From B2B to a $500k ARR Subscription App

Item not bookmarked
Resource bookmarked
Bookmarking...
⛏️
Guest Miner:
Sylvain Gauchet
Review star
Review star
Review star
Review star
Review star
💎  x
12

Leon Sasson (Co-founder & CTO at Rise Science) shares the company’s journey from B2B to B2C and shares insights on how to create a great onboarding experience as well as their testing process.

Source:
From B2B to a $500k ARR Subscription App
(no direct link to watch/listen)
(direct link to watch/listen)
Type:
Podcast
Publication date:
May 4, 2021
Added to the Vault on:
May 24, 2021
Invite a guest
These insights were shared through the free Growth Gems newsletter.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
💎 #
1

Even when they were in B2B, they would drive cohorts of users to the app for product development purposes (through Testflight initially). It allowed Rise to get some analytics data as well as talking with actual users about their sleep challenges.

07:27
💎 #
2

If you’re looking to improve your B2B sales practices, go to a SalesForce website and sign up for a demo to see how they follow up.

14:14
💎 #
3

When in B2B, Rise would “coach” players one-on-one, and had to convince them that sleep matters and that Rise solves that problem. They were doing this in small presentations of 10 minutes, that they were always refining. They’ve tried emulating this in the app’s onboarding.

23:31
💎 #
4

The job of the onboarding is never to show people how to use the app. If you need a tutorial, it’s too complicated. People want to know how your product affects their lives and why they should care about it. It’s education and convincing.

24:40
💎 #
5

If your content is good and you’re giving people information that’s relevant to them, fewer screens is not better. Even if it requires more friction, if you create more value for the user then you should do it.

26:34
💎 #
6

Rise nurtures intent throughout onboarding so that even though there is friction, people keep going through. (David, RevenueCat)

30:05
💎 #
7

Testing is key to figure out the product side, but testing by itself is not going to make a great product: you need to talk to users. Way before testing, Rise actually talked to users and got on hundreds of zoom calls where they’d give gift cards: both to get feedback on designs and the app as well as what people have tried to improve sleep.

32:28
💎 #
8

Even if they have a strong opinion on why something might work better than what they have now, they’ll still A/B test (with statistical significance), whether it’s a small change like changing the messaging on the paywall or redesigning the home screen.

34:25
💎 #
9

You need to test the most extreme things, and the things that are fastest to learn. Example: getting users in the free trial the same day you onboard (otherwise it can take you 2 months to learn something).

35:44
💎 #
10

Having counter-metrics is helpful so you don’t move something in one direction that ends up hurting somewhere else. Unfortunately a lot of funnel optimizations end up like that. Example: increasing trials but hurting NPS and long-term retention.

44:40
💎 #
11

Rise talked to people in the space (Calm, Headspace, etc.) to understand their year 1 retention to get some ranges of what the best get in order to estimate LTV.

47:33
💎 #
12

If you don’t have an obvious answer from your A/B test, it probably is not better and should not be rolled out. The exception is if you know that it’s something users want.

48:15
The "gems" from this resource are only available to premium members.
  • Unlock access to gems from over 155 mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Discuss key insights (and any other mobile growth topic) in the members-only community.
Upgrade Your Plan
💎 #
1

Even when they were in B2B, they would drive cohorts of users to the app for product development purposes (through Testflight initially). It allowed Rise to get some analytics data as well as talking with actual users about their sleep challenges.

07:27
💎 #
2

If you’re looking to improve your B2B sales practices, go to a SalesForce website and sign up for a demo to see how they follow up.

14:14
💎 #
3

When in B2B, Rise would “coach” players one-on-one, and had to convince them that sleep matters and that Rise solves that problem. They were doing this in small presentations of 10 minutes, that they were always refining. They’ve tried emulating this in the app’s onboarding.

23:31
💎 #
4

The job of the onboarding is never to show people how to use the app. If you need a tutorial, it’s too complicated. People want to know how your product affects their lives and why they should care about it. It’s education and convincing.

24:40
💎 #
5

If your content is good and you’re giving people information that’s relevant to them, fewer screens is not better. Even if it requires more friction, if you create more value for the user then you should do it.

