If you’re a SaaS company, there’s a lot riding on the success of your product. Having great software is obviously important, but so is having a marketing website that gets people excited about your product and sets them on the course to becoming customers. 

User experience (UX) design and conversion rate optimization (CRO) are essential for creating website experiences that not only create enjoyable experiences, but help companies hit their business goals. 

We recently sat down with Natalie Thomas, Director for CRO and UX Strategy at digital agency The Good, to learn more about the symbiosis between UX and CRO, and what SaaS companies can do to better meet the needs of their users. 

3 quick UX wins SaaS companies can implement to improve UX and CRO

During our chat, Natalie emphasized that taking a user-centered approach, following the ROPES framework, and delivering consistent messaging were the main pillars of the product development process. Let’s explore in more detail.

Embedded video

Focus on your users

A big part of knowing who your users are is finding out where they’re coming from. Is most of your traffic coming from paid ads or through organic search results? Are users visiting from mobile or desktop devices? What pages are they landing on? Natalie advises that having this contextual awareness can help you highlight what messaging to display on these key landing pages.

“Staying focused on users’ wants, needs, and what they’re hoping to accomplish will help you understand how to serve them in a way that actually helps them.”

Looking at how your visitors engage with your site can also tell you a lot about what might be standing in their way in terms of converting. At The Good, they use a variety of methods to analyze how users interact with their clients’ websites, like screen recordings, observational analyses, heatmaps, and usability testing.

It’s not uncommon for them to also gather net promoter scores and monitor social media platforms like Reddit to gauge user sentiment and perceptions. Natalie’s team collects both qualitative and quantitative data to evaluate how users interact with and feel about their clients’ websites, and come up with CRO UX design roadmaps to improve them. 

Natalie recommends validating each stage of your roadmap to ensure that everything is working, meets your objectives, and makes a positive impact on UX and CRO. 

At The Good, she describes their process as follows: “We validate every optimization on the roadmap and work with our clients to leverage each strategy through A/B testing or usability testing using Lyssna.”

SaaS UX for CRO: Follow the ROPES

UX tips for SaaS companies to improve CRO

The ROPES framework offers a formal process to enhance UX and CRO at each step of a customer’s experience. ROPES stands for registration, onboarding, product, evangelization, and save (which is often referred to as a ‘win back’). 

“ROPES helps you consider all the goals you have for your users and the important moments in their journey, setting you up for success from the beginning.”

Natalie recommends ROPES as a way to identify success milestones and better tailor UX and CRO efforts. Speaking to its benefits, she says, “What it does is help you think about all of the goals you have for users through the important moments in their journeys. Using the ROPES framework sets you up for success right from the beginning.”


SaaS companies depend on turning interested visitors into registered customers. A simple and quick registration process leads to better outcomes.

Registration encompasses everything from the individual steps of signing up, to how you organize different input fields. Natalie stresses the importance of measuring engagement, like the number of forms that users start to fill out but abandon versus those that are completed. Drop-offs will indicate if there’s room for improvement.


After registration comes onboarding. Natalie recommends creating a personalized onboarding experience that gives your users clear information about your product features and how to use them. 

At this stage, it’s important to see how engaged users are and to track how they’re navigating your product as they figure out how it works. 


The product stage focuses on engagement. Health metrics like user counts, the frequency of visits, and other analytics show if anything needs improving. Natalie suggests that lagging product engagement can be remedied by reaching out to users via email nudges or push notifications.


For most digital products, this generally involves users sharing work they’ve created using your product. Evangelization can also come from your end, by sending promo codes or other types of offers to get people to try out your product.


“Cancellation metrics are things like how many people initiate the cancellation process. There are creative ways to gain win-backs that are easy to measure.”

The effort you put into landing new customers can be wasted if you can’t keep them. The final stage of ROPES focuses on keeping your customers happy and encouraging them to return. Analyzing why people leave, launching campaigns aimed at retaining users, and offering incentives for staying on board are all ways you can use to help address this issue.

Keep messaging consistent 

CRO UX design aims to create smooth experiences by guiding users step-by-step through the actions you want them to take, so it’s important to be consistent in both the voice and logic your messaging follows. 

As Natalie explains, “Plenty of research shows that using consistent messaging around key calls to action during specific upgrade moments in the user lifecycle can help users understand their current position, identify any limitations in product features, and navigate their journey towards unlocking new possibilities."

Elevate your research practice

Join over 320,000+ marketers, designers, researchers, and product leaders who use Lyssna to make data-driven decisions.

How to ensure the success of your SaaS UX and CRO strategy

"Build consistency, especially when it comes to research. It’s easy for teams to look at recent research and think, ‘we’ve already done that,’ but then see on paper that it was two years ago. Don’t get tired of understanding your users.”

Natalie speaks to the importance of staying on top of your user research. You may not have the time or effort to launch in-depth campaigns, but doing ongoing user research can include things like doing health checks, lookbacks, or other less intensive efforts quarterly or semi-quarterly to help you determine the success of your product with your audience. 

Below, we explore some of these strategies.

Embedded video

Health checks

Health checks can encompass generative and evaluative research, but anything you do on a regular basis to understand how folks are behaving and what problems they might be experiencing can gauge how your product is tracking. 

Natalie also advises tapping into the experiences of first-time users. “Just watching someone who has never used your product before and seeing what questions they have can be a great low-effort to high-value way to understand how new users see your site,” she shares


Lookback sessions collect qualitative data like screen recordings, user interviews, and other information. In a lookback session, you analyze these observations, identify any patterns or trends, and use these insights to come up with strategies for improvements.

UX tips for SaaS companies to improve CRO

Natalie recommends creating a dashboard to track what you optimize as the result of prior lookbacks. This way, you can keep track of what’s been successful and make sure this information doesn’t get lost. 

SaaS-specific UX metrics you can use to monitor CRO

Natalie makes a great point about metrics being multi-faceted. Depending on your product or brand, key metrics can vary.

“We say a good conversion rate is one that’s always improving. There are some caveats to that, but I think just understanding that there are lots of pushing and pulling factors on any metric is a good place to start.”

Natalie brings up Canva as an example with very specific metrics. Analytics like how many new users create a design, whether or not they used a template, and whether they shared or downloaded their work are some of the most important analytics they potentially keep their eyes on. 

Natalie also suggests, “We need data to make decisions, so measure the changes on your site, for example through A/B testing, and evaluate and validate every idea before changing your product.”

Regularly refresh UX and CRO for SaaS success

“Don’t get complacent. Make sure that you’re re-upping research regularly. As you unearth the challenges that your users have, be open to fresh ideas and perspectives.”

It’s important to remember that the sphere of SaaS is ever-evolving, and CRO UX design strategies need to keep up. Staying in touch with how your users feel about your product and interact with it will give you the insights you need to keep up with shifts in user expectations and needs. 

“I think the biggest mistake a SaaS company can make when implementing changes is to not measure them. Blind faith in coming up with an idea and changing something on your product just doesn’t work anymore,” says Natalie.

UX and CRO should never be based on guesswork. At The Good, they use Lyssna, as well as screen recordings, A/B testing, heatmaps, and other tests, to continuously understand user behavior. 

Your go-to user research platform

The best teams use Lyssna so they can deeply understand their audience and move in the right direction — faster.


Jeff Cardello is a freelance writer who loves all things tech and design. Outside of being a word nerd, he enjoys playing bass guitar, riding his bike long distances, and recently started learning about data science and how to code with Python.

You may also like these articles

Try for free today

Join over 320,000+ marketers, designers, researchers, and product leaders who use Lyssna to make data-driven decisions.

No credit card required