Visualize Monthly Goals With The Gap Goal

Visualize Monthly Goals With The Gap Goal

Sometimes it’s rough to visualize your monthly goal. Think about it, 3500 WAUs for a goal in one month might have been difficult to hit, but with 20% MoM growth, that jumps to 4200 in the second month.

However, if you are using a blueprint for growth you are building marketing assets that compound on each other over time, so each month you are capable of bigger goals.

For instance, in my monthly marketing growth calendar post, I showed how each month you add marketing activities and improve or optimize on the activities you are already using to increase efficiency and better position yourself to meet goals. So 4200 WAUs this month sounds much easier than 4200 without a framework.

Which brings me to the gap goal. If last month you hit 3500 WAUs, this month your goal of 4200 is only 700 more, thus 700 is your gap goal. Assuming you can depend on your past marketing to continue working, and you’ll make appropriate tweaks to increase how effective it was, you should be able to plan more activities to reach that 700 gap goal, and let’s face it 700 sounds much easier than 4200.

Over time, 3-6 months, you’ll notice that each marketing activity is capable of providing a certain amount of leads. For example, when I was at Inbound we started out with around 200 visits a day from social media, I knew going forward that meant I could depend on that level of visits for the amount of effort I was already investing.

The gap goal is one of the 7 steps of my growth blueprint to consistently meet your goals, month over month. Get a copy for free, here. And please let me know what you think about it.

Plan Monthly Growth Success With A Marketing Calendar

Plan Monthly Growth Success With A Marketing Calendar

As we know, growth doesn’t just happen on its own. Sure, some companies hit the lottery but you can’t leave your success up to the fates by waiting for that to happen.

So you have to plan, week by week, month by month, to achieve steady, scalable growth.

Set Your Goals

The first step will always be to decide what your goal is. Paul Graham has mentioned that growth of 5-7% per week is a good rate. Some startups I’ve worked with are happy with 10-15% per month. Choose your most important metric and an increase that seems plausible based on past months but a bit of a stretch as well so you have to hustle.

No doubt, your growth schedule for the next month looks something like the following for a 15% month over month (MoM) weekly active user (WAU) goal, starting with 2500 weekly active members.

Month 1

Month 2

Month 3

Month 4

Month 5

Month 6

Month 7

Month 8

Month 9

Month 10

Month 11

Month 12

2875

3306

3802

4373

5028

5783

6650

7648

8795

10114

11631

13376

375

431

496

571

655

755

867

998

1147

1319

1517

1745

Now, this is great information to put into a goal tracker, like HubSpot or Chart Mogul. But, you need a drawn out plan that details how you expect to hit these goals, at least a few months planned out at a time.

Growth Marketing Calendar Month 1

For example, in Month 1 you have a gap goal (my saying for the increase from what you have to what you need) of 375 weekly active users. Now, what can you brainstorm to help you reach that goal?

Let’s look at your marketing options:

Facebook Ads– optimized, more specific campaigns and target audiences, like audiences, geographical audiences, campaigns for different offers.

Social media– Organic, with images, without images, paid ads on Twitter or Linkedin, subscribe cards, with links, without links, more replies and conversations, giveaways, referrals, contests

Email– onboarding, activation, reactivation, engagement, education, cold email, campaigns per offer, improved subjects, better format for click through rates, build a list, newsletters, swap campaigns.

Content– blogging, downloads, 10x content, guest posting, accepting guest posts, SEO, podcast, book.

In-app– messaging, ads, chat, support.

There are dozens of ideas for marketing, and there are always ways to improve what you are already doing in marketing, so coming up with a plan depends on identifying what you are doing, where you can improve, and choosing and implementing new methods.

Email Marketing Tactic #1

Assuming you are already using a bit of email, let’s fill out Month 1 with additionally weekly emails that engage the audience. We will call this “Email Engagement”- helping all members grasp deeper feature usage.

Example: For a SaaS metrics or analytics tool this could mean sharing dashboard templates, specific report links, or offering the ability to sign up for daily emails to your entire team.

