Now that you’ve installed Heap, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the foundations and how virtualization works. Read on for examples of business questions you can answer, and examples of events, properties, segments, dashboards, and reports recommended for saas businesses.
Answering Business Questions with Heap
Step 1: Frame Your Business Questions
|Business Question||Why we want to know|
|Which lead sources are generating the most conversions?||How do we decide what formats, topics, and channels our content team should focus on?|
|What is the churn rate from free trial to subscription?||How do we increase the conversion rate from free trial to subscribe?|
|Which customers are likely to churn?||Can we identify and retain customers who|
|What is our user drop off rate after signup?||How do we reduce the early churn rate and|
gain loyal users?
Step 2: Identify Data Points Required for Analysis
What key pieces of information do you need to answer your underlying questions? Heap autocaptures events on all domains where the snippet is installed, but you may also need to connect to other data sources to answer your questions.
Step 3: Collect Data
This is where the magic of Heap comes in. With autocapture, you can identify a business question and analyze your data retroactively, instead of implementing new code each time you want to track a new event.
With a comprehensive implementation of Heap, you can move on directly to Step 4!
Step 4: Analyze and Act
Get answers to your business questions that you can act on quickly. In Heap, you can create virtual events retroactively to analyze your historical data and get answers to your questions with no development lead time and no code.
Common Business Questions for SaaS Companies
Business Intelligence Teams
- What are our conversion rates?
- What does our cart funnel look like and where should we perform tests?
- What is our retention rate?
- Which customers are most likely to churn?
- What are our highest performing categories or products?
- Do customers behaviors differ between web and mobile?
- How does a customers first order value impact their repurchase rates and LTV?
- How do the product types in a customers first order impact their repurchase rates and LTV?
- How fast does LTV grow over time?
- Do shipping costs impact sales, conversion or retention?
- Which are our top performing marketing channels/artifacts?
- How effective are our campaigns at driving traffic? Conversions?
- What impact do promos and discounts have on conversion and retention?
- Where should we focus our ad spend?
- What impact do landing pages and landing content have on conversion?
- How often do product ads result in customers buying those same products?
- Do returning customers cannibalize ad spend?
- What is our cost per conversion or customer acquisition cost?
- Do average order values differ when segmented by marketing channel or program?
- What channels are most effective at driving retention and repurchase?
- What features are used most by our highest value customers?
- How does user behavior differ across platforms?
- How do we better track how users are engaging with our app?
- Is our app walkthrough effective?
Customer Success Teams
- What are our key customer segments for personalization?
- Who are our most profitable customers? Least profitable?
- What are the signs that a customer might churn?
User & Event Properties
To make the most of the analysis tools available to you in Heap, you can augment the pre-defined user and event properties with those that matter to your business. Based on the Heap data model, user properties trickle down to sessions and events, meaning you can filter by user properties in your analysis.
There are multiple ways that user and event properties are created in Heap:
- Pre-defined by Heap (eg. Initial Browser Type, Initial Continent)
- Captured via APIs (eg. unique user ID, account type)
- Captured via Snapshots (eg. price and description of object clicked/added to cart) – note that Snapshots do not work retroactively
- Virtual Defined Properties (in your personal space or the shared space)
Core User Properties to Define for SaaS
|Persona A / B / C||Define users based on a combination of usage and traits into common archetypes to compare how they use your apps.|
|City/Territory (with a case reporting for ‘other’)||Group common business zones into consistent categories.|
|Initial Marketing Channel||Group the original marketing channel (referrer or UTMs or direct) that a user first came to your site/app from.|
|Last Marketing Channel||Group the most recent marketing channel (referrer or UTMs or direct) that a user most recently came to your site/app from.|
Core Event Properties to Define for SaaS
|Last Marketing Channel (pre-built requiring customization)||Define a custom property for the current marketing channel (referrer or UTMs or direct) that a user came in from when events were triggered.|
|Product attributes (eg, category, price, options, etc.)||Define custom buckets or categories/groups for users who purchase or interact products on your site or app.|
|Authentication status (logged in, logged out)||Pass a value indicating whether a user as logged in or was logged out while using your site or app.|
|Page type (eg. collections page, product page, marketing page, landing page, lookbook, etc.)||Create a custom category for the group or type of page or content a user was interacting with when the event was triggered.|
Segments are ways to group users together to aid in your analysis. Segments are often very specific to your business, you might want to Segment users like “Persona X/Y/Z,” “Canadian Visitors,” “Repeat Customer/User,” “Big Spenders,” “Power Users,” or “People who converted in December.”
