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In the process of building a saas site which will ultimately offer various saas services, some of which meant for completely different usergroups.

Although not there yet I want to anticipate it now. I'm doing the Information Architecture now and I want it to be able to cope (be complete)

From a marketing standpoint (I know ux.se is not about this but bare with me) it seems a good idea to have a site per saas-service. This because different services will be marketed against different clientele, may be featured on different blogs, etc.

I'm struggling on how to divide the types of content between the sattelite-sites and the central site. Key points:

  • being able to market/ brand separately per service
  • payment, accounts / app & api access would be on the central site.

Therefore there is a point in which a user, hopefully made enthousiastic on the sattelite-site, has to come over to the main site to actually convert.

Intuitively I believe I shouldn't do this directly before the user is ready to buy. It think it feels unnatural (scary?) for a user to be transferred to a different site just before conversion. Instead I feel it's better to do the transition from sattelite > main-site earlier as to ease him/her in the process.

For this, I'm now thinking of the following division:

The Sattelite site has:

  1. Storytelling approach. Including example usescases, etc. Pure focussed on the target audience of that particular service.
  2. Minor branding of main site on sattelite site (Powered by.. ) to ease user into relationship with main site
  3. Blog specific to service. This is syndicated from main-site blog.
  4. Prominent "Features & Pricing"-button (or 2 separate links / buttons). Point is, this is the transfer-moment, which links to mainsite > services > servicename .

Main site:

  1. homepage illustrates what services are available, etc. the standard stuff.
  2. services > servicename: (landingpage of sattelite-site)
    • all services have a similar look & feel of the main site, but with some style elements specific to the particular service (e.g: the color, a mascotte whatever..)
    • content of each service on the main site is similar:
    • overview page which describes the service with a more neutral tone of voice. The overview page includes a link back to the 'sattelite'-page, clearly marked as such. With something like "get the story at.."
    • pricing/comparison page. The default side by side comparison of packages for the particular service.
    • a features pages, going in more depth about the actual features. This includes the actual checkout.
    • if appropriate for the service: a showcase page, which features users/clients using the service.
    • faq / documentation area for particular service
  3. Blog, containing categories to cover all the services, plus some other stuff not related to any services, etc.
  4. the usual other stuff. About, etc.

Do you agree with this setup? What would you do differently? Looking for some guidelines / best practices. Thanks.

btw: I apologize for the length, that went fast :)

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Why transfer them? Just ensure that the functionality of the main site that you really need on the satellites (payments) is made available on those satellites without leaving them. There is no technological reason to force your users onto the main site for this. Of course the agreements should show the business name, but that is normal for any product specific site. The satellites could make clear they belong to a network of sites just like SE does in the header and footer of the site. And if you want to entice people to visit the main site, just promote the blog and other stuff with "adds". –  Marjan Venema Aug 14 '13 at 7:20

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