I suggest sending 2 emails in the first week to see how well they are received if it goes well stick with that schedule for the month. If you receive a lot of complaints or unsubscribes cut back to 1 email a week and make sure it is of high value.

You could use MixPanel to identify features used by your most successful users, then share more about these features.

Facebook Ads Tactic #1

Now I always recommend having more than one idea to reach your monthly goals, so let’s add to this plan by slowing starting a couple of Facebook ads campaigns.

I would choose these for the first month because you’ll want to test and move slowly and you have a small gap goal this month so there is time to deal with setbacks if they happen.

And since you already know that SEO and content can take some time in showing results, let’s also add a 10x piece of content to use in next month’s newsletter, and on social media to get leads now. If possible add a download to the content to collect leads for email marketing.

Monthly Analysis & Adjustment

At the end of each month, you want to analyze your results and adjust the upcoming month based on what has worked, and what results you can expect going forward. I recommend using a spreadsheet to keep track of all experiments, adjustments, and tactics for future reference, in my experience growth teams are constantly growing and changing.

I suggest planning at least 3 months ahead when possible. This will give you time to handle larger goals as they come about. During Month 1, you’ll want to keep track of what worked as far as the email engagement and Facebook ads. Did you see an opportunity for improvement? Did you need it? Did you use it? If not, now is a great time to try. Add more?

It’s a good idea towards the end of the month to hold a team meeting to discuss results and how they affect future goals. If everything went well, discuss what your needs are for next month, how the calendar should change, whether it’s time to add a new marketing method, or if you have plans to improve on the methods you are using.

During this time I also suggest brainstorming for what to do if and when you come up short to meet a goal. It’s always best to stay on top of your goals with a goal tracker, if you have one so that you will know right away if you fall behind your growth goals.

If this happens, I suggest using an ace in the hole, which is basically my fall back plan for making sure I hit a goal when things don’t go as they should.

Let’s say you get to the 20th of the month and you’ve only gotten 200 WAU, clearly something is wrong and you need to come up with a plan to hit that goal of 431. This is when you use the aforementioned ideas from your meeting to close that gap. An ace in the hole is basically a trusty growth method that you can pull out when needed to hit your goals.

Growth Marketing Month 2

Based on a successful Month 1, the analysis of Month 1 and brainstorming for Month 2 we are going to plan the following for Month 2 where we need to get another 431 weekly active users.

We will assume Month 2 looks like this:

  • Email Engagement
  • Facebook Ads
  • Another 10x Content Piece
  • Cold Emails
  • Work on product based on survey

You’ll notice that only cold emails are new because there are a lot of opportunities to improve your emails, ads, and content. Let’s add the following specifications for Month 2, brainstormed after Month 1.

Improvements for Month 2

Email- target subsets of users and funnel them into their own reactivation campaigns, test 3 new campaigns, and be sure to take these users out of the pool of general users who get the first campaign. Additionally, try a few email subjects, and add a link call to action to the emails to increase CTR.

Ads- What campaigns did well? Can you test or improve the copy of the landing page or ad copy? Supplement newer images and ads in new campaigns to catch the eye of users who have now overlooked your ads. If you have time, add retargeting to your new campaigns for users who have been inactive for 14 days.

Content- How did the content do last month on social media? Remember to send it in the newsletter in Month 2. We should also plan some content promotion. Start with the bookmarking sites, multiple social media updates, and asking people on the team to share on social as well (no demanding it though), then consider adding the content to Quuu for promotion, or spending $30 on Facebook ads for the piece.

Cold Email Tactic #1

Cold Emails– With these, we’ll want to encourage people to join your free service, as they count as weekly active users as well. But, it’s not as easy as sending one email and forgetting it.

Today you have to send a drip email to make cold email effective. It must be clever, people are probably well aware that you offer a free trial (if you do) and just haven’t felt the need to sign up, so it’s your job to make them feel the FOMO, or at least understand how valuable it will be to their team to sign up.

I go over this extensively in a post on Crazy Egg, grab a pdf copy here.

