SaaS Conversion Funnel Tracking

How to Find Out Where 99% of Paying Customers Come From

Key Points

  • Majority of SaaS start-ups don't know what sources produce revenue and ROI exactly. With improved conversion funnel tracking it is possible to attribute 99% of customers to the original marketing sources.
  • Not every lead has the same chance of becoming a paying customer. Attributing sales to leads and leads to marketing sources allows to determine what marketing activity actually drives sales and increase RoAS up to 7x.
  • Learn how to track customers in complex funnels: unite tracking across landing pages, marketing website and payment systems such as Stripe.

This page focuses on low-touch sales funnels.

If you're using high-touch sales with a CRM-based process, you may be interested to learn more about B2B Conversion Funnel Tracking instead, which focuses on automating tracking of deals closed in CRM.

Why SaaS Sales Funnels Are Special

SaaS businesses present unique set of challenges for tracking conversions in a sales funnel. Landing pages may be on a separate domain from the main marketing website. Customers access the application and often sign-up on a different application domain. Furthermore, actual revenue is produced offline in a payment system such as Stripe, often delayed until the trial period ends.

Many SaaS companies resort to tracking sources only of leads, attempting to measure conversion to sales indirectly. It doesn't have to be this way. SaaS customers can be tracked throughout the entire funnel: from the first interaction to the revenue.

"A valuable insight we've got because of using Able CDP is that display ads aren't working [for us] at all... we've been wasting money for years on paid display ads. Before Able CDP we'd be excited about every lead or email that came through, but after the last year we've determined that those don't convert at all. And so we've been focusing on paid search, which does have return on investment."

— Bryan Brinton, Co-Founder, Aluvii Software

A typical SaaS funnel consists of three stages, each having own challenges specific to tracking SaaS conversions. A tracking implementation that addresses them all is crucial for understanding full user lifecycle from ad click to revenue and measuring RoAS.

Download a detailed report explaining how to track SaaS funnel conversions or keep reading to learn more about Able CDP SaaS funnel model and how it can be used to simplify tracking of SaaS conversions.

Download Free SaaS Conversion Funnel Tracking Report and Implementation Guide

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SaaS Conversion Funnel Stages and Mapping

Full life-cycle of a SaaS customer consists of the following steps:

  1. First website visit. A prospective customer visits a landing page
  2. Interacting with website content. Customers often like to read more about the product before they convinced to sign up.
  3. Sign up form. Sign up form is often located on a separate domain and is part of the web application, rather than marketing website. Usually, it is the first time the customer is asked to provide contact details. Sometimes landing pages are used to acquire contact details to place prospect into a marketing e-mail funnel, in which case stage 2 and 3 are effectively repeated: a customer goes through them first time on a landing page, and then the second time when signing up for an app.
  4. Subscription. Customer signs up for a subscription. This step is sometimes separate from the sign-up for and payment. For example, in case of a freemium app with a free trial.
  5. First subscription payment. Usually happens offline (with regards to the customer's browser), when a payment provider processes an invoice payment using the customer's card. May happen with a substantial delay after Subscription, for example, when a free trial is offered.

In most implementations, Able CDP uses a simplified three-stage conversion funnel map:

  • Page Views - when a website visitors accesses landing page or internal website page
  • Leads - when a website visitor completes a contact or a lead form
  • Purchases - when a subscription payment is made by a customer
Funnel Overview Screenshot
Able Customer Data platform makes it easy to visualise how often customers transition between stages of the funnel and allows to add inbound and outbound integrations for attributed events such as lead or purchase with a couple of clicks. All heavy lifting such as keeping an attribution database, attributing payments to clicks and visitors, mapping fields to external APIs and monitoring integration errors are done by Able CDP.

How to Track SaaS Website Visitors

Able CDP builds a 360-degree view of each customer by tracking website visitors before they become customer. Able CDP tracking script captures:

  • UTM Parameters
  • Referrer URL
  • Ad Click Id (fbclid/gclid)
  • Landing Page URL

Able CDP then starts to build a customer profile, by tracking all website activity and, most importantly, lead and sign up form submissions, recording personal information such as:

  • E-mail
  • Phone
  • Proprietary client identifiers

This allows Able Customer Data Platform to associate each paying customer with the original customer source, implement first-touch attribution and understand what marketing activity brought each customer and each dollar of revenue.

Visitor view screenshot
Complete customer view in Able CDP, associating an 'offline' purchase with online page views and lead forms activity, which was then attributed and sent to Google Analytics as an e-commerce purchase conversion.

Where multiple domains are used in the same funnel, Able CDP is able to link activity across them as long as one of the visitor identifiers match. We recommend using Google Tag Domain Linker for this purpose.

Using Able Customer Data Platform allows to collect all this information without having to program a database for storing attribution details and associating them to leads and customers. Entire set-up is done by placing a small tracking code for tracking website visitors and leads.

Report Revenue Sources and Channel Performance

Able CDP is capable of using its customer tracking data to attribute all subsequent revenue (Purchases) to the source.

Revenue can be sent to Able CDP either via one if its built-in integrations, such as Stripe Invoice Payments Tracking. It also supports tracking of custom conversions from your application using web hooks. This is useful if you accumulate usage and invoice customers only after reaching certain threshold.

Able CDP then attributes each Purchase event to the original visitor and sends Purchase events to all standard integrations such as Google Analytics, Facebook Ads Conversions API, Google Ads API etc.

This is the most popular solution, as it allows to leverage reporting capabilities of the reporting tools you're already using. Correct first-touch attribution as implemented by Able allows to capture of up to 24 months of LTV data attributed to the original campaign inside Google Analytics.

For advanced analytics, Able can send its attribution data to the BI tools that you're using. For example, it can update Customer metadata in Stripe, allowing to implement attribution reports in Stripe Sigma or send attributed conversion events to your favorite database where they can be analyzed with Tableau or QuickSight.

Implementation Example

Able Customer Data Platform SaaS Conversion Funnel Tracking is incredibly easy to set up:

  1. Sign up for an Able CDP account.
  2. Add lead form tracking code to the website. Able CDP automatically recognizes forms used on the website and creates custom tracking code in the Dashboard.
  3. Connect Able CDP to Stripe to track conversions to Stripe payments or send conversions from your own code using web hooks.
  4. Set up Able CDP to send CRM conversions to Google Analytics and ad platforms such as Facebook Ads.

Begin Tracking Actual Sources of Your SaaS Revenue