Segments are virtualized, which means they can be defined at any time and will be populated retroactively.
Core Behavioral Segments for SaaS
|Window Shoppers (visits often, doesn’t purchase)||Define a behavioral segment who comes to your site often, but never buys, signs up, or engages with a conversion action.|
|Interest in Product/feature||Define a behavioral property for users who look at one or many product/detail/feature pages vs. users who minimally engage.|
Core Marketing Segments for SaaS
|Customer vs. non-customer||Organize users into categories based on those who have not yet made a purchase and those who have.|
|Buyer funnel stage||Group users based on how far they make it in your conversion funnel to see what other site actions they took that may have caused the drop-off.|
|Locale or Territory||Make sure that your targeting of traffic is correct based on events grouped by locations or other custom territory definitions.|
|Subscribed to marketing emails||Track users who signed up for marketing related -content to understand what drives this decision.|
Events & Snapshots
Events capture user actions, we recommend establishing a shared naming convention across your company to help keep your data organized.
Our recommended naming convention for events in Heap is Category – Event. See the Naming Convention section of our Events guide for examples of how this convention can be used.
Recommended Events to Define for SaaS
|Event||Event Trigger||Properties||Identify Call?||Domains|
|Core||Created Account||Triggered when a user successfully created an account and received a unique user ID.||appType|
|Core||Started Membership||Triggered when a user successfully completes all steps to start or begin a purchase/product/policy or otherwise purchases a product/subscription plan.||membershipId|
|Core||Purchased||Triggered when the payment has been processed and funds have been transferred.||transactionId|
|Core||Logged In||Triggered when a user logs into their account||id||yes||Server|
|Core||Logged Out||Triggered when a user logs out of their account||id||yes||Server|
|Enhanced||Started Trial||Triggered when a trial is successfully activated||trialStartDate|
|Enhanced||Ended Trial||Triggered when a user cancels their free trial and does not convert to a paid membership||trialStartDate|
|Enhanced||Renewed Membership||Triggered when a user successfully completes a renewal of an existing purchase/product/policy or otherwise purchases another term of their product/subscription/plan.||membershipId|
Snapshots enable you to capture additional event properties each time an event occurs. No need to install custom tracking code on your website.
Once you’ve created the Snapshot, those properties will be captured each time the event fires in the future, so it is important to build a few key Snapshots from the start.
For example, Heap already autocaptures the event when a customer clicks ‘Get Started’. With Snapshots, you can append important properties to that event, such as the plan name, price, term, and more.
Reports & Dashboards
Your Heap account came with a number of Core Reports built in, though there are a few more that we recommend specifically for SaaS companies.
First, we recommend using the Virtualize tools to define new Properties, Events, and Segments based on the business questions you’ve defined in previous sections of this guide. After that, you can our Analysis modules such as Graph, Funnel, and Retention to analyze conversions, retention, marketing results, user behavior, and more. You can easily save your analysis results as a new Report to your personal or shared space, and save multiple Reports together in a single Dashboard.
Below are some of the core reports recommended for SaaS companies.
Graph your Marketing Channel Analysis
Check how your marketing channels are performing by using the Graph module to analyze things like the initial marketing channel for each conversion over a particular time frame.
Conduct Conversion Funnel Analysis
The Funnel analysis module makes it easy to analyze and report on conversion metrics. You can keep it simple and just look at a two-step conversion, or map out an entire conversion funnel.
Predictive Churn Analysis
Get to know your customers via the Users analysis module. Want to know which of your regular users haven’t returned in a while? Make sure you have a Segment based on your definition of an ‘Active User’ and use the User Analysis module to filter out those who have not had a session recently.
Conduct Retention Analysis
Analyze your retention rates using the Retention analysis module. You can compare different segments and adjust timeframes to find answers to pressing business questions.