26:34
💎 #
6

Rise nurtures intent throughout onboarding so that even though there is friction, people keep going through. (David, RevenueCat)

30:05
💎 #
7

Testing is key to figure out the product side, but testing by itself is not going to make a great product: you need to talk to users. Way before testing, Rise actually talked to users and got on hundreds of zoom calls where they’d give gift cards: both to get feedback on designs and the app as well as what people have tried to improve sleep.

32:28
💎 #
8

Even if they have a strong opinion on why something might work better than what they have now, they’ll still A/B test (with statistical significance), whether it’s a small change like changing the messaging on the paywall or redesigning the home screen.

34:25
💎 #
9

You need to test the most extreme things, and the things that are fastest to learn. Example: getting users in the free trial the same day you onboard (otherwise it can take you 2 months to learn something).

35:44
💎 #
10

Having counter-metrics is helpful so you don’t move something in one direction that ends up hurting somewhere else. Unfortunately a lot of funnel optimizations end up like that. Example: increasing trials but hurting NPS and long-term retention.

44:40
💎 #
11

Rise talked to people in the space (Calm, Headspace, etc.) to understand their year 1 retention to get some ranges of what the best get in order to estimate LTV.

47:33
💎 #
12

If you don’t have an obvious answer from your A/B test, it probably is not better and should not be rolled out. The exception is if you know that it’s something users want.

48:15
The "gems" from this resource are only available to premium members.

Gems are the key bite-size insights "mined" from a specific mobile marketing resource, like a webinar, a panel or a podcast.
They allow you to save time by grasping the most important information in a couple of minutes, and also each include the timestamp from the source.

Become a member to:
  • Unlock access to gems from over 155 mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Discuss key insights (and any other mobile growth topic) in the member-only community.
Request Access
💎 #
1

Even when they were in B2B, they would drive cohorts of users to the app for product development purposes (through Testflight initially). It allowed Rise to get some analytics data as well as talking with actual users about their sleep challenges.

07:27
💎 #
2

If you’re looking to improve your B2B sales practices, go to a SalesForce website and sign up for a demo to see how they follow up.

14:14
💎 #
3

When in B2B, Rise would “coach” players one-on-one, and had to convince them that sleep matters and that Rise solves that problem. They were doing this in small presentations of 10 minutes, that they were always refining. They’ve tried emulating this in the app’s onboarding.

23:31
💎 #
4

The job of the onboarding is never to show people how to use the app. If you need a tutorial, it’s too complicated. People want to know how your product affects their lives and why they should care about it. It’s education and convincing.

24:40
💎 #
5

If your content is good and you’re giving people information that’s relevant to them, fewer screens is not better. Even if it requires more friction, if you create more value for the user then you should do it.

26:34
💎 #
6

Rise nurtures intent throughout onboarding so that even though there is friction, people keep going through. (David, RevenueCat)

30:05
💎 #
7

Testing is key to figure out the product side, but testing by itself is not going to make a great product: you need to talk to users. Way before testing, Rise actually talked to users and got on hundreds of zoom calls where they’d give gift cards: both to get feedback on designs and the app as well as what people have tried to improve sleep.

32:28
💎 #
8

Even if they have a strong opinion on why something might work better than what they have now, they’ll still A/B test (with statistical significance), whether it’s a small change like changing the messaging on the paywall or redesigning the home screen.

34:25
💎 #
9

You need to test the most extreme things, and the things that are fastest to learn. Example: getting users in the free trial the same day you onboard (otherwise it can take you 2 months to learn something).

35:44
💎 #
10

Having counter-metrics is helpful so you don’t move something in one direction that ends up hurting somewhere else. Unfortunately a lot of funnel optimizations end up like that. Example: increasing trials but hurting NPS and long-term retention.

44:40
💎 #
11

Rise talked to people in the space (Calm, Headspace, etc.) to understand their year 1 retention to get some ranges of what the best get in order to estimate LTV.

47:33
💎 #
12

If you don’t have an obvious answer from your A/B test, it probably is not better and should not be rolled out. The exception is if you know that it’s something users want.

