SaaS Teardown- Pendo.io Product Success

This past week I was asked by Pendo to take a look at their site, so here is the newest teardown.

Pendo is a tool that helps SaaS companies reach product success. They offer product analytics, surveys and polls, in-app messages and a dashboard where you can see all of this, without the need of engineers.

It reminds me of Hotjar and Mixpanel, but since I haven’t used it you’ll have to try it on your own.

Now, let’s dive into the website.

pendo-homepage-screenshot

Website

Looks good, right? Modern design, headline, product screenshot, navigation, modern feel. But let’s discuss every section of the site to take a closer look.

1- Headline: most important element of the page

Live headline: “A New Path To Product Success” Read More

Contentools SaaS Homepage Teardown

Contentools recently redesigned their website and I was invited to tear it up!!

If you haven’t heard of Contentools, it is a platform for managing content marketing. It’s pretty nice, you can collaborate, track ideas, write, publish, and share- just about everything you’d need to do.

Definitely take a look if you haven’t already. P.S.- I’m not being paid to write this.

Alright, let’s jump in. The website.

Home Above the Fold

contentools-marked

I realize there is a lot of debate about the importance of having elements of your homepage above the fold. I’m working on an article about this right now. Subscribe on the right to get that article when it’s published this week.

Read More

9 Things I Expect As Your SaaS Customer

Over the years I’ve signed up for a couple hundred digital tools. With that experience, I’ve come to expect certain things from your tool/site especially if I become a customer.

I’m hoping you’ll see this from a customer’s point of view and it will help you preemptively reduce churn.

Let’s get started with my first thought upon registering my account:

Number 1

Quick Time to Aha!

We both know why I purchased your tool, it’s to solve a problem or pain I have. Help me do this as quickly as possible.

I understand needing a few details to personalize my account, but this should feed into providing me a better experience. Read More

25 Crucial Elements for Your SaaS Homepage [Checklist]

After 2 Teardowns of SaaS homepages (Close.io and Contactually) and their marketing, I wanted to share a checklist for SaaS homepages.

What’s the purpose of your SaaS homepage?

Front App says that “SaaS products have in common the fact that they must convince potential customers of their usefulness.” And I agree, they must do this and must do it quickly with their homepages.

Your homepage should do these 4 things:

1) Sell your product
2) Teach visitors about your product, expertise, industry
3) Collect leads
4) Direct people where they need to go (support, login, blog)

Why Are SaaS Homepages Different?

Read More

SaaS Marketing Teardown Close.io

This week I analyzed Close.io, whose CEO Steli Efti, is also doing the bi-weekly podcast The Startup Chat with Hiten Shah. Needless to say I’m a little nervous, but I did get permission from someone at Close to put up this teardown.

Here are the sections:Close.io

Homepage Analysis

This homepage is shorter than last week’s Contactually Analysis. This is good because these pages need to get to the point, and get visitors to take their next step- Buy, Subscribe or Learn More. Read More

Fix My Marketing: SaaS CRM Contactually

Since my Inbound.org post where Lincoln Murphy and Peter Caputa complimented my list of reasons for not buying SaaS tools, I’ve wanted to spend more time talking about my SaaS ideas.

Here is the post, it was linked to by Hiten Shah in his weekly SaaS newsletter and got over 27k views (my best ever).

Contactually

A couple of weeks ago, I found my opportunity for choosing a tool to analyze, Contactually, so I wrote up my notes and included them here for others to benefit.

contactually

What is Contactually?

Contactually is a CRM software that helps you stay in contact with people based on how long it has been since your last interaction. Think of it as a tool that helps you make sure you don’t forget to follow up with someone. Read More

You Don’t Have To Be First

No. 1

If you are anything like me, all of the stories of awesome startups, unicorns, and cool products on Indiegogo leave you wishing you had some awe inspiring invention to share with the world.

When you think like that, you are probably thinking:

  • What hasn’t been invented yet?
  • What service can I offer first?
  • What app will change the world?

But guess what, you don’t have to come up with a new idea, you don’t even have to wait for an idea to come along, there are already tons of things you can do, just by picking something out there and doing it better. Read More

How Big Does My Target Market Have To Be?

the best

For some reason we all have these huge egos that give us the idea that our products/services should have the opportunity to get in front of everyone who MIGHT have the slightest inclination to be affected by their awesomeness.

