Getting started with growth isn't easy. It's one of the most common questions Scott and I get asked - "How do we start?".
Luckily we got to hang out with Ethan Teng, who is the head of growth at Recurly and is the process of starting their growth function.
We talk to Ethan about:
- How Recurly decided to start a growth function after raising another round of investment, causing them to evaluate how they could grow faster.
- Why Ethan feels the long-term home for growth at Recurly could be within the marketing function.
- How Ethan identified Recurly's biggest levers for growth, the one he started on first, and the experiments he ran to grow that lever.
Time Stamped Notes
[2:35] - Ethan tells us how he got started in ballet after college and has been doing it for near fifteen years.
[5:00] - Ethan's role as head of growth for Recurly is to work back from the companies revenue targets into a growth plan that can achieve those targets.
[6:20] - One of the first things Ethan did for Recurly was build out a quant model of the entire customer journey and build out the metrics to show how each section of that journey is performing. By doing this, Ethan could identify Recurly's most significant opportunity was improving activation, so he began with:
a. Reducing the number of fields a user has to fill out in the signup flow
b. Improving their user onboarding
[9:30] - A big win Ethan had was removing the need for email verification on their free trial. By doing this, he improved the dropoff rate by 40%.
[11:50] - Someone becomes an active user of Recurly when they've set up a card reader to do transactions via their software.
[13:20] - Recurly is in the early phases of building out their growth team, so don't have dedicated resources at the moment. Ethan manages to get some time from different functions to make progress on the experiments he wants prioritizing.
[14:30] - Growth sits within the product org at Recurly. Ethan feels it could eventually sit within marketing because when growth lives in the product org, people assume his job is building features to improve growth metrics. Instead, Ethan views his role as connecting customers to what they'll find valuable about the product more frequently and deeply.
[17:25] - As Ethan thinks about building out Recurly's growth team, he wants to hire a marketer who can focus on channels where they've discovered opportunities, an analyst, a growth engineer, a designer, and a PM. Eventually, Ethan would like to democratize growth within Recurly.
[20:15] - The trigger for Recurly to start a growth team was a new round of funding. They needed to start building a plan on how they could accelerate growth.
[22:20] - Three of the areas Recurly needed to grow so they could hit their new growth rates were
a. Improving the free trial conversion rates
b. Improving the touchless win rates
c. Getting more of their touchless demand to speak with a rep to generate an increase in enterprise sales.
[24:30] - The first place Ethan focused on was the signup flow, as it had the most potential for impact. He ran several experiments, such as:
a. Removing the need for email verification from the free trial
b. Reducing the amount of text in the signup flow
c. Making it clear you didn't need to add credit card details to start the trial
d. Reducing the number of fields a user needs to complete to start a trial