48:15
The access to discussions on each resource is only available to premium members.

Growth Gems members discuss resources and their key insights (as well as other mobile growth topics) in the community. It's the perfect way to dig deeper, ask questions and get additional perspectives.
Upgrade to premium to:
  • Unlock access to key insights from over 155 mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Discuss key insights (and any other mobile growth topic) in the member-only community.
Upgrade Your Plan
The access to discussions on each resource is only available to premium members.

Growth Gems members discuss resources and their key insights (as well as other mobile growth topics) in the community. It's the perfect way to dig deeper, ask questions and get additional perspectives.
Become a member to:
  • Unlock access to gems from over 155 mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Discuss key insights (and any other mobile growth topic) in the member-only community.
Request Access

You need to be logged in the community to be able to see the discussion below.
You can also head over directly to this topic in the community

Notes for this resource are currently being transferred and will be available soon.

The B2B “start”

When in college, Leon and the other co-founder were always tired. They then started doing a lot of research, reaching out to professors, etc. to learn more about sleep.

They got in touch with some professional athletes (and coaches), for whom sleep is critical. That’s how they initially started the company: it was a software + device solution.

Product was always consumer-friendly (because the end users were NFL players, etc.) but also a lot of the enterprise approach required to sell to companies.

With Covid, they realized there was an opportunity to go B2C and get more people to improve their sleep since people loved their product.

Rise for B2B vs. B2C

Product is roughly the same, except there is no hardware sensor for B2C.

Sometimes in B2B you can be a little less polish, because you can fix things. But when you’re B2C you can’t have that luxury.

[💎@07:27] Even when in B2B, they would drive cohorts of users to the app for product development purposes (through Testflight initially). It allowed Rise to get some analytics data as well as talking with actual users about their sleep challenges. 

If you can have a pre-launch phase like this you can iron out a lot of bugs. You can even do this in other countries.

Now they are full-on consumers even though they have big picture ideas about the sleep/medical field and potentially go back to B2B.

There will always be inbound requests about people at companies that want to buy licenses. If you have a successful consumer product, then the B2B aspect will become much easier.

B2B comes with public bids, RFP, etc. 

[💎@14:14] If you’re looking to improve your B2B sales practices, go to a SalesForce website and sign up for a demo to see how they follow up.

It does require a ton of work to sell to companies.

David - How to deal with smaller companies just wanting 30 licenses of your consumer subscription apps?

Maybe one day Apple will solve for this, even though you can solve for this in other ways.

How to create a great onboarding experience

Onboarding is something critical for Rise.

[💎@23:31] When in B2B, Rise would “coach” players one-on-one, and had to convince them that sleep matters and that Rise solves that problem. They were doing this in small presentations of 10 minutes, that they were always refining. They’ve tried emulating this in the app’s onboarding.

[💎@24:40] The job of the onboarding is never to show people how to use the app. If you need a tutorial, it’s too complicated. People want to know how your product affects their lives and why they should care about it. It’s education and convincing.

Mostly not a believer in best practices, because it’s often about reducing friction. 

[💎@26:34] If your content is good and you’re giving people information that’s relevant to them, fewer screens is not better. Even if it requires more friction, if you create more value for the user then you should do it.

Most of your churn is going to be on Day 1.

David - Rise matches intent with friction. Because there is a strong intent, the app can get away with more friction (the same way fitness apps can).

The best practices sometimes fall short: asking for as little info as possible is not always the best. If it’s useful then it’s worth it.

People not giving you their email in the beginning probably don’t have intent that’s high enough.

David - [💎@30:05] Rise nurtures intent throughout onboarding so that even though there is friction, people keep going through. (David, RevenueCat)

They’ve seen big differences in behavior depending on when people try the app, and try to keep that in mind.

Testing process

[💎@32:28] Testing is key to figure out the product side, but testing by itself is not going to make a great product: you need to talk to users. Way before testing, Rise actually talked to users and got on hundreds of zoom calls where they’d give gift cards: both to get feedback on designs and the app as well as what people have tried to improve sleep.

