Contentools SaaS Homepage Teardown

contentools

Contentools recently redesigned their website and I was invited to tear it up!!

If you haven’t heard of Contentools, it is a platform for managing content marketing. It’s pretty nice, you can collaborate, track ideas, write, publish, and share- just about everything you’d need to do.

Definitely take a look if you haven’t already. P.S.- I’m not being paid to write this.

Alright, let’s jump in. The website.

Home Above the Fold

contentools-marked

I realize there is a lot of debate about the importance of having elements of your homepage above the fold. I’m working on an article about this right now. Subscribe on the right to get that article when it’s published this week.

1- Design

You’ll see the above image as the full-width of the homepage. Immediately I liked the background image and the modern design. It reminds me of Wrike’s homepage, it’s immersive yet focuses on what is important: getting conversions.

2- Headline

I liked the homepage, but then I realized the letters were moving and I had to pay attention or I was going to miss something.

The end of the phrase “Finally a content marketing platform” keeps changing.

Some of the end phrases are decent, all of them present different aspects of the software. This is a clever way to grab attention but it’s distracting and moves quickly, which could be intimidating to visitors.

One well chosen end phrase may be more effective, but I would encourage Contentools to test this.

Here are the 5 end phrases they use:

  • …that tracks what’s due and what’s done
  • …to manage all of your content in one place
  • …to plan and schedule any type of content
  • …with custom workflow, tasks and deadlines
  • …that publishes all of your content

My suggestion for the headline (type it out slowly to attract attention, but leave it after it’s filled in): Finally, a platform that makes content marketing easier for your team.

3- Missing Sub-Head

Part 3 of the homepage is where they could have put a sub-headline. This is a powerful place to further convince someone that your SaaS product is the right solution for them, so I mark it as a missed opportunity.

Jeremy Smith of ‘Jeremey Said’ has a post where he discusses the importance of subheads. Here is a quote from that post:

The subheadline should advance the information provided in the headline. You don’t have a whole lot of room in the headline to explain things. That’s what the subheadline is for.

4- Form

Where the form says ‘Enter your email’- My first thought is “why?”. So far you’ve told me nothing about why I should enter my email, not even that it’ll start my free trial, or am I subscribing to a newsletter? (this is where the sub-headline would help).

5- Free Trial CTA

A call to action needs to instruct the reader to take action, this phrase does not, it simply says “Free Trial” this is an opportunity to say “Start Your Free Trial”

Here is a great post about writing your calls to action from HubSpot.

6- Navigation

Software, Pricing, Login. The “Software” title in navigation doesn’t tell me anything about what I’m about to look at, this should be changed. I suggest changing it to “Learn More”.

Pricing is a great placement in navigation, perfect for visitors. Login is great, I suggest adding ‘Support’, as well.

7- Free Trial CTA in Navigation

Again, this is not a call to action, expand on this. “Start Your 14 Day Free Trial Now” is a CTA. Test it.

 

Social Proof

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I prefer to see social proof above the fold as it shows how popular the product is, and who is using it. Contentool’s social proof is not above the fold, and I’m not sure how convincing it would be, if it were.

When choosing social proof I think it’s important to ask yourself; who would be a persuasive influencer for my visitor? While I am familiar with Zendesk, I’d be more excited to see HubSpot as a user than the other companies listed.

Here is an article by Kissmetrics on targeting influencers for your product- https://blog.kissmetrics.com/guide-to-influencer-targeting/

While the social proof isn’t above the fold for me, it may be for some. It’s important to test these things when designing a site to see that the majority of people will see it as intended. Use this tool to test your site- Where is the Fold?

Homepage Interaction Sections

The next portion of the site gives users a place to self identify their needs:

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 6.46.21 PM

Select the green or grey side and the content below changes. I like the interaction here, it gets people more committed to the page.

I might change these to; ‘Help me MANAGE my content campaigns’ OR ‘Help me SCALE my content campaigns’.

There are enough mentions of content marketing throughout the homepage, changing it up a bit makes it seem more realistic for SEO purposes.

Manage Content Selection

Under the “I need to MANAGE…” option here are the sections listed:

With these sections the biggest issue I see is copy.

The entire page tells what the company wants to tell people about their product, not what the potential user needs to hear to make a purchase. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 6.49.43 PM

These sections all need to be rewritten.

New Title: ‘Customize The Platform To Your Needs’

The hours spent designing and refining your content organization sounds intimidating to potential users, I would remove this statement.

New Description: You’ll have complete power over the platform, from adding roles, to content types, you are in control.

