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By In Growth Marketing, SaaS Basics

[SaaS Basics] Homepage – Below the fold

SaaS Basics is a series of research-based articles for specific parts of a SaaS customer journey. Filled with industry-specific examples.

This is the follow-up article to Homepage – Above the fold.

Almost 10k words written in total, 209 SaaS business, and over 50+ columns of data points analyzed. All dedicated to dissecting and reconstructing the ideal SaaS homepage.

In this piece, we’re going to expand on what a good SaaS homepage should contain below the fold. And offer stats and examples from a sample size of 209 SaaS companies.

According to the fold manifesto by NN Group, the content below the fold is considered invisible and requires an action to be made visible. This incurs a high interaction cost.

Content that lives below the fold does get some views, but it’s considerably less than the content above the fold. And, as you scroll down, the number of visitors looking at the content drops dramatically.

Most homepages rely on the inverted pyramid model used by journalists to write articles. It means the most critical content is prioritized and presented at the top. As you go through the article, the given information gets less and less important.

inverted-pyarmid

Visitors are used to this type of experience. That’s why less than 30% of your visitors will get to the end of your homepage.

The goals of below the fold content

We’re always starting off with the goals of the content. And the goals should be to create useful and engaging content that addresses potential customer questions.

Below the fold you have way more space to be creative and to play around with different types of content.

The copy is longer and it usually has the purpose to expand on the promise made in the headline and explain the platform’s functionalities. 

You have to imagine them calling you directly and having a 1-on-1 conversation. What questions might they be asking?

  • How does it work? – It’s the features, benefits, and use cases. It explains how your SaaS works within their workflow and how you will deliver on your promise.
  • What are their worries and hopes for this type of product? – Depending on your target audience, they might have specific functionality concerns. If they are an Enterprise customer, they might have security or scalability concerns. Or they just want to know if you are the best money can buy. 
  • Why should they pick you? – It goes beyond the promise and the functionalities – testimonials, customer stories & case studies, reports, ebooks.

Satisficers and Maximizers

Your visitors can be lumped into two main categories:

  • Satisficers – they are visitors who are confident in their knowledge about the solution to their problem. They don’t require too much convincing to take action. This type of visitor tends to be more satisfied with going forward without knowing all the benefits and features. 

Satisficers settle for a product that’s “good enough” and don’t care about what your product can do beyond the solution that addresses their problem.

  • Maximizers – are visitors who need as much information as possible before they can take action. They can’t choose until they’ve read every piece of information and considered everything you have to offer.

Depending on the type of acquisition strategy and product complexity you have, these two groups can be bigger or smaller.

For example, a productivity tool with a freemium model will have more satisficers than maximizers.

inverted-pyarmid-2-1

That’s why you want to use the “inverted pyramid strategy” when writing your copy to pack as much valuable information in the first few screens of your homepage.

Types of content structures

There are great ways to break up the below the fold content into chunks of information that is manageable to understand and scroll through. If your homepage content feels overwhelming, the likelihood that the visitor will take action drops toward zero.

I’ve organized content structured in 5 main layouts: side-by-side, bullet points, columns, grids, and tabs.

main content layouts

Let’s dig deeper into the numbers. 

Around 49% of the homepages have two types of sections.

There’s another advantage of having served in different types of layouts. It slows down the scroll, and it forces the viewer to pay attention. 

It’s good to have a few pace breaks to keep the mind engaged. If the visitors scroll and see the same pattern repeats, they might not stop. So, you lose your chance to engage the visitor.

38.93% of homepages have just one type of section, and 12% of the homepages have three types of sections.

Most likely, your layout combination will highly depend on the length of the homepage.

Most SaaS homepages are between 6 and 10 screens long.

Side-by-side layout

The most popular type of all, by far, is the side-by-side. 75.00% of the SaaS websites had at least one side-by-side section on their homepage. 

It’s the most straightforward and cleanest way to expand on a feature or benefit. And the accompanying image makes the information a lot less overwhelming.

