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Launch HN: Mutiny (YC S18) – Website Personalization for B2B Companies
105 points by jalehr 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 48 comments
Hello everyone!

We're Jaleh & Nikhil, the founders of Mutiny (https://www.mutinyhq.com/). We help companies personalize their website for each visitor to close more sales.

We are built for B2B companies that are actively growing their website traffic. For the majority of these companies, 97-99% of their visitors don’t convert to a trial or sales conversation. Typically the reason is that when potential customers come to their site they don’t understand why the product is great for them. This happens because customers from different industries and company sizes are looking for different things when they land on a website and are motivated by different social proof.

Mutiny enables B2B companies to dynamically customize the website’s message, images, and call-to-action to match the visitor. For example, one of our customers Amplitude, a product analytics company, changes its website’s customer logos on their pricing page and signup form to match the visitor’s industry. This specific personalization generates 54% more leads. Another customer Carta, an equity management product, changes their homepage headline and messaging to highlight product features that matter most based on the visitor’s company size. They have seen 80% more leads in their smaller customer segments as a result.

Mutiny was inspired by our own experience. Nikhil and I were early Gusto employees and helped grow the company from 500 to 50,000 customers such as startups, restaurants and accounting firms. I led marketing and quickly learned that the same message did not work for all the businesses we served, resulting in low conversion rates. This problem got worse as we started to spend more on advertising/content and attracting customers who had never heard of us before. Personalizing the buyer experience helped increase conversion rates, but doing it well required a lot of expertise and engineering work. And after speaking with other marketers and growth teams we realized that virtually every B2B company serves multiple audiences with different needs, but doesn't have sufficient engineering support to personalize their experience.

Here’s how it works:

Set up: User adds the Mutiny javascript to their website and defines their website conversion events in the Mutiny UI.

1. Understand visitors: We have pre-built data integrations (e.g. Clearbit, Segment, Salesforce, UTM) to identify visitors by their industry, company size, funnel stage, advertising campaign, free user v/s paid user and more. We also display how many visitors fall into each segment and what their conversion is.

2. Prioritize the highest impact segments: Mutiny analyzes visitor traffic, conversion & CRM data to recommend the best audience segments for personalization. It then suggests personalization playbooks that fit with the recommended segment & walks the user through best practices for personalizing each segment’s experience.

3. Personalize any website element: Users can load any page on their website inside Mutiny’s visual editor, and change any html element such as text, image or call-to-action for that segment.

4. Measure results: Every Mutiny experience has an automatic control group that never sees personalization, allowing users to measure the impact of personalized experiences compared to non-personalized.

Mutiny is being used by Brex, Segment, Elastic, Amplitude, Carta & others who are seeing 40-200% more leads with Mutiny. Our detailed case studies including screenshots of personalized web pages are available here: https://www.mutinyhq.com/cases/

We have released 30+ personalization playbooks that we have seen work well across b2b companies here: https://www.mutinyhq.com/playbooks. If you are a smaller startup with little website traffic, but are actively reaching out to potential customers through email or LinkedIn, check out the “ABM” (Account based Marketing) playbooks.

We are super excited to be on HN today and will be around all day to hear about your experiences, any ideas, and feedback you might have.

Super nice! Congratulations on the launch. Looks like a lot of work.

It appears you're already on the hitlists of ad-blockers. So is Segment: They seem to be surviving just fine, regardless.

A few questions (honestly, you don't have to answer them all, esp publicly, if you don't feel like it):

1. Wouldn't a deployment of this on the first-party severs be more effective since it'd bypass the content blockers (server-side sdk)? Is it in the works?

2. What else are the existing customers / prospective customers asking for in terms of features?

3. What's the key functionality you ought to build next?

4. What was the most surprising thing abt how customers used your product?

5. Does it play nicely with other frameworks like Optimizely, Fastly, React, and so on... out of the box? Is the mutiny js-sdk a simple drop and forget? What's the catch?

6. Why the emphasis on B2B? I can't imagine why it wouldn't work for B2C (low-income vs high-income societies, artics vs tropics, europeans vs africans and so on)?

