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29 Growth Marketing Lessons From Drift

29 Growth Marketing Lessons From Drift

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.

I cannot stress how much I love this, I write about doing this in several of my posts. The headline means is massively important.

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, eaders can easily find their destination. Simple language makes it even easier for people to use the site, double win!

  • Features
  • Pricing
  • Blog
  • Learn
  • Sign In

13. How to Write A Great Feature Page

I’m used to feature pages 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 well designed and written price prage, 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.

18. Self-publishing

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 appearance still work. 

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.

9 Reasons I Won’t Buy Your SaaS Tool

9 Reasons I Won’t Buy Your SaaS Tool

I am a tool addict, I want to play with every SaaS tool out there and I try as many as possible (seriously, I’ll demo anything).

I inspect the features, see what is possible, look for use cases and check out integration opportunities for business processes. 

 

After I’m familiar with the tool, I look for ways to automate with Zapier, IFTTT or through APIs. It’s fun for me to discover the ways businesses and marketers can expand and improve their businesses with the internet and technology. 

 

I’ve been doing this for a few years now and combining what I’ve seen with what I’ve learned in digital marketing, I’ve got some good insight into why potential buyers won’t purchase your tool. I hope this is useful. Let’s get started.

 

Reason 1: I don’t have a problem, I’m happy with what I’ve got. 

Your first job in selling is to identify my problem. But, I don’t have a problem. Things are working just fine for me. My team isn’t complaining and customers are happy with how long it takes to handle their purchases, even customer service. I don’t have a pain that needs to be fixed. 

 

Honestly, I don’t see your product making a big difference for me. Now there could be a couple of reasons for this:

 

1) I’m not the ideal customer (happens all the time)

2) Your product doesn’t address an actual PROBLEM (you are offering a blue printer instead of black- heck I just need a printer that works, I don’t care if it matches my office space)

 

Reason 2: It isn’t always about the money I’m ‘losing’.

Every tool out there promises I’m losing time and money- guess what? Running a business takes time and money. I know I have to invest to make my business grow, so telling me I’m losing money and time doesn’t make your tool any more irresistible.

 

While I may have 10 customers I’m losing $50 on a month ($500/mo. Or $6,000/yr.) I’m still banking a great deal on their contracts, so comparatively it doesn’t motivate me to make a big change. In a nutshell, I’m happy and comfortable where my business stands.

 

Reason 3: These tools are made and retired every day. I can’t invest in something that won’t stick around.

Changing tools is a pain and it’s distracting. I have little confidence your company is going to stick around and continue to make my life easy. I need proof you are a ‘real’ business with a stable future. 

 

I get emails on a regular basis that tools I’ve previously signed up for are closing, were bought out or are no longer funded. I like to watch for a while to make sure a tool is going to stick around, so give me a shout when you’ve been around a year or two. 

 

Reason 4: I don’t have time to learn your tool. 

No matter how ‘easy’ a tool seems to be, when I sign up I’ve got to figure it out, then I’ve got to teach my team. We have to go through our processes and see how it will fit in.

 

All tools take time to learn, and besides signing up I don’t want to spend that time in checking if all of the features and options are going to work for my company. 

 

My time is money and while signing up might save me money in the long run, it is causing me to lose money as I am spending time learning it now.  

 

Reason 5: My needs are always changing, I’m not sure if I need this now or if I should wait. 

I’m growing my business and while I can see how helpful your tool is, I’m not sure it’s something I can’t live without. 

 

For example: When I only connect with 20 people I can easily use a spreadsheet. When I’ve got a couple hundred I can use another tool, and when I have a few thousands I’ll get Salesforce or Hubspot CRM. 


I plan on growing my business, but plans change. I could explode in a month and it would be great to get your tool now, or I could slowly grow and not need it for a year (meaning I’ll waste a lot of money in the meantime if I buy now). For now it makes sense to wait. 

 

Reason 6: I hate being sold to.

