We look at a lot of companies, and more specifically, a LOT of SaaS websites in order to benchmark design patterns and infer what's at the bleeding edge of design in business. When you use Spark you're essentially getting an abstracted set of UI patterns and free landing pages to build with that are based on our ongoing research and benchmarks of B2B SaaS businesses. We've decided to start including our top picks and would love to hear from you on which SaaS sites are your favorite (and why).
Before we dive in, here are some of the key patterns we identified:
- Putting "you" at the center of it all. All but one of the examples use personal language to connect the pain point with the user directly. Lola was the only company that explicitly did not.
- Asking for email vs booking a demo. It's expensive to drive eyeballs to your business. Getting a user's email gives you the chance to educate and nurture even if they abandon. We thought 100% of companies would do this, but it's closer to 50%. My guess here is that the higher priced solutions may intentionally add some light friction as a way to further qualify leads, though I'm not 100% sure.
- Humans are out, illustrations are in. The vast majority of companies are opting for illustrations, with the exception of Drift, which is split testing photos of their employees to see who performs best.
- Lots of social proof. Every single website is using some form of social proof to credentialize themselves and build trust with users. All but two of the sites we feature below are showing customer logos. Basecamp and Crazy egg do it a bit differently, with copy like "3,055 businesses signed up last week to get results like these…" and "Over 300,000 websites use Crazy Egg to improve what's working, fix what isn't and test new ideas."
Slack has kept their language super simple from inception. As they've scaled the value prop has evolved to be more encompassing of how people think about and use their product. Given slack is a no-touch freemium product, asking for the email up front here makes a ton of sense to us. Less obvious at first is the multi-purpose benefit of all the icons in the background that flex the versatility and connectedness of Slack with the rest of the internet's top tools, but also the confetti-like playfulness that we've come to expect from the Slack brand while keeping things simple. Visit slack.
Helpscout does a great job of connecting their copy with reinforcing visuals that make me want to see how they do it. They also win the sidecar prize for least annoying GDPR notification. Visit Helpscout.
Basecamp is bold. They have always been, and this homepage is a case study in knowing who your customer is and speaking very directly to them through powerful copy and imagery. As a low touch, low priced product they are also aggressive in pushing users to evaluate the product immediately. Visit Basecamp.
Simple, modern, intentional. Even as a premium priced product, it's a low-touch offering, making email capture key for nurturing and driving product evaluations. Beyond that, we love that they invested in visual assets that educate users on the "experience layer" since it may not be clear what that is at first glance (they are going for category ownership from what I can tell). Visit Appcues.
Again, we see simplicity and reinforcing visuals. Fast and visual is cool, but they know that the problem they're solving is helping me get user insights, and they are smart to emphasize that. When in doubt, emphasize. They also did this by clarifying who Hotjar is for: marketers, product managers, and UX designers. I think not having email capture is a missed opportunity in their case, they should test it. Visit Hotjar.
Segment gets the basics right. It has a simple and clear value prop and email capture like we'd expect, but it crushes it at visualizing the product and immediately connecting the dots for users. The site isn't full of custom visualizations, and that's probably not necessary given their hero visual says a thousand words. Visit Segment.
Lola has clear and simple messaging and uses illustrations to represent their corporate travel end user. Of all the sites we included, they were the only one that didn't use personal language. I also think they've done a good job of using design to project an aura of fun and pleasantness around what can be otherwise grueling. It looks like their strategy is top down (e.g. company creates account, then pushes to employees), but it would be super interesting to see if/how they're thinking about bottom up growth by providing value to the end users first who then push the organization to get on board. Anyways, I digress. Visit Lola.
There is a lot of data, time, and history behind getting this landing page to where it is. Their hero copy is about as good as it gets. It's super clear and offers to do something that no one would say no to, instantly. As if that's not enough, they disarm me by telling me more than 300,000 websites have already beat me to the punch and made sure it works. The CTA is also uniquely interesting, instead of the usual "get started free" or "signup", they opt for something tangible and valuable, "show me my Heatmap". I love it. I have different thoughts about the signup process itself, but this homepage to me is excellent. Visit CrazyEgg.
They say your best assets are your people. Drift is taking that literally, using photos of their employees to make the drift experience a very personal and connected one. It's smart, and its counter to most of the other sites we've listed who have opted for illustrations over humans. Not surprisingly, they don't hav ea form on their homepage, but there is a chatbot :-). Visit Drift.
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