Freshbooks versus Tradeshift Landing Page
Online invoicing aplications are growing at a phenomenal rate. Two of the emerging leaders are Freshbooks, with over 3.5 million users and Tradeshift, who recently raised $17million in investment capital.
Let’s take a look at the homepages of both of these apps and see what we can learn…
1. Signup form on the homepage:
The most standout feature on both homepages for me is that like facebook, both of these online invoicing apps have their signup form on the homepage. They’ve also kept their sign up requirements to an absolute minimum- all they ask for is the Company name and an email address. Kinda takes the effort out of signing up, doesn’t it?
2. Value proposition:
We see two different approaches to value being offered:
* Freshbooks offers a 30 free trial, so by signing up you are indicating that you potentially intend to make a purchase/subscription in 30 days.
* Tradeshift offers ’100% free online invoicing’, which sounds great, but also make you wonder “how these guys are going to make money, and what are they going to do with my invoicing data?” This is kind of answered on the Enterprise page. Tradeshift plans to charge larger companies for providing them with a system for managing their expenses/ supplier invoices, it seems…
In web 2.0 theory, Tradeshift with their “100% free online invoicing” should win the battle for new signups. However invoices contain sensitive information and business owners may not feel comfortable with “100% free.” Note: I am a big advocate of Sean Ellis style freemium, but a social networking type of ’100% free’ for business software just makes me wonder, what’s happening with my data?
3.Look and Feel:
* Freshbooks emphasizes customer service with their toll free phone number in a large font, and their customer service prompt: “Don’t be shy, give us a call”. They use their 3.5 million users, a testimonial from CPA Practice Advisor and the Rackspace hosting logo to validate the quality of their service. Interestingly they have their physical address in a prominent location on the homepage to indicate that they are a real-business with physical offices, which users will identify with, rather than a ‘virtual business’ which could disappear overnight.
* Tradeshift emphasizes a clean Apple-esque look and feel, with a screenshot of a demo invoice appearing prominently on a large Apple Mac screen. “100% free” invoicing is the clear message of their homepage, but again it makes me wonder how much I can trust them with my data. Tradeshift also show a language menu at the top of the page, with German, French, Spanish etc language options which as a European, is definitely a bonus.
For me, tradeshift needs to show more customer validation and give me more reassurance about my invoicing data. Tradeshift could also get a bit more ‘real business’ by providing some kind of contact details. Most people are extremely happy to get useful software for free, but invoices contain valuable and private business information, the trust factor is hugely important, I think.
Freshbooks persuasiveness: 8/10. The only thing preventing me from going ahead is, “hmmm is 30 days enough time for me to decide if I want this system AND that also means I’m going to have to change the way I invoice for the next 30 days.”
Tradeshift persuasiveness: 7/10 Lovely looking and free software is always welcome. However I don’t think I would fully trust this site with my invoicing data.
Please note: in the above post, I am looking only above the fold on the homepage. I’m sure if I just scrolled down a bit on both pages, I’d find lots more persuadable factors, but I didn’t.