Growth October 14, 2020

"Powered by" Marketing - An Acquisition Channel Nobody Talks about (but 43 Indie Hackers Used to Grow Their SaaS)

Darko @zerotousers
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    "Powered by" marketing is also a way to do some pretty good competitor research. I've been looking into building a SaaS product for boat storage facilities and one of the biggest competitors is Easy Storage Solutions.

    So I googled: "Powered by Easy Storage Solutions" "boat" and came up with about 6,400 of Easy Storage Solutions customer's websites. About 99% of those customers have email addresses on their website and I've reached out to them asking what they like/don't like about Easy Storage Solutions, etc.

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      awesome! will you write a full story about the results you got?

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      I did a similar thing trying to find examples of small Shopify stores!

    3. 1

      Woah, a nice tip! Thanks Parker.

  2. 3

    I already had 3 people recommending this article and had to come and see what the fuss is all about. Pretty amazing find and I would love to get my hands on the full report. I have just subscribed on your website so looking forward to it

  3. 2

    Great article! Never thought of it as a growth channel but makes so much sense - it’s worked on me before.

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      Yeah, wasn't sure whether to call it a "channel" or a "strategy". There are phrases like "content marketing" which means "writing content for marketing", so I thought "powered by marketing" would be a good phrase to use here.

  4. 2

    We use this tactic in our SaaS, but it is incredible to see the amount of pushback we get from some customers who want us to remove the 'Powered by...' footer from certain pages or emails. It is always the customers who pay us the least too!

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      Curious what's your audience? Are they developers/tech-oriented?

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        No - mainly small businesses in all sorts of industries. There seems to be no set pattern among those who constantly email us to remove our branding from our system, except that they are usually the ones who spend the least (<$100/mo) with us. We have customers who spend $600+ per month with us who never mention our branding on emails or certain public facing pages on their account.

  5. 2

    This is great Darko! Looking forward to the next one!

  6. 2

    Are you aware of someone else talking about this acquisition channel? Wanted to do a follow-up piece but struggling with research.

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        Nice article. Thanks a lot!

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      I was actually thinking of pitching this idea to a client. I will let you know how it goes.

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        Sure! Feel free to email me at darko [at] zerotousers (followed by com) :)

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      Intercom have used this technique as part of their marketing strategy for quite a long time.

      It's discussed in tip #1 of this article, https://sumo.com/stories/intercom-marketing#1

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        Thanks! If you got anything else, feel free to send it here. Live chat "powered by" is the most obvious example, curious to see if there are any other examples (like the one with Software AG I mentioned in the article).

  7. 1

    Thank you very much, Darko. Very interesting insights and the results are not surprising for me. This kind of growth hack worked for Hotmail years ago. There it was called "PS: I love you. Get your free e-mail at Hotmail". and adorned each E-Mail which was sent over Hotmail. "Powered by" acquisition channel, I like the name by the way.

  8. 1

    Great writing!

    I just finished the MVP of a new product (linkush.com) and adding a powered-by is one of the first things I added. It's going to be visible on call-to-actions of free users.
    I plan to hide it for paid users though. Looking forward to see how it helps the product grow.

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      Would be curious to hear about your results!

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    Tldr: have your clients make a "powered by {your-app-name}" in the footer. Their competitors will see and want your tool.

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      The purpose of the article was not to describe WHAT to do (a lot of people are aware of "powered by" buttons) but WHY to do it (the fact that I've seen so many founders mention them having success with it.)

  10. 1

    Awesome this is great. Thanks!

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    I think this is falls in the same category as side project marketing. Both are very good, sensible ways to get people to your product. A great article on side project marketing - Side Project Marketing Is the New King by Ali Mese (https://medium.com/swlh/side-product-marketing-is-the-new-king-a75c4ed0c0c5).

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      I don't agree. Side project making is about using your engineering proweness to build a (software-based) tool (which usually takes several hours to do). This is about adding a simple "powered by" button to something you've ALREADY BUILT (and takes seconds).

  12. 1

    This is what we need. Thanks for sharing Darko!

  13. 1

    I'm trying this approach with AllyBot.io - I'm asking free users of AllyBot to add a badge to their website - https://allybot.io/#community-kit

    Maybe I should change the badge to "Supported by AllyBot" or something. But I wanted to give some value to the community as well 🤷‍♂️

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      Maybe also consider using "confirmed by AllyBot" or "with the help of AllyBot".

      Or use a different angle: "Our community supports inclusivity".

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    Good one. Keep in mind that these links must be nofollow or you’ll risk a Google penalty.

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      Good point. Will edit the post to mention this.

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    I've used this for my digital agency since day one. We called it a "site credit."
    Over the years it has brought us some huge leads and also helped a bit back in the day for SEO.

    Also use it for our products including Boast.io - By default it's on, but on the paid plan it's just a toggle switch they can turn it off.

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    I used to put "Downloaded from ..." into all the free css templates I was distributing some years ago. It definitely helps with SEO, people don't usually click on it though.

    For my current saas product I am developing I am going to put a Powered By link in the footer of the product but it would be optional, so if the customer wants it removed I'll remove it for a fee. Hope it works.

  17. 1

    this is very cool, thanks for sharing

  18. 1

    Thanks for this! We've used this in our own product without even putting too much thought into it. This article has made me reconsider the approach of our next project and being able to properly track those links.

    1. 1

      Yeah, also made me think about actually offering influences in my space to purposely put a "powered by" link.

  19. 1

    I'm more interested in your upcoming "engineering as marketing" post, as I already use "powered by" marketing! 😬

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      Are you seeing any results with it?

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    This is an old technique that's been used by free services and products.

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      Yeah, it's been used for a long time. I was wondering if there are any resources that specifically WRITE about this (one guy below pointed me to a Sumo article)

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