When you are trying to sell to me, you are more focused on your sale than on my needs. The more you push, the less I care if the tool would be a good fit. 

 

I’m in control of the tools and products I try and if I feel like I am forced to try it because you won’t back off, this sale will be very difficult to make. I’ll ignore you, unsubscribe from your emails and avoid future conversations. 

 

The one way to ensure I will not purchase is to push me. From the beginning if I feel pushed at all, I will do whatever is in my power to avoid using your tool. 

 

Reason 7: I’ve never heard of you. I don’t trust you.

Being a tool enthusiast in digital marketing, I know of a lot of tools. I see new tools/apps/software on Product Hunt that I’d heard of months ago on a regular basis. And since I stay on top of my industry news and stories, I question a new tool I’ve never heard of. 

 

If my friends aren’t using it, no one I know has mentioned it, or you have a shoddy website, I’ll question your business. When I question your business, I’m not going to invest in your company, or risk mine, by using the tool you offer. 

 

Reason 8: I forgot about you.

This one is tough, but true. I process a lot of information and I see a lot of tools, it happens that your tool may fall beneath my radar.
 

Other tools, probably your competitors, will come across my attention, and one of them will stick out, one of them will make me remember them for when I need it and that’s the one I’ll buy. (I told you this was tough.)

 

There is a ton of content available to educate me on why I need tools like yours; I’ll remember those that stand out as stellar resources. 

 

They might provide an additional incentive or make themselves irreplaceable in another way, and they’ll be my first stop when I need to make a purchase. 

 

Reason 9: I’m using something similar. 

There are multiple project management tools on the market, so once I’m using one, I won’t make a change unless necessary. If your tool is comparatively similar to others on the market, there’s no reason for me to make a change. I need to be very uncomfortable with my current solution in order to consider something else. 

 

Conclusion:

There are going to be a lot of reasons people won’t buy your tool. Some of them, like the ones listed above, can be overcome. 

 

Focus your attention on fixing the hurdles I’ve addressed here, and you should be able to improve how your target market sees your solution, along with the sales numbers they affect. Stay tuned for a follow up of solutions, examples and more. 
How We Grew Inbound.org to 154k Members

How We Grew Inbound.org to 154k Members

I wrote this post for AutopilotHQ an email marketing SaaS company. 

Please check it out here: https://www.autopilothq.com/blog/grow-your-online-community/ 

1. Curate Good Content

2. Host Events with Industry Influencers

3. Show Off Your Best Content

4. Mention Influencers 

5. Keep An Ace In The Hole

6. Host Live Events

7. Community Alerts

8. Create Original Content 

9. Optimize Content for Search

10. Experiment with Tweeting Frequency

11. Send Personal & Relevant Emails

12. Boost Facebook Content To Drive Member Signups

13. Show Up Day After Day

14. Get To Know Your People

Improve Churn – 8 Ways to Over Deliver On User Expectations

Improve Churn – 8 Ways to Over Deliver On User Expectations

Over the years I’ve analyzed hundreds of tools to see how they will help businesses. From this experience, I’ve developed a sense of what B2B buyers need to be successful with a product. I hope you’ll see these things from a customer’s point of view and they will help you preemptively reduce churn. Let’s get started…

Help Me Succeed Quickly (Time to WOW)

I purchased your tool to solve a problem I have. You should do this as quickly as possible. I’ll accept that you need details to personalize my account if you present a profile form, but this should feed into providing me with a better experience, not just helping your additional business goals. When I reach success with your tool, I’ll be satisfied with my purchase and likely to be a loyal customer. Appcues did a post about shortening your time to WOW where they also talked about the importance of this idea. How to do this: Answer these two questions and then work with your developers to make success a primary goal in your tool.
  1. What is the goal?
  2. How quickly can we help the user accomplish the first steps to this goal?
For a CRM I need to be organized. I need to import all of my information quickly, and if your platform automates any features such as highlighting opportunities for sales, that should be accessible on my dashboard. A SaaS Doing This Right: Contentmarketer.io (a former tool by Sujan Patel) immediately lets you enter a blog post to see who has shared a link. Very quickly I see how the tool works and what it does for me, now I can use this information for my business.