Side-by-side sections play into the most common viewing pattern on the web, the z-pattern.

webflow z-pattern

Webflow makes the most out of their side-by-side sections. Their sections highlight a process within Webflow – build -> launch -> grow. 

And each side-by-side has unique testimonials from users that speak to their success in the specific step in their process. Throw in some stats and functionalities, and you have the perfect package. 

And the section ends with a CTA, encouraging the user to take action. 

67.76% of SasS homepages have sections that contain CTAs.

If your product is a bit more technical and the functionalities are more complex, it’s best to use these side-by-side sections as gateways to learning more about the functionality. 

If you think of your homepage as a starting point for the visitor’s journey, they can have multiple conversion pathways. Some are short; they click on the main CTA and get to the sign-up page. And some might take a bit more convincing and showing around.  

paths-to-signup

The biggest mistake I see in the side-by-side copy is that they have so much space to work with, and their CTA’s are dry AF. Don’t just write “Learn More”, explore the space. 

launchdarkly CTA

Launchdarkly is not afraid of having a long text link. It makes the whole CTA look a bit more friendly and inviting.

Column layout

Another fairly popular layout that is simple and versatile. 50.66% of SaaS homepages have a column layout below the fold. 

It’s usually the scroll disruptor you want when presenting the information. It’s not as complex as a grid, yet you can highlight multiple benefits in one row. 

unbounce column layout

Unbounce has the perfect example of a 3 column section that explains the main benefits of using their SaaS product.

Again, you can see the language is friendly and personalized. Each column of text has a link taking you to a product page to expand more on the benefit. 

Talk about not having to start from scratch and the ability to pick a template? Link to the template gallery. 

formassembly-column-before

Formassembly is at the opposite end with a very impersonal and generic copy. 

Words like competitive, streamlined, effective look like tech buzzwords will put off and cheapen the brand. Also, most visitors will just scroll past this part without thinking twice. 

formassembly-column-after

It literally took me 2 minutes to rewrite these bland titles. And it makes the copy more appealing to the reader. You can also add links to relevant pages. This way, the visitors can go on and read on things that are of interest to them.

Another strong implementation of this layout that I will expand on later in the article is use cases.  

hotjar columns

Hotjar comes with a beautiful example of a column layout with three of its primary use cases: Marketers, Product Managers, and UX Designers. 

Tabs vs. grids vs. bullet points.

These two types of layouts are battling for the third spot in the popularity contest. 

Overall, 22.37%of the SaaS homepages had grids, and 23.33% of them had tabs.

Only 15.13% of the homepages had bullet points.

These are three styles of bundling and presenting multiple pieces of information that are similar in intent.

As a personal preference, I do feel like tabs layout is a more elegant option to break down large amounts of options – IF DONE PROPERLY.

I’ve seen a lot of cases where there were issues with the layout design and the copy.

These types of layouts can be used together if they have different purposes.

In general, tabs are an elegant way of presenting many features or benefits without overcrowding the landing page or creating an overcomplicated scheme.

miro tabs

Miro makes excellent use of the screen’s full width by using the tabs layout and puts a lot of emphasis on its minimalistic product shots. 

You can see each tab highlights a specific process that can be performed in Miro. And all of them have a small snippet of copy to paint a clearer picture of how that process helps you.

You want to have between 3 and 7 options in your tabs layout. More than seven options and your visitors won’t be able to retain much of the information presented. 

Highspot tabs

Tabs can be used with great success to display multiple testimonials and customer stories. 

This example from Highspot shows an ideal display of testimonials. They are also reinforced by numbers that show the impact of using the product. 

And you also have a link toward a page where you can read their customer stories.

You have to make sure tabs are not very heavy on the information and convey the affordability of being clickable.

activtrak tabs

ActivTrak has a tabs list that is jam-packed with information formatted in a bullet point list. 

There are 6 tabs, each with a list of 6-7 bullet points and a paragraph of text. That’s a lot of information for one section.

That’s a lot of information to digest in one go.

Grids are another popular way to break down information. 

