiments


Product-led growth has become a stalwart go-to-market strategy for B2B SaaS and Fintech firms globally. Optimising the user experience and onboarding process supported by freemium access allows tech companies to reduce friction when acquiring customers and users. But for new founders or enterprise tech firms pivoting from a sales-led motion, how can they focus on long-term success?

Most will know PLG success is not solely a product team remit but requires cross-functional collaboration consisting of:

  • Marketing team
  • Customer success team
  • Product team
  • Sales team

Collectively, they are referred to as growth teams focused on product market fit. But beyond teams and tech, how can SaaS and Fintech teams drive forward to achieve business goals?

Data-driven decision-making is crucial in studying product usage to reach statistical business outcomes. That is your product manager's key role. But how do you drive a broader understanding of what works and doesn’t?


Product experimentations

Common Product-Led Growth (PLG) experiments focus on optimising the user journey, from acquisition and activation to retention and expansion. These experiments enhance the product experience, making it the primary growth driver. Here are some typical PLG experiments:

1. Trial Length Optimisation

Experiment with the length of free trials to determine the optimal duration that leads to higher conversion rates. For instance, 7-day, 14-day, and 30-day trials can be compared to see which maximises user engagement and conversion without diminishing the product's perceived value.

2. End-of-Trial Notifications

Testing different methods of notifying users when their trial period is about to end or has ended to encourage conversion to paid plans. This could involve varying the messaging, timing, and visual presentation of these notifications to find the most effective approach.

3. Onboarding Experiences

Creating different onboarding flows to quickly deliver value to new users and help them reach the "aha" moment. This could include action-focused product tours, personalised onboarding based on user segmentation, or rapid prototyping to reduce friction.

4. Feature Access and Limitations

Limiting access to certain premium features during a trial to gauge what users are willing to pay for. Selectively restrict features to see if they influence conversion rates and which features are most valuable to users.

5. Product Messaging and Positioning

Testing variations in product messaging and positioning across the website, in-app communications, and marketing materials to see which resonates most with the target audience. This can help clarify the product's value proposition and increase user engagement.

6. Pricing Model Adjustments

Experiment with different pricing models or tiers to find the most attractive structure for users. This could involve changing the features included in each tier, adjusting prices, or introducing new pricing models like usage-based pricing.

7. User Feedback Loops

Implementing mechanisms to collect and act on user feedback more effectively. This could involve A/B testing feedback prompts at different stages of the user journey or experimenting with various channels for collecting feedback.

8. Sign-Up Processes

Simplifying or modifying the sign-up process to reduce friction and increase the number of users who start using the product. This could include removing unnecessary steps, experimenting with social sign-ons, or eliminating email verification requirements.

9. Activation Rate Optimisation

Focusing on experiments that improve the activation rate is the percentage of users who find value in the product after signing up. This could involve testing different user flows, feature highlights, or educational content early in the user journey.

10. Virality Features

Introducing or modifying features encouraging users to invite others to the product enhances organic growth. This could involve referral programs, collaborative features, or sharing capabilities inherently valuable to the user experience.

Running these experiments requires a structured approach to hypothesis testing, data collection, and analysis. SaaS and FinTech companies can refine their PLG strategies to drive sustainable growth by continuously iterating based on experiment outcomes.


What are some examples of successful PLG experiments in the SaaS industry?

Successful Product-Led Growth (PLG) experiments in the SaaS industry often involve testing various aspects of the product and user experience to optimise for growth. Here are some examples of successful PLG experiments based on the provided sources:

1. Slack's Freemium Model

Slack's implementation of a freemium model allowed users to experience the product's core features without any financial commitment. This strategy helped Slack to rapidly grow its user base and convert a significant portion of free users into paying customers by demonstrating the value of its premium features.

2. Dropbox's Referral Program

Dropbox conducted a famous experiment that incentivised users to invite their friends by offering additional free storage space for each successful referral. This increased their user base and leveraged network effects to accelerate growth.

3. Calendly's K-Factor Optimisation

Calendly focused on optimising its K-factor, a metric that represents a product's virality. By encouraging users to invite others to schedule meetings through the platform, Calendly was able to build network effects and grow its user base organically.

4. MixPanel's Buyer Journey Simplification

MixPanel simplified its buyer journey, allowing leads to self-educate through detailed product content and offering a free product version. This strategy made conversions more consistent and enhanced the overall user experience.

5. Airtable's Team Onboarding Screen

Airtable included a screen in their onboarding process that prompts new users to add team members. This encouraged team use and provided an incentive for referrals, creating a domino effect that led to wider adoption of the product.

6. Notion's Use of Social Proof

Notion peppered its pages with various types of social proof, including expert approval, customer testimonials, and third-party reviews. This helped build trust and credibility, encouraging more users to try and adopt the product.

In Conclusion

These experiments showcase the diversity of PLG strategies employed in the SaaS industry. SaaS companies can effectively drive growth and user adoption by focusing on user experience, leveraging network effects, simplifying the user journey, and building trust through social proof.

If you need help shaping your PLG go-to-market motion and optimising it for the longer term, talk to our team today.

Published by Paul Sullivan March 16, 2024
Paul Sullivan