New CTA (Call To Action): See How Our Platform Works For You (doesn’t this sound much more enticing?).

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 6.49.48 PM
New Title: Save Time By Using Automation

New Description: Put publishing and distribution on autopilot. Schedule everything ahead of time, and it’ll be done automatically.

As this section currently stands, I don’t understand how notifications and reminders is relevant to automating content production, I would remove this bit.

New CTA: See How We Save You Time (link to features that specifically save time).

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 6.50.21 PMNew Title: Scale Content Production

New Description: With everyone on the same page, you’ll save hours emailing, chatting in Slack, and organizing the pieces to your content puzzle. With that extra time, you’ll be able to write more great content.

New Call To Action: See How We Help With Content Planning

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 6.50.28 PMNew Title: Your Most Efficient Team

New Description: Stop trying to use spreadsheets, docs and other project management tools to stay up to date with your content campaigns. Do it all in Contentools.

New Call To Action: Say Goodbye to Spreadsheets

 

I would change the CTAs in these sections to point directly to the features they relate to most. These links are in the footer of the site.

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 6.50.56 PM

This last bit (above) needs a headline. I would suggest Embrace the Benefits of Contentools

Customizable Platform, Centralized Access, Easy Monitoring, then write the descriptions for the visitors’ point of view.

Feature Pages

I wouldn’t normally make recommendations on these pages but as I navigated the site I noticed these pages are very short, and offer little value. There is huge potential here to turn these pages into effective sales content. A copywriter should restructure these pages for maximum results.

Video

A video is usually a great way to intro your product, but I’m concerned with this video because, the video itself is too big for the graphics (text looks fuzzy) and the music is unrelated, when you could easily be explaining the BENEFITS of the product along with each image shown.

Testimonials

This is actually my favorite part of the homepage- real people giving real reasons as to why they love the product.

I would try to implement this much higher on the page, even above the fold if it’s possible (for this design). These are wonderfully chosen testimonials.

I would change ‘What Our Customers Are Saying’ to ‘Why Our Customers Love Us’

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 8.11.33 PM

End of Page CTAs

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 8.11.48 PM

 

I would make a lot of changes to this last section, mostly copywise. For instance:

  • Look No Further, change this to Stop Searching For A Content Marketing Platform Today.
  • Underneath that I would add a sub-headline saying; Start Using Contentools Now

And of course, we need to fix these CTAs-

  • Free Trial should change to; Start Your Free Trial
  • Get A Demo should change to; Schedule A Demo

Summary of Contentools Homepage

Contentools comes highly recommended to me from others I know in the content marketing industry.

But, the homepage, and site, undersell the benefits to the users because the copy is written to tell people what the company wants people to hear, not what people need to hear to develop interest in the product.

The weak copy should be fixed by a copywriter who has expertise in SaaS marketing.

The suggestions I made here may not be as effective as something an expert copywriter would come up with, however I do believe my suggestions would be more effective than what is currently on the site.

There’s no way to know for sure what copy will work best until you test it. Contentools should sign up with Unbounce or Lead Pages and get started. Nothing can argue with the data from testing.

You’ll notice I didn’t analyze the other option for the Interaction Section, this is because I believe I made my point about the copy needing help, and it would have added a great deal of time to my analysis.

Know of another #SaaS product homepage I should analyze? Let me know on Twitter @marygreenim

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9 Things I Expect As Your SaaS Customer

Inside the buyer's mind (1)

Over the years I’ve signed up for a couple hundred digital tools. With that experience, I’ve come to expect certain things from your tool/site especially if I become a customer.

I’m hoping you’ll see this from a customer’s point of view and it will help you preemptively reduce churn.

Let’s get started with my first thought upon registering my account:

Number 1

Quick Time to Aha!

We both know why I purchased your tool, it’s to solve a problem or pain I have. Help me do this as quickly as possible.

I understand needing a few details to personalize my account, but this should feed into providing me a better experience.

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25 Crucial Elements for Your SaaS Homepage [Checklist]

25 Item SaaSHomepage Checklist

After 2 Teardowns of SaaS homepages (Close.io and Contactually) and their marketing, I wanted to share a checklist for SaaS homepages.

What’s the purpose of your SaaS homepage?

Front App says that “SaaS products have in common the fact that they must convince potential customers of their usefulness.” And I agree, they must do this and must do it quickly with their homepages.

Your homepage should do these 4 things:

1) Sell your product
2) Teach visitors about your product, expertise, industry
3) Collect leads
4) Direct people where they need to go (support, login, blog)

Why Are SaaS Homepages Different?

