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Acquisition Channel Opportunities: BNPL, cat-and-mouse SaaS, Twitter Spaces

This week, I sifted through over 5200 marketing/tech articles in search of news-as-opportunities for you to get more paying users. Here are the top 3 I found:

1. Buy-now-pay-later is coming to SaaS, and it could increase your conversion rate

The news: Afterpay, one of the largest BNPL (buy-now-pay-later) providers in the US, has announced that it will allow all U.S. customers to pay for subscriptions such as gym memberships, entertainment subscriptions, and online services in installments.

Why this is significant: The buy-now-pay-later model has exploded in the e-commerce space. Klarna, for example, has 90 million customers worldwide.

BNPL has not caught up in SaaS because almost no major BNPL provider (Klarna, Afterpay, Affirm) supported subscription & digital products. This is about the change with Afterpay taking the plunge.

How BNPL works: A customer pays in (usually) four installments, and the BNPL provider gives you the money up-front. Accepting payments using a buy-now-pay-later provider can increase conversion rates by 20 to 30 percent.

The opportunity: After BNPL becomes available for SaaS, you could use it in all sorts of ways to improve your conversion rate. For example, you could set up your annual plans so that people can pay in installments. For example, if your annual plan costs $400, people will be able to use Afterpay and pay in 4 installments ($100) over a six-week period. Sweet!

2. Parents turn to indie founders to help them buy gifts for their children

Indie founders are becoming the new Santa's helpers.

The problem: Parents are becoming increasingly frustrated by empty store shelves as they try to buy holiday gifts for their children.

Do whatever is necessary: According to the Wall Street Journal, these dissatisfied parents are increasingly turning to shopping bots that track when an out-of-stock item is restocked. Some of them even place orders automatically.

Most of these tools are made by bootstrapped founders. One of them is Peter Ironside, the founder of SlapX, an "automated checkout tool" for in-demand items.

Cat and mouse games: Many retailers forbid customers from purchasing products using automated software. But people do it anyway because the upside (seeing a big smile on your child's face because you got them a hard-to-get present) outweighs the potential downside.

The opportunity: This got me thinking. Over the years, I've seen many software tools in "cat-and-mouse" markets where bootstrapped founders thrive. One of the primary reasons for this is that VCs will not enter these markets; they do not want to get involved in niches that may violate the TOS of big sites.

Take Expandi, for example, a LinkedIn automation tool, which has been bootstrapped to $3M in a year. I've also seen a bunch of "shopping bots" tools that make 5-6 figures being sold on premium brokerage sites such as FEInternational.

Some of these software tools receive funding if they exist for long enough. Take Semrush, for example. They were founded in 2008 and received their first (public) funding 10 years later, in 2018. These investors probably took the plunge because it was safe to assume that Google didn't bother with getting their search results scraped.

3. Here's the largest Twitter Space of all time (and what you can learn from it)

And (of course) it has to do with singing.

The news: LADBible spoke with the creator of a Twitter Space that had 48,000 users at its peak.

What the Space is all about: Karaoke with a twist. "Sing Your Dialect" was the name of the Space, where you could sing a song in, well, your dialect. People like Barack Obama and the Somalian Embassy listened in on the Space.

The opportunity: One of the main reasons why this Space was so popular because it took a concept and added an interesting twist to it.

Can you do the same in your niche? I've been noticing this trend across all social media platforms. People will make a Facebook post/tweet where they form the question in a way where people can be interesting. Examples:

- Name something that a lot of people like, but you can’t stand.
- How do academics with two or more kids get everything done (wrong answers only)

The "Sing Your Dialect" is the Twitter Space version of the posts above.

  1. 2

    Interesting pattern in #3, you're basically giving people an opportunity to show how witty/funny they are.

    1. 1

      That seems to be the new 'trend' :)))

    2. 1

      Been seeing these posts all over Twitter.

  2. 1

    Cat-and-mouse niches are similar to app extensions. You usually rely on one platform (or one tech) to do your job. You naturally have some customers because a lot of people use that platform/tech. The con is: the platform could change to a point where they won the game, and you can no longer compete.

  3. 1

    Wonder how/if founders will adopt the whole BNPL thing. It's already becoming an almost-default way to pay in e-commerce.

    1. 1

      If it increases the conv $, then it's a matter of time IMO.

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