notes from come


Oct 17, 2017

One of the most powerful concept of fast-growing startups is having an organic growth loops. This means three thing: high product usage (i.e. making people addicted to the product), excellent activation tactics (that is, making sure new users understand the product's value) and finally a high referral rate (it can be word-of-mouth but also paid incentive, just like the give 10 / get 10 popularised by Uber).

One question that arises when a product gets traction is how to maximise the power of this growth loop? It essentially comes down to one word: workflows. Workflows are what make your customer relationships easy and automated.

Workflows can be seen as scenarios for your users. They matter because it’s a whole different way to design your product: rather than taking a functionality-based approach (in which you design each function of your product according to their purpose), a workflow-based approach starts with the user.

Therefore, you can see your product not as just a collection of functions but as a journey. Like any good adventure, this journey is divided into acts and scenes. Each act is a workflow and each scene is an action.

Workflows usually take the form of decision trees: if this, then that, or else… each decision can help you figure out something about your user. For instance, if user X didn’t complete the email field, then remind them to do so. If they didn’t open, then try another time, or else continue with the signup process, etc. This tree can serve its role but also help you define what time works best or what tone works best.

There are actually two big areas where workflows can make a difference: during the onboarding and after.

Onboarding workflows

Onboarding is probably the single most important moment in your user’s life. It’s when you convert them from being idle into being an addicted user. Hence here are a few things you might want to check:

Retention and referral workflows

So, once the user is signed up and activated, what’s next? Obviously, you shouldn’t leave them in the wild! It’s time to make them use and share the product. Here are the main workflows to build:

Sub-workflows, a technical solution and a recap

These examples are just a few main ones. All products have their specific workflows (obviously) and, what’s more, workflows can be made out of sub-workflows. At any rate you should have a clear overview of what you’re sending and when. It can take the form of a timeline, like this one for instance:

(click to enlarge)