6 November 2019

SaaStock ’19 – A mecca for growth hacks

SaaStock aka ‘Disneyland for SaaS companies’ and ‘Best conference in Europe for SaaS founders and executives.’ Being less than one year into operations, we planned our agenda around the speaks and sessions with the most potential to skyrocket (aka. Leap 🤓) our business. We were not disappointed and learned a ton within traction, growth and scaling which we will share here in snack-sized growth hacks 🍿.

LISTENING TO YOUR COMPETITORS’ DATA

Even though we did not plan the growth hacks to come in any specific order, we must admit that this one is at the top of the list for a reason. The Voice of Customer mining exercise we learned during the workshop on the first day of the conference has been a game-changer in regards to how we find the perfect product-market fit.

In short, the mining exercise is based on competitor insights (If you are not sure about who your competitors are, we might be able to help you out). We will share in an upcoming post on how to execute this in detail.

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We are big fans of Tara Robertson from Sprout Social, Georginana Laudi from Elevate & Meena Sandhu from beanworks who held the workshops (and blew our mind)

CUSTOMER-DRIVEN CONTENT

Based on the workshop from the first day, we also learned how to generate content that speaks to our customers. By mimicking wording from customer comments, you have a bigger chance of making them feel heard and speaking directly to their pain or wishes – not to say that you should completely lose your tone of voice.

Bonus: Remember that people always want to buy a better version of themselves. Try to incorporate this by mapping out your personas, testing user journeys or doing a VoC mining exercise. This will ensure your communication paints a clear picture 🧑‍🎨 of the new and improved self your customer will be after using your product.

FOUR FORCES INFLUENCING A CUSTOMER SWITCH

This one might not seem like the most revolutionary growth hack, but we still believe it’s something that can change the way your potential customers perceive your product. The forces influencing a customer switch is Push and Pull, whereas Habit and Anxiety are reasons users stay with their current product. The idea is that you should adjust your communication to support these forces. In our case, it would be:

Are you experiencing too much manual work when doing competitive analysis and marketing strategy planning (push)? Then sign up to Leap™ where your competitors will appear like magic and advise will be tailormade to guide you into making the right strategic decisions (pull). 100 founders and marketeers have already signed up (anxiety), and so can you in less than 5 minutes with all your previous data visible in the system (habit).

Creating content with the four forces in mind should accelerate your marketing efforts and cater to your potential buyers biggest triggers during their decisions making.

TRACK YOUR GROWTH HACKS

Can tracking growth hacks be a growth hack? We believe so! Especially if you know what to track. There are multiple ways of monitoring your growth. Some of them are OKRs, The North Star Metric (NSM) and Dan Martells Precision Scorecard™. Tracking frameworks like these help teams move beyond driving fleeting, surface-level growth to instead focus on generating long-term business growth. Take, for example, The North Star Metric concept, which is based on your most significant single metric that best captures the core value that your product delivers to customers. For Airbnb, it was nights booked whereas Facebooks was Daily Active users. Once you understand your NSM, it’s essential to document the variables that work together to move this metric. By understanding the relationship of these interdependent variables and your current conversion rates, you’ll gain insights into potential high leverage opportunities for growing your NSM.

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YOUR PRODUCT IS PRICED TOO LOW

Pricing has been an ongoing topic in our discussions lately, having just launched our beta product. We are relatively new to pricing and aren’t afraid to admit it. That’s why Patric Campbell from ProfitWell gave us valuable insights into pricing strategies at his talk during the second day of SaaStock. What struck a note with us was the importance of finding your users “Willing to Pay” or WTP, which is the maximum amount a customer is willing to pay for your product or service. When we started planning our price model, we primarily looked into "Willing to Accept" which is the lowest possible price the seller (we) could afford. We reasoned that our target audience was smaller companies with a limited budget, and we should go as low with the pricing as possible. Doing that, we were cheating ourselves from a huge potential gain and not taking into account factors such as; the rareness of our product, the quality of the product, the state of the economy in our industry etc.

If you want to grow your business through pricing strategy, you find a great how-to guide from Profitwell here.

PITCH THE PRESS

Pitching your story to the media can be a long and challenging battle. During a workshop, we learned some critical hacks to enhance your chances of getting into the press.

First of all, you need to remember that people like reading about people, not technology/products, meaning your focus should be on great use-cases and “real-life” stories that can make your brand shine.

Secondly and just as important: your numbers matter. Have you recently attained a +100% growth in users or recruited +50 employees to supply customer demand? Then you have a strong storyline! Something that can draw in the reader’s attention and make the journalists life much easier.

Last but not least, it matters who sends the email. All three journalists participating in the workshop emphasized that they always read pitches sent from founders. They might not “press” it, but you will get their attention compared to an email from your communication department.

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WORK LESS TO BE MORE EFFECTIVE

Founders need to be working day and night to be successful. The same goes for their team, right? No time for a social life, family or fun. Natalie Nagele from Wildbit gave an inspiring talk about their 32 hours work week, which had led their company to much more effective use of time and innovative results. The key takeaway, in our opinion: Some of our best work or ideas are crafted outside work hours. We need to give room for this and not fill our week with status meetings and shallow work. You can read more about experimenting with 4 day work week on Wildbits blog post here.

CONTENT TESTING

As you might have noticed, we have already tried to implement this last one ourselves. The idea is that your content never reaches a final stage. The concept of content testing means continually optimizing on your blog posts, youtube videos, podcasts, or whatever medium you are using as an outlet. Start simple by creating three different blog posts of 1.000 words each and track which one of them perform the best. With the results in hand, you then need to go back and extend the content of that blog post from 1.000 to 2.000 words. Continuing this regularly to make sure your content creates as much traction as possible. Both your engagement, Search Rank and time-on-page will thank you for it.

SaaStock ‘19 was a great conference which we can only recommend others to attend. Not only did we learn a lot of valuable growth hacks, but we also got the extra push and energy we needed to launch Leap. The vibe during the three days were very contagious, and we left Dublin ☔️ with a feeling of being ready to conquer the SaaS-world.

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