You should aim to break the copy into 6 pieces split into 2 rows. 

If you feel FOMO for information and try to squeeze more than that, you won’t have enough whitespace, and your grid will look like a wall of text.

Fusebill grid

Fusebill not only went with a 4×4 grid but also added too much description text. The tabs are too clumped up, and the font choice doesn’t help with readability.

whatafix grid

This example tells a different story—lots of spacing between elements, readable text. Also, the copy is short and to the point.

They were intentional with the points they want to make and who they are addressing.

You can combine grids with tabs. That way, you can create a self-segmenting information funnel for your visitors. They only see what they need to see and are not bombarded by lots of redundant information.

launchdarkly grid 2

LaunchDarkly splits the information into two tabs based on their target audience – engineering and product teams. 

Visitors can just select the appropriate tab and look through the functionalities. Maximizers can go one step further and click on the “Read more” links. 

We finally get to bullet points. A dying breed in the era of the information highway. 

They should be used sparingly on any landing page. 

Given that you have better options available, you should limit your bullet point lists to one.

logicmonitor bullet points

The power of numbers in copy

While words can be generalized and redundant at times, numbers are always convincing. 

Yet, only 43.42% of SaaS homepages contain numbers or stats of any kind.

They’re either 100% true or 100% false; they’re essential in the unequivocal fields of mathematics and science. 

You can go in two directions with your number boasting.

Showing stats like the number of users, teams, or “tasks completed” is usually the quickest way to reinforce your copy.

freshbooks stats

Instead of a useless claim at being a leader in their industry, Freshbooks decided just to let the numbers talk. 24+ million people in 160+ countries is quite the statement.

I would recommend truncating your numbers when you get into the hundreds of thousands and millions.

calendly stats

Just putting a massive number with lots of zeros looks very disingenuous. It can have the opposite effect.

Is this supposed to feel like you’ve won the golden ticket to the Willy Wonka chocolate factory ?

It’s more believable and more recommended to put more digestible stats, like the number of teams or organizations currently using your platform.

After all, everybody in the B2B SaaS space is looking to attract more orgs/teams. 

Having stats on your homepage can be the argument that seals the deal. They’re irrefutably logical and straightforward.

They shouldn’t get lost somewhere in your copy, swallowed by rows of text. 

shadowpad stats

Showpad has excellent stats to showcase, but many people will scroll past them in this format.

Stats can be used to reinforce a final push on your call to action.

customer.io stats

Here’s another example from the wild SaaS jungle.

hiverhq stats

These are usually stats that are gathered from surveys and interviews with your customers. They relate to some internal metrics that your product helps improve for the users.

It’s arguably much harder to obtain and distill these stats as not every product has a clear impact on the business. You should avoid ambiguous and generic metrics, like ROI.

MURAL stats

If you click on the button to read more, you’ll see they have many other metrics they have influenced, like $16M in travel savings, design thinking workshops.

The caveat with companies in the productivity industry, like Slack, is that they can’t always hone in on a solid metric like increased sales, time/money saved, etc. So they go into the zone of the ever-elusive ROI.

But most B2B SaaS products can easily quantify their impact on their customers. 

clevertap stats

An introspection of the CleverTap case study section demonstrates how important numbers are. 

Sitting prominently at the top of every success story are two data points of results, in large font and loud background colors relating to improvements of acquisition, activation, and retention metrics.

It’s the first thing you notice when you scroll to this section.

Most of these stats are produced to reinforce customer stories or case studies. That’s why you’ll see them accompanying these references.

But you can use them as standalone metrics as well.

gong.io stats

Gong.io shows us some stats of metrics that they’re influencing on average for their customers. 

“44% avg. increase in win rates” sounds way more convincing than plainly stating “Increase your sales win rate” as a benefit of using their product.

Gong.io knows that numbers are inarguably convincing. 

Almost half of these successful SaaS companies know numbers are the concrete and universal proof that the product or service worked as it promised it would.