I really like the logo, the colours, and the super neat landing page.


A few suggestions from the comfort of the armchair I'm sitting on at the altar of unsolicited feedback from a non-expert:

1. Are you using mutinyhq on mutinyhq.com? If not, you could do so, and link a demo that shows mutinyhq as it would appear to a SaaS employee to someone from the finance industry to someone from Vietnam? Like how you do currently for Brex, Segment, Amplitude, and Carta: I must point out that it take too many clicks to browse what those really powerful examples. I wonder if viewing those could be a tad more friction free like how Facebook lets you view your profile from different PoVs.

2. Above the fold one liner, Turn your website into your #1 growth channel doesn't convey enough: I wouldn't click on (CTA) request invite, tbh. I'd expect to learn more / see faq / view demo (a screencast / video, may be)?

3. Personally, to me, the section with "works with any tech stack", "B2B playbooks to up your game", "More leads, fewer dependencies", "Reclaim your website" is too handwavy without conveying much (except for, works with any tech stack). I think, you'd be better off highlighting the 30 playbooks instead. I went through the three playbooks linked from the front-page and they did far more than anything to convince me to sign-up.

4. I feel, because the final section ends with ...let our team walk you through tactics to increase your inbound leads by up to 50%, the CTA could be Schedule a meeting (with href-mailto / calendly link) and/or Talk to us now (directing to a whatsapp chat or some such for visitors from mobile web).

5. "User adds the Mutiny javascript to their website and defines their website conversion events in the Mutiny UI." This isn't anywhere on the landing page. I wish it was. Stripe.com is a good example which conveys how easy it is to accept payments. The same goes for the editor you've built. I'd, personally, be blown away if I could see a screencast of it in-use, than read a blob of text abt it.


What a great product! All the best.

> 1. Understand visitors: We have pre-built data integrations (e.g. Clearbit, Segment, Salesforce, UTM) to identify visitors by their industry, company size, funnel stage, advertising campaign, free user v/s paid user and more. We also display how many visitors fall into each segment and what their conversion is.

What can you do to identify what kind of industry a user is from when they visit via a Google Search? Or a direct link? Do you always require something like a UTM parameter?

We can identify industry in 3 ways for inbound visitors: (1) their IP address -- ~30-50% match rate (2) google paid search if their search query is indicative of their industry/usage -- match rate depends on your business and paid keywords (3) from your first party data if it's a returning visitors that has perviously signed up and either given you their industry in the form or if we enrich their email address -- match rate is ~70-90%.

> We can identify industry in 3 ways for inbound visitors: (1) their IP address

What’s your view on the ethics of doing this for users who haven’t signed up or otherwise provided any info, and thus think they’re anonymous?

Do you think most otherwise-anonymous Web visitors know or understand that IP->individual/business lookups are possible (for IPs which don’t have reverse DNS or SWIP entries)? It seems like basically no Web visitors know about IP data appending.

If or when this does become mainstream knowledge, how do you think the general public will react?

Nikhil here, CTO and co-founder at Mutiny.

The purpose of using this data for personalization is to help the incoming visitor find what they are looking for and understand more specifically why a product would be right for them. Our system is built such that when a user visits a Mutiny enabled website, their information is never shared nor sold. Only the company whose website the user has chosen to engage with has access to this data, similar to how company's use analytics platforms today.

We do not use 3rd party cookies, so user data is always protected across companies and domains. If users prefer to forgo personalization we respect these privacy settings and allow users to opt-out.

> If users prefer to forgo personalization we respect these privacy settings and allow users to opt-out.

Could you point out where this is in your privacy policy? My admittedly-basic reading seems to show the opposite. https://www.mutinyhq.com/privacy says this:

"“Do Not Track”. Do Not Track (“DNT”) is a privacy preference that users can set in certain web browsers. Please note that we do respond to or honor DNT signals or similar mechanisms transmitted by web browsers."

If, as you note, you respect users' privacy settings, why don't you honor Do Not Track? Forgoing personalization is the whole reason that DNT exists.

