On Design: We Thought This Ground Mail Notice Would Help

September 22, 2006

With the release of our ground mail invoicing service, we wanted to let people know that they can send one piece of ground mail for free from their FreshBooks account. So we added a little notice to our Subscribe page. Here is our original subscribe page:

Old Page

Here is our new subscribe page with the ground mail notice/offer:

New Page

Looks lovely doesn’t it? Well guess what? Fewer people are subscribing from this new page. Despite the offer. No kidding.

We track how many people look at our subscribe page, and how many people then go on to sign-up. (If you want to know more about my thoughts on tracking metrics for web applications, read this article). In this case, over 2% FEWER people are signing up now…that two percent matters, and we have enough data confirm it’s true. I’m going to run it for a little longer – just to be 100% certain – but I’d say you can expect us to take that down in another week or two…and if not, I’ll update this thread with an explanation.

Important Point: The reason I know when we put this graphic up on our subscribe page, is we maintain a very important file we call “THE CHANGE LOG”. In it we detail any changes we make to our site, and the date we make them. Thanks to this file I can select date intervals in my web analytics for before and after the change, and draw meaningful conclusions.
If you maintain a website and making periodic changes, keep a change log. It’s worth the effort.

about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumored he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.