CAC Strategy is the Key to Scaling your SaaS Company

Starting a SaaS company and scaling a SaaS company are two very different things. The same is true for “scaling” a SaaS company in the very early days vs. scaling a SaaS company through the growth phase. And since every company is different and experiences those “phases” at different times in different ways, you have […]

Let Your Customers Write Your Marketing Copy

I spend a lot of time talking to SaaS companies about how they should identify their Ideal Customers, understand how they operate, know what their Desired Outcome is, listen to what they say, etc. etc. Whether it’s a focus on acquiring new customers, working to engage prospects already in the pipeline or customers you’ve just acquired… or […]

Exposed! A Top-Secret “Enterprise Pricing” Growth Hack

When it comes to SaaS, you basically have two sales models: high-touch and self-service. Small, bootstrapped SaaS companies often like to go the low-touch, self-service way. Large, venture-backed startups often like to take the high-touch, Enterprise sales approach. And sometimes it’s the opposite of that. It depends. There are just so many different factors that […]

The Only 3 Acceptable Pricing Page Discount Tactics

I get this question from time to time: “Lincoln, is it okay to offer discounts right on your pricing page?” Short answer: No. The longer answer, with some nuanced yesses thrown in,  along with some tactics that you can employ, is below…

Engaging at Scale: The Secret to Automating Personal Emails

About a year ago I shared my super top-secret way to automate personal emails more effectively – called the “Customer Success bot” method – with the awesome folks on my mailing list. Since then, I’ve come up with several new uses for this framework that have proven to be incredibly effective ( I’ve shared those […]

5 Growth Hacks to Supercharge your Invite or Referral System

When was the last time you referred your friends or invited co-workers into an app after you just signed-up for the free trial? When was the last time you imported your address book right after you opened an app for the first time? Right. So why do you expect your users and customers to behave differently? Unless […]

The Myth of Unavoidable Churn

When it comes to customer churn, there are two kinds: avoidable and unavoidable. But I guarantee that the amount you label as “unavoidable” is actually much smaller than you think. I know, but… “Most of our churn is out of our control, so it’s unavoidable” “We sell to SMB and in that market churn is inevitable.” Accepting that […]

The Secret to Successful Customer Onboarding

Também disponível em Português por Mathias Luz Customer onboarding has come up a lot lately, which is great since having a poor onboarding experience for your customers can pretty much kill your growth… if not your business. The first in-app experience your customer has with your product sets the tone for your relationship, and if it’s […]

7 Sanity Checks for Sending Cold Email

Email Prospecting, the once-secret method (still) used (to great effect) by the hottest companies to get the attention of the biggest enterprises out there – even if all they talk about publicly is inbound marketing, adwords, and social – is no longer a secret. Thanks to folks like Heather Morgan of SalesFolk, Aaron Ross, author of Predictable […]

10 Growth Hacking Lessons from Dodgeball

I hit Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, right in the gut. And then I took a hard shot to the chest by Gainsight’s New Business director. Working in a startup is rough, lemme tell ya. As Nick and I stood on the sidelines during this company outing – battered, exhausted and laughing – watching the remaining […]

How-to Avoid SaaS Free Trial Abuse

At the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, a security research duo showed how they built a cryptocurrency-mining botnet by leveraging cloud platform services – like Amazon Web Services, Heroku, or Google App Engine – using only Free Trials and Freemium accounts [PDF]. Cue the overly-dramatic sky-is-falling music as we mourn the demise of SaaS Free Trials […]

SaaS Free Trial Extension Requests are a Bad Sign

I got this question about SaaS Free Trial Extension requests and I thought I’d answer it here, for all to see. “Lincoln, that was a great guest post by Steli Efti from on sales mistakes that lead to churn. I was reading Steli’s blog and found a recent post where he says “short trials […]

The Best SaaS Free Trial Length

Here’s a secret no one talks about: SaaS Free Trial Length is a Marketing Gimmick. There isn’t a best SaaS Free Trial length that works for every SaaS company, in every category, for every market. I know, that contradicts my reputation for saying “always do this” or “always do that” but that’s the way it […]

Ideal Customer Profile Framework

Having a clear definition of your Ideal Customer is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Your Ideal Customer Profile – ICP – dictates (or should dictate) everything from the features and functionality of your product you build or what makes up your service offering, to the words you use and the emotion […]

4 Sales Mistakes That Lead To High SaaS Churn

I’ve said many times that the seeds of churn are planted early. Whether it’s in your marketing – both the things you say but also the types of customers you target with your messaging and outreach – to the things you say and do during the sales process, you could be acquiring customers that already […]

SaaS Free Trial: Requiring a Credit Card is Shortsighted

I got this email asking whether to require a Credit Card to start a SaaS Free Trial or not and what the best Free Trial length is. So instead of just answering him directly, I decide to use it as the basis for this article. Here’s the email: Hey Lincoln, some dude told me to ask […]

5 Steps to Unstick Your User Onboarding Flow

The other day I got an email from a SaaS CEO friend of mine telling me his product team is finally ready to tackle a major problem with their onboarding flow during their Free Trial. It turns out they have one screen in the flow that is causing them big problems. And in this case, […]

Customer Success: 22 Ways To Reduce Churn With Growth Hacking

As the SaaS industry continues to rapidly mature, more folks are looking at churn in SaaS companies – investors, analysts, executives, consultants, etc. – and more and more methods of measuring churn are going to surface… and that’s awesome. Of course, the problem is that, while analytics and metrics and new ways of measuring churn […]

Freemium or Free Trial? There’s a Better Question

I answer this question all the time… should we go Freemium or Free Trial for our SaaS app? And I get this question from companies of all stages and sizes, including pre-launch Startups, software companies moving to – or adding a product line based around  – the SaaS business model, or for later-stage SaaS companies […]

When Customers Go Dark: Customer Success to fight the Zombies

So I got this email the other day asking me a SaaS Customer Success question that’s really more about ethics and karma than running a SaaS business. The gist of the email was what to do if a customer has been paying for 6 months but never started using the SaaS product…. these are what […]

How to Create an Affiliate Program for your SaaS

The CEO of a vertical-specific SaaS vendor with a relatively high priced offering emailed me the other day with a question about creating an Affiliate Marketing program to accelerate growth. I gave him a fairly detailed answer and I thought I’d elaborate on that answer even more and share it with you… enjoy. “Hey Lincoln, […]

SaaS Marketing: 21 Growth Hacks to Test Today

Below are 21 SaaS marketing growth hacks you could test right now. Of course, these are tactics and while everyone loves tactics, if they don’t make sense within your very well thought-out SaaS marketing strategy, you should probably not implement them, right? In fact, you should also probably make sure you have a well-thought-out SaaS […]

SaaS Sales Funnel: Stop Optimizing for the Wrong Customers

“OMG… That’s not who’s signing up for my app!” exclaimed Jerry, after we discovered who his ideal customers are and that he’s been optimizing his Sales Funnel for the wrong customers. You see, Jerry owns a custom software dev shop that spun-out a web app they used internally for managing parts of their business as […]

SaaS Freemium Customer Acquisition Costs

I got an email the other day asking about Freemium Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) and whether or not to include the cost of supporting and marketing to free users in the cost of acquiring paying customers. Here’s my quick answer and some other resources for you to check out.