Growth Marketing Month 3

Now we will plan Month 3. Email Engagement, Facebook Ads, 10x Content Piece, Cold Emails, Social Media, Event with CEO or CMO, and product update based on survey

This month we need almost 500 more WAU, the goals are starting to get bigger and heavier, but we have plans and can make this work.

We’ve been optimizing email, starting new campaigns in email and Facebook and should do the same this month. We might even try a like audience on Facebook to see if that will bring results.

The content we’ve written is getting picked up by Google so we are seeing some SEO improvement, let’s schedule more SEO tweaks for Month 4, Cold emails haven’t been doing great so we will shelf that for now and instead work on guest blogging to get exposure, we have a few sites willing to take our content.

We are going to put a special focus on social media this month and see if we can turn our likes and followers into more users, and last but not least the CEO or CMO will be a host on a podcast, or hold an AMA somewhere to help us meet our goals. Schedule this event early in the month to get exposure and have time to use an ace in the hole if things aren’t going well.

During Month 3 you should take time to schedule months 4-6, what new methods do you think you should include, how many appearances for your CEO? What has worked and what hasn’t? What needs to be improved to make it work? Have you had a hard time hitting your goals? Are you confident you can keep hitting them as each month gets harder?

A lot of thought and energy goes into your monthly marketing calendar, and it will no doubt change over time, but it’s still good to plan it out, have an idea of what you are doing, and stay up to date on where your metrics currently are.

If you need help hitting your goals, I can help, send me a message and we’ll talk soon. I look forward to helping your team build a growth goal streak.

Month

Tactics

Month

Tactics

Month

Tactics

Month 1

Email Engagement

Facebook Ads

10x Content

Survey Users

Month 2

Email Engagement

Facebook Ads

10x Content

Survey Users

Cold Email

Month 3

Email Engagement

Facebook Ads

10x Content

Survey Users

Cold Email

Social Media

CEO Event

As I say, growth doesn’t happen on its own, you have to plan it for it to happen. Hopefully, this post will help you jog your mind to come up with some marketing activities that will help you meet your goals.

4 Fast Acting Tactics To Meet Your Growth Goals Every Month

4 Fast Acting Tactics To Meet Your Growth Goals Every Month

Want to make sure you never miss a monthly growth goal? Perhaps you need a boost right now to get the month moving in the right direction?

Then you’ve come to the right place. Big companies like Facebook and HubSpot have lofty growth goals and continue to meet them every month.

But how do they do it exactly?

Planning of course!

That is, consistently planning ahead to meet their goals and then planning for the occasional situation when they need to scrape together their resources and make ends meet.

5 Growth Roadblocks Preventing You From Hitting Goals

5 Growth Roadblocks Preventing You From Hitting Goals

There are so many factors that contribute to the confusion around choosing a strategy for growth.

After working with multiple startups, I’ve noticed 5 issues that specifically prevent companies from meeting their goals. Here, I’ll explain what each roadblock is, how it affects results, and how it can be remedied.

1) Your Biggest Roadblock Is a Lack of Planning & Strategy

You don’t just select a goal and expect you’ll make it happen. It won’t. Like anything else in life, it needs to be planned out, you need a strategy and a framework to ensure you meet your goal every month.

This planning, should include experimenting, and keeping easy access to tactics to help you meet goals.

The major indication of needing to plan is when you get close to goal deadlines and are still lacking in results.

Many startups use HubSpot for their website and the reporting is awesome. The ability to set goals is very useful because it lets you see when you are off track to meet your goal, Chart Mogul is another company with this feature in their toolset.

Examples of Needing A Growth Plan:

  • For instance, if you are in the middle of the month and your goal is for 3,000 visitors (very small number) but you’ve only gotten 1,000 visits, you’ll see that you are off by 500 visits which means you have a bit to make up for.
  • On the other hand, the goal tool in HubSpot also tells you if you are ahead, say it is the 20th and you have 2,800 visits. You are over by 800 visits and might not need all of the tactics you’ve planned for the month.


The Many Benefits of Having a Growth Plan

Having a dashboard for goals is immensely helpful. When you are falling short, it’s time to plan an additional activity to make up the difference by the end of the month. You’ll want to do it quickly to get back on track and leave yourself time in case it doesn’t work to plan another tactic.

