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Understanding Success Signals: How to Effectively Track Them

Gaining traction can be quite a challenge for SaaS business owners. You’ve put in the hard work to get your product out there, but simply getting noticed isn’t enough. Once you’ve attracted users, the next step is achieving true success, which can only be accomplished by accurately measuring the signals of success.

The more signals you can identify, the easier it becomes to analyze and understand what truly makes your product successful. Armed with this knowledge, you can continuously optimize your efforts to ensure those signals stay high.

success signals

In this eye-opening post, we’ll delve into the world of success signals and share invaluable tips on how to effectively track them for your SaaS business. Get ready to elevate your game!

Why are the Success Signals important for UX?

success signals

  • Success signals play a crucial role in user experience (UX) design as they reveal how users interact with a product. For instance, if users repeatedly navigate to a specific feature in your SaaS solution, that’s a success signal indicating a well-designed and valuable aspect of your product.
  • These metrics also help define user satisfaction. For example, suppose the frequency of user logins or the time spent using your software increases over time. In that case, these are success signals showing that your users are finding value in your product, leading to enhanced user satisfaction.
  • Success signals can guide the enhancement and improvement of the product. Suppose analysis of success signals shows that a particular tool within your software suite is rarely used. In that case, this information can guide your development team towards improving that tool or replacing it with something more useful.
  • Lastly, tracking success signals impacts your bottom line. By understanding what features drive success, you can focus your marketing efforts on these areas, attracting more users, increasing retention, and ultimately driving revenue growth. For example, suppose a specific feature of your software significantly reduces the time it takes for a user to complete a task. In that case, that’s a selling point you can highlight in your marketing campaigns.

How do we Track the Success Signals?

success signals

  • Utilize Analytical Tools: Tools like Google Analytics, Mixpanel, or Amplitude can be invaluable for monitoring user behavior. These platforms track and analyze user interactions with your product, providing insights into which features are most used and valued.
  • Leverage User Surveys: Surveys give you direct feedback from your users. Ask your users how they interact with your product and which features they find most useful. This can provide qualitative data to supplement the quantitative data from your analytics tools.
  • Implement Heatmaps: Heatmaps offer a visual representation of where users click, scroll, or hover on your platform. Tools like Crazy Egg or Hotjar can help you understand which areas of your product are getting the most attention.
  • Conduct User Interviews: One-on-one user interviews provide an in-depth understanding of user behavior. Ask your users about their experiences, what they like about your product, and what they feel could be improved.
  • Monitor Social Media: Social media platforms are a rich source of unsolicited feedback. Users often share their experiences, both positive and negative, on these platforms. Tools like Hootsuite or Social Mention can help you monitor social media for mentions of your product.
  • Track User Retention and Churn Rates: Keep track of how many users continue to use your product over time, as well as the rate at which users stop using it. This can provide valuable insights into which features or aspects of your product are keeping users engaged.
  • Analyze Customer Support Interactions: Take note of any common issues or requests that come through your customer support channels. This can indicate areas of your product that may need improvement or additional features.

4 Success Signals Strategies

success signals

Understanding Success Signals

success signals

Success signals are indications of how users genuinely perceive your product. These could be measured in a variety of ways, depending on the unique metrics that are relevant to your business goals. For example, success signals for an e-commerce store might look like a steady increase in sales or an uptick in the number of product reviews.

For a SaaS product, success signals could include trial sign-ups, user engagement metrics, churn rate, and revenue growth, among others. It’s essential to identify those signals that are directly connected to your business goals and keep track of them over time to know how your product is performing.

Tracking Success Signals

success signals

Once you identify your success signals, the next step is to track them effectively. At a basic level, you could start by manually tracking signals, which might be daunting, but it’s a way to get started.

Alternatively, you could make use of software tools designed to help you automate the process, such as Google Analytics, Mixpanel, or Kissmetrics. These tools act like your virtual assistant and help you measure and analyze user behavior, which can provide valuable insight into what drives user behavior.

Benchmarking Success Signals

success signals

Benchmarking is an essential practice that helps you to identify what success means in your business environment and set targets for improvement. By identifying industry benchmarks, you can measure your success signals against a particular set of standards.

For instance, if you’re in the e-commerce business, you might benchmark against conversion rate, cart abandonment, and average order value.

Acting on Success Signals

When you successfully capture and track success signals, the next step is to act on them. Use the data gathered to inform new product features, improve user onboarding, or anticipate how users might be impacted by changes in pricing.

success signals

Continuously analyzing your success signals, testing new ideas, and tweaking strategies based on what is working and what’s not will help you sustain the success of your product over time.


What is the Goals-Signals-Metrics process?

  • The Goals-Signals-Metrics (GSM) process is a systematic approach for measuring product success and driving growth. It involves defining key objectives, identifying signals that indicate progress towards these objectives, and then quantifying these signals into measurable metrics.
  • For instance, let’s say a goal for an online retail store might be to increase customer engagement. The signals could be the number of users interacting with the website via reviews, questions, or social shares. The metric would then be the total number of these interactions per visitor or per visit.
  • Another example could be a goal for a music streaming app to boost user retention. The signals might be the number of songs played per user, playlists created, and shared. The metrics could then be the average number of songs played per user per day, the percentage of users creating playlists, and the average number of shares per user.
  • A crucial aspect of the GSM process is the continuous monitoring and analysis of these metrics and the use of the insights derived to drive strategy and make informed decisions about the product. This can help organizations stay agile, responsive, and customer-focused in their approach to product development and improvement.

