The gist: interactive demos
Introducing The Gist by Growth Unhinged
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Introduce an on-demand interactive product demo to turn high-value website visitors into customers
Why you should care, SVP of Marketing at Oyster – the global employment platform reaching unicorn status in <2 years since launch, says that adding an on-demand product demo was one of their top performing growth experiments of 2022. It’s an experiment that can apply to PLG and non-PLG companies alike, and doesn’t require adding incremental sales headcount.
Kevan writes a popular weekly newsletter chock-full of startup marketing and brand-building advice. You’ll want to check it out.
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Many software companies aspire to embrace PLG, but worry that their product isn’t fully ready for a self-service experience – especially not for all target personas. The reasons why a self-service experience may fall flat include:
Too much setup is required to be done without assistance
User would need to involve another team in order to see value
User isn’t tech-forward and doesn’t want a fully self-serve experience
Product requires sensitive data, which the customer may not be willing to share right away
User wants to see the end-state before committing their time to getting there
What if you could provide a PLG experience – putting your product front-and-center to acquire, convert and expand customers – without having to change one line of code?
Enter the on-demand product demo: an immersive, self-guided product experience that you can embed on your website or inside of your app. Prospects who engage with an on-demand demo tend to become product-qualified and more ready to buy compared to folks who follow a traditional “request a demo” path. That adds value to your prospects, accelerates buying cycles, and allows you to be more efficient with scarce go-to-market resources.
Below is an example from Reprise, the demo creation platform which announced a $62 million Series B last November. (There are many other providers including Navattic, Walnut, Demoboost and Demostack.)
At Oyster, the on-demand product demo is an input into their PQL model. Oyster tracks on-demand demo leads through to closed-won revenue and compares the cohort against higher touch acquisition channels. Kevan told me, “Still early days but encouraging results!”
Andrew Capland, Founder of Delivering Value and Fmr. Growth Leader at Postscript and Wistia, shares that these interactive product demos engage more of your website visitors and weed out “pokers” on your website. “Instead of the 3-5% who might fill out your form I find these experiences drive double-digit engagement rates,” he said.
We’ve got a thread going in Substack Chat where folks have shared their personal experience with interactive product demos. That’s available on the Substack app.
The team at Navattic has a helpful rundown of creative ways to incorporate interactive demos into the customer journey.
Reprise released a piece this week about the product demo trends they’re seeing for 2023.
Does sandbox mode count or are we giving away too much by allowing leads to create assets already in the product?