If this was an oversight, how about updating your service's behavior and the privacy policy?

You pulled out the correct line in the privacy policy: "Please note that we DO respond to or honor DNT signals or similar mechanisms transmitted by web browsers".

We do indeed honor Do Not Track in our service. Additionally, users can opt-out by emailing privacy@mutinyhq.com as detailed in the privacy policy.

Thank you. Somehow I completely misread that line.

I'm curious for jalehr/Mutiny's take on this dilemma (without giving away their secret sauce):

Many B2B companies drive the majority of their growth from other sales channels beyond the marketing website. And traffic can sometimes be low on the marketing site, especially through any multi-click funnel, that running effective tests can take a long time. Has Mutiny seen these cases (marketing site not having enough traffic) and thoughts on this challenge?

It's definitely something we see, and it's what makes a/b testing really tough in b2b. Personalization tends to have significantly higher lifts than a/b testing since you can speak directly to an audience. Since statistical significance is a function of lift and conversion volume, you can get to results much faster if you run experiments with higher expected lifts. We also have an outbound personalization feature that lets you turn an ordinary page into hundreds or thousands of custom pages for every single account, that you can email to people you are trying to reach. Every recipient receives a personalized page and we measure the impact through signup / demo requests. As long as you have 500-1000 people in a segment, you can get to a significant test within a month or so given the high lift (50-200%).

How do you help with generating all the content needed for personalization? That can be quite resource intensive. Or do you rely on your customers to solve that piece?

How is this different than Clearbit?

Great thoughtful answer, thanks!

Looks really nice! I'm interested to know how your web page editor works. Does it inject HTML into the page via JavaScript? Are there any performance implications? What if my landing page has a tonne of JavaScript already being used to render the page - can it handle that? I'm considering it for my company's landing page, which is heavily reliant on JS (https://usebx.com). Thanks!

Hey there, I'm Nikhil - CTO and cofounder here at Mutiny.

Within the Mutiny product, you can use our website editor to select and update any element of your page without requiring any code changes. The changes you make are compiled into a unique JavaScript file that is distributed globally through our CDN, this ensures Mutiny loads from the location closest to the visitor, making it performant and reliable. Once the incoming visitor loads the website in the browser, the Mutiny JavaScript classifies them based on their information and updates the relevant HTML elements to reflect the personalization (for example, you may change your hero CTA to "Get a Demo" for enterprise companies).

We have worked with customers running client-side, single page applications (using React, Vue.js, Angular, and more) from day 1 and have built our software to handle these environments. We hook into the browser's paint lifecycle using APIs like `requestAnimationFrame` (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/window/requ...) to avoid seeing a flash of the original content when personalization is rendered. We subscribe to DOM manipulations using `MutationObserver`s (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/MutationObs...), allowing us to render correctly in a dynamic JavaScript environment.

I took a look at your website and tried it out in our editor - all the personalized changes render well!

Is it able to do something "dumber", like just adding a class to the <body> element to then modify what shows up with just CSS? (Tried finding documentation on your site, but seems like it's not a thing).

Yes! Using the editor, you can apply class changes to whatever elements you like (including the <body>). We also expose a JavaScript SDK, so you can further integrate personalization into your application, enabling Mutiny to handle segmentation while you orchestrate any functionality/display changes.

Great, thank you very much. I'll give mutiny a try soon!

Mutiny, huh? Inspired by Halt & Catch Fire, by any chance? :-)

haha no, but we get that a lot. Great show! We picked the name for the implied spirit of change and rebellion. B2B has changed a lot over the past 5 years and the tech stack has not kept up to enable good marketing without constant dependency on engineering. It's time for better software that empowers every great growth marketer to build an awesome user experience and grow their company.

haha no, but we get that a lot. Great show!

I'm just waiting for somebody to start a Cardiff Electric, or MacMillan Utility...

Cardiff Electric -- I'd buy their product, sight unseen

I wonder if somebody did start a Cardiff Electric, if they would get sued by AMC? Not sure if they would have a trademark on the name, but they would at least own it from a copyright perspective... but would starting a real-world company fall afoul of that? Hmmm...