How can I track the progress of my Goals-Signals-Metrics?

  • One of the common ways to track the progress of your Goals-Signals-Metrics (GSM) is to use a dashboard. This tool can be custom-built or part of a software package like Google Analytics or Tableau. The dashboard will allow you to visualize your metrics in real time, providing a clear picture of your progress. For example, if your goal is to boost sales on your e-commerce site, you could set up a dashboard to display your average daily sales or the number of new customers per week.
  • Set up regular review meetings with your team to go over these metrics. By regularly discussing and evaluating the data, you can make adjustments as necessary and keep everyone focused on the goals. For instance, if your goal is to increase the number of downloads of your mobile app, and the metrics show a downturn, a team meeting could brainstorm new marketing strategies or app improvements.
  • Make good use of automation tools for tracking and reporting. Tools such as Google Data Studio or Klipfolio can automate the gathering and visualization of data, making it easier to monitor progress. For example, if you’re a SaaS company looking to improve user retention, these tools could automatically pull data on user login frequency and display it in an easy-to-read format.
  • Lastly, keep a historical record of your metrics. This will allow you to compare your current performance against past performance and assess whether you’re moving towards your goals. For example, if your goal is to increase visitor engagement on your blog, keeping a record of past metrics like average session duration and pages per session will allow you to see if your current strategies are driving improvement.

What are the benefits of using the Goals-Signals-Metrics process?

  • Enhanced Focus: The Goals-Signals-Metrics process keeps teams focused on the end results. For instance, if your goal is to grow your email subscriber base, the process reminds the team to concentrate on tactics that drive subscriptions, such as optimizing sign-up forms or creating compelling lead magnets.
  • Improved Decision Making: By clearly outlining the signals and metrics, this process helps businesses to make data-informed decisions. For example, if your goal is to decrease shopping cart abandonment, understanding the signals (like high page load time) and tracking the right metrics (abandonment rate) can guide improvement strategies.
  • Greater Accountability: This process encourages accountability among team members. Suppose a goal is to boost social media engagement. In that case, individual responsibilities can be tied to specific metrics like post shares or comments, ensuring everyone understands their role in achieving the goal.
  • Long-Term Planning Assistance: The Goals-Signals-Metrics process enables businesses to track progress over time, assisting in long-term planning. For instance, if your goal is to increase annual revenue, tracking monthly sales data can indicate seasonal trends, which can inform future strategies.
  • Increased Efficiency: Automation of data gathering and visualization in this process can save time and increase efficiency. As an example, if your SaaS company’s goal is customer retention, automated tools can quickly provide data on customer churn, allowing your team to respond swiftly and effectively.

How can I determine which goals, signals, and metrics are most important for my project?

  • Identify Core Objectives: Your goals, signals, and metrics should align with your project’s core objectives. For instance, if your project’s primary goal is to increase brand awareness, key signals might be social media engagement, and essential metrics could be the number of new followers or shares.
  • Understand Your Audience: Knowing your target audience can guide your selection. If your project is aimed at a younger demographic, metrics related to social media engagement, like likes, shares, or comments, could be crucial.
  • Consider Industry Standards: Look at standard metrics tracked in your industry. If you’re in e-commerce, for instance, you might focus on metrics like cart abandonment rate, average order value, or customer lifetime value.
  • Assess Resources and Capabilities: The resources and data analytics capabilities at your disposal can influence your decision. For example, suppose you have sophisticated data-tracking tools. In that case, you might choose more complex metrics, like customer acquisition cost or return on advertising spend.
  • Periodic Review and Adjustment: Goals, signals, and metrics are not static and should be reviewed periodically. For example, suppose your initial goal was to increase website traffic, but you’re now receiving ample traffic with low conversion. In that case, your new goal might be to improve conversion rates, which would require new metrics.

What strategies can I use to ensure my Goals-Signals-Metrics are effective?

  • Consistent Monitoring: Regularly track and analyze your metrics to spot trends and adjust strategies as needed. For example, suppose you notice a sudden drop in your website’s Average Time on Page metric. In that case, this may indicate a need to improve your content’s relevancy and engagement.
  • Goal Alignment: Ensure your metrics align with your broader business goals. For instance, if your overall business aim is to increase sales, your metrics should reflect this, tracking elements such as conversion rates or average order value.
  • Use Benchmarks: Use industry benchmarks to understand where you stand compared to competitors and to set realistic targets. If you’re in the digital marketing industry, and the average email open rate is around 20%, use this as a benchmark for your email marketing campaigns.
  • Education and Training: Make sure your team understands the metrics being used, why they’re essential, and how to interpret them. For example, suppose Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is a crucial metric. In that case, your marketing team should understand the factors that influence this number and strategies to optimize it.
  • Use of Technology: Leverage data analytics tools to automate tracking and provide insights. If bounce rate is a crucial metric for your website, using a tool like Google Analytics can provide real-time data and insights on what could be causing high bounce rates.


Tracking success signals is not a one-time effort but an ongoing process. As a SaaS owner, it’s crucial to stay in the loop with market trends, as well as the latest tools and strategies that can help you keep an eagle eye on your success signals.

By doing so, you can optimize your product performance and drive substantial revenue growth. Remember, the more you stay attuned to your success signals, the greater your chances of achieving long-term success. Let’s reach for the stars! 🚀✨

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