Making Mattermark More Self-Service: Shorter Free Trials, No More Auto-Charging, Better Management of Plans & Payment Info + Internal Tools

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As we head into 2014 we’ve been doing a lot of analysis on things that are working and things that can be improved in Mattermark. It’s fun and exciting to work on brand new features, but some of the other aspects of how we work with customers deserves care and attention, too. With this in mind, we’ve given our own tools a tune up with some changes to the signup process and account management tools.

Self-service account management tools. It’s kind of amazing we “got away with” not offering customers a way to change their plans and payment information in a self-service way for the first 18 months. Customers can now navigate to “Account Settings” within their Mattermark account and make changes whenever they wish:

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Internal management tools for customer success. We want to enable customers to self-serve when they want to, but also know the importance of offering white glove assistance when it counts. Investing in tools to help us stay organized and automated is crucial to running a lean customer success team that nurtures existing customers, drives up-sells and protects against churn. Reps can now manage plans and trials from our internal dashboard, without needing access to Stripe or the production database.

Free trials are reduced to 15 days. Since launching in June 2013 we went with a standard 30 day free trial period, but have found this leads to an annoying month effect in our sales metrics and rep’s pipelines. Mattermark is a powerful tool for sourcing leads, and we work hard to get on the phone with each signup within hours of starting a trial. Within two weeks we are confident we can demonstrate the value of what we have to offer.

No more auto-charging at end of trial. We require users to enter their credit card information upon signup as a security measure (hey, this data is valuable!) but we would never keep the money of someone who didn’t actually want our service. This lead to a lot of refunds, and frustrated people, which is certainly not fun for our customer or our sales team. Going forward, at the end of your trial you will not be charged.

On behalf of all of us at Mattermark, we appreciate the feedback from all our customers and hope you will find these improvements beneficial to your experience. They’re not sexy new functionality, but we hope you’ll agree getting the operational details right is crucial to building lasting relationships.

Mattermark Startup Traction Report 2014 Released Today

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2014 Startup Traction Report by Mattermark

Today I am proud to announce the release of the first Startup Traction Report which is available for immediate download here.

This report provides a data-driven exploration of the United States startup ecosystem. Take an in-depth look at the funding events, growth signals, exits and other insights into the fastest-growing private companies.

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The resources that flow into startups each year are a calculated risk on the part of investors, founders, employees, service-providers and everyone who stands to benefit from the proliferation of new products, better services, and saved time and money.

Understanding how businesses are created, funded, grown and ultimately rewarded with sustainability or an exit helps inform the conversations and actions for the coming years. It is our hope you will read this report and combine it with your special knowledge of your industry, region, role and community as you charge forward into the New Year.

Thank you to the Mattermark analysts, researchers, software engineers, writers and designers who made this report possible: Shushannah Akin, Sarah Catanzaro,  Bryan Chang, Clare Corthell, Avi Eisenberger, Nick Frost, Kevin Liu, Josh Luxton, Samiur Rahman, Bryan Tsao and Tristan Williams.

Removing Friction in the Mattermark Funnel: Manage Settings, Change Credit Card Info & Plans

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Startups generally use their company blogs to talk about big new features, but over the past couple of months we’ve put emphasis on polishing the experience of Mattermark from the user interface to integrations, while reducing technical debt internally, building out important internal systems for both the engineering and sales teams, improving data quality with a broader range of sources and methodologies while closing out a wide range of bugs from the annoying to the critical.

Mattermark grew remarkably quickly over the past 18 months since we launched, and many decisions we made when we had fewer than one hundred users no longer make sense now that we serve thousands of people logging in to use our tools to help them get their work done every day.

Account Settings Page

Users can now edit their contact information, password, credit card and plan directly through the user interface, rather than by contacting support. Login and check out the account settings page

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Update Credit Card Information

We’ve used Stripe to process payments from day one, but if you didn’t sign up with a credit card on day one or if you needed to change your card later we had to take your information by phone and manually update Stripe. Not anymore!

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Looking back, it’s kind of amazing how successful we have been while still handling most of these administrative requests through support. I think the startup lesson learned here is that if you’re getting ready to launch and are spending a lot of time automating this part of your product, you might want to think twice and wait until you have a lot more users. Your time is precious, and it could probably be better spent on the thing that makes your product uniquely awesome and helps you reach product/market fit.