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SaaS Marketing Teardown Close.io

Close.io

This week I analyzed Close.io, whose CEO Steli Efti, is also doing the bi-weekly podcast The Startup Chat with Hiten Shah. Needless to say I’m a little nervous, but I did get permission from someone at Close to put up this teardown.

Here are the sections:Close.io

Homepage Analysis

This homepage is shorter than last week’s Contactually Analysis. This is good because these pages need to get to the point, and get visitors to take their next step- Buy, Subscribe or Learn More.

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Fix My Marketing: SaaS CRM Contactually

contactually

Since my Inbound.org post where Lincoln Murphy and Peter Caputa complimented my list of reasons for not buying SaaS tools, I’ve wanted to spend more time talking about my SaaS ideas.

Here is the post, it was linked to by Hiten Shah in his weekly SaaS newsletter and got over 27k views (my best ever).

Contactually

A couple of weeks ago, I found my opportunity for choosing a tool to analyze, Contactually, so I wrote up my notes and included them here for others to benefit.

contactually

What is Contactually?

Contactually is a CRM software that helps you stay in contact with people based on how long it has been since your last interaction. Think of it as a tool that helps you make sure you don’t forget to follow up with someone.

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You Don’t Have To Be First

No. 1

If you are anything like me, all of the stories of awesome startups, unicorns, and cool products on Indiegogo leave you wishing you had some awe inspiring invention to share with the world.

When you think like that, you are probably thinking:

  • What hasn’t been invented yet?
  • What service can I offer first?
  • What app will change the world?

But guess what, you don’t have to come up with a new idea, you don’t even have to wait for an idea to come along, there are already tons of things you can do, just by picking something out there and doing it better.

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How Big Does My Target Market Have To Be?

the best

For some reason we all have these huge egos that give us the idea that our products/services should have the opportunity to get in front of everyone who MIGHT have the slightest inclination to be affected by their awesomeness.

It makes sense, the only way to reach a lot of people is to get in front of them, how else will you know if people love it? But really you don’t have to do that.

Personas don’t have to be about huge market spaces such as freelancers, marketers and contractors (not a persona actually but this works for my post). They can be about micro, teeny, tiny markets, small communities if you will.

The thought is that to reach amazing numbers you need to target a group that is amazingly sized and that is simply not true. In fact, your group can be quite small. How small?

Well, it might be surprising but if you can build a small community of support and evangelism around your idea, you should be able to make it work with numbers in the double digits.

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Things That Don’t Scale Have Exponential Effects

The Trick with Things That Don't Scale

One common piece of advice you hear while working with startups, or on a growth team is: Do things that don’t scale. It’s a funny quote that basically means go out there, knock on doors so to speak, talk to everyone, etc.

The saying itself is a bit scary, people think immediately “What do you mean do things that don’t scale? I ain’t got no time for that. I need growth and I need it now and I need it to feed on itself and grow by itself, I can’t waste my time with things that ‘don’t scale’.

But calm down, because once you start doing things that don’t scale, you’ll realize something quickly. These things that don’t scale, actually do, in their own way.

Let me explain. Back in December 2014 we started a welcome thread on Inbound.org. We asked new members to comment and introduce themselves. We wanted to see if people would stick around and be more active if we responded to their initial engagements on the site.

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What If We Didn’t Call It Failure?

Untitled design (2)
Have you tried on an outfit and then realized it wasn’t going to work for you?
Ever tried a new dish at the restaurant to find out you didn’t like it?
Or, have you gone on a first date, and never called them back?

We’ve all done something like this, but we don’t call it a failure when it doesn’t work out.

When we think of failure we think of trying to run a 5k only to pass out from the heat in the 2nd kilometer. Or having an awesome job, being fired and having to go to family dinner for the holidays and explaining to them why you were let go.

As entrepreneurs we hear Fail Fast, Fail A Lot, It takes a lot of failures to be successful, and many other similar quotes. But what if we are looking at failure all wrong?

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Paralysis – Fighting the urge to wait

You’ll probably never be fully ready to do what you are suppose to do. If you are smart, you’ll rethink it a million times and come up with several reasons why now isn’t good. They all seem like plausible reasons, and not excuses, but they are excuses, no matter how you look at them.

Instead, if you can push past the paralysis of fear and jump into the unknown, take a chance on yourself, and even be quick to fail, you’ll find that you were always ready. You could have done it ages ago.

The only person keeping you from succeeding is you, and for me that’s not a good enough excuse to not succeed.

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