Archives for March 2012

SaaS Pricing Strategy: The 10x Rule

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 6.04.56 PMFirst thing to clearly understand when developing your SaaS pricing strategy; pricing is a function of Marketing.

If you think creating your SaaS pricing strategy is a function of Finance, Accounting, Operations, or even Sales… you’re doing it wrong.

That means anyone who comes up with a price for their app (or for your app) as the result of a spreadsheet function is doing it wrong.

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Display a Phone Number to Increase Conversions?

Does displaying a Phone Number on your website Increase Conversions?

I’ve been talking about Trust Factors and their effects for years and as I’ve done more work in this area others have taken an interest, too.

For instance, LessAccounting got a 2% lift in paid conversions they were able to correlated directly to adding a phone number to their marketing pages.

10 little characters added to their site bumped conversions 2%.

But what about Flowr’s non-result as documented in this KISSMetrics post?

Well, it’s simple… if you have a Free Trial that isn’t designed to convert prospects to customers, simply adding a phone number will probably not help increase conversions directly.

Just to be sure, I signed-up for Flowr, went through the whole process, and it is missing some key elements that are present in high-converting Free Trials.

So, if you have a product that is bad, not wanted, or otherwise positioned or promoted wrong, adding a phone number will probably not help increase conversions directly.

But… if everything else is good, a phone number – certainly in B2B, and especially where the SaaS or Web App vendor will be a major part of the customer’s business, will require integration, etc. – can really help.

In fact, this question of whether to add a phone number to your marketing website came up – interestingly – with a telco API company.

Being primarily an API company and selling to software developers means that most/all of their customers will heavily integrate with them and that means having a prominent phone number will certainly help.

That said, where I’ve seen a phone numbers help the most isn’t by increasing conversions directly, but by the conversations that occur when people call you.

I know for many companies, especially small ones or early-stage startups, the last thing you want to do is talk to a bunch of potential customers,… I’m sorry, but there’s your first problem.

Anyway, some of the people who call will be ready to buy or almost ready and talking to you – a real person – might just close the deal. Score.

But… most of the people that call might not even be interested (yet) in becoming a customer, but what they’ll tell you is what’s not clear on your site.

They’ll ask questions that you didn’t even think about, they’ll tell you they thought your product did x, y or z, and it will blow you away.

Those will be super-valuable conversations from which you’ll learn what to fix on your market site that WILL lift your conversion rate over time.

At least right now, and especially in B2B, some of your potential-customers will be more willing to pick up the phone and call you than to email (because you might spam them) or do the on-site chat thing.

So give them the opportunity to do that by putting a phone number on your site.

Here’s a quick hack, especially if you aren’t in the U.S. but want a U.S. number: just get a Google Voice number and have it go straight to voice mail at first (be sure to manage expectations and follow-up promptly).

Later you can switch to something more substantial, or use an answering service (you can just forward Google calls to that service when you aren’t in the office).

The reality is, most people won’t call, but it will give peace of mind to many.

But some will call and they’ll teach you things you never knew!

And as for where to put it on your site… while there are no standards, a phone number prominently displayed in the upper right corner of your site (in a header graphic or menu bar) seems to work well.

And do it on every page, too… you might have some information on a page that you don’t think is as “important” as the main page, pricing page, etc. but when your prospect is on that “non-important” page and something is confusing, having a phone number right there for them to see and take action is a good thing.

But definitely display the phone number above the fold and make it very easy to see… To me, this is one of the things that might have contributed to Flowr’s non-result; it was above the fold but very small and hard to read!

SaaS Affiliate Marketing: How-To Supercharge Your Growth

I’ve been asked if you can “quick start” a new venture or reinvigorate an existing offering with SaaS affiliate marketing?

Here’s the answer I generally give… “it depends.”

Okay, let me dig in a little deeper.

SaaS affiliate marketing can really super-charge your growth, BUT if you don’t have everything in alignment (or your ducks in a row), you won’t super-charge anything!

Think of it like this… if you have a super-charger and no engine to put it on, the super-charger doesn’t really help, right?

For SaaS affiliate marketing to work, you have to:

  • Be clear about your target audience
  • Have your value prop super-powerful and targeted to that audience.
  • Ensure the rest of your marketing is on target for that audience
  • Make sure your Free Trial is optimized, especially to keep affiliates interested if you pay only on conversions!

Not to mention your Pricing Strategy, landing pages, sign-up process, etc.

Plus you have to have a way to manage and communicate with your affiliates, keep them excited and above all… ensure they get paid for  what they bring and get paid on time… every time.

The SaaS Affiliate Marketing Catch-22

The pushback I often get from that is “if I do all that, I might not need affiliates”… which is correct.

You don’t *need* a super-charger on your engine – the engine will get you down the road – but the super-charger makes you go FASTER… which is awesome.

I suppose that analogy could play out fast, but the bottom line is, you can waste a lot of time/money/resources chasing affiliate marketing too early when your time might be better spent optimizing your base first.

Put another way… if you don’t know what you’re selling or to whom, it will be hard for others to sell it for you!

Curious how we could Accelerate your Profitable Growth – including by creating or optimizing an Affiliate Program for you? Contact me and we’ll setup a time to discuss your options for improving and accelerating customer acquisition.

– Lincoln
(972) 200-9317