SaaS Startup

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Your goals for SaaS startup

-The lifestyle that you want to achieve
-The impact that you want to make with your product
-Steps that you need to make when transitioning from SaaS product startup to a long-term business

What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?

-What problem does your product solve, and is the fee reasonable?
-How unique is your product compare to the existing ones?
-Have you checked for other products even outside the SaaS industry for more inspirations?

Join startup-friendly sites like Crunchbase, Google My Business, and similar sites

These sites are built to support startup in listing purpose

Prepare entrance impressions for your product

-Do research about what problem your targeted customers are facing
-Get to know what are their efforts to solve those problems unsuccessfully
-Show them how your SaaS product will be the solution that they need
-Consider using demonstrations, testimonials to support your points

Set a launch date

-Consider when is the best to launch your product
-Should not try to set a launch date until your product is viable at the minimum
-Look for other launch dates to see if they give you any helpful information

Remember to test your landing pages

-Use A/B test on your landing pages to see how each element work out
-Focus on messages and the concept of the landing pages instead of just changing some small tweaks here and there

Preparations for web traffic, sales and customer support

-Think about strategy and solution for your customer service
-Make sure that the hosting can handle the traffic when it exceeds your expectations
-Do stress tests on your SaaS for errors

Join communities like Reddit for content submission

-Reason being that these sites give more traffic than the others, except for search engines
-Take part in the communities’ discussions to smoothen your participation
-Learn about what those communities expect before submitting your content, pay close attention to the submissions that get too many down-votes to get more hints

Prepare a story with emotions

-Try to come up with a story about the birth of your SaaS product
-Fill in emotions to make it more convincing

Create a pitching video

-Videos are really good for crowdfunding purpose, and not to mention, landing pages
-Videos are best for converting visual information and emotions
-Try to emphasize how your product is good at solving your customers’ problems and meeting their expectations

Give more than one product tier

-Having various product tiers will increase the converting chance
-Your lowest tier must be more useful than a free demo, and good enough for the competitive purpose
-For the highest tier, you can set it at whatever height you want, as long as it’s reasonable to your targeted customers

Who will be your target customers?

-Gather feedback from your contracts
-Find out where your product-related users are likely to hang out
-Reach out for the competitors’ customers and ask them about what they like and don’t like
-Join the meetings online and offline that relate to your product and the industry
-Think about what you will expect about your product if you are a consumer

Choose your social media platforms carefully, set up your profiles and keep them active

-Take part in the existing discussions and try to be helpful
-It is better to invest strongly on a few good platforms rather than spreading your efforts thinly
-Social media is good on finding leads but not as good for keeping, subscription email is better

SEO strategy and “The Skyscraper technique”

-Try to get recommendations from trusted and relevant websites
-Find the words that represent your product while being unique and specific to attract the desired traffic
-Use “The Skyscraper Technique”, look for well-known trends, topics and then try to make it yours by customizing them so that you can represent your product base on what are already good

Consider between free trial and freemium

-Freemium will attract more signups but make the server work more, it also requires more upfront investment
-Free trials will cost you less but attract fewer signups
-If you don’t offer either free trials or freemium, you are very likely to get limited signups and make it harder to expand your market share

Understand your competitors

-Create a list of your main competitors
-Research their backlinks to see who has linked to them in the past and the reasons behind it
-Find out about their keywords, how well those keywords work and what is missing
-Analyze their strategies in obtaining attention and word of mouth
-Look for the gap between you and your competitors and see what you can do to shorten it

Try out a viral signup form

-Create a form which people can get free trial while soliciting others to join
-This method may reduce conversions rate but overall increase the signups for some startups
-The better your viral signup form is, the better-perceived quality of your SaaS will be
-Because of its nature, this signup form may put off a number of audiences

Make an outreach list

-That is a list of contracts that you want to reach out to directly to establish social connections
-Find a way to invite those outreach targets to respond to you
-You should send warm outreach emails rather than the cold ones, send useful information along with the emails and give those people the feeling that they need to work with you
-Outreach emails are not the emails that you use for the mass-mailing campaign, they should be done by hand and carry specific reasons why those targeted audiences are being contacted