Congrats on the public launch. Some of our customers have been trying you out over the last year and I've been hearing good things.

When things calm down from the launch, we should speak further. We built / released our own Company and IP APIs since Clearbit was obscenely expensive at scale. Our data quality / match rates are now comparable - https://bigpicture.io/docs/enrichment/company/

We're looking for a couple strategic partners. You can reach me at michael [at] bigpicture.io

Great looking website! But... I hated it. As soon as I opened it the fan on my 1 yr old Macbook Pro started spinning like crazy. As I scrolled down, so many things were animating it made my head dizzy. I fully understand the need to stand out but shouldn't the #1 goal of a (landing) website be to educate the user (me) about what you do and why it's relevant to me. Maybe this product is super useful and I would pay serious money for it. Maybe it will solve all my problems in the best possible way. Unfortunately, I will probably never find out due to this first time experience.

Thanks for the feedback. We tried to be really thoughtful about the UX / animations, but looks like we missed the mark with you. The site converts close to 6%, which is a really high conversion rate for b2b. I agree that we need more product screenshots, especially given how easy to use the product is. We are working on a "how it works" section with more screenshots. In the meantime, you can see screenshots here (https://www.dropbox.com/home/Mutiny%20Press%20Kit/Mutiny%20p...) or sign up for a demo on our website. We are trying to build product and trial experiences as fast as we can :)

That link doesn't work

I found it ok on iPhone 6, both experience and speed wise on a fairly modest ADSL, but given what they do I can’t be sure I saw the same page as you!

This looks amazing, I wish there was a free trial or at least a pricing page. Can you share the price range? Screenshots from the editor? I just wanna learn more about the actual product.

Product screenshots here: https://www.dropbox.com/home/Mutiny%20Press%20Kit/Mutiny%20p...

Pricing depends on your visitor volume. How many monthly visitors do you have? We also have a startup package if you have <20k monthly visitors and <$5M in funding and founded in or after 2015.

I like the idea.

But how is it better than just asking for the profile type and personalizing on self-declared choice ?

For example, for the Carta website we could just ask the visitor if she is seed stage, growth stage or investor and adapt the website to the user's answer.

It's one step that can be stored in a cookie and we are certain that the user hasn't been bucketed into the wrong profile.

I interviewed with you guys back in December; it was a great experience and I'm glad Mutiny is doing well!

Awesome! Glad you had a good experience and thanks for keeping an eye on us.

Good work. This is something I could employ right now. Any estimations on price plans?

Pricing depends on monthly website visitors. We also have a startup package for companies with <20k visitors, <$5M funding and founded after 2015. If that applies to you, you can sign up here: https://jalehrezaei.typeform.com/to/OM9rmm?utm_campaign=hack...

How many visitors do you have?


Congrats on the launch! I'm working on an ecommerce product targeting enterprise customers; does Mutiny work with sites built on Shopify?

Mutiny works with any CMS so shopify is technically fine. What type of personalization do you want to do? If you have a ton of products and want to dynamically change the product you show, it might be better to build a server side implementation. We are not quite optimized for big e-commerce sites who want to optimize SKUs - that's much more of a b2c use case. Send me the site and what you are trying to do, and I can take a look.

How big is the market for your target audience (saas business)?

Depending on the source, there are close to 25-30k saas/iaas/paas companies, and growing extremely quickly. We serve any B2B company so our market is much larger. Another way to look at it is that 200k+ companies use A/B testing and personalization is the next evolution in optimization.

Off topic: Beautiful website, did you do it inhouse?

We worked with a boutique agency in Amsterdam. They're really strong. I can intro you if you want.

Love the little Easter egg when you click on your footer logo. ;)

haha can't believe you found it. There might be more... ;)

Are you hiring?

Yes, we are hiring for engineering and design roles! You can check out more details here: https://hire.withgoogle.com/public/jobs/mutinyhqcom/view/P_A...

congrats..looks very promising. Have you tested this on Wordpress sites?

Yes, it works on Wordpress sites.

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