The social proof is in the pudding

Fun fact – a quick search for “the social proof is in the pudding” gathers over 21k results. Quite a lot of people thought of writing this on the vast internet. Talk about trying to not be a cliche in the 21st century.

The saying “the proof is in the pudding” means that the best way to determine if something is to test it out yourself.

The original saying was “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”.

Social proof is the best way to make sure that you don’t have to stuff yourself with bad pudding until you find the one you like.

And in B2B SaaS, it takes many forms. You have client logos, business and client stats, ratings and reviews, testimonials, and customer case studies.

Companies do this to leverage the multiple source effect, an essential principle that social proof is based on. 

The multiple source effect states that our minds are more likely to believe a value proposition reiterated by numerous independent sources.

In my previous article, I’ve stated that 68% of the SaaS homepages had client logos in the above-the-fold or right below.

The number goes over 90% if we include SaaS companies with this type of social proof anywhere on the homepage.

Testimonials

Every SaaS company should always be talking to its customers. At multiple stages of the customer experience. Testimonials and case studies are the by-products of such customer-related activities.

But surprisingly enough, only 68.42% of SaaS homepages contain testimonials.

I find testimonials the most versatile among the social proof methods. Client logos are usually outdated, misleading, and flat out generic. 

The testimonial can be a powerful persuasion tool when used properly. But testimonials can also be wasted. For example, all piled up and buried at the bottom of a page.

mobiniti testimonials

This is a screenshot from Mobinti’s homepage. Different texts, bolded randomly, and the testimonial is split in two? Not to mention that everything is placed in a carousel that only adds to the lack of readability. 

They placed their testimonials at the very bottom of the homepage, right underneath a section of their latest marketing news. That’s where content goes to die usually.

You have to remember that these testimonials help legitimize your product by stating a value proposition from an independent source POV. You shouldn’t try to place them like you’re ashamed.

A testimonial is not copy!

A testimonial is a social proof element meant to reinforce and validate your copy. I recommend splitting up your testimonials section and use them in combination with your copy about benefits and product use cases. 

livestorm testimonials

Livestorm has a superb example of how testimonials should be used on a homepage.

Not only are they next to their content, but they are also topically relevant to the use cases – Internal communications has a testimonial from a customer that is raving about how he’s using Livestorm for internal meetings.

Testimonials are a reason to brag. Somebody else is talking up your product? Make sure you use your page’s full width for this section and use macro and micro whitespace.

asana testimonials

Asana went for a simple wide section testimonial that contains all the ideal elements:

  • A clear image of the customer that gave the testimonial.
  • The name and the role of the customer.
  • A short snippet of text that addresses the benefits of using the product.
  • The name and the logo of the company. Especially important when the logo is from a recognizable brand.

The testimonial copy should not be too long. They should be around 15-20 words long.

Be sure to talk with the customer and get their approval to get a more manageable testimonial version. The primary purpose of a testimonial is to be short and to the point. 

People won’t read them if they are too long. Plus, it allows you to play around with the micro and macro whitespace.

Customer stories and case studies

I’m not going to split the hairs on this one. I’m going to talk about these two types of social proof as a whole.

This is a whole new level of commitment to customer validation. It requires a close relationship with the customer and a lot of commitment to go through a more rigorous interviewing process. Sometimes including a video, as we will see in this section.

It’s the best way to convince customers on the fence, especially with Enterprise potential customers. 

They should be filled with details, images, and stats from your clients. Testimonials are just an amuse-bouche, and customer stories are a three-course meal. 

They are partly so convincing because they are so hard to produce. And because of that, they are in short supply.

Only 38.16% of SaaS brands have customer stories or case studies mentioned on their homepage.

Sometimes they come as a stand-alone section, and sometimes they are bundled together with testimonials.

gong.io case study

You don’t need to be too overwhelming with the presentation. It’s an enhanced testimonial.

You have to make sure that your customer stories follow the same format. They shouldn’t look like random pieces of content. 

kinsta case study

While Kinsta has some pretty nice customer stories, this section from their homepage looks very generic and uninviting.

