About Alli

Of all the things you could do to help new customers get started, what should you do?

You might try rewriting your onboarding emails.

You might try reworking how you walk new users through your product the first time they sign in.

You might try rewriting your web copy to attract better users in the first place.

But how do you know – truly – which of these areas is the most broken? How do you know which will help more people get started?

And even if you do have a fairly strong understanding of what to fix, how do you sort through the multitude of factors that get in your way, a la “marketing wants this” or “product wants that” or “executives said we should try something” or even “I’m really not sure what to do, but I read a blog post about this so I may as well try it.”

Although there is no single right answer for situation, there is usually a most-right-for-right-now answer, a most-likely-to-help-customers answer, and a most-helpful-thing-we-never-thought-about answer.

I can help you find that answer.

Hire me to get help launching an interdisciplinary, customer-led strategy to address your onboarding

Phew, let’s unpack that a bit.

Because your customer experiences onboarding onboarding is multi-disciplinary, so must be the approach to improving it. Because your new users experience your product in your app, in their inbox, and on your web site, our approach must be to consider each of these elements together.

The three main functional disciplines you can hire me to help with user research, conversion copywriting, and UX writing.

The surfaces that you can hire me to work on are your web copy, your emails, and your UX copy.

The kind of output you will get from hiring me might include an audit, a qualitative research report with strategy recommendations, email copy, web copy, or a copy-wire of a new user in-app flow.

So those emails that need rewriting, that web page that isn’t converting, that in-app flow that people don’t finish – they’re all connected, and knowing how and where and when to sort through them starts with understanding your customers.

Put another way: our work together will begin with an investigation or audit to get insight into why things are happening and who you should be writing for. Then we’ll turn what we’ve learned into a new set of emails and in-app experiences.

A bit more about me:

I’ve been working SaaS teams since 2014. I’ve helped teams at companies like Buffer, Codecademy, MURAL, Output, Atlassian, Userlist, Stunning, and Autobooks. I’ve shared my work, most recently with audiences of MicroConf, LTVConf, UIBreakfast, Startups for the Rest of Us, and Forget the Funnel. I’m also mentoring founders in the TinySeed Accelerator.

Before finding a home in this tiny corner of the working world, I:

  • Ran a coloring company for grownups about a year before that trend took off
  • Ran an internship program and marketing at an ecommerce startup
  • Worked as a PR writer and as a medical writer
  • Worked in a clothing store, cheese shop, and tea room
  • Considered becoming a professional comedian and took comedy classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York and Second City in Chicago
  • Volunteered as docent at an outdoor sculpture garden
  • Studied Mandarin for 9 years

What’s it like to work with me?

I take on consulting projects to diagnose revenue-related problems at SaaS businesses. To be even more specific: I work best with B2B SaaS teams that have been in business for a few years.

You can learn how to hire me and the services I offer over on this page.

But if you want to know what it’s going to be like when we start working together, linger here a moment longer.👇

Things I care quite a lot about:

Treating Copywriting as a Technical Discipline, which is why I am Extremely Persnickety about adhering to the processes outlined and defined herein and elsewhere ad nauseum and in perpetuity

Research methodology, which is why I always do my own customer interviews

Treating qualitative voice of customer data with as much respect as quantitative data, which is why I often set up a qualitative research repository using a tool called EnjoyHQ for client projects

Delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time, which is why I’m keen on setting up a personalization tool called RightMessage and using it to research and build your actionable segments

Joining the conversation already happening in your readers’ heads, which is why I don’t start writing until I know your readers’ mindset, stage of awareness, and likely objections to using (or continuing to use) your product

Using the words your customers use, which is why I always insist on transcribing interviews (and making them available to the rest of the team)

How readers respond to copy, which is why I have strict guidelines around QAing copy, why I’ll never ask for your opinion or whether you “like” the copy and why we’ll discuss how we’ll evaluate the success of your copy before we ship it

Kind words past clients have said about me:

“Before I hired Alli, I was swamped. There were simply no extra hands on deck in-house to help with writing email copy–and I was struggling to get buy-in on how conversion copywriting could make an impact in my domain, across our company, and down to the bottom line. When Alli presented her research and copy to our team, she got buy-in from leadership that has made my life SO much easier.

