Getting meaningful compensation data for the Chief Marketing Officer for a SaaS Company is hard. Executive pay is highly distributed and can be a mix of various equity components that make comparisons difficult.Read More
Every time I meet for the first time with a SaaS Company, I ask a list of questions to see where they are at. One question is related to how they send out Transactional Emails from their product. I usually don’t like the answer. More in this article.Read More
Content Marketing is not easy to start, and harder to sustain. When building a scalable demand generation engine and brand awareness driver, Content Marketing is no longer optional. Here are some examples of KPIs to track your Content Marketing progress as it impacts Top-Of-Funnel, Middle-Of-Funnel and Bottom-Of-Funnel.Read More
Reduce friction. Find the friction in the Funnel. Mystery shop your own company. Your website. Call your sales team. Start an online chat. Go through the buying, onboarding and customer service processes and find the biggest friction points. Then solve for them.Read More
Creating your first partner program is a big step. You have to do it right from the start. If you have to make a lot of changes after the first year you run the risk of alienating your most loyal partners that signed early. It's a bit like building a website. It's not a one time project, it's about what you can sustain. Read on to learn more.Read More
Having trouble getting started building content to start your marketing programs? You think it's easier said than done? Read on and you'll find it's actually easier than you might think.Read More
Every marketing effort is a mini-campaign: a tweet, a blog post, a YouTube video, a new webpage on your website. And every mini-campaign won't reach its fullest potential if it’s not treated as such. Read about 4 must-do campaigns to get you started with your Software Startup.Read More
The Economist had an interesting article last week, about “workers on tap”. After call centers, marketing production, event management and many other job categories, we are now also seeing a lot of the high skill, strategic work being done by outsourced specialists. I’d like to share my thoughts on how this plays out for software startups.Read More
Are you wondering what your first marketing campaign should be? Simple. A customer referral program. From the day you start converting your first customers you will have an opportunity to let them share the excitement with their peers. It is an instant generator of relevant leads, and keeps your team on their toes to create great value.Read More
Should you never allow your team to spend budget on PPC advertising? Or to commission external writers to build content? Never say never. Even great content marketing with fantastic inbound results will run into growth limitations. But I've learned that it's very important to challenge your team to be great at highly relevant inbound marketing first, before you allow paid amplification. It's good on many levels. Read on to learn about these benefits and how going cold-turkey by cutting your PPC budget to zero today might be a great start of 2015Read More
Our brains have evolved in such a way that we perceive three main things about anything presented to us, and the rest gets chucked aside. Why? Because we like choices, but not too many. Give us two choices, and we feel torn. Give us four, and we feel confused. Give us three, and we can pick one easily. A curious paradox, isn't it? Think about it. When we write things, when we talk about things, when we look at things, we instinctively seek out three options. It's pleasant, this number three; it makes it easy for us to make decisions. We don't feel forced to choose between two things, it doesn't feel overwhelming. It feels just right. In every aspect of our lives there is evidence to the power of three. The three Olympic medals, the three types of gasoline at the pump, the three varying suffixes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (4th, 5th, and so on all get the same -th ending). Three is the number that our brains process well and hold in our memory. Everything after three is quickly forgotten.
The following is a list of three truths about the three option tendency.
1. One of the three options is always most popular.
Take a look at any SaaS company website and see how it's designed. Look at the pricing, the product offerings. It's interesting to see the application of this phenomenon, isn't it? When you design your cue lineups, pricing levels, or plans for your product, it's best to have three options. In the middle you would typically put an option that you think most customers will need. It's not necessarily an option that you want most of your customers to buy, but it will be likely the most popular one.
