The Common Paper blog

How to Draft Terms of Service for Product Led Growth

UPDATE: We’ve made it really easy to turn our Cloud Service Agreement into a ready to use Terms of Service! Visit our Terms of Service page to learn more and configure yours today using our guided interview.

Many B2B SaaS companies use a product led growth (PLG) or self-service go to market approach. A well-aligned PLG strategy involves important contributions from every area of the business, including legal. If you’ve ever found yourself checking the box next to “I agree to the terms and conditions”, you’ve successfully navigated a product-led experience. Most PLG companies have terms like this that don’t get negotiated, called clickthrough terms, and a different contract that larger customers can negotiate and sign. Clickthrough terms give companies an efficient way to onboard new customers while allowing users immediate access to the product because these contracts aren’t negotiated. 

At Common Paper, we use the Cloud Service Agreement as our clickthrough agreement (also known as Terms of Service). And we put it together in an hour. Here’s how we did it:

  1. Set the Cover Page variables: The Cover Page includes business terms (like how long the subscription lasts and pricing) and legal terms (like governing law and liability cap amounts). We replicated the Order Form and Key Terms sections of the Cover Page by using subheadings and identified variables by making them bold and underlined. You can leverage the most common values for your variables by adopting the Quickstart Cover Page or customize your own Cover Page.
  1. Add a clickthrough introduction: This is the first 3 paragraphs in our clickthrough terms (screenshot below). The first paragraph ensures that if we have a signed agreement with a customer, it overrides the clickthrough agreement. The second paragraph incorporates the CSA standard terms by reference, which is the same in both the signed and clickthrough versions. The final paragraph is the clickthrough acceptance language.
  1. Post the terms online and track acceptance: We require users to click a checkbox to accept our terms as part of our onboarding flow. In addition to the user’s email and a timestamp, we also store the version of the clickthrough terms and metadata about the session like IP, browser, and operating system. Since all of the section numbering and formatting is handled by the standard terms (which are incorporated by reference), the customized part of the clickthrough terms can be very simple. One of our engineers was able to translate the terms from lawyer output (Word doc) into input for our CMS (markdown) in about an hour. If you’ve ever struggled with adapting a Word doc into a web page, you understand how remarkable this truly is. If you haven’t experienced this yet, consider yourself lucky.

That’s it. Three easy steps. In less than 24 hours, we drafted the clickthrough terms, posted them on our site, and had our outside counsel do a final review to make sure we hadn’t missed anything—a process that was itself expedited because they were already familiar with the standard agreement.

All Common Paper standard agreements, including the Cloud Service Agreement, are available for free. Try it out today for your own clickthrough agreement, or contact us if you have any questions.