“Not only did someone write the copy for me, but now the whole team is on board with the power of words. She took something that everyone felt was “fluffy” and showed that it’s objective, systematic, and revenue driving. Alli gave us results (31% increase in open rates – on already decent copy – and an 82% lift in our click-through rate that doubles the industry standard) but more importantly to me, she won buy inon copywriting and content in general. Now that this project is done, I finally feel like I’ve got trust from my team.”
-Ashley Hockney, Content Marketing, Codecademy

“Your help with the webinar email was so incredible and funnily enough, led to a ton of improvements to the webinar itself. One of the main pieces of your feedback that stood out to me was how we were including a “feature focused” list of what users would learn, rather than a “benefits focused” list. This was absolutely spot on. So I worked on that and came up with a better benefits focused list. But after I’d done that it got me thinking…. now I need to live up to this on the webinar!

“So as a result, I’ve re-written the entire webinar and ran the first session on Wednesday. The feedback was incredible, the interest ratings shot up and the average time on the session was 20% higher! So I really do have to thank you from the bottom of my heart, not only for helping us to improve the invitation, but inspiring me to improve the webinar itself.”
-Hannah Voice, Onboarding, Buffer

“I was feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and under pressure to create something engaging that would generate new waitlist signups for my young SaaS company. Now, I’m feeling so relieved. Alli’s work is top-notch, and the experience of working with her is like collaborating with a trusted friend.”
-Claire Suellentrop, Co-Founder, Userlist.io

“I know if I send a project to Alli, she’ll get it delivered – and that it will be something special. She knows how to research an audience to find *exactly* which pain points hurt the most AND how to turn this raw data into engaging and persuasive copy. It takes real talent to write words that flow so hypnotically – so when you find a writer like Alli, hire her – I do.”
-Adam Noall, Conversion Rate Expert for SaaS, LetaLab

Work I’ve shared:

Presentations I’ve given:

How to Get Stakeholder Buy-In for Qualitative Research (Coming Soon on Forget the Funnel)

The Root of the Retention Problem: How to Get the Qualitative Data You Need to Understand and Stop Churn (MicroConf 2019 Conference Presentation)

How to Build an Onboarding Email Strategy for Product Champions and Antagonists (Product Led Growth Summit)

User Onboarding Emails That Drive Customer Success and Free-to-Paid Conversion(Chameleon and Send With Us Webinar)

Why (and how) to start thinking about teaching people how to use your product… even if it isn’t built yet (MicroConf 2018 Conference Presentation)

Podcasts I’ve been interviewed on:

Episode 112: Optimizing SaaS Trials with Alli Blum (UI Breakfast)

Episode 71: Optimize Your Onboarding with Alli Blum (ActiveCampaign)

Optimizing Onboarding Messaging for SaaS companies — An Interview with Alli Blum (EnjoyHQ)

Episode 368: Improving Your SaaS Onboarding Emails (Startups for the Rest of Us)

Articles I’ve Written or Contributed to:

Customer Retention Vs. Customer Acquisition: The Ultimate Growth Showdown (Kristen DeCosta for Churnbuster.io)

Increase Customer Loyalty with a Seamless Onboarding Experience (Alaura Weaver for Zapier)

How Wistia used data to transform its customer acquisition strategy (Mixpanel)

How to Write SaaS Onboarding Emails for Brand New Apps (By me, but Autopilot says otherwise)

The SaaS Trial Email That Could Be Costing You 30% of Customer Lifetime Value (Crazy Egg)

A fun thing that doesn’t fit anywhere else:

My friend and fellow copywriter Lianna Patch and I interviewed speakers and regulars at the Business of Software Conference a few years ago. It was very fun and I highly recommend you do it at the next conference you go to.

One Last Thing:

That coloring business I ran had two series of illustrations. The one I liked the most was outlines of mantras where you color in the letters. The business may be over, but this mantra still applies.