In the case of being on track to meet goals early, you should hold off on planned tactics/events until the next goal period (if possible) so that the results aren’t wasted on a month where you are already meeting goals.

More Opportunities to Experiment

Being ahead of goals gives another opportunity, one to experiment with things that might work. Say you normally get 25% of your monthly conversions from Social Media but you want to try to improve those conversions by setting up 2 landing pages specifically for organic social traffic.

Since you are already ahead with your goals, you can take the time to try this and see if it moves the needle.

Keep Track of Experiments & Successes

I suggest making lists, perhaps in Trello, of what you do regularly to meet your goals, where you’d like to experiment, and what you’ve tried in the past that will contribute to your goals in a pinch.

My Trello Board:

 

I’ve been asked, “If you keep these goals for when you are in a pinch why not just always use them?” One of the reasons is it would get tiresome for the market to constantly use these as a way to get people to convert. It would stop being effective. Instead you keep these activities as aces in the hole that you can pull out to make sure you succeed in meeting goals.

Fix This Roadblock- Get The 7 Step Growth Plan

Each month write up your marketing calendar, compare the results you expect with your goal and plan enough that you will hit the goal. You can do this by using the 7 Step Growth Plan I’ve written for you, it’s free to download.

Now, use a goal dashboard and if you see you are falling behind brainstorm on how to fix it immediately, schedule more activities to make up the difference, and pull in an ace in the hole to hit your goal.

This might take some time to perfect, and growth is a process so it requires regular configuring and strategizing, but when you take the time to plan you’ll be far less likely to miss your goal.

2) You Aren’t Focused on Sustainable, Long-Term Growth ie: Stop Chasing The Silver Bullet

Brian Balfour wrote in one of his blog posts about how the lack of focus and the search for the silver bullet were two ways that growth could be stunted. I’ve seen this myself, w n you are trying to handle 30 different activities, it’s a lot harder than handling 3-4 of them well.

Are you distracted by silver objects?

  • Trying to make too many activities work at one time, without the team to handle it
  • Trying growth hacks that seem easy and doable just because you have the budget
  • Aren’t fully vetting an idea by testing it out on a small segment of their users
  • Implementing, hoping it works, and moving to the next experiment
  • A hurried team, lack of focus and scaling on activities that could work better

There should be a balance between experimenting and focus.

There should be time available and planned for where you can actively work on the things that contribute well to your growth, and then time to play/experiment with ideas and ways to improve growth even more. In my plan for growth, I call this the core to experiment ratio.

The average startup will grow slowly and incrementally over time.

They don’t go to bed one night and wake up a month later to find success. They keep pushing for it, every day, and once in awhile they strike gold that makes a major impact, then it’s back to the slow improvements until it happens again.

Stories about using 500 t-shirts to catapult a startup to success are outliers that break rather than prove the rule.

A Ratio of Incremental to Experimental Growth That Works

Try to focus on incremental growth 80% of the time and experimental hacks 20% of the time. What you can do will be based on your resources, the team size you have, the budget you have, and the goals you are trying to prove. This ratio works for me for 10%-25% MoM growth.

3) You Need To Investigate Your Analytics

There are now mountains of data available for SaaS companies specifically and no one should overlook the possibilities of understanding the information they are privy to, but many do.

Metrics like MRR, WAU, and CLV are some of the most common to track, but they are far from the only metrics that matter. In fact, other metrics will impact the above numbers quite heavily, and you’ll notice that an increase in Search Traffic might increase MRR, or a higher number of emails leads to higher CLV.

This is why you need to spend abundant amount of times understanding and analyzing your analytics regularly. A tool like Chart Mogul is perfect for this as they know exactly what SaaS and startup companies need to see.

Here is a screenshot of their custom dashboard: (you’d make your own)

Are You Spending Enough Time in Analytics?:

  1. Do you have analytics and activity tracking installed?
  2. Do you check the data daily?
  3. Do you understand the data AND implement changes based on the information?
  4. Does your team understand the data they have or how to access it?
  5. Does the team struggle to understand what the data means?

