It's crunch time!
I've built the MVP (minimum viable product) with 13 data integrations and have one paying customer, I'm now shifting my focus from product development to user acquisition. I need to prove that there is a viable business model for Everview, and that I can acquire new customers profitably.
Right now, I'm charging $29/mo for the startup plan, so assuming a modest customer lifetime value (CTV) of 12 months, I'm estimating that a single customer is worth $348.
If I cap my customer acquisition cost (CAC) at $100, I'll need 485 customers to reach my $10k/mo goal. I will be increasing prices down the line, so I can increase the CAC or decrease the number of customers required later on.
I am a big advocate for creating evergreen content, but it takes time – I need to acquire customers fast to prove the business model, so I am focusing on paid acquisition while this blog will form the basis of my evergreen strategy.
I have absolutely no idea which paid channels will work, or what the optimal messaging for these will be. My first step is to target SaaS business owners and position Everview as a SaaS dashboard. If that fails, I'll change the messaging to target SMEs and solopreneurs.
At this stage, it's all about running experiments to see what works, killing off the campaigns that don't convert and allocating the budget to the ones that are converting.
I'll be testing each campaign with a starting budget of £5/day and I'll scale this up when a channel starts to convert and generate traction.
I'll also be testing and tweaking different headlines, copy and images as I go.
I've set up Goals in Google Analytics to track new signups on each plan (free and paid) and I'm using UTM tags for all the URLs so I can see which channel, campaign and ad set each goal completion originated from in Google Analytics.
Let's dig into each of the channels I'll be using in a bit more detail.
I'll be running two Facebook ad campaigns with different objectives; the first will be a conversions campaign which will target people who are likely to make a purchase. I've set up a Facebook pixel for this so I can track signups and optimise the targeting over time (Facebook will do this automatically).
In my experience, it's easy to drive traffic via Facebook ads, but it's difficult to convert it because Facebook Ads are intrusive and people don't want to make a purchase while they're in the middle of looking at cat videos.
Facebook lead ads however, can be very effective. They act in the same manner as a squeeze page, but the lead capture happens directly on Facebook. So you can offer a free eBook download and collect the users' email right from Facebook and automatically direct them to the download.
It's a potent tool for lead generation, and I've used this to build email lists in the past, acquiring leads for as little as $0.40.
For this campaign, offering two mini-ebooks targeted at SaaS entrepreneurs:
1. The Secret Formula For Profitable SaaS Business Ideas
2. The Ultimate Guide to SaaS Metrics
I recycled some content from my book to generate these guides quickly, bought some sexy stock images and pieced together the books in less than two days.
I'm following this up with some additional value-add emails over the next few days with extra tips and tricks related to the eBooks.
I'm doing this to establish a relationship with the leads by providing value to them; I'll also offer an up-sell to Everview in the email sequence.
I also have the SaaS Metrics eBook on the Everview homepage to capture email addresses from those landing on the website via other campaigns.
LinkedIn seemed like a promising channel to target SaaS entrepreneurs interested in business intelligence. However, I canned my LinkedIn campaign after 30 mins due to a £118 CPM. It would have been cheaper to rent a billboard in Times Square.
Reddit ads are relatively new and underpriced, I'm using these to target entrepreneurs in a few different communities (r/indiemakers, r/entrepreneurs, r/saas) and am getting a good clickthrough rate (CTR) thus-far at an average of $0.39.
I've purchased one $50 sponsored ad in the r/indiemakers email. Everview will be positioned at the top of the email (styled as organic content) that goes out to 818 subscribers.
I'm using Google Ads to target people who are actively searching for keywords like 'saas dashboard' and 'business intelligence dashboard'. I've got a series of different ads that I'm testing out and experimenting with.
One of the major benefits of Twitter ads is you can target people who are following your competitors, which is exactly what I'm doing and also targeting people interested in SaaS and business intelligence.
What If It Fails?
One of three things can happen here:
- One (or multiple campaigns generates conversions) YAY!
- The ads get clicks but no conversions
- The ads don't get any clicks
In the case of #1, I'll start doubling down on those campaigns and focus on optimising them. If people click the ad, but don't sign up then I'll focus more effort on adjusting the messaging on my landing page. If the ads don't get clicks then I have an issue with the ad messaging and I'll re-consider how I'm positioning the product.
Getting conversions right off the bat is unlikely and I'm going to have to spend some time and money trying to figure the different parts of the funnel. The purpose of this exercise is so that I can collect some data to make informed decisions going forwards.
I'll post a follow up post with the results once I've run the ads for a while.