Drift, the site sales messaging tool, is everywhere. They are kicking ass in SaaS marketing their product, and their chat boxes pop up on a vast majority of the saas sites I visit.
So, today I’m taking a look at their marketing to see what we can all learn from their approach.
I’ll be honest, from the get go I’m expecting it to be top-notch. David and Dave know what they are doing and at least one of them worked at HubSpot, who is also fantastic with marketing.
Let’s dig in…
SaaS Marketing Lessons From The Drift Website
I’m not at all surprised to see how much I like their website. While researching for this post this was my first visit, so I got the full first-time awe.
1. Using a simple and clean design gives visitors a more enjoyable experience.
Customers can easily get to the point of what Drift does for them without worrying about ‘pretty’ design options getting in their way.
2. Using a benefit driven headline helps readers identify what’s in it for them.
3. A supportive subheadline should be indicative of what the software does.
This is another example of what I try to tell companies. I did wonder after reading the subheadline what Drift’s secret sauce is. There are so many messaging tools, what makes theirs better? I think it would be worth it to get that answered in the subhead, but if they are doing things right they’ve already tested this.
4. Start gathering leads immediately.
“Let’s Go” Finally a CTA that isn’t “Sign Up, Register, Submit”. The email field is nice and simple, with a green CTA that draws attention, wonderful job here. I wonder if they’ve used “Start Selling” as their sign up CTA in testing.
5. Calming signup fears before they are an issue.
“Free Forever. Set up in minutes. No cc required.” They just took care of all of my objections in 3 super short sentences. Why wouldn’t I sign up?
6. Show people what they are buying.
Normally I encourage companies to show a screenshot of their product but Drift does even better with an actual conversation with their tool.
This image shows Drift engaging customers, which is amazingly powerful. So few SaaS tools have actually been able to portray the success of using their tool. This picture is perfect. I’d be amazed if they didn’t put a ton of thought into this image.
7. Show off your popularity with social proof.
“Powering Millions of Messages for Over 10k Businesses”- That statement quickly says people trust and depend on Drift to help them succeed, you can too.
8. Use social proof people can recognize.
These are companies that Drift customers recognize, an important part of using social proof, if I don’t recognize the companies you brag about using your software it virtually does nothing for your brand.
9. Use benefit-driven headlines throughout your entire site.
Almost all headlines on the site are benefit driven because they wrote the copy for the prospect. This is a perfect example of what I say in my teardown/analysis of product marketing, it isn’t about what you want to say to users, it’s about what they need/want to hear.
10. Show more visual evidence.
The images throughout the rest of the homepage help you envision what it’s like to use Drift, and how easy and effective it can be.
11. Restate your Calls To Action.
The last section on the homepage invites you again to get started. “Let’s Go”. It’s important to make it super simple of your visitors to take action. Restate your call to action every 3-4 sections, simply having it in the navigation isn’t enough.
12. Use simple navigation options.
With few options in navigation readers can easily find their destination. Simple language makes it even easier for people to use the site, double win!
- Sign In
13. How to Write A Great Feature Page
I’m used to feature pages being packed with features and conveniently forgetting to continue using copywriting and conversion practices, but not at Drift, of course.
Right at the top of the features Bot page, they explain with a subhead what Driftbot is all about. Then again, they hit you with the email field to get started, brilliant.
Again you see copy and imagery that makes it easy to want to sign up. They’ve left no opportunity untouched. The images show you exactly what can be done, and make you want to play with it. Their conversion rates must be high.
14. How to write a pricing page
When I got to the pricing page I was so happy to see a headline other than “Pricing”. “Find a plan that’s right for you.” Perfect. Then another description/subheadline that motivates you to take action- Choose a plan.
There is an easy option to choose annual or monthly billing although once you’ve clicked there is no real indication of what length of plan you are looking at. I’d prefer to see paid annually under the two prices when I’m on the annual option.
I love that they remembered to add more social proof on the pricing page.
I did find it odd that the Team column says “Contact us”, then “Upgrade Now” underneath. But, this could just be a fluke.
15. Adding FAQ’s Helps Pricing Pages
In addition to the pricing page being well designed and written, they include FAQ’s underneath the pricing. This is something I’ve seen more companies doing and I love it. It helps take care of any questions or concerns and makes it super easy to sign up.
