“Converted” A Field Guide for Experimentation in Product-Led-Growth


In an increasingly digitized world, companies are often lost at sea when it comes to making sense of the mountain of data available to them. Neil Hoyne’s ‘Converted’ comes to the rescue, providing an invaluable compass for navigating this challenging terrain. I first met Neil when I was working on some customer education initiatives at WordPress.com. Though our planned project never came to fruition, I was fortunate to have learned from every interaction I had with him, and through his content.

‘Converted’: The Perfect Field Guide

“Converted” is more than a business book. It’s an essential guide for those operating in the sphere of product-led-growth (PLG). For the uninitiated, PLG is a growth philosophy in which organizations align on the idea that the product itself drives user acquisition, conversion, and… growth. As a key strategy for SaaS companies, PLG requires mastering the art of understanding and utilizing data effectively.One of the most impressive things about Neil, is his ability to translate complex experiments and concepts in snackable bits of actionable information. He employs his extensive experience to demystify this process, presenting a clear, comprehensive guide to help businesses drive customer lifetime value. I literally keep the book on my desk and reference it when I’m doing product tear downs, mocking up new concepts, reviewing designs, or even writing copy.

Praise for ‘Converted’

The industry is abuzz with acclaim for ‘Converted’. Nir Eyal, author of ‘Hooked’ and Indistractable described ‘Converted’ as

“an indispensable guide for anyone selling online,”

setting it apart from the sea of material on growth hacks.

Wesley Chan, Managing Director at Felicis Ventures, offered his endorsement too, asserting,

“Every person working in commerce or marketing should read this book.”

Powerful Insights from ‘Converted’

“Converted” equips readers with several key insights. One significant takeaway is recognizing and acting on customer signals. Neil provides a roadmap for discerning valuable data from noise and leveraging it to enhance product growth. For instance, he mentions how customer behavior on a website – the pages they visit, the products they view – can indicate their preferences and likelihood to convert.I also appreciate how Neil gives real examples of how to find synergy with qualitative and quantitative data. This is a concept that a lot of companies talk about, and a lot of employers look for, but that (in my experience) very few people are good at. Numbers only tell part of the story; understanding why customers behave the way they do is equally crucial. Neil suggests using tools like user surveys or interviews to get this qualitative data, which, when paired with the quantitative, leads to robust optimization strategies. He does a fantastic job of explaining how the qualitative data can direct your data finding and how to validate the hypotheses you have without spending ridiculous amounts of time on low-impact experiments.

‘Converted’ and SaaS PLG

SaaS companies can benefit immensely from the book’s insights. ‘Converted’ offers a nuanced understanding of experimentation and optimization in a PLG framework. Neil advocates for regular experimentation on value propositions, which in the context of a SaaS company might mean performing A/B tests on various product features, creating different landing pages to gauge user response, or conducting surveys for direct customer feedback.Neil also emphasizes the importance of continual optimization. In a SaaS context, this involves refining products based on user feedback and data insights. It’s about fostering a culture where learning and improving is a perpetual journey, not a destination.Product experimentation, though critical for growth, can be daunting. Each experiment is a gamble, risking time, resources, and sometimes even customer trust. Here, ‘Converted’ offers invaluable guidance. Neil’s book becomes a blueprint for devising effective experiments, interpreting their results, and iteratively learning from them to improve the product and the business. As Neil succinctly puts it in the book, “Conversion isn’t a moment. It’s a journey.” If you’re on this journey, navigating the terrain of SaaS or working in product-led growth, consider “Converted” your reliable guide, a compass to help you convert users into lifetime customers. And remember, it’s not just about gaining customers; it’s about understanding them, serving them better, and, ultimately, growing together with them.

I highly recommend picking up a copy for you and your team.

If you’re really excited about these concepts, check out this interview with Neil and Chris Do from The Futur

I’ll probably write more things and you might just want to read those too.

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