A/B testing started only once they had a product core that was working well enough.

[💎@34:25] Even if they have a strong opinion on why something might work better than what they have now, they’ll still A/B test (with statistical significance), whether it’s a small change like changing the messaging on the paywall or redesigning the home screen.

[💎@35:44] You need to test the most extreme things, and the things that are fastest to learn. Example: getting users in the free trial the same day you onboard (otherwise it can take you 2 months to learn something).

Testing then becomes second nature.

Testing and the required tooling is owned by product. Leon could have different roles: founder, PM, hooking up the tools, etc. 

Simultaneous experiments

Rise does run simultaneous experiments but they do try to be more thoughtful about how to isolate the tests, by testing different parts of the funnel at different times, etc. But there’s a point at which it’s hard to control for all variables: marketing channels, day of the week, etc.

Jacob - Testing the big things gives you confidence in your results.

Long-term cohort lookback

David - You can pull levers and increase conversions (e.g. free trial) but cause long-term damage.

Sometimes there might be a conflict between what’s best for the business and what’s best for the user. 

For example they killed the monthly subscription, and now they’re thinking about how to add it back: it was used as a long trial, and they want to solve that problem with the product. 

[💎@44:40] Having countermetrics is helpful so you don’t move something in one direction that ends up hurting somewhere else. Unfortunately a lot of funnel optimizations end up like that. Example: increasing trials but hurting NPS and long-term retention.

One of the biggest pain points when trying to figure out pricing is measuring LTV, especially when there are different durations. 

[💎@47:33] Rise talked to people in the space (Calm, Headspace, etc.) to understand their year 1 retention to get some ranges of what the best get in order to estimate LTV.

[💎@48:15] If you don’t have an obvious answer from your A/B test, it probably is not better and should not be rolled out. The exception is if you know that it’s something users want.

Having a hard paywall has been the best way for Rise to get to where they are. But now they’re thinking about what they can do to get into freemium.


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
Upgrade Your Plan

The B2B “start”

When in college, Leon and the other co-founder were always tired. They then started doing a lot of research, reaching out to professors, etc. to learn more about sleep.

They got in touch with some professional athletes (and coaches), for whom sleep is critical. That’s how they initially started the company: it was a software + device solution.

Product was always consumer-friendly (because the end users were NFL players, etc.) but also a lot of the enterprise approach required to sell to companies.

With Covid, they realized there was an opportunity to go B2C and get more people to improve their sleep since people loved their product.

Rise for B2B vs. B2C

Product is roughly the same, except there is no hardware sensor for B2C.

Sometimes in B2B you can be a little less polish, because you can fix things. But when you’re B2C you can’t have that luxury.

[💎@07:27] Even when in B2B, they would drive cohorts of users to the app for product development purposes (through Testflight initially). It allowed Rise to get some analytics data as well as talking with actual users about their sleep challenges. 

If you can have a pre-launch phase like this you can iron out a lot of bugs. You can even do this in other countries.

Now they are full-on consumers even though they have big picture ideas about the sleep/medical field and potentially go back to B2B.

There will always be inbound requests about people at companies that want to buy licenses. If you have a successful consumer product, then the B2B aspect will become much easier.

B2B comes with public bids, RFP, etc. 

[💎@14:14] If you’re looking to improve your B2B sales practices, go to a SalesForce website and sign up for a demo to see how they follow up.

It does require a ton of work to sell to companies.

David - How to deal with smaller companies just wanting 30 licenses of your consumer subscription apps?

Maybe one day Apple will solve for this, even though you can solve for this in other ways.

How to create a great onboarding experience

Onboarding is something critical for Rise.

[💎@23:31] When in B2B, Rise would “coach” players one-on-one, and had to convince them that sleep matters and that Rise solves that problem. They were doing this in small presentations of 10 minutes, that they were always refining. They’ve tried emulating this in the app’s onboarding.

[💎@24:40] The job of the onboarding is never to show people how to use the app. If you need a tutorial, it’s too complicated. People want to know how your product affects their lives and why they should care about it. It’s education and convincing.