Setup your website

-Create a website with a good structure
-Cover your website with analytics tools the sooner the better
-Focus on gathering information at the early stage of the startup

Be active in forums and social media platforms

-If you are being helpful in these places, you are likely to drive a lot of leads toward your product
-Join the discussions which people talk about the problems that your product is solving
-Be careful to not self-promote too much, better let the information in your profile do it for you

Prepare your PR strategy

-Create a brief presentation with enough information for the media to cover your product easily
-Make a list of outlets and discussions where you can get a lot of attention toward your product
-Find a way to reach out to those outlets and discussions

Make an impression on media

  • You will have more exposure if your product can be included in a news story -Be careful to not give any bad impression on your product, stay focus on the missions that your product carries

Create a flexible way of proposing, testing, growing and dumping ideas

-Revaluating your ideas on a regular basis is very important

It is essential to let your audiences know that their feedback is useful for you

-You should get your audiences involved in the developing process
-Keep the audiences updated about the changes that you make
-Carefully explain why some feedback is ignored and why you want to go to a different direction

Write your first blog posts strategically

-Write your first posts to benefit your launch process
-Try to convert blog readers into subscribers

Create a long-term strategy for your blog

-Make a list of subjects that relate to your product, the problems it can solve and your targeted audiences
-Try to write your blog as unique as possible
-Some recommendations for what to achieve in your blog
+Brand proposition
+Show your readers solutions for their problems and tell them your product can help
+Write about current trends and events that relate to what you are selling
+Inform the readers about the development process
+Give out unique tips that the audiences can do using your SaaS

Having users involved in the early stage of development is important

-You should mainly obtain feedback and contact information
-Letting early users keep access to your product is one way to maintain good relationships
-The main purpose in the early stage is to get users to use your product

Figure out how to acquire your lead well

-Think about how they can find out about your product
-What makes them give you their email addresses
-What makes them keep using your SaaS product after free trials

Pay attention to SEO barriers

-Put up keywords in the title tags
-Fix any 404 or 301 errors
-Avoid duplicates by canonicalizing pages
-Every page should have unique title tags

Having a clean design is very important

-Make sure to pay close attention to feedback about the product’s design, and try to improve any feature that makes users feel annoyed
-The product should be able to work cross-platform

Attract more leads by offering rewards for lucky users

-The rewards can be lifetime usage of your SaaS product or discount codes, depending on your product type
-You should focus on people who are the good fit for the product

Pre-launch leads and signups should have special treatments

-They are likely to be the biggest believers of your product
-They can be easily converted to beta-testers should any new implements come up
-Their loyalty may make put effort in spreading good words about your product

Plan your email drip

-Plan on sending what emails to each signup to help them get to your product smoothly
-Encourage purchasing with the email addresses that signup for leads but not free trials

Invite influencers, journalists and reviewers to use your products (For free)

-Offer them free accesses to your product
-Explain to them in details why you want to reach out to them
-Show them how the product will benefit them specifically
-They are either well-known in the industry (reviewers, journalists, podcasters) or social media personalities that have many followers
-It gives them an emotional connection when the product is launched, can also be served as an investment
-You don’t need many influencers to join the process though

Don’t compete on the price only

-Attractive numbers on price offers may attract users for a time being, but this method alone can’t keep your users in the long run
-Focus on giving competitive value, not just the price alone

Work on your funding source

-Is this a self-funding project?
-If you need investors, is your business plan attractive enough to convince them?

Join the industry as a non-technical person startup founder

-In case you are not familiar with technical terms, you can find partners or consultants who are experts in technology to work with
-An expert can help you with server infrastructure, programming languages and product development flow
-You can choose to partner up with an expert, hire an in-house developer or hire a remote/freelance developer, team or an agency

Register your startup properly

Running a business means you have to pay taxes and deal with the legal system, you can deal with all of that by yourself or hire a good lawyer to reduce the workload

Don’t just sell your product feature by feature

It’s better to create product proposition and value that customers appreciate rather than just focusing on selling your product feature by feature