We have recently launched our product ScanBuffer which is a website malware monitoring platform with some other integrated features like Cloud backup etc.
There are plenty of professional bloggers and small business owners out there who are looking for a solution like this and cannot afford existing solutions due to higher cost. Our product is much more flexible in terms of pricing (pay as you go) but still need good traction.
Please share your ideas on how to find initial set of trial users without much spend.
A small business WordPress site owner is the best representation of our target audience and we see following options:
Option 1 - Sending Bulk Invite Email:
We have a good list of website owners and can start sending bulk emails. We ran a test with small set of target users (700). Email opening rate (as reported by MailChimp & SendGrid) was between 25-35% but very few visits on website (3-5%) and no sign up, afterwards simplified the Homepage, removing all jazz. Need ideas on how to send invite emails in some interesting way.
Option 2 - Contributing on sites like WordPress:
Not very viable for us because of limited bandwidth
Option 3: Google Ads/ Organic content writing: Not affordable without funding but would request ideas on exploring the viability of Google Ads with min. cost
You may see product at www.scanbuffer.com
Thanks in advance
Without much money for ads it's always tricky to get early traction. I have faced similar problems many times.
Here are some thoughts:
1) Your bulk email is probably coming off as spam if it's unsolicited.
2) Instead try sending some personalized emails to your target audience one by one. Do some research on the person see if you can be helpful to them and strike a conversation.
3) See if you can find any appropriate forums to share your platform on. Again, don't be spammy. Add legitimate value and usually that means contributing to other peoples problems before posting your own pitch. See if there is an appropriate sub-reddit to submit to and ask for feedback.
4) Seek out influencers or bloggers who may cover your topic and see if they would take a look at it and maybe write a review for you.
5) Reach out to your network. See if there are friends of friends who would like to trial your SaaS. A nice personal Facebook post can go a long way. Also personal emails to key friends can be very effective at networking and they may forward your email to a list of their friends.
6) If you can afford doing some trial Google Ads it's well worth testing the waters to see what the cost per click is and if you can get any conversions. Always run A/B tests in both the ad copy and landing page headlines etc.
7) Once you've done all the above and are proving you can convert. See if you can find an angel investor so you can move faster with paid advertising and organic content marketing for long term success.
8) Be persistent and constantly brainstorm new ideas.
Hope this helps and good luck!
I would storngly suggest you to consider a 4th optinion which is much cheaper and with a higher chance of giving you return.
I've personally used this strategy to start my consulting business from 0 to 12 clients in the first 3 months.
Here's exactly what you can do.
How You Can Generate 5 to 10 extra Trial Customers per week using Linkedin
It is NOW the moment to leverage Linkedin’s full potential. In the future, this social network will start to get overcrowded (see Instagram and other ones that in the past were money-printers for the first ones who fully understood them.)
How to leverage Linkedin to generate leads?
1- Use your personal account to post relevant content. Don’t put external links (if you really have to, write them in the first comment and tell people to look at it) as the post which includes them are penalized by the Linkedin algorithm that tends to make people remain in their platform. Use Quuu.co. if you want contents related to your niche posted every day on your account, but don’t expect an engagement from those. The best posts come from your stories, what you’d learned, and they give the hell out of value to your audience.
2- Select your target audience. Just hit the search button and look for the location, title/position, etc. where your leads are.
3- Optimize your profile. Treat it like a sales letter, but more related to your person. Firstly, write something eye-catching on your headline, for instance, “Contact me if you want to generate more leads for your B2B Business.” Then the first paragraph should be customer oriented (explaining the benefits of working with you/your company.) After you can tell more about yourself, and of your story if you’d like to.
You can check my profile to have some inspiration.
4- Start with the automation. Download “Linkedhelper” (better) or “GPZWeb” (still good) to automate the following actions:
- Profile Views. People will visit-back and see your “optimized profile” (see point 3.) And many times they’ll contact you.
- Connect with 1,000 People, including a 1 line message (less-salesy messages get a higher-acceptance rate.)
- Send a Direct message with an intro summary & calendly/ web/email link to everyone who accepts (better if you wait one day after they accepted your connection request.)
** MAJOR KEY ALERT**
A high-quality copy of the message is KEY to succeeding. Try to stand out with humor or creative ways (thanks, Jon Buchan). I get five messages per day from people pitching me SEO services which go straight to the trash bin, while my messages, not to brag, get a very high response rate
Reply to your messages, and watch the leads roll in!
I repeat! Linkedin (and his automation) will soon get less effective as more and more people are starting to do it. So, do it now (the same applies to Facebook groups, see the third paragraph) and you’ll be ahead of 99,9%.
Another thing, stick to the limits, check the Linkedhelper knowledge base for that.
If you want support in implementing this strategy, just call me here on Clarity :-)