Merit is a SaaS product which helps businesses get more positive reviews; it does this by sending review invitations via SMS to customers providing a convenient pathway to leave a review. With the help of AI Merit determines the best time to send the SMS and the best message copy based on the industry and business.

I co-founded Merit with two developers over the period of a year we worked part-time to launch an MVP product and move into growth mode. I was leading the branding, UI/UX design, agile project management (SCRUM), and writing all presentational mark-up for both product and landing page. At a later stage I also lead sales activities setting up sales pipelines and processes, automation, and creating marketing assets.

Research and Planning

As a team we conducted a number of activities during inception to help define the product and the brand:

  • Competitor Analysis 
  • Outlining / Testing Assumptions
  • Business Model Creation
  • Service Design
  • User Personas
  • User Flows

The workshopping and planning helped the team shape Merit as a fun and positive brand encompassing the spirit of giving credit where credit is due. We found the correct cross section of feature sets which we believed would set us apart and deliver the most value.

  • The brand needed to be fun and positive, standing out from the more corporate competitors
  • Utilising AI we needed to create new optimisations, converting more SMS sends into positive reviews then ever before
  • We wanted to create a more customer driven self service experience with clear pricing, differing from the custom enterprise level approach seen in competitors until this point
  • We set an early goal of obtaining data as soon as possible in order to test and optimise the AI advantages

Perfecting user flows and the role of AI

The message send flow needed to push for maximum conversions without compromising guidelines set by review vendors (ie Google and Facebook) which could risk our integrations and customers review accounts. AI was used to determine when the best time to send the review invite was as well as the best way to ask; we did this by testing hundreds of text variations per industry. We implemented an initial discovery mode which tested different send times in relation to transaction time to determine the best time per industry type and business.

Send Singular, Send Bulk, or Automate.

With the needs of user personas varying from industry to industry and from business to business users need to be able to schedule review invites in a way which suited their flow. This meant sending invites one at a time, in bulk, or automating via Zapier.

Catering for multi-store businesses

For the MVP we set a rather ambitious goal of catering for multiple countries as well as catering towards business owners with single and multiple brick and mortar locations. This meant allowing users to switch between store accounts, add more locations at will and allow individual store managers to pay for and manage single stores if required.

Our Design System Approach

With speed in mind the design system was created where time allowed, slowly componentizing and refining the system in Ember.

Growth Hacking

Once in growth mode a shift of focus turned to sales and marketing. This meant creating sales assets, setting up CRM integrations, marketing automation, and processes for salespeople to follow.


Outcome & Notes

With hard work we were able to launch an MVP product into Australia, USA, and Canada – no mean feat with a small team. Merit has on boarded a small amount of users and is delivering positive reviews for it’s customers worldwide.

  • Achieved early stage adoption in multiple countries.
  • White label integration with major US dental CRM.
  • Review invites sent delivering a 8-12% conversion rate.