Product-led growth (PLG) is still a major trend in SaaS. But the standard method for unlocking PLG growth -- building signup flows in-house -- can be massively time consuming and draining for your team, not to mention maintaining them can be an ongoing headache.
In this post, we'll cover the benefits of leveraging no-code and low-code SaaS tools for your signup flow, and explore some examples of tools that can help you achieve this.
Challenges of Building Signup Flows In-House
Developing a signup flow and billing automation for your SaaS app in-house can certainly be done -- but it can also present a whole host of challenges that can take your focus away from what really matters, such as building and improving your actual product.
Poor User Experience (UX)
Unless you're properly equipped with a team of designers armed with best practices, building a signup flow from scratch can all too often result in a less-than-ideal UX. While this may not seem like a huge deal ("let's just ship it!"), having a subpar signup flow can actually lead to lower conversion rates; if it's confusing, this can cause user frustration, or if the flow isn't designed well, it may fail to convey your value proposition effectively or appear to be misaligned with your target customer's expectations. All of this can amount to drop-offs in the process.
Ongoing Maintenance Work
Some teams get buyer's remorse when they realize down the road just how much maintenance in-house signup flows require. Think of it like buying a house: you have to do all the work to keep just the house itself in good order, but what about if you install a garden? Now you have to take care of that, too, even though the footprint is smaller.
Pssst: it's more than you think!
Though it might not seem like much in comparison to maintaining the entire code base for your actual product, signup flows built in house can be surprisingly time-consuming and costly for your development team to maintain, especially in the future. As your core product evolves and new features are added, your team will need to continuously modify the signup flow, increasing the workload and potentially delaying other critical projects.
Your Eng Team May Not Be Cut out for It
We weren't going to go there, but... It's a hard point to ignore. It's not a hard-and-fast rule, but rather a loose generalization: Most engineers simply don't want to build ancillary stuff. They'd much prefer to work on core product features rather than signup or billing-related flows, which is totally understandable -- but because a lot of engineers either lack the expertise of building such flows (or let's be honest, the motivation) this can lead to the kinds of UX pitfall problems we mentioned above.
Pssst: This can actually be a big problem!
You certainly don't want to pin the success of such critical user-facing components on hoping the team can figure it out as they go. If the quality of your signup flow suffers, it'll negatively impact your customer acquisition efforts.
Changes in Pricing Require Additional Work
If you decide to update your pricing model or add new features, you'll need to manually update your in-house signup flow, adding to the workload of your development team. This may include adjusting pricing tiers, incorporating new billing models, or modifying the way your SaaS app handles payment information.
Limited Integration with Third-Party Tools
Building a signup flow in-house may limit your ability to integrate with third-party tools, such as subscription management platforms or customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This lack of integration can lead to inefficiencies and missed opportunities for automation, impacting your overall customer acquisition cost and growth potential.
Difficulty Adapting to Different Pricing Models
When building a signup flow in-house, SaaS companies may struggle to accommodate different pricing models, such as flat rate pricing, per-user pricing, feature-based pricing, or usage-based pricing. As a result, your SaaS product may fail to cater to the diverse needs of your target audience, potentially alienating potential customers and limiting your market penetration.
Inefficient Use of Development Resources
Building and maintaining a signup flow in-house may not be the best use of your development team's time and resources. By focusing on this aspect of your SaaS products, your team may have less time to devote to other essential tasks, such as improving core product features, enhancing your app's overall performance, or exploring new growth opportunities.
Takeaway: BEWARE THE INVISIBLE MAINTENANCE!
If you've followed along this far, you may have noticed an underlying common thread across a lot of the pitfalls and challenges of building your flow in-house: At every twist and turn, there's more work than you think. Just keeping things functional and humming is a lot harder than it seems from the outset, in part because you won't be able to predict how it'll go. At worst, you'll be spending more time on this than building actual product; at best, it can eat up a huge amount of resources. (Like we said, not unlike owning a house...)
Enter: No-Code and Low-Code Platforms
If you can't build it in house, the natural alternative is: find a third party solution for it. But what kind? Well, there are a number of reasons we think No-Code/Low-Code SaaS tools are the best bet.
What they are
The concept of a no-code and low-code SaaS product is designed to help non-engineers create software solutions without requiring extensive engineering knowledge. In other words, non-technical team members can build applications and implement features without having to touch any code base (or even know what that is).
How They Work
No-code and low-code tools are like using a meal kit service versus finding a recipe and going to the grocery store. The meal kit provides all the ingredients and simplified, easy to understand instructions so that, even for someone with limited cooking skills, you can make an amazing dish that likely would've been way outside your skillset or comfort zone otherwise.
In the same way, no-code and low-code tools provide pre-built components, templates, and visual interfaces that allow non-engineers to build functional software solutions without needing to write code or have a deep understanding of programming languages.