Mostly not a believer in best practices, because it’s often about reducing friction. 

[💎@26:34] If your content is good and you’re giving people information that’s relevant to them, fewer screens is not better. Even if it requires more friction, if you create more value for the user then you should do it.

Most of your churn is going to be on Day 1.

David - Rise matches intent with friction. Because there is a strong intent, the app can get away with more friction (the same way fitness apps can).

The best practices sometimes fall short: asking for as little info as possible is not always the best. If it’s useful then it’s worth it.

People not giving you their email in the beginning probably don’t have intent that’s high enough.

David - [💎@30:05] Rise nurtures intent throughout onboarding so that even though there is friction, people keep going through. (David, RevenueCat)

They’ve seen big differences in behavior depending on when people try the app, and try to keep that in mind.

Testing process

[💎@32:28] Testing is key to figure out the product side, but testing by itself is not going to make a great product: you need to talk to users. Way before testing, Rise actually talked to users and got on hundreds of zoom calls where they’d give gift cards: both to get feedback on designs and the app as well as what people have tried to improve sleep.

A/B testing started only once they had a product core that was working well enough.

[💎@34:25] Even if they have a strong opinion on why something might work better than what they have now, they’ll still A/B test (with statistical significance), whether it’s a small change like changing the messaging on the paywall or redesigning the home screen.

[💎@35:44] You need to test the most extreme things, and the things that are fastest to learn. Example: getting users in the free trial the same day you onboard (otherwise it can take you 2 months to learn something).

Testing then becomes second nature.

Testing and the required tooling is owned by product. Leon could have different roles: founder, PM, hooking up the tools, etc. 

Simultaneous experiments

Rise does run simultaneous experiments but they do try to be more thoughtful about how to isolate the tests, by testing different parts of the funnel at different times, etc. But there’s a point at which it’s hard to control for all variables: marketing channels, day of the week, etc.

Jacob - Testing the big things gives you confidence in your results.

Long-term cohort lookback

David - You can pull levers and increase conversions (e.g. free trial) but cause long-term damage.

Sometimes there might be a conflict between what’s best for the business and what’s best for the user. 

For example they killed the monthly subscription, and now they’re thinking about how to add it back: it was used as a long trial, and they want to solve that problem with the product. 

[💎@44:40] Having countermetrics is helpful so you don’t move something in one direction that ends up hurting somewhere else. Unfortunately a lot of funnel optimizations end up like that. Example: increasing trials but hurting NPS and long-term retention.

One of the biggest pain points when trying to figure out pricing is measuring LTV, especially when there are different durations. 

[💎@47:33] Rise talked to people in the space (Calm, Headspace, etc.) to understand their year 1 retention to get some ranges of what the best get in order to estimate LTV.

[💎@48:15] If you don’t have an obvious answer from your A/B test, it probably is not better and should not be rolled out. The exception is if you know that it’s something users want.

Having a hard paywall has been the best way for Rise to get to where they are. But now they’re thinking about what they can do to get into freemium.


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.

The detailed notes taken for a resource are an easy way to see the gems in context to get a better understanding. They also include any relevant visuals from the source.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
Request Access

The B2B “start”

When in college, Leon and the other co-founder were always tired. They then started doing a lot of research, reaching out to professors, etc. to learn more about sleep.

They got in touch with some professional athletes (and coaches), for whom sleep is critical. That’s how they initially started the company: it was a software + device solution.

Product was always consumer-friendly (because the end users were NFL players, etc.) but also a lot of the enterprise approach required to sell to companies.

With Covid, they realized there was an opportunity to go B2C and get more people to improve their sleep since people loved their product.

Rise for B2B vs. B2C

Product is roughly the same, except there is no hardware sensor for B2C.

Sometimes in B2B you can be a little less polish, because you can fix things. But when you’re B2C you can’t have that luxury.

[💎@07:27] Even when in B2B, they would drive cohorts of users to the app for product development purposes (through Testflight initially). It allowed Rise to get some analytics data as well as talking with actual users about their sleep challenges. 

If you can have a pre-launch phase like this you can iron out a lot of bugs. You can even do this in other countries.