The images are just full website screenshots, and the titles are way too long and complicated.

Plus, the whole section doesn’t highlight the affordability of being clickable. It’s important to highlight this aspect when you’re creating mentions of your customer stories.

By this point, I think you’ve had enough of me saying this, but be inviting in your CTA. Avoid generic language.

drift-testimonials

If you have the resources, you can even embed a video customer story onto the homepage. In general, video is the most persuasive form of content.

6sense case study

Customer stories and case studies are compelling collateral in the sales process, so why not be a part of your homepage?

Self-segmentation with use cases

If you write your copy as a story, it’s essential to make the readers feel like they are at the center of the action. The copy on the homepage speaks to the needs and desires of your target audience.

But sometimes you can’t tell the same story to everybody. That’s why we try to encourage visitors to click further to other pages on our website.

I see the homepage as a gateway for self-segmentation, where visitors can just find out more about the features and benefits related to their problems and business goals.

Chances are your SaaS product might address more than one target audience.

By creating a section where visitors can self-segment by clicking on the use case/role/team that best describes their situation, you can better communicate your product’s benefits in the copy.

18.42% of SaaS homepages have such a section!

In my opinion, it’s a low number. Many companies already offer these pages on their menu. (and many more should have them, but that’s a story for another time)

unbounce use cases

I’m tired of showcasing Unbounce in this article, but they did such a great job with the copy and the design of their homepage.

The homepage is meant to consider all walks of life with its copy, which makes the job of sounding convincing f*cking hard!

You can see Unbounce has three specific target audiences – SaaS, agencies, and e-commerce. 

New visitors who scroll through their homepage can just go to the landing page that best fits their situation. And if they are not in one of those three use cases, they can just scroll on.

Here’s another example from Hotjar.

hotjar columns

The only difference here is that they didn’t go as far as creating landing pages for those specific audiences that they are targeting.

I remember I loved a particular example from Airtable, and I went to search for it on their homepage. And I was surprised to find out that they’ve revamped the whole layout and copy, and the use cases section didn’t make the cut.

I managed to find this image with the help of the Internet Archive. 

Airtable fell into the sin of the 2020 sleek and minimalist bullshit that corrupted so many other SaaS brands.

The generic copy tries to talk to anybody and nobody at the same time. And manages to be less inviting for the new visitor to click through and explore more pages.

Integrations create a strong USP

With the meteoric success of companies like Slack and Atlassian, integrations have become a big part of the SaaS offering and a unique selling proposition.

The average tech stack of your average company is getting bigger and bigger, and integration is top of mind for every potential customer looking for new SaaS products.

In many cases, in a competitive space, the decision to purchase comes down to integrations. 

24.34% of SaaS homepages have a dedicated section for integrations. 

If you do decide to go for this, do not overthink the copy of this section. It’s meant to show your visitors that you integrate with all of the tools they rely on to do their work (hopefully). 

pandadoc integration

I would suggest using this section as a gateway to your integrations page.

This type of information creates more questions regarding the actual functionality of a specific integration. Be sure to provide a link to your integrations page.

rybbon integration

Rybbon is a platform where you can create automated campaigns to send rewards to users or employees. It displays a plethora of marketing tool logos it integrates with, but it does not provide easy access to their Integration page from the page.

Again, keep in mind that this type of information usually creates a need for more information. Be sure to link to your Integrations page.

3 other equally essential elements

Because they don’t have their H2 titles doesn’t mean they are less important!

I’ve made this section because I didn’t want to talk in detail about these next topics. They are less common and should be considered on a case by case basis.

Painting the full picture of their workflow

I love the idea of painting a clear image for the customer of how and where your product fits into their workflow.

And if you have multiple use cases in their workflow, present a visual representation of it.

Of course, it’s not something that all SaaS brands can do. It also requires lots of customer interviews to determine how your product fits into their workflow and what lies behind and in front of your product.

