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14 Comments

⚡ IL - Make cold outreach more effective with pre-targeting & Increase retention by upselling users to annual plan few months after sign-up

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Increase retention by upselling users to an annual plan a few months after signup

Annual plans decrease churn. Question is how do you get users to commit for the long-term?
Give them time to fall in love with your product, then give them an incentive to upgrade.
Baremetrics sends out an email three months after a customer signs up. In the email, they offer three months free (instead of their usual two months)** for joining the annual plan.
Then they lower the barrier even further by saying that they'll take care of the upgrade on their end --- all the user needs to do is reply.
This approach resulted in an influx of $14,000 in seven days. A heck of a start. And when they started using in-app messaging to send the offers, it got even better. They increased annual plans by 30%.


Make you cold outreach more effective with pre-targeting by @kacper

Here's how you can make your outreach strategy more effective with pre-targeting:

  1. Create a custom audience made up with you target accounts - best ad platforms for this are LinkedIn and Twitter as they allow for the most precise targeting (LinkedIn by company name and Twitter by user's handle)** - you can even use them both at the same time
  2. Run ads targeted at these audiences to build initial brand awareness (optimize for reach)
  3. Only after your target audience has been seeing your ads for a couple of days/weeks, start your outreach campaign

Why does it work? Mere exposure effect - people prefer things they're familiar with. When you reach out to them after the pre-targeting campaign, your company is no longer unknown to them.


What can we do to reduce the "build and they will come mindset"? by @leo

Personally I don't think it's "building first" that's the problem. I think the problem is more and more people are expecting overnight success.
Indiehackers started as a community of bootstrapped engineers building software products. I realize the community has diversified since then, but at the core, there are still many engineers here and our natural tendency is to build. So you can't fault people for engaging in the one activity where they feel they will see the greatest ROI.
Where there is an opportunity to educate people is on topics like:

  • drawing the line and launching the MVP (this is the problem you had, OP)**
  • getting user feedback as early as possible
  • getting your first X sales
  • when to pivot, when to stay on course
  • how your first 10 sales will differ from your first 100 sales
    and so on.

Framing the problem around "building first" leads people to believe that the determining factors of success of your product are front-loaded. This is a symptom of people believing that success is something that happens when you "launch a product" so you need to launch in the "right way" (by validating first, or building first, or whatever other approach is the flavor of the month).
In my opinion, this is all nonsense. Whether you spend the first 2 months building your MVP or the first 2 months talking to users, I ultimately don't think it matters on a long enough time horizon. Your product is going to take years to develop into a business so how you spend the first few months doesn't really matter to me.

You can have the most robustly-validated product idea ever and still fail, by launching a crappy product or launching with crappy timing, or launching and never getting anyone else except your initial user group to care, or launching and not growing fast enough then giving up, or launching and then someone launches something better and you give up, or launching and then the market moves from under you (e.g. travel businesses and corona).

The deck is stacked against you whichever way you approach your first few months.

Success in the indie hacker world has got way less to do with these magical step-by-step formulas governing what you do in the beginning and way more to do with how committed you are to the journey and how long you're willing to grind it out. Those are the lessons I think we should be teaching each other and spreading more of and less of this dogmatic "build first vs. validate first" stuff that gets clicks but ultimately doesn't matter.


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1. The most extensive cold email guide from A to Z by @Azovtsev_Il

2. How to maximize customer retention in the pandemic's second wave by @anitatoth

3. Learn in public by @kacper


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  1. 2

    The annual upgrade trick is a brilliant nugget of advice. Goes without saying, most SaaS businesses should have tantalising pricing and nurture programmes to make annual plans attractive before people become paying customers, too.

    1. 1

      This way your churn decreases too. And you have loyal customers/.

  2. 2

    I would like to thank @PaoloAmoroso for taking time and write a tweet to thank for featuring.
    It's the first time, someone did that for me.

  3. 2

    @FalakSher Great resources and insight as usual, including a couple of notable ones like Color Palette Generator and Sheetui by @jian2587 Thanks for featuring Practicing Google.

    1. 1

      You are awesome.
      Thanks for stopping. And commenting.

  4. 1

    Thanks for the shoutout Falak!

    1. 1

      How is Build faster growing?

      1. 2

        It's doing pretty well. Thanks for asking :)

        I'm $10 away from $300 NET sales. I can't wait to post a milestone on IH about that 🎉

        1. 1

          How is your newsletter growing? And have you joined Twitter?

          1. 1

            Thanks :)

            Yep, I'm at 36 subscribers :P

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