2. The most popular option is usually in the middle.
When you have a great product market fit, that is, when you build a product or a service that your customers actually want, that product or service in the middle will be what the majority of customers will pay for. Typically you'd add one other product on each side, a cheaper one and a more expensive one. Or maybe one that is more scalable but less flexible and one that is more flexible but less scalable. You decide, but always have three options: one you think people will need most and two more that will offer something different to people who don't fit in the middle category. Take a look at your menu structure at the top of your website. How many options do you have? Many websites have too many. Whittle it down to three options. Three is plenty. Have three things for people to click on. Crazy Egg can show you a heat map of your website so you can see what people are clicking on and how they browse through your pages. It's a fascinating exercise, if you haven't done this before.
Shell Oil took this phenomenon and used it to trick us into buying their most expensive option. I think most people got used to pick “Plus”, the one in the middle. Shell swapped the order and out of habit I’m sure many people now picked the more expensive V-Power. I know I did it at least once.
3. The three options are the most typical that you can offer.
What are the three basic items every technology-oriented company should have on its site? Let's see here. It could be Product, Pricing, and More (More being where you hide all those other things that people might be looking for). Or it could be Customers, Products, and Pricing. Or maybe it's the three audiences that you are segmenting your customers into, so that when they enter your website they identify with the audience they belong to and click through to the right content without delay. Those could be Small Business, Corporation, and Enterprise, or something along those lines.
And don’t worry about “hiding” the other options under “other” or in the footer on the bottom of the page. People will find these. Also, in this blog I talk about how most people should not arrive on your homepage anyway, but on specific landing pages optimized for what they were searching for, or what they clicked on.
Everywhere you look, you will see the power of three. One example is three brand offerings like Old Navy (cheap), Gap (moderate), Banana Republic (expensive). Or three television networks: ABC, CBS, NBC. Take a look at your closet. I bet there are three items you wear more often than anything else. Three usual ice cream flavors: vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate. I can keep going. Three options make it easy for people to choose. If you apply this rule in your marketing, you will design a great website, write great copy for it (emphasizing only three major points), or offer great subscription plans. By limiting options to only three you are spurring customers into action. You make them pick something suitable for them and leave them happy instead of confused and overwhelmed. In the pictuer on the right you can see the click heatmap of Mightycall, and it's clear that any more clickable links on the page would not add any value.
Your to-do list:
Design your website with the power of three in mind. Get rid of extra information or links that will only cause confusion.
Make three offerings to your customers and highlight the most popular one to make it even easier for people to decide.
Segment your prospects into three categories and create three personas based on that. Sell and follow-up accordingly.
Every marketing professional needs to learn how to write. SEO is fantastic but too often content production turns into a game of beating the search engine, instead of being super relevant for your intended audience. Read on about writing for people, not crawl spiders, and how to re-learn the lost skill of writing a good headline, slogan or tweet.Read More
Ok, you bought into the new reality that content is king. So how do you get started? How to prevent you becoming one of those marketers that goes look at the competition, or use analytics tools to find out what topics are popular and then just copy those? There is a better way. It's actually not hard to create genuine, unique, great content at scale, and do it fast. It starts with your customers. Read on to find out more.Read More
Pick up the Phone and Answer your messages. It's business 101 but 65% of calls to Small Businesses still go to voice mail. Here are some thoughts how you can address this as a startup, and while you solve your customer service challenge, also do basic customer research and gather great ideas for content.Read More
Demand is not "generated" any longer. You "generate" interest by being interesting. Relevance is what will make you stand out. Short cuts to buy your way into the market have been send to the graveyard by Google and other tools to judge relevant messaging and content. But in this post we discuss another way.Read More
Metrics, Dashboards, Scrum meetings and To-Do list tools. There are tons of tools to help you gut stuff done these days. Here is an overview of how to apply these effectively to drive execution and be in constant shipping mode in your startup.Read More
Relevance, relevance, relevance. Be Relevant to the Audience that's Relevant to you. How? Know who they are that you care most about, where they go for information, and what their painpoints are. if you figure that out, the rest is simple.Read More
Great Marketing starts by knowing your customer. Here I'd like to share some thoughts on how software startups can do this effectively.Read More