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36 Comments

What were your effective marketing channels as a SaaS founder?

Would love to know what were the most effective marketing channels for you to sell your SaaS product? And how did you discover them?

  1. 5

    Twitter.

    In the last 60 days, I hit 110k impressions, 249 clicks, 43 new sign-ups, and many new relationships. I found many people who were willing to give testimonials, shout-outs, and early reviews. Each of their tweets took the reach wider.

    I spent $0. I have a mobile app. I browse when I take breaks, and engage with the tweets of others. Anytime I think of something that's worth sharing across, I schedule the tweet.

    When someone follows me, I DM. I jump on no-agenda zoom calls, take 15 minutes to know someone, and make the connection feel real.

    1. 3

      It's awesome how you've built rapport with customers :)

    2. 1

      Do you do this through your personal brand or company brand twitter?

  2. 4

    We got a lot of users, developers, via NPM, Stackoverflow, and our API Docs. Here is an article I wrote about marketing to developers.

    1. 1

      It's nice how you guys focused on documentation as a marketing strategy. But also were the first 10-20 customers acquired this way too?

      1. 2

        First dozen, no. Those were personal reach outs on Twitter, Reddit and people we know who would be interested in our API. It is the later growth that came from those other channels.

  3. 3

    Content creation, partnerships with communities, referral programs worked the best for us.
    I've also made a tool that can help you write, schedule and publish articles to Medium,Dev.to and Hashnode very easily. Check it out at bloggu.io

    1. 1

      Were the methods you mentioned above used before finding product-market fit or were those after?

      bloggu.io is for developer blogs, right @razvanstatescu ?

      1. 2

        After you know who your audience is so you can create content that brings value for your possible customers and build partnerships with communities where potential customers are. Before product-market fit I think is very important to talk directly to your users and see if your product really brings value to them, what they use, what they don't use, why are they using your platform, etc.

        And yes, Bloggu is for tech bloggers but you can still use it to schedule Medium posts.

        1. 1

          That makes sense. Thanks for sharing your insights :)

          Sure thing.

  4. 3

    Blogging on our product website, posting useful content on Reddit and Indie Hackers, and limited Google search ads.

    I discovered a lot of info on content marketing and SEO on Neil Patel's site.

    This article was posted on Indie Hackers a while ago and gave me a lot of the ideas I've used to grow to $2000+ MRR

    https://zerotousers.substack.com/p/15-acquisition-channels-i-discovered

    1. 2

      Interesting and how did you go about using the first 2 channels? Was it primarily through posts or cold DM outreach?

      Thanks for sharing the substack article. Gave a lot of insights especially the part where he explains about SEO.

      1. 2

        No problem! Glad you found the article helpful.

        We did both posts and cold DM outreach. We found success with both methods, but I think cold DMs have a higher ROI. We check the Share Your Startup thread on /r/startups every month and reach out to founders building products we think ChatKitty can help. I'd say that approach has been the most successful.

  5. 2

    We're still really early but this is how we got started:

    Twitter DMing ~100 people a day in our target market. I think we started DM'ing heavily 2 months ago probably when we had 30 users. We have 284 users today.

    Adding a bunch of share buttons to increase WOM. Share your wishlist, share the new item you added to your wishlist, share the gift you received.

    I discovered DM'ing because I found my target market on Twitter. I heard other people got started with DMing.

    Also I was looking for the most inexpensive routes.

    1. 1

      But how did you triangulate 100 customers in the top of the funnel to reach out to?

      1. 2

        What does that mean? "traingulate" and "top of the funnel"

        1. 1

          My bad, sorry for complicating it. So its rephrased as " How did you select the first 100 customers to send a direct message out of all the people on Twitter?"

          1. 2

            Thanks for clarification. We did our market research by surveying adult industry content creators on Twitter. That's who our product was supposed to serve. So first we searched for others like that on twitter- example people who have "onlyfans" in their bio- and dm'ed them about our product. Or people who had related keywords in their bio. Also looked for people complaining about our competitors. I looked for people with low followings at first because I thought they would be more receptive. But that wasn't always the case actually.

            Over time we found that within that niche, an even smaller niche was very receptive so we focused on DM'ing them.

  6. 2

    Marketplaces - if your app can integrate with another, bigger app this can be a great source of users. Try the Slack integrations list, Heroku, Shopify App Store, Salesforce, etc etc.

    1. 1

      But the product will have to enable integration or usage of the APIs on those platforms?

      1. 2

        Yes, usually. Because of that, I t’s kind of a niche strategy. But if there’s any way it makes sense for your app, it can be an excellent source of targeted traffic.

        1. 1

          Thanks for the insight :)

  7. 2

    Content. Content. Content :)

    We have spent $0 in marketing and made 400 sales in 8 months. Our long-form content pages (such as https://analyzify.app/google-tag-manager-shopify) and Youtube videos have been our ONLY channels and we are so happy with the results.

    1. 2

      Is spending $0 on marketing a good thing? If you could spend 20% of your revenue on marketing and get multiple more paid users, isn't that a missed opportunity?

      1. 1

        That's a good point. Spending $0 on marketing is not something to be proud of. I mentioned it because of the context - content being the #1 channel to start with - in my humble opinion.

        As for the case; we actually didn't want more customers - our support load/capacity has been so balanced with the sales. We grew the support team and it has always naturally been aligned with the sales. More sales came in - our capacity grew.

        We didn't want to sell more because we wanted to keep focusing on the product and customer excellence. We will start doing paid marketing once we bring our product to a state that we don't have to provide this much support :)

    2. 2

      Nice. And did you market your content pages elsewhere too?

      1. 1

        The posts and Youtube helped each other. The videos are somehow linked to the content as well. On some videos, they need to visit our website to get some code blocks. That helped a lot - almost like a cross-promotion.

        Except for that, I have also posted on the related posts in Reddit, Shopify communities, especially on early days.

  8. 2

    Google ads on your competitors names or "competitor-name alternative" and also twitter is very helpful to interact with customers and make sure people are aware of your product.

    1. 3

      Just an additional clarification for people looking at this thread:

      Using competitor names in your ad keywords is fine

      Using competitor names in your ad text is prohibited.

      1. 1

        Thanks for sharing the heads up!

    2. 2

      So you used content marketing on Twitter or the DMs?

      1. 3

        We have used DMs much more but also interactions with potential customers through tweets has also been very valuable for us.

  9. 1

    Currently, for my latest project - BotMeNot IndieHackers, DEV Community, and as of very recently - Reddit, have given me the best results.

    The next step for me would be to dramatically increase my activity on BMN's Twitter profile.

    1. 1

      Interesting to observe Reddit as a great channel. Good luck on Twitter, @mkrunic :)

      1. 2

        Thanks!

        I was suspicious of Reddit at first, as I've had some very "meh" results with it initially, but it seems things are starting to change.

        1. 1

          Cool. Experimenting soon with Reddit.

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