How They Can Help with Signup Flows
If all you need to do is implement a signup flow, a no-code or low-code SaaS product can simplify the process and reduce the need for engineering resources. These tools often provide out-of-the-box components, such as self-serve pricing pages, signup flows, and billing portals, that can be easily customized to suit your specific requirements.
Benefits of Using No-Code Solutions to Build a Signup Flow
In general, you can create a signup flow more quickly using a low-code SaaS tool than building it from scratch. With their pre-built components and templates, you can focus on customizing the flow to suit your SaaS product's unique needs, rather than starting from square one.
A no-code SaaS application will often come with pre-built components and best practices, ensuring a more polished and user-friendly signup experience. By leveraging the expertise of no-code and low-code platform developers, you can create a signup flow that aligns with your target customer's expectations and provides a smooth onboarding process.
No-code and low-code apps typically handle updates and maintenance, freeing up your development team to focus on other tasks. This means your signup flow will remain up-to-date and reliable without requiring constant attention from your in-house team.
Using no-code and low-code tools can lead to cost savings, as they reduce the need for hiring additional engineering talent or outsourcing development tasks.
The Best Tools for B2B SaaS Signup Flows
What is is: A no-code platform that enables SaaS startups to build custom internal tools, including signup flows, quickly and easily.
Why it's good: With its drag-and-drop interface, Retool allows you to create a fully functional signup flow without writing any code
What is is: A visual web design tool that allows you to create responsive websites and web applications, including signup flows, without writing any code.
Why it's good: Webflow's visual editor provides a user-friendly way to design and build your SaaS app's signup flow while ensuring it remains responsive and accessible on various devices.
What is is: Our platform provides out-of-the-box frontend components for B2B SaaS companies a full signup flow and a self-serve billing portal.
Why it's good: Wingback supports various pricing models, ensuring seamless signup and billing experiences for your users. The platform makes it easy to integrate your SaaS app with third-party tools, such as subscription management platforms or customer relationship management (CRM) systems, to streamline your signup process and improve overall efficiency.
With platforms like Retool, Webflow, and Wingback, your SaaS startup can create a user-friendly and efficient signup process without putting unnecessary strain on your development team. This approach enables you to focus on your core product features and overall value proposition, ultimately driving customer acquisition and growth for your SaaS startup.
What to Look for in a Low-Code or No-Code Tool
Selecting the right low-code or no-code tool for your signup flow is crucial to ensure a seamless user experience and maximize the benefits of implementing self-signup capabilities. However, not all tools are created equal, and it's essential to consider several factors when evaluating your options. In this section, we'll outline some key aspects and nuances to watch out for when selecting the right low-code or no-code tool for your SaaS product's signup flow.
Ease of Use
A user-friendly interface and intuitive design are critical when selecting a low-code or no-code SaaS tool. Ensure that the platform you choose is easy to navigate and understand, even for non-engineers or individuals with limited technical knowledge. It's essential to find a tool that works for you and your team.
Pssst: Don't settle!
Don't be afraid to try out multiple options before committing to one product. The goal is to find a solution that you feel comfortable using over time, rather than locking yourself into a tool that may not be the best fit.
Customization and Flexibility
Your chosen tool should offer a high level of customization and flexibility to ensure it can be tailored to your specific requirements. Look for platforms that allow you to easily modify components, such as pricing pages, signup forms, and billing portals, to match your branding, target audience, and desired user experience. If you'll have to hack together a bunch of workarounds to make it function, it's not going to work long term. (Much like house maintenance.)
Seamless integration with your existing software stack and third-party tools is a pre-requisite for a smooth signup flow. Ensure that the low-code or no-code SaaS tool you choose can easily connect with your CRM, subscription management platform, payment processor, and any other systems you rely on for managing customer data and transactions. Remember, your low-code SaaS tool should work with your existing stack, so avoid changing your entire stack just to accommodate a low-code solution. The goal is to reduce engineering effort, not increase it.
This goes without saying, but it's essential that you can see yourself using this tool for an extended period. If you already know a particular solution will need to be replaced or updated shortly, skip the headache. Select a low-code or no-code platform that will continue to meet your needs even as your business evolves and grows.
Building a seamless and inviting signup flow is crucial for the success of your SaaS product, but it can be a seriuosly resource-intensive endeavor to do in house. No-code and low-code SaaS tools like Retool, Webflow, and Wingback can be a great alternative, allowing you to create a user-friendly and efficient signup process without putting unnecessary strain on your development team. When looking at specific tools, make sure whatever solution you choose will give you enough flexibility and ease of use to ensure it actually "sticks," especially for the long haul.
If you do choose to build a signup flow in house, proceed with caution and give yourself a lot more buffer than you think you'll need... And maybe consider homeowner's insurance.