Now they are full-on consumers even though they have big picture ideas about the sleep/medical field and potentially go back to B2B.

There will always be inbound requests about people at companies that want to buy licenses. If you have a successful consumer product, then the B2B aspect will become much easier.

B2B comes with public bids, RFP, etc. 

[💎@14:14] If you’re looking to improve your B2B sales practices, go to a SalesForce website and sign up for a demo to see how they follow up.

It does require a ton of work to sell to companies.

David - How to deal with smaller companies just wanting 30 licenses of your consumer subscription apps?

Maybe one day Apple will solve for this, even though you can solve for this in other ways.

How to create a great onboarding experience

Onboarding is something critical for Rise.

[💎@23:31] When in B2B, Rise would “coach” players one-on-one, and had to convince them that sleep matters and that Rise solves that problem. They were doing this in small presentations of 10 minutes, that they were always refining. They’ve tried emulating this in the app’s onboarding.

[💎@24:40] The job of the onboarding is never to show people how to use the app. If you need a tutorial, it’s too complicated. People want to know how your product affects their lives and why they should care about it. It’s education and convincing.

Mostly not a believer in best practices, because it’s often about reducing friction. 

[💎@26:34] If your content is good and you’re giving people information that’s relevant to them, fewer screens is not better. Even if it requires more friction, if you create more value for the user then you should do it.

Most of your churn is going to be on Day 1.

David - Rise matches intent with friction. Because there is a strong intent, the app can get away with more friction (the same way fitness apps can).

The best practices sometimes fall short: asking for as little info as possible is not always the best. If it’s useful then it’s worth it.

People not giving you their email in the beginning probably don’t have intent that’s high enough.

David - [💎@30:05] Rise nurtures intent throughout onboarding so that even though there is friction, people keep going through. (David, RevenueCat)

They’ve seen big differences in behavior depending on when people try the app, and try to keep that in mind.

Testing process

[💎@32:28] Testing is key to figure out the product side, but testing by itself is not going to make a great product: you need to talk to users. Way before testing, Rise actually talked to users and got on hundreds of zoom calls where they’d give gift cards: both to get feedback on designs and the app as well as what people have tried to improve sleep.

A/B testing started only once they had a product core that was working well enough.

[💎@34:25] Even if they have a strong opinion on why something might work better than what they have now, they’ll still A/B test (with statistical significance), whether it’s a small change like changing the messaging on the paywall or redesigning the home screen.

[💎@35:44] You need to test the most extreme things, and the things that are fastest to learn. Example: getting users in the free trial the same day you onboard (otherwise it can take you 2 months to learn something).

Testing then becomes second nature.

Testing and the required tooling is owned by product. Leon could have different roles: founder, PM, hooking up the tools, etc. 

Simultaneous experiments

Rise does run simultaneous experiments but they do try to be more thoughtful about how to isolate the tests, by testing different parts of the funnel at different times, etc. But there’s a point at which it’s hard to control for all variables: marketing channels, day of the week, etc.

Jacob - Testing the big things gives you confidence in your results.

Long-term cohort lookback

David - You can pull levers and increase conversions (e.g. free trial) but cause long-term damage.

Sometimes there might be a conflict between what’s best for the business and what’s best for the user. 

For example they killed the monthly subscription, and now they’re thinking about how to add it back: it was used as a long trial, and they want to solve that problem with the product. 

[💎@44:40] Having countermetrics is helpful so you don’t move something in one direction that ends up hurting somewhere else. Unfortunately a lot of funnel optimizations end up like that. Example: increasing trials but hurting NPS and long-term retention.

One of the biggest pain points when trying to figure out pricing is measuring LTV, especially when there are different durations. 

[💎@47:33] Rise talked to people in the space (Calm, Headspace, etc.) to understand their year 1 retention to get some ranges of what the best get in order to estimate LTV.

[💎@48:15] If you don’t have an obvious answer from your A/B test, it probably is not better and should not be rolled out. The exception is if you know that it’s something users want.

Having a hard paywall has been the best way for Rise to get to where they are. But now they’re thinking about what they can do to get into freemium.