Optimizing the SaaS acquisition experience with a rigorous experimentation program

Client FreshBooks
Industry Saas

FreshBooks is a cloud accounting solution designed for small business owners. The FreshBooks story begins back in January 2003, when Mike was running a four-person design agency. When it came to billing clients, Word and Excel were frustrating to use and weren’t built to create professional looking invoices. Then one day something happened that makes every small business owner cringe: he accidentally saved over an old invoice. Knowing there had to be a better way, Mike decided to create it himself. Over the next two weeks, he coded up a solution that became the foundation of what is now FreshBooks.


Creating a meaningful customer experience is essential for FreshBooks to increase and retain subscribers to grow their business. They faced a common challenge of understanding which customer experiences are most effective, and how to use experimentation to validate and leverage these insights to create a significant business impact.

Conversion has helped FreshBooks to:
  • Uncover behavioral insights to create meaningful customer experiences.
  • Validate these insights through a rigorous experimentation process.
  • Implement the proven customer experiences to grow their business.

“Widerfunnel [Conversion] are the leaders in customer experience optimization. They’ve helped us maximize the value of our testing and personalization tools by not only designing great user experiences and experiments but also implementing rigorous methodologies for our team.”

– Matt Mitchell, Sr. Manager of Digital Marketing, Freshbooks

FreshBooks was looking for a reliable way to grow their customer base and expand their business. To achieve this, they needed to increase the number of trial sign-ups and attract the right audience to subscribe. They were looking to optimize their acquisition experience effectively and achieve immediate results.


Justifying the cost of experimentation

Their greatest hurdle was their ability to justify the expense of their new experimentation tool and budget required to build an experimentation team and run an effective program. They understood the value and opportunities it could generate, but were unsure about how to measure the business impact to justify their decision.

Lacked expertise and processes for an impactful experimentation program

FreshBooks had implemented a new and robust testing tool and thought it would be the answer to their experimentation woes, but soon realized that they were unable to use the tool to its fullest potential. They continued to struggle with achieving significant results. They lacked the necessary processes and expertise to strategize, prioritize, and build an impactful and sustainable experimentation program that can scale with the business.

Data tracking and analysis for meaningful insights

The only clear tracking in place was the sign-up conversion rate, but the team was unable to identify the specific factors that would cause the rate to fluctuate during their own experiments. The team needed direction on the best way to track progress and analyze their data to make informed decisions on how to improve their website experience and increase trial sign-ups.


A rigorous experimentation process with high scalability, velocity, and growth.

Conversion helped FreshBooks implement a rigorous experimentation process to elevate their testing capabilities. By applying Conversion’s proven frameworks, the team was able to identify:

  • Negative impacts on customer signs ups identified through a LIFT® Analysis of each customer touchpoint.
  • Areas of the website that will have the biggest customer experience improvements using the PIE™ Prioritization Framework.
  • Insights from Conversion’s Liftmap™ Experiment Archive to apply and test with FreshBooks for immediate revenue lift.

The implementation of an experimentation strategy with proven and repeatable frameworks, processes, and methodologies has helped produce consistent results.


Uncovered behavioral insights to create meaningful customer experiences for rapid business growth.

  • Simplify choices to move users down the funnel. Visitors were actively exploring the Product Tour and Features pages, but were not proceeding to the next step to move down the sales funnel. The team identified the top 5 FreshBooks features for their audience and limited the list that was shown on these pages. By reducing the cognitive load, the visitors were no longer overwhelmed with information. Not only did this increase the overall sign-up rate, but it also increased the number of on-boarding completions.

The team identified the top 5 FreshBooks features for their audience.
  • Reduce visitor anxiety to increase conversions. Leveraging relevant graphics and product images leads to increased subscriptions. For example, site visitors were more likely to sign up and convert if they knew what to expect. In comparing conversion rates between the sign-up page with a regular branded background and the sign-up page with an image of the FreshBooks product, the product page resulted in a 4% increase in subscriptions.
The product page resulted in a 4% increase in subscription sign-ups.
The product page resulted in a 4% increase in subscription sign-ups.
  • Increase relatability to increase conversions. People react more positively to products that they can personally relate to. For example, in analyzing the results from a homepage test, it was evident that an image of a person using the product increased its relatability. This resulted in a significant increase in sign-ups.
An image of a person using the product increased its relatability and resulted in a significant increase in sign-ups.
An image of a person using the product increased its relatability and resulted in a significant increase in sign-ups.

These validated experimentation insights have helped FreshBooks create more effective strategies to target their audience. Through their partnership with Conversion, FreshBooks now has tangible proof of what their customers are looking for and how to best meet those needs. By aligning their messaging and visual cues, FreshBooks is able to create relevant and personalized online experiences that lead to a significant impact on customer growth and business success.

Want to work with us?

We work with everyone from small startups to some of the biggest brands in the world.

Get in touch and see how we can help you.

Contact us