Today I interview Marc McDougall to discuss how SaaS companies can come on top after the downturn. Marc helps B2B SaaS companies book more demos & trials by optimizing their site for conversions.
How Mark started working as a SaaS consultant
He was initially working at General Electric and he wanted to venture out on his own into the freelance world. He found it difficult to stand out because he was unspecialized so he was competing with everyone in all the online market spaces.
Along the line, a couple of SaaS companies approached him to work on their website and this allowed him to understand the pain points of SaaS companies.
About 3-4 years ago, he decided to go all in on SaaS so that he can bring more value to the SaaS community by building the websites that actually convert leads that come through the funnel.
How the pandemic has affected SaaS companies
The coronavirus pandemic is having a profoundly negative impact on the vast majority of the economy right now. Some SaaS companies have also been affected negatively.
A major feedback that he has been hearing from his clients is a lot of people are signing for their application and they are cancelling immediately so that they won’t get billed after the first month.
People are more afraid of long term commitments and this has had a negative effect on SaaS companies.
What you can learn from immediate SaaS cancellations
When someone signs up and immediately cancels your service, it is a useful piece of feedback in disguise. It usually means that there is some need for your solution and they want to try it without commitment. They don’t want to be billed for the next month.
It also implies that they are on the fence to some degree, if you can have a conversation with them, you can learn what triggered them to sign up and you can maybe dial deeply into your marketing and learn what they think is really valuable about your solution.
How to communicate with your SaaS customers and offer solutions to their problems
There are different segments of people that a SaaS owner or marketing manager needs to communicate with. You have existing customers, customers that you are trying to onboard and customers that have churned. The people that enjoy your service and are paying for it are often the easiest to get on the phone.
For customers that have churned, you can send custom video message in the email using loom and say something like Hey Shawn, you know we are trying to get better at Acme group and we are just hoping to grab maybe 15 minutes of your time to chat about what we can do better, we are also offering a $50 amazon gift card to get you on the phone if you are interested.
I chime in that a lot of SaaS founders might not have a $50 gift card to give away especially if their tool costs $20 or $50 a month. If the customer want to cancel your service due to corona or the current situation, you can offer them two or three month free as a way to still keep the customer.
You can also have weekly Q & A sessions where you invite leads, existing customers and those who have cancelled subscriptions to learn more about your tool and use it more productively.
How SaaS companies can benefit from economy downtime situation
While there is a lot of churn right now, there are also some customers that will see your service as indispensable to their business, you need to understand them properly.
You can also use delight as a form of marketing to set yourself apart. The average user is scared right now so they are randomly cancelling subscriptions and the salesmen are also getting more aggressive so that they can fill up their pipeline. If you are a company that is sending people delightful, funny little campaigns that is putting a smile on people’s face and helping them to feel a little better amidst the doom and gloom, they are more likely to reach out to you today.
Most of the clients for his consulting practice come through outbound email. The subject line for his most recent campaign is Hey and then the prospects name, I am quarantined with a squirrel.
And he goes into detail documenting the process of trying to catch it and get it out coupled with a bunch of photos.
He is not taking about booking more demos or getting more trials but he has never had so many opens on a campaign as he has had with this one. He has received many responses from people saying they are so happy to receive it and it put a smile on their face.
If they want to work with him, his email signature informs them of what they need to do.
The benefits of using video in your outreach
Videos make your outreach more human. He has a list of people he sends personalized video to when he wants to host a webinar. He is in a top hat with sunglasses, a full suit and a fake moustache and he is like this is your formal invitation to so and so webinar at 12pm on Friday. It is very entertaining and it makes people smile.
It is important to have some humanity, make people laugh and be entertaining with your webinars.
Two vital things every SaaS company needs to do right now
You need to curb non-essential costs and hire top talent that gets let go. You need to stop paying for things that are not really tied to revenue generating activities.
It is not just people that gets let go, it is not just intellectual capital, you have also got tools and resources that are going to become cheaper, ad spend is going to be cheaper across the board, it is going to be a buyers’ market for a while, so if you have got the cash flow and you are talking to your customers and doing everything to stifle the bleed, you are going to do well.
When companies unsubscribe from some tools, they are probably going to start looking for new tools. When people unsubscribe in mass, some companies are going to knee jerk reduce their prices, so if you knee jerk needed something like that, then you can get it at about half the normal rate.
You can also use a tool like custodian to track all the different kinds of SaaS applications you are signed up for.
How Slangapp is pivoting successfully during the pandemic
Slangapp helps people to learn new languages in a very natural and organic way. They have currently released an English for infectious disease course on their website. This is one of the best ways to continuously deliver value that is tightly associated with the problem they are solving and it is also very timely.
They are giving stuff for free, helping people out and it is naturally going to get more people into their service long term.
Clarity First Consulting – When you need a SaaS site that converts
Loom – Video Messaging for work
Custodian – Discover and manage your SaaS in one single place
Slangapp – Learn the English you need for your career
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