It makes sense, the only way to reach a lot of people is to get in front of them, how else will you know if people love it? But really you don’t have to do that.

Personas don’t have to be about huge market spaces such as freelancers, marketers and contractors (not a persona actually but this works for my post). They can be about micro, teeny, tiny markets, small communities if you will.

The thought is that to reach amazing numbers you need to target a group that is amazingly sized and that is simply not true. In fact, your group can be quite small. How small?

Well, it might be surprising but if you can build a small community of support and evangelism around your idea, you should be able to make it work with numbers in the double digits. Read More

Things That Don’t Scale Have Exponential Effects

The Trick with Things That Don't Scale

One common piece of advice you hear while working with startups, or on a growth team is: Do things that don’t scale. It’s a funny quote that basically means go out there, knock on doors so to speak, talk to everyone, etc.

The saying itself is a bit scary, people think immediately “What do you mean do things that don’t scale? I ain’t got no time for that. I need growth and I need it now and I need it to feed on itself and grow by itself, I can’t waste my time with things that ‘don’t scale’.

But calm down, because once you start doing things that don’t scale, you’ll realize something quickly. These things that don’t scale, actually do, in their own way.

Let me explain. Back in December 2014 we started a welcome thread on Inbound.org. We asked new members to comment and introduce themselves. We wanted to see if people would stick around and be more active if we responded to their initial engagements on the site. Read More

How To Always Find Work

One of the reasons it is difficult to find work from home is because there are so many ways to get the work. In this post, I’m going to outline the easiest way I’ve found work from home over the last 12 years.

Outreach.

20 years ago people who were looking for work would print out dozens of copies of their resume and send it to companies they hoped might hire them. This was pretty costly to get the professional paper, have the resumes printed, find addresses, and mail them all in hopes of being hired.

Today it is much easier. The internet is filled with companies, their information, and more helpfully PDF versions of your resume, which means freely sending your resume.

Since outreach is basically free, it’s a great way to start.

Phase 1- Building Your Resume and Outreach Email

At any point while following my guides you are free to pop into the Facebook group to ask questions, see what others are doing, get help from me, and see what else is new in working from home.

This phase isn’t nearly as scary as it might sound. A resume isn’t even necessarily needed, but you want to have one in case they ask for it. You don’t want to freak out and get all nervous and scared because you think your resume isn’t enough.

It’s actually pretty easy to write up a resume. I’ve taken the time to some templates you can use online to make it even easier. Before you run off to use them, here are a few tips:

* Try to include experiences that will have helped you prepare for the type of work you are getting. ie: talking to customers
* Leave out positions that don’t pertain to the type of work you are seeking. ie: you worked at a factory but you want social media work – not relevant
* Post your resume to the Facebook group to get my feedback

Use Google Templates for Resumes

You’ll need a free Gmail account to use these templates, but since you’ll need a professional sounding email account for sending outreach emails, this is the best way to get started.

Choose something that is your name, you can use a period it in for name.last@gmail.com or like I do marygreencny@gmail.com because I’m from central NY state.

Here are the templates, just click on ‘Use This Template’ for the one you want. https://drive.google.com/templates?q=resume&ddrp=1#

Writing Your Outreach Email

Next you want to write up the email you’ll use to contact companies (who will be covered later). The email should be really simple. This is something I’ve written to show you what I would use.

*Hello (name or company name team),*
*I’m Mary Green, I was looking at your Facebook page and enjoyed your updates. Any chance you could use help updating this more often?*

*Thank you,
Mary Green*

Or

*Hello (name),*
*I was looking at your website and saw that you have social media accounts, might you need help keeping them updated?*

*Thank you,*
*Mary Green*

We really just need a template to work with for when we start contacting companies, it will depend on the skills you possess and want to use to work from home.

Phase 2- Finding People To Contact

There are millions of companies that need people like you to help them, it’s just finding them that is difficult. But I’ll help you get started.

What you want to do is decide what kind of companies you want to work for. We are going to do that by choosing industries.