Concise & Immediate Onboarding

Layovers or onboarding wizards should be simple and point out the few things I need to know to get started. Onboarding should be short, the user wants to get started. At most offer 2-4 slides in a wizard and let them be done. Do not give me a walkthrough of every feature you offer, this is not the time for that. A new user needs to see the promise you’ve offered in action as quickly as possible to seed their interest for future usage. A SaaS Doing This Right: Ramen.is Ramen quickly surveys the new user and directs them to the important aspects of their product. I would recommend using a wizard from Chameleon and making a slide of each section of the onboarding process.  

Simple and Thoughtful Navigation

While onboarding should offer the initial information a user needs to get started, navigation also plays a major role. For instance, don’t use fancy descriptions (like you see in Contactually’s teardown) for starting a project or task, use language that makes sense. A SaaS Doing This Well: Close.io Close brings users to an initial/example message from CEO Steli Efti and they immediately understand what they are looking at. By looking at the screen a user quickly acclimates to the language on the platform and gets to work, because it makes sense. You can learn more about Close in my site teardown of their marketing.  

Delayed and Useful Onboarding

Instead use in-app tools like Ramen or  Pendo.io (whose marketing I recently analyzed) to share those features with me through in-app messaging. It’s great if the user can easily make their way around the tool, but let’s be honest, they will also need  messages about not-so-obvious features. Onboarding should last up to a couple of weeks. This doesn’t necessarily require a daily email but keep reminding people of the opportunities to fix their pain by using your tool, especially if there is a free trial. Regularly, over several weeks of time, you can also offer features that haven’t used or optimized. A decent installation of Mixpanel with an integration of Intercom will make this easy. However, keep personas in mind when arranging these workflows so that users get highly personalized and relevant information. A SaaS Doing This Right: Quuu.co Is a tool that automatically shares hand curated content to your social media accounts, helping you stay relevant without a lot of time invested into finding pieces to read. Three days after signing up the following email is sent. This is a great example of timely email onboarding where they include tips on the best way to use Buffer with Quuu’s curation.  

Make Sure Your Users' Expectations Are Met

Reliability, Uptime & Speed

As a customer of paid tools, features should work flawlessly (unless you are in beta). When problems do arise users expect an apology and estimate of downtime so they can schedule accordingly. In general, paid beta users are a bit more patient but a product should always offer realistic uptimes. A post by StatusCast helps you see how this can cause reputation damage with customers.

Product Updates

Updates mean more value for users so they are usually acceptable, but it’s good to offer a heads-up about upcoming maintenance. Additionally, give people in-depth information about how to use new features, so they can optimize their performance. A SaaS Doing This Right: Trello does this beautifully on their blog with an in-app tool tip. The notification is easy to see, yet non-intrusive and adequate information is always available. Another Example: Hotjar Below is an email from the VP of Marketing at Hotjar. This shows how they are improving their product to continually help users understand their customers (a goal of the product).

Accessible Tutorials & Knowledgebase

Users should have access to a library of tool resources. This includes videos, guides, tutorials, and a knowledge base. It’s best to have access to everything but feel free to remind me of the popular reasons to visit. Interestingly, Nuance study revealed that 67% of the people surveyed would rather use self-support options instead of talking to someone to get help. Example: Convert They have a support knowledge base with several topics to help you get started.

Convenient Access

People are on the go and need access to the tool everywhere. During email onboaring remind users about apps for other devices. It’s nice to offer integrations they can use with the tool, as well. And if you have a browser extension make that known so people can get the most of their investment. Example: Buffer Buffer almost immediately introduces a new user to their browser extension. Installing the extension makes people more likely to become long time users of an app, and initiates the Hook model by Nir Eyal. While they do this via email, an in-app message could be more effective. Here is their email about the extension.