It’s easy to identify if your company isn’t making proper use of your data. And the only way to fix this issue is to get educated about possibilities in data, understanding data, and making decisions with data.

This is one area where I can help, I’m offering monthly growth mentorship that includes data and decision making. Please email me to learn more, [email protected]

Additionally, here are several resources to help you understand and improve your approach to data:

4) Your Marketing Lacks Motivation

Photo by Gonzalo Arnaiz on Unsplash

Marketers of all types run into poor conversions and it can be difficult to diagnose the problem because there can be so many factors at play.

Lack of Motivation = Lack of Conversions

Simply put, you aren’t connecting with your audience. Prospects can’t see the value in your product from the words you are using, the copy lacks motivating evidence to drive a conversion, you are missing certain elements from your site, or you don’t present a trusting business.

You Aren’t Speaking Your Market’s Language & Acknowledging Their Pains

For starters, not knowing, understanding, and using what you know about your target market (potential buyers) is one of the biggest issues I see in all marketing today. Companies don’t always take the time to investigate their market well enough to understand what they need and how to convince them they can deliver.

This lack of understanding the target market is a major cause of low conversions. If you can’t speak to your market in a way that helps them solve a problem, you can’t convert them to buyers.

To solve this, start thinking about what the visitor needs to see to convert.

What buyers need to know to convert:

  • What makes your product better than competitors
  • What it costs
  • How they’ll benefit from using your product
  • How long it takes to get started and become successful
  • How easy it is to integrate into their lives
  • What the dashboard looks like

This information should be on your site instead of content that simply explains what you want to say.

You Are Missing Site Elements That Encourage Conversions

When the content on your site doesn’t encourage the visitor to take action, you are losing conversions due to poor copy. You might be sharing the information the buyer needs but you aren’t convincing them to do something NOW to fix their problem.

Now this could be related to not knowing your buyer well enough and therefore not writing content they find motivating, but it could also mean you didn’t hire the right person to ‘sell’ your product (a copywriter).

What your site needs to convert buyers:

  • A benefit driven headline
  • Supporting sub headline that explains what you do and how
  • Call to action buttons that tell the reader to take action
  • Social proof that shows how others feel about having purchased
  • A look at the product dashboard or other screenshots

Both ‘lack of understanding’ and ‘lack of copy’ can be easily fixed. You can survey colleagues to get their opinions, or survey others in your industry. You could also ask me, you can call me on Clarity and I’ll help you figure it out.

Here are a few links to help you fix both of these problems:


5) People Don’t Love Your Product 

It’s easy to ignore churn, if you aren’t careful. The startup world rewards high growth and blames churn when things go bad. But, experts agree that churn should be prioritized above growth, one of the reasons being that growth will only feed a leaky bucket leaving nothing solid behind.

Chances are you know your churn rate, and you know if it is problematic. If not, you should know that something as ‘low’ as 10% is still quite high depending on the time period. But the biggest indicators of churn are poor reviews and high unsubscribes by paid users.

Unlike the other items on this list churn has a different affect on growth. It doesn’t seem to hurt it the same way because it happens after growth has happened, people simply stop using the product after they’ve converted. But it affects word of mouth, PR, partnerships, and other aspects you might not consider.

No matter how you slice churn, it is a company killer and needs to be contained and fixed immediately, before you focus on growing more.

To do that, you need identify the reason for high churn via extensive user surveys.

Churn can be caused by several factors such as:

  • Marketing that over promises
  • A product that doesn’t deliver
  • Difficult user interface
  • Poor customer support experience
  • Better options with competitors

The only way to know for sure is post churn surveys. There are many tools out there that can help you with this. But, if you struggle with understanding the answers you get, or fashioning the survey at all, give me a call through Clarity and I will help. You can find the link at www.mary-green.com/contact I also offer a free 20 minute consultation to help diagnose your problem.