16. Blogging still works.
It’s common for startups to have a blog to share news of their features, and other important information from the company. Drift goes even further though adding content that educates the startup world. Everything they are doing in their company can be turned into content, and because they are willing to share it, companies are eating it up.
There are several posts on the site that are specifically written to help other startups. From describing the publishing of their book, to the new Drift brand book, they deliver quality.
17. How Important It Is For the CEO to Play A Role in Marketing the Company.
Another aspect of their marketing that I really enjoy is the close relationship the CEO plays with the marketing team. You can tell he takes marketing seriously and is willing to make contributions through the book, the blog, the podcast, and more. He can clearly see the connection between being active in SaaS marketing and the success of the startup.
Writing a book is a great way to showcase your expertise. And, since they wrote about a topic that is so popular this book will probably give back to the company for years to come. What’s great is that in addition to writing a book, they use a post to teach you all about what they learned in self-publishing it.
19. Share the importance of your employees.
By showing how much your company values employees and welcomes them, you build loyalty and a long list of possible people to hire from. Customers think “if they value their employees, they’ll value their customers.”
Another time I saw Drift taking public notice of their employees was when someone posted on Linkedin asking “Who are some of the best demand marketers?” And, David Cancel tagged in Dave Gerhardt (the CEO took notice of the CMO).
20. Being socially active can be good for your business.
Don’t say you can’t help your business grow from social media. These guys are all over Twitter and LinkedIn, as themselves, David and Dave, and as the company itself. They tweet, respond, converse, reply to retweets, etc. They truly understand the exponential affect of things that don’t scale.
21. Startup people love podcasts.
I’m not a podcast listener, but you can’t ignore how many people are talking about this podcast, and the vast amount of information they share. Drift is showing us all, even in a crowded space you can stand out.
22. Interviewing guests brings on more exposure…
Through the podcast, whenever Drift interviews someone new they are setting up another opportunity for exposure. Since they have so many listeners guests want to appear, and many probably share the experience with their followers giving Drift exposure to new sets of followers, and helping them grow their listening and email lists even more.
23. When you add new features, market them.
For SaaS companies, the road to product success is never ending. Drift seems to constantly be working on new features, like Driftbot. When you have a new tool or feature, you have more to value to offer. Each time you release a new feature like this, work out a marketing plan for it.
24. Guest blogging and appearing still works.
Look at blog posts in the industry, other podcasts, interview opportunities, they are on new sites, shows, and blogs regularly. That exposure gives right back to their company.
This just reminds us that we shouldn’t over-analyze what any one opportunity will do for you. Just keep giving to the people you are trying to help, and success will come of it. Each piece of their SaaS marketing plan adds a piece to the puzzle, and over time the picture all comes together.
25. Have a personality, already.
When you talk to anyone that represents Drift you’ll notice one thing: It’s a real person. When Dave G responds to a tweet, he simply chats. When you finally sign up for Drift, you get simple emails from Dave G welcoming you, and asking you to have a conversation with him. Anyone I’ve talked to there is personable, approachable, and wants to build relationships.
26. There is money in the list.
In addition to all of the content marketing they are doing, they also have an email newsletter. We all know, the money is in the list, this may or may not be why they are doing it, but if you pay attention to social media, people like this newsletter and have a lot to say about it.
27. How to use testimonials intelligently.
Sprinkled throughout Drift’s marketing you’ll find testimonials and quotes from clients. These are used in retweets and on the site. It’s a simple way to show off how much people like a product without sounding boastful. People are far more likely to listen to a recommendation from someone else than to the company trying to sell them something, use your testimonials wisely.
28. Making Videos People Love to Watch
In all honesty, they probably learned a lot about making fun videos by watching Rand at Moz, but that doesn’t mean they don’t pull them off nicely. As part of their content marketing strategy Drift includes videos, and in the one screenshot above they are discussing the Lead Response Survey they ran, lots of great information.
29. Onboarding & Retention
As you can see in the bottom right corner of my screen I signed up for Drift. I wanted to see how easy it was to use, and figured why not since it’s free to start with? It really was incredibly easy to use, and to set up with Slack (still free). I actually enjoyed the emails I received from Dave welcoming me to Drift, they were short, simple, and looked like personal messages.
I want to thank Drift for being such a great example of SaaS marketing. I hope people learn a lot from watching them. If you enjoyed this teardown/analysis of their marketing get my conversion and homepage checklists by signing up for my newsletter, or contact me to get a teardown for your company.