Customer Support & Success

Highly important in today’s Customer Success Era you’ll want to ensure the success and useful support of every user. Obviously, a paid user should get preference in the support queue. You should also have a system in place that allows for quick support answers, like Groove. Realistically, people want responses in minutes, but it is understandable to take up to a business day. Example: HubSpot HubSpot does a great job of responding to support very quickly. At inbound.org many community members shared their support expectations from HubSpot. They put the bar high, and their users definitely appreciate it. Summary: By better understanding what is expected of SaaS users you can provide solutions for their biggest pain points and offer customer success that surpasses others on the market. Let me analyze your tool and marketing to help you better align your product and message with buyers’ needs and expectations, order your analysis today.

Need Help Perfecting Your User Experience?

How B2B Buyers Shop for SaaS Tools

The more you know about your buyer and the steps they take before making a purchase, the better right? Then you’ll likely find it useful to read this story about how I found the best email marketing product for my latest client.

The Problem: Client Needed A New Email Marketing SaaS Product

I was asked by a client to help them improve their email marketing efforts. They have several thousand members on their email list but have put very little effort into using email to meet their business goals. They were interested in the ability to easily segment sends based on existing data in addition to anything else the tool could collect to help them segment with even more specificity. Since I had done similar work at Inbound.org I was approached for help. Today email marketing tools can segment based on a wide variety of information:
  • Pages visited
  • Number of visits
  • Past event attendance
  • Profile information
  • Source visited from
  • Last visit by date, and more.
The client’s situation was such that they already had Act-on. It could handle some of what they wanted to do, but the cost was around $2,000 a month and other important features were missing. Having analyzed and used hundreds of tools over the years, I knew the features here were introductory at best. The user experience was poor, it was difficult to navigate, and the analytics reports didn’t offer adequate email reporting. Additionally, they had heard about other tools they could use with more advanced features for segmentation, any they wanted to know what would work for their budget, and hopes for a more sophisticated email strategy.

The Contenders: HubSpot, Autopilot, Act-on, and Hatchbuck

From our discussion, I had two tools they wanted me to research, one of which was HubSpot. They wanted to know if they should make the jump to HubSpot for the site, email, reporting, etc. It’s a major product with many features and it integrates with several tools. I decided to investigate whether HubSpot would be the right fit because the client had mentioned it multiple times and wondered if they should migrate to the all in one solution. I already have an extensive history of using HubSpot with many clients so I decided to check this first. I also knew the introductory price for the main package started at $800 a month, and the client seemed comfortable with that. I also knew the email feature was packed with advanced options for segmentation. It seemed like an obvious win. But, when I went to HubSpot’s site I realized the tool would be at least $2,200 a month due to the size of the client’s list. I then checked the client’s website to see what technology it was run on. They were already using WordPress, and as I actually prefer that over HubSpot’s content management system, so I began to doubt whether it was the best solution unless we could only get those advanced segmentation email features there.

Improve Your User Experience By Understanding Their Needs

Investigating Autopilot for Email Marketing

I had actually heard of Autopilot before, so when the client mentioned the tool, I put it on the short list to research. At first, I realized the price was close to $700 a month, or $1200 a month with A/B testing, it sounded close to HubSpot until I realized their price was $2,200 for the current list size. Now, $700-$1200 wasn’t too high. I had signed up for a free trial to see what the tool does and didn’t ‘get’ it from the onboarding. I’ll be honest, I’m very particular about onboarding and I want it to be extremely easy for me to get started. Looking back there wasn’t anything awful about their onboarding, I just didn’t enjoy it.

I’ll give you a free analysis of your onboarding, here.