How We Grew Inbound.org to 154k Members

How We Grew Inbound.org to 154k Members

What does it take to build a thriving community?
How do you get people to come back on a regular basis?
And what mishaps are there you can learn from?
Perhaps my time as a community manager with Inbound.org will give you some insight.

50+ Growth Resources for Startups (Updated)

50+ Growth Resources for Startups (Updated)

There are dozens of guides for startups to reference when they are researching different aspects of growth. But, it isn’t always easy to find them.

I searched with multiple tools to find as many as I could, for this post. As I find more I’ll add them in.

I’ve found calculators, tools, spreadsheets, and more, with the following topics covered; onboarding, bootstrapping, customer success, churn, retention, pricing, business model, user experience, blog, growth, marketing, sales, and various. I hope you find this useful.

For starters let’s talk about the Growth specific guides:

Growth

Rational Growth by Andrew Chen – Free, No signup- Here, Andrew Chen talks about the frameworks, questions, and thought processes you need to build a product with millions of users. The visuals are helpful, the focus on using spreadsheets is refreshing, and you walk away with a real feel of what is needed to make growth happen.

The Scientific Method: How to Design & Track Viral Growth Experiments by Brian Balfour– Slideshare- Why would you care if you are designing and tracking growth experiments correctly? Well, because the human brain has a limit to how much it can remember accurately. So, follow Brian’s suggestions and always have a resource to refer to with future teams and employees.

The Data-Driven Guide to Growing Your SaaS Company by HubSpot– This guide is about establishing sustainable and measurable growth. It includes the initial information a new SaaS founder or marketer would need, and talks about finding growth and scaling it for success.

Ultimate Guide to Growth Stage Pricing By Open View Partners– These guys know pricing and will help you understand the nuances of a pricing strategy in the growth stage. This is powerful information that will help you optimize your MRR while figuring out what your users will pay and how to get them to pay the highest prices.

SaaS Marketing Essentials 3 Chapters by Ryan Battles– If you are at all new to SaaS marketing and growth, Ryan Battles book is a foundational piece that will help you take off running with your newest project. Here you can get the first 3 chapters for free.

The Definitive Guide to SaaS Marketing by New Breed Marketing– This lengthy guide was written to help you get growth moving through your marketing efforts. It includes the basics of metrics, goals, and budgeting while discussing tactics, templates, and techniques for marketing your SaaS company.

Essential Guide to Customer Journey and Lifecycle by GainsightFull Guide On Site- An often overlooked aspect of growth, though not by majorly successful companies, is Customer Success. In this guide by Gainsight, the customer journey and lifecycle is discussed. While it seems this sort of thing is for corporations, these are exactly the types of things that Andrew Chen considers when working on growth, as you’ll see in the guide at the top of this list.

Strategic Marketing Tactics for SaaS Companies by Inturact– This guide by Katy Katz focuses specifically on content marketing for SaaS companies, but it doesn’t stop there, it includes the information you need to target customers and promote content, then follow up by keeping your users happy. Very useful for content marketers.

Scaling Personalization for Behavior-Based Trigger Marketing by BlueShift– In this guide by BlueShift you’ll learn about marketing based on behavior. As technology continues to impact marketing we are able to get minutely specific about who and when we share a message. Learn how to use your trigger marketing opportunities to get the highest number of conversions.

Lifecycle Marketing by Retention Science– Lifecyle marketing might sound like a highly specific, almost boring approach to marketing but it has several implications for growth. One of the things I’ve focused on for years is lifecycle marketing, and you’ll find numerous points of interest in this guide, that will impact your growth.

Growth Marketer’s Guide to Customer Engagement by BlueShift– Another guide by BlueShift, this one helps you focus on your relationship with your clients and using it to engage them, market to them, and increase revenue.

SaaS Grader by New Breed Marketing– This tool helps you figure out some of your more difficult metrics and explains the implications of each KPI. You do have to enter your information, but it’s very helpful if you aren’t already tracking on a tool like Chart Mogul.

Free Trial Conversion Rate & Cohort Analysis Template by New Breed Marketing– A spreadsheet template that analyzes your free trial conversion rate, and provides cohort analysis. Your cohort analysis will reveal what audiences you can provide better marketing experiences for, and help you further understand your personas’ needs.