There are 8.82% of companies that have such a mapped out logical workflow displayed on their homepage.

asana workflow

You can see in this scheme from Asana where their product fits within the workflow of IT Requests. They did their customer research and mapped out the process.

It’s easier for potential customers to assimilate information if presented in a logical scheme that is familiar to them.

sprinklr workflow

This time from Sprinklr, another workflow scheme shows customer communication channels’ immense landscape and how they can all converge within their platform.

Going beyond what you do and explaining how you fit into their workflow shows you’ve done your homework and understand their needs. 

Try and map out your customers’ workflow and where your SaaS product fits in, and then map it out visually. Maybe it’s something worth implementing in the future.

Some more great examples of process sections on the homepage that you can also check: Whatagraph, Segment, Aircall, Convertkit, Pipefy, and Pandadoc.

Pricing on the homepage

Highly unusual, but if it’s something that you’re considering, just know that only 5.07% of SaaS websites have their pricing on their homepage.

I would not recommend making this type of addition to your homepage copy as it shifts the attention towards the price quite early on in the decision making. Even if you are the cheapest solution and you want to showcase this, this type of information is quite hard to digest for a new visitor.

mailerlite pricing

Mailerlite showcases their pricing calculator relatively high on the homepage. 

You end up with lost opportunities and leads because they decide quite early in their decision-making process that your product is not for them. 

You should focus on convincing the user the product is worth the money!

There’s a case to be made on setting up expectations, but from my experience, this ends up discouraging some users from trying out the product. 

kinsta pricing

Kinsta has a broad offering of plans on their homepage and an even bigger one on their pricing page. But there’s no direct way to try out the product, which makes this push to display plans and prices on their homepage even more peculiar.

While you could consider testing this strategy for SaaS products with a freemium or free trial strategy, I would not recommend using it if you don’t have a self-serve option. 

Showcasing marketing resources on the homepage

At the end of the day, the homepage is a landing page. Which means it should have a maximum of two conversion goals!

You usually want the new visitor to act in a meaningful way – create an account, schedule a demo, start a trial, request more information. 

Ideally, you don’t want to diverge too much from these goals, regardless of where the journey takes them on the website. 

33.55% of SaaS homepages showcase links towards various marketing resources.

In almost all cases, this section is at the bottom of the page. It’s low on the information priority list, and it’s added as a “why the f*ck not if they don’t want to read they won’t click on it”.

But you should stay away from trying to send people to your blog posts or other ephemeral marketing content.

It’s usually something that might potentially send the visitor to another conversion full, and you get a lead through a webinar or an ebook request form. 

While it’s more valuable for you to push the user toward the main funnel, your visitors might not be ready to commit.

clevertap resources

CleverTap has a multitude of resources they are sharing from their homepage. 

This layout’s lousy part is that this is a dead-end for visitors who decide to scroll to the page’s bottom. 

70.20% of the SaaS homepages in my research ended with a reiteration of the value proposition and a CTA. 

simpplr resources

You can see Simpplr has a clear intent with their resource sharing. They are either reports, ebooks, or webinars. All hidden under a form. A longer funnel for undecided potential customers.

As long as you don’t link random blog posts that talk about “5 management methods I’ve learned from watching The Office”, you can test it out. 

Be sure to A/B test and track the performance of these new visitor journeys and monitor if you notice a drop in the performance of main CTAs.

Conclusion

Almost ten thousand words were written in total. Data gathered from 209 SaaS companies in a spreadsheet with over 50 columns . While it’s a lot of information to process, these two articles are not meant as a light read.

I’ve created this resource to be used as a starting point to be studied before starting work on a homepage creation or redesign.

As always, I have to say, as a disclaimer, that the SaaS world is very fluid in terms of Marketing strategy. And SaaS companies, regardless of how big they are or how much VC funding they got, are still prone to bias and mistakes. Please take everything with a grain of salt and always A/B test your hypothesis.

The next SaaS Basics article will be about internationalization, coupled with data analysis of over 300 SaaS businesses. Please feel free to add me on Linkedin / Twitter or subscribe to my newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out.

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