I got a short list of emails from the client and uploaded it to Autopilot to test the platform. I started a journey, which is their name for workflow, and began designing a simple email send for the client. Within a few minutes, I realized it was very simple to segment the main list, build journeys, schedule emails, etc. Many of the features are very similar to HubSpot’s email features, with several options to segment your list. What I liked, even more, was that Autopilot offered a 30-day trial. I could only send 100 emails but in this case, I didn’t need to send any I just needed to see if it would work for the client. So after a couple of attempts with the tool, I realized this was a great contender for the client’s needs.
Side Note: While I didn’t love Autopilot’s onboarding I enjoyed their free trial and thought it was a perfect example of when and how companies should use free trials. They allow a user to design an entire journey that includes multiple email sends based on actions, time, visits, etc.     By only allowing 100 emails to be sent they give users a taste of deliverability without giving free access to excessive usage that can cost the company a lot of money.

Could Hatchbuck Be The Right Tool?

There was another company I researched during this time. I googled “email marketing segmentation” and this company showed as a comparable tool to HubSpot, in the ads section. They market themselves as a lower cost HubSpot option, and their pricing starts under $100 a month so I was surprised that I would need a demo and walkthrough to even SEE the software. Very disappointing. From a marketing point of view, I think they should at least let people set up a free account to see what if any features work the way I need them to. From a SaaS business point of view, I found it crazy such a low-cost product makes you work with sales on a demo before you can use it. I emailed their support to see if they had a demo account because I had very specific needs, and if this could work for my client it would save them a lot of money. I told them I did not want or need a demo with a salesperson because I had specific needs and I spelled them out. I needed a tool that allowed me to work from one database of leads to segment the leads into smaller lists, to be able to segment based on pages visited, actions taken on the account, scheduled emails, etc. I got a response to watch a recorded demo and that, of course, I could segment my leads into smaller lists, but nothing in regards to the specifics about how leads could be segmented. I felt I had clearly wasted my time investigating their company if I couldn’t get an answer to my questions. At that point, I went back to work on a trial project in Autopilot for the client. A couple of business days later I was sent an email from Hatchbuck pointing out that I hadn’t yet watched their demo and they were following up to see if I was still interested. Now, I know sales can be pushy, but to actually point out that they were ‘Big Brothering’ me?! And in all fairness I found their demo on Youtube before I contacted them, it didn’t answer my question, I didn’t need to watch it again.

The Tool That Meets My Client’s Requirements

As you can probably tell, I chose to go with Autopilot. It’s a very powerful tool for email marketing and I was happily surprised that it was incredibly easy to use once I put in some effort. I still think they could use a little help with onboarding. I do want to point out that the search was never about price alone. Had I suggested to the client that HubSpot would be best for their needs, I know they would have taken my recommendation.

How SaaS Companies Can Use This Experience to Grow

What I think SaaS companies need to understand from this is how I researched each product. I went to each site as someone ready to buy, and ready to spend a lot of money in doing so. I wanted to know what worked, how it worked, if it did what my client needed, and what the price would be. Here is a quick track of how everything unfolded:
  • Client emailed about email marketing needs
  • Discussion with client about needs and current solution
  • Investigated current solution to see what was missing
  • Investigated 2 tools the client was interested in using
    • Looked at price
    • Analyzed features and compared to needs
  • Investigated 1 additional tool found through search/ads
    • Contacted
    • Watched demo video
  • Proceeded with trial at lowest cost/best features company
  • Presented trial project and tool of choice to client
Why is all of this important to your SaaS company? The more you understand your buyer’s motivations and needs, the better you can deliver a solution that works for them. Today people know that one email tool can work very differently from another, so we try multiple tools to see what we like, what awesome features there are, and what has a price that is comfortable. Especially in the marketing world, SaaS companies need to meet industry expectations. Additionally, the SaaS world isn’t a place that can easily ignore their competitors. I understand companies that don’t want to give their competitors a lot of thought because they are too busy innovating, but when you don’t know what your competitor is up to you can’t be sure you have the best options for your target market. So pay attention to what other tools are doing, keep new technologies and features in mind, and give prospects (like me) the information, time, and path to success with your tool.

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