Hello fellow product person! 👋 Let's start a new trend! Let's show each other how we dogfood our own products.
One of the best things you can do to understand the users of your product is to be a user yourself. Use your product! As much as possible. If you aren't a power user of your product, how can you expect others to be?
To understand your users, be a user 🔑
As a user of many other SaaS products, I love learning about how the founders of those products are dogfooding them. What are they using them for? I want all the little tips and tricks.
That's why I decided to write this post about how we use Reform at Reform.
If you want to write your own dogfooding blog post, please link to this one and I'll link to yours as well.
Okay, let's go!
#1 We welcome new users with an onboarding survey
Every time someone signs up for Reform, they are greeted with our onboarding survey (which is obviously powered by Reform).
What's the goal of the survey?
Two things: First of all, we try to better understand why people are coming to Reform. Or said differently, what job they are hoping to hire Reform to do. Secondly, we want to know how they heard about Reform. That helps with marketing a lot, but it also helps to better understand new users when we correlate those answers, eg. people coming from X wants to use Reform for Y.
By the way, we make it clear that the survey is optional, but a large majority of new users take the time to fill it out.
#2 We send out a "what's holding you back" email to inactive users
One of the worst things I know is when someone signs up for Reform and does nothing. I want to know what happened! How come they never published a form? Did we screw up somehow? That's why we're sending out our "what's holding you back survey" to everyone who doesn't publish a form.
At this point, users have most likely ditched Reform and might have even forgot about it. That's why we make it really low friction to get back to us.
The email makes it clear that getting back to us "helps us out a ton" and then presents a list of options, each linking to the same reform with the selected option pre-selected (using Reform's pre-population feature). Once they land on the reform, they can elaborate or simply just submit the form.
A lot of these come back as "I didn't have an immediate use case", which means we probably didn't screw up too bad. Phew! 😅
#3 We ask users what features they are missing
The most common type of support tickets for Reform is feature requests. And eventually we realized that it would be better to try to collect these requests in a more structured manner. That's what forms are for!
Everywhere in the Reform UI, right in the sidebar, is a link that says "Request a feature". This link sends people to our "Missing a feature?" form so they can share their feature request.
One important thing we do is asking what their current workaround is. This question is super interesting and gives a good indication about how desperate they are for the feature.
#4 We let users join waitlists for upcoming features
One of my favorite product development hacks is to throw in waitlists for upcoming features in your product. It's the perfect way to gauge interest for what you're planning to build - before building it.
Guess what? If no one joins the waitlist, you probably don't need to build that feature. However, if a bunch of people do, they'll be thrilled when you email them to share that the feature is now live.
We pre-populate the user's email so they literally just have to click the "Join the waitlist" button. Very low friction!
#5 We launched Reform with a reform
When we had the idea for Reform, we didn't start by building a form builder. We started by desiging a form. Our early access form!
That was all we needed to see if people were interested in the product and it worked really well.
One thing we did (h/t Derrick Reimer of SavvyCal) was to ask why people were signing up. We listed three options:
- I just want to follow the journey
- I'm a potential customer and would pay for this
- Shut up and take my money
With an enagaged podcast listener base and a few thousand followers on Twitter, this helped me understand why people were signing up. It's easy to get fooled when you have a lot of followers who are naturally interested in following your new projects! This helped to add some context around who was signing up and why.
Those are the main ways we use Reform at Reform. As mentioned, I would love it if other product people wrote a similar post about their own products. If you do, please share it with me!
Thanks for reading along! 🙏
Other people's "How X uses X" posts
Ping me to get yours added!