Feb 12 • 1HR 4M

Mastering onboarding | Lauryn Isford (Head of Growth at Airtable)

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Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.
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Lauryn Isford is a product growth leader and practitioner, who most recently led Growth at Airtable, and is about to start something new 🤫. In today’s episode, we get into the many tactics Lauryn has learned about optimizing onboarding flows. Lauryn describes how overhauling Airtable’s onboarding led to a 20% increase in activation rate, the company’s unique segmentation process, and why North Star metrics are so vital. Lauryn also shares her framework for a PLG growth funnel, and how to use a reverse trial to leverage the benefits of both freemium products and trials. If you’re looking to find growth opportunities within your funnel, this episode is for you.

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, and YouTube.

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/mastering-onboarding-lauryn-isford-head-of-growth-at-airtable/#transcript

Where to find Lauryn Isford:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurynisford

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurynisford/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/


Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days: https://www.amazon.com/Sprint-Solve-Problems-Test-Ideas/dp/1442397683

• Blue Bottle coffee: https://bluebottlecoffee.com/

• Airtable: https://www.airtable.com/

• How to determine your activation metric: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-to-determine-your-activation

• Elena Verna on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/elena-verna-on-how-b2b-growth-is-changing-product-led-growth-product-led-sales-why-you-should-go-freemium-not-trial-what-features-to-make-free-and-much-more/

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company: https://www.amazon.com/Ride-Lifetime-Lessons-Learned-Company/dp/0399592091/

Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon: https://www.amazon.com/Rocket-Men-Odyssey-Astronauts-Journey/dp/081298871X

Fifth & Mission podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/fifth-mission/id1457274965

The White Lotus on HBO: https://www.hbo.com/the-white-lotus

Belfast: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12789558/

• Figma: https://www.figma.com/

• Miro: https://miro.com/

• Zoelle Egner on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/videos/what-pr-is-and-isnt-good-for-according-to-zoelle-egner-head-of-marketing-and-growth-at-box/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Lauryn’s background

(03:48) Lauryn’s spicy take on experimentation

(06:44) Why doing the right thing for customers should be the ultimate goal

(08:54) How Airtable rolled out Airtable Forms with A/B testing

(11:38) The importance of onboarding

(13:15) Airtable’s onboarding revamp and how it increased activation by 20%

(16:57) How Airtable’s guided onboarding wizard improved the user experience

(18:00) Why reducing reliance on tooltips can be a good idea for complicated products

(20:06) The importance of meeting users where they are

(22:52) How Airtable segmented users by learning styles

(24:10) Airtable’s activation metrics

(27:22) How the week-four multi-user collaboration metric was operationalized

(30:45) Other metrics Airtable used

(34:34) When Airtable changed their North Star metric 

(36:26) How much time to give a North Star metric before pivoting

(38:05) Trials vs. freemium and what a reverse trial is

(42:51) How to have self-serve options when you’re not fully self-serve

(46:04) Onboarding experiences that aren’t very helpful

(47:31) How to help users understand features

(48:42) Why user education is more important than pushing premium features

(50:03) The role of guardrail metrics 

(51:40) Lauryn’s PLG growth funnel framework

(54:26) How Lauryn’s framework helps teams communicate more clearly

(55:57) How Lauryn structured the growth team

(57:53) B2B growth as an emerging space 

(1:00:18) Lightning round

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