The Epic Guide to Bootstrapping A SaaS From Scratch– Perhaps one of my favorite topics around growth is bootstrapping. I just have to respect someone who wants to build their startup and product on their own terms. This is a blog post, and the creator is writing a book right now for others who want to do this. I love the sense of traditional entrepreneurship in bootstrapping, I hope you enjoy the post.

SaaS Sales

You can’t talk about growth without also including sales, a major path to growth, though one that can be more difficult to scale. Either way, these guides are a couple of my favorites for advice to startups and SaaS companies looking to optimize their sales processes.

Ultimate Guide SaaS Sales 31 things you need to know about selling SaaS by Steli Efti at Close.io. First of all, Close.io is a top blog for SaaS Sales, and Steli knows what he is talking about. Read through their backlog of blog posts and this guide to find pieces of information that will no doubt help your company grow.

My Favorite Startup & Growth Blogs

ProfitWell Blog– Let’s talk about your churn and MRR optimization. ProfitWell runs experiments, works with clients, and shares what they learn about improving profits at startups and SaaS companies. You’ll love Why Annual Plans Are Crucial for Reducing Churn.

What Users Do & Why Blog– I like this blog because it talks about user experience, something that is still a relatively new topic. Similar to my blog post on Inbound.org 9 Reasons I Won’t Buy Your SaaS Tool, the posts on What Users Do help you understand your market better so you can optimize their experience and revenue.

Tomasz Tunguz– A partner at Redpoint and the co-author of ‘Winning With Data’. Tomasz is a venture capitalist that writes blog posts every day about startups and does a great job of using data.

Brian Balfourformerly Growth at HubSpot, Brian has years of experience and writes monthly essays teaching about growth frameworks and the other processes needed to see extensive user success.

Jason Cohen– A Smart Bear might be my newest and most favorite startup blog. While I’ve heard of him before, I didn’t take the time to go back through his old posts and fall in love with how he shares. This is a great blog and I look forward to new posts.

First Round Review– If you go through the posts here you’ll find a lot of interviews and stories of founders and startups and their successes and failures. It’s a treasure trove of education from some of the biggest companies to some of the fastest growing.

Alex Turnbull on Groove’s Journey to 100k- Think of these posts as over-the-shoulder pieces that fully explain what it’s like to grow a SaaS startup. Great content by a dedicated team who really wants to help others be successful.

Various/ Miscellaneous

Cohort AnalysisA collection of tools that explain cohort analysis and how to use the information obtained to improve marketing and churn.

Understanding and Managing Subscription Businesses by Recurly– An informative guide that gives founders a look at the metrics they need to track and a great deal of information on identifying and fixing churn.

The SaaS CEO’s Guide to Happier Customers by Drift– Drift is killing growth and one of the reasons why is their focus on keeping customers happy. This is customer success and growth at its best and something we can all learn from. Check out my piece to 29 Growth Lessons from Drift.

SaaStr Academy-  Learn anything you need to about running a SaaS startup at SaaStr Academy, but this link will take you straight to their growth stage section where you can learn about founder mistakes, raising funds, and tips to growth 10-20% faster.

How to Nail Your SaaS Trial by Autopilot– Once you already have people in a trial, it’s much easier to convert them to a paying customer, right? Not so fast! In this guide by Autopilot they take you through the necessary steps to make sure you convert as many of your trial users as possible. Having gone through a trial with them I can attest to their helpfulness and passion to convert.

Creating Successful SaaS Products by Ramen– Many people launch their product or service without considering whether it will sell. Here the team at Ramen help you consider successful SaaS products and how you can emulate their achievements.

The Essential SaaS Metrics Guide by SaaS Metrics– An analytics guide to the metrics of importance at any SaaS company, this has been put together by a highly knowledgeable expert in SaaS analytics and we can all learn a thing or two about SaaS metrics here.

More Resources for Startups:

Onboarding Resources

Customer Success

Churn Guides

Retention Resources

Pricing

Business Model

User Experience