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Elena Verna, SVP of Growth at Survey Monkey, was at StartCon and spoke extensively about what drives growth at Survey Monkey and provided key insights into startups operating on a SaaS based model with a freemium tier. In particular, Elena highlighted:

  • Understand the levers relevant to growth in your business. Most SaaS companies have three levers that they can pull on. These are:

1. Number of paid users/subscribers
2. Average revenue per user
3. Retention

Pulling on any of these levers can have a positive effect on revenue, but one may be better for your business than another. For example, if you are able to acquire users relatively easy but find retention is low then you should first focus your attention on improving loyalty to your product.

  • Survey Monkey have a stated goal to fail more than 50% of their growth tests. They believe in this because if you have a hypothesis and it fails then your team will learn something new. According to Elena, these learnings are crucial for your team to be able to continually form new hypotheses that drive the business forward.
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