Growth October 1, 2020

SaaS Founders — How do you find customers?

Catalin Ionescu @catalinionescu

Hello founders 👋

How do you find leads / customers for your products? Is it content marketing, blog posts and SEO? Is it Digital Marketing (Facebook Ads, Google Ads, others)?

I’m also curious what’s your most profitable channel?

How do you find customers?
  1. SEO - Content Marketing
  2. Digital Marketing
  3. Posting on IndieHackers / Reddit
  4. Other (please specify in a comment)
  1. 18

    There was a similar question posted on a previous thread. I am including my response below incase you were looking for a few test/proven customer acquisitionon ideas.

    1. Participate in Facebook groups, Reddit, and other niche communities that service your market.

    2. Reverse engineer your competitor's plan with these tools:

    See traffic sources: @SimilarWeb

    See email templates &flows: @mailcharts

    See ad designs w/ FB Transparency Tools

    See ad spend: @spyfu

    1. Search the Competition: Look at up your competitors in G2 (the other similar services). See what customers are saying about your competitors - the good and bad. Use that to make a better mousetrap. Create content that addresses common issues they bring up and post it in a blog for example.

    2. Create a waitlist with a twist - separate tire-kickers from serious buyers. IF you really want to separate the tire kickers from the serious customers, ask prospects to pay a small fee to jump ahead of the waitlist. Charge something small - $1 for example. You'll quickly find out who really wants the product vs people just kicking the tires.

    3. Be Personal: When you onboard your first customers, handwrite a note, share a personalization video message or email. Use a service like SendSpark to create personalized videos so you stand out.

    4. Use Quora: Figure out what the most questions on quora are related to 'your product category' and address them on your blog:

    Step 1. Use SEMrush, Hrefs, Ubersuggest

    Step 2. Go to “Organic Search” — “Positions”.

    Step 3. Input into the search field.

    Step 4. Scroll down to “Organic search positions” and add 3 filters:

    a.) Include + Keyword + Containing + YOUR_KEYWORD

    b.) Include + Pos. + Less than + 10

    c.) Include + Volume + Greater than + 100

    Step 5. Hit “Apply”

    Step 6. Scroll down to the keywords.

    Step 7. There you’ll find a list of keywords where Quora is ranked on page #1 of Google.

    Step 8. Open each URL and a valuable answer with a link to your website.

    Step 9. Your answer is instantly on page #1

    1. Give Thanks: Take advantage of the thank you (confirmation page) after someone signs up, upsells, invite to a webinar, link to most popular blog posts, ask for a social follow, ask for a social share.

    2. Create an ebook/lead magnets by repurposing your best (insert your business category) tips - if you have enough content do it by each custom niche. ie. "25 Productivity Hacks for College Students." Better if the content is evergreen.

    3. Partner up. Find complimentary blogs/newsletters where you can cross-promote

    4. ImPRESS: Subscribe to HARO and respond to reporter's requests.

    5. Add 'click-to-tweet' to each article so readers can easily share your content with their readers.

    6. Guest post on other blogs, find a relevant podcast to get interviewed by.

    7. Add a sign-up URL to your email signature, LI profile, Facebook - anywhere you have a social profile

    Hope that was helpful. If you have a specific customer acquisition issue, let me know.


    1. 3

      Wow! Bill!

      I'm not usually taken aback like this. What an amazingly comprehensive roadmap of invaluable tools and procedures, moreover, specifics.

      Of course, even seasoned devs and SysAdmin types are only going to exhibit competencies in a smattering of the bulleted items in your roadmap, leading us directly back to you for at least some of these tasks to be performed - like me. I'll be ringng your doorbell for sure!

      Thank you very much!


      1. 1

        @tallship - appreciate it. Just happy to give back.

    2. 2

      Beautiful writeup. Thanks Bill

      1. 1

        @catalinionescu You bet! What prompted the survey?

      1. 1

        @Krakz - 🙏 I know what it's like. One person, no budget, and big dreams! Just helping where I can.

    3. 2

      Wow, awesome write up, thanks for sharing that!

      1. 1

        @rfitz my pleasure. glad you found it helpful.

        1. 1

          can someone help break down the research. I'm having trouble doing it on Ubersuggest, i'm a noob and can't find the fields being referenced.

          1. 1

            hit me up and I'll run it for you on hrefs and send an excel. You can email through my IH profile. Give me a few keywords to run.

    4. 1

      Great strategy! HARO is legendary.

    5. 1

      Great list. thanks!

      1. 1

        absolutely! hopefully, you can put it to use.

  2. 1

    I work with primarily SaaS companies and a few strategies that work very well include:

    1. Writing SEO focused blog posts that bring relevant users to your website, solve their problems, and position your SaaS as the solution. These are good tools for topic/keyword research:
    2. Having a clear marketing funnel that includes offers for each step of the buyer journey. (Blog posts > email newsletter >free trial/demo for example.)
    3. Investing in paid ads like Google Ads and Facebook Ads that align with the above funnel.
  3. 1

    I think the best way is a combination of SEO, Advertising, Communities and Advertisiing.

    1. 1

      Agree with that. Did you try any of these for PayRequest? Anything working better than expected?

      1. 1
        1. ProductHunt launches gives xx users per day.
        2. Writing Blogs gives xxx views per month if you have some good articles.
        3. If you make good/many SEO pages you can get recurring visitors.
        4. Communities like this not so effective, but it is fun :-)
        5. Ads can work well, but I hate it.
  4. 1
    1. In-boud SEO is so underrated honeslty
    2. Building marketing automation
    3. Content and blogging
    4. Engaging with right community, right people and at a right place
    5. Taking phone calls / linkedin and cold emails and warm intros
    6. Using client and creating a success story
  5. 1

    It depends on your product and industry your product lies in. It's going to be different for every product and industry. Also, many channels will work but 1-2 will probably work the best.

    I started with posting blog articles on a community publication. That worked for a while but felt that I hit a ceiling. I switched over to Youtube and was able to punch through the previous ceiling much faster. So I'm sticking to Youtube until I feel like it's not working as well as I want it to.

    Good luck!

    1. 1

      Interesting that Youtube worked better than written content for you. What was your target audience?

      1. 1

        I should have included that in the original post -- it's people preparing for technical interviews in data science. They tend to skew a bit younger (20-30 years old) and this generation learns off of watching videos. I'm a bit older and learned data science from reading blog articles and books so my initial hypothesis was to create content the same way I learned it, which apparently is not the way they do things in 2020 =)

  6. 1

    The top 5 channels for SaaS according to my research (after analyzing 480 founder interviews are):

    1. Product Hunt - Worked for 36 founders
    2. Existing Platforms (think: Shopify/Slack App Stores) - Worked for 33 founders
    3. Cold email outreach - Worked for 25 founders
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