You are going to pick 3 industries that you would work in. If you are having a hard time deciding choose industries where you have a hobby.

For instance:

* Tech products
* Baby products
* Games
* Office supplies
* Software companies
* Favorite blogs
* Construction

You can come to the group to discuss if you’d like, it might be hard to choose but it’s important to get specific because it’s just too hard to jump into emailing any company out there. Where would you start?

Find a Directory

Now that you have an idea of an industry you need a directory, or a list of names of companies you can contact. Say for instance you choose tech products, you can go to any of the favorite stores and see a list of names of products, this will serve as a directory.

Or, if you choose software, you can look at a site like GetApp where thousands of apps are listed. Now you have a list of companies.

Last but not least a Google search can help.

Go to Google.com (http://google.com/) and search for “best software for” or “construction association” or “baby stores” as you can contact the baby stores to do social media for them.

In the past I wanted to write updates and blog posts for cloth diapers (ha ha, I know). I went to the company website that was the most common- BumGenius and looked at their distributors and stores. I contacted all of them offering my service and landed a few companies I could write blogs for.

I also wanted to work for inbound marketing agencies, so I went to HubSpot’s (inbound marketing software) website and found their partners listed out. I contacted 10 at a time and ended up working with dozens of them over 4 years.

Stay Organized With Spreadsheets

One thing you don’t want to do is send the same outreach email to the same person twice. It looks really bad, and sends the message that you are sending a canned message, not a personalized message.

You’ll need to keep track of the companies you contact. This way you can follow up with them, not send a repeat message, and keep track of responses.

The easiest way to do this is with a Google spreadsheet. Go to this link and click the big + sign to start a new spreadsheet in your google account- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/0/

Across the top make these columns, I’ve explained what they mean after the – :

* Company- name of the company
* Contact Link or Email- a link to their contact page or the email address you used to contact them
* 1st Send- the date you first contacted them
* 2nd Send- the second date you sent a message (for following up)
* Response- Y or N- did you get a response
* Notes- anything you get for a response

Finding Contact Information

No matter how you find a website, you’ll be able to find their contact information in one of these ways:

* Contact page- look for a contact page, many times these will have emails, or a form to fill out.
* About Us page- if there is no contact page, there is usually an about us page.
* Navigation Menu- something in the navigation menu may suggest a way to contact them, companies like to get cute in their menus (along the top or the site of sidebar of the site).
* Footer of the site- if no information is available anywhere else, try the very bottom of the site.
* Facebook page About section- if all else fails look at their Facebook page and the about section.

**Tips:**
I prefer sending through a form on their site if there is one, this way you are sending fewer emails from your Gmail account and are less likely to be considered spammy.

If you get to choose between people for email addresses choose the founder, CEO or owner.

Phase 3- Start Reaching Out & What’s Next

Once you have about 50 names or companies on your spreadsheet, it’s time to start reaching out.

Yes, it is scary, but it’s a lot easier to do than watch your family go hungry, or have to worry about paying rent again.

Since I would get nervous about sending the emails I would often send a lot of them at once, it was simple copy, paste, send, copy, paste, send.

By the way to copy you highlight what you want to copy, and hit ctrl c on the keyboard. To paste select where you want to put the text and type ctrl v

**Getting A Response**

Most of the time you aren’t going to get a response. But, as with all types of marketing, this is a numbers game. The more you send, the more likely you are to get a response. I would guarantee if you choose a good industry and list of companies to contact, if you send 300 emails you will get work. But, I can’t make a guarantee, I can just tell you what has worked in my experience.

So most of the time you won’t hear anything back. But you might get any of these responses:

* No thank you- Yes people will tell you they aren’t interested, that’s OK, you didn’t irritate them, they are just letting you know they can’t hire you right now.
* We already have someone- No problem, record it as a response and move on.
* We are interested- Yay!! Make an appointment to talk about how you can help them.
* Contact us in x months- Put it in your calendar and on your spreadsheet as a response.
* Will keep you on file- People do this and have contacted me up to 2 years later. Mark as a response.

Conclusion

You are all set, with this guide you have all you need to start finding work from home. I really hope you’ll take me up on the offer to help.