When you first launch a SaaS product, your team will likely undergo an exceptionally tense, constant battle of priorities. The possibilities are endless with a minimally viable product (MVP), a few core clients, and a growing list of tasks to tackle.
While accomplishing these tasks can produce productive outcomes and be super satisfying to check off, it’s a challenge sometimes to stay on track as a team and remember the overarching goal these tasks serve– to scale.
In this article, we’ll go through some key principles that we've seen move us towards that goal, and scale MRR by 10x with inbound traffic - without cold emails.
Here are the three guiding principles that every SaaS Product Marketer should consider, whether you're leading a go-to-market initiative or scaling a SaaS product.👇
- Quality over quantity
- Know your audience
- Be as consistent (as you can)
Now let’s look over each of those in detail, with some first-hand examples.
Prioritize quality over quantity, across the entire product lifecycle.
When we first launched the beta version of Chinafy, I remember how seriously we took that phase. We had an “all hands on deck” mindset. Even though our product has now been launched for over two years publicly, we still carry part of that mindset with us to this day.
There is no doubt that there is pressure to work faster and do “more” in as short an amount of time as possible.
I’ve found, from first-hand experience, that fast is relative. Allotting a little more time to create something of better quality can be a risk when everything else is on a schedule of ASAP.
However, when it comes to scaling MRR, taking shortcuts doesn’t always mean you’ll get to your goal more effectively.
In theory, every user matters irrespective of where they are in your product journey. But each individual user carries heavier weight in the early stages of a product than they do later.
Think about it. One in ten customers is 10% of your user base. Whereas, one in 100 or 1000 customers is a much smaller percentage.
Especially in the context of a SaaS environment, where revenue compounds over time, It’s important to go the extra mile and make your users happy (within reason) so that they become loyal evangelists for your product.
For example, if you churn out a fast article without meaningful substance, you might achieve some initial interest via keyword rankings, but then you might potentially attract the wrong customer.
It then spirals to a client that may contribute to short term revenue but mis values or misunderstands your product, uses your customer support resources, and soon churns - negatively affecting your MRR.
By reiterating that quality over quantity mindset, customer success teams become more like customer advocates.
Content marketers create more effective, evergreen content that continues to engage new leads. Engineers encounter fewer bugs in the long-run and have space in their processes to build for impact and not just speed.
That mindset is something that customers respond to positively, with lower churn and a higher MRR.
Yes, sometimes focusing on quality may feel like you’re doing more than what’s asked of you. However, when quality content and service are coupled with a quality product, the investment is one that pays off tenfold.
Get to know your audience better, and keep them in mind
When creating a product, it’s sometimes easy to get sucked into a silo and forget that your supply means little, if you don’t understand where your demand is coming from.
While it can seem a little silly to be gathering data when there isn’t much in the earlier stages of a product for statistical significance, setting in that system of experimentation and data analysis (even if it’s the form of a simple excel sheet without any fancy software), will make the difference between a product that simply sustains, versus one that scales.
Ask more questions. Treat every piece of content like an experiment to answer -
- How educated is your audience about your topic?
- What articles are getting better engagement than others?
- Who is reading our articles (and staying)?
- Are there ways to reformat our content, so that it reaches our ideal audience better?
- Is your product objectively a first or second-mover in the market? It’s much easier to tap into an audience’s demand than to create that demand in the first place.
At Chinafy, we recognised that the topic and expertise we covered was a niche one, and unsurprisingly, there wasn’t much content about China web performance specifically out there.
The upside of that meant we could work towards becoming one of the primary authorities. The challenge (we don’t really use the word downside) was that a lot of content had to be original and we had to provide a lot of education to the market.
Practice asking your team why your audience should care about your product, instead of what your product does.
It seems so obvious, but you’d be surprised how often we discover marketing material out there by new companies that only relate to their product and its features. While highlighting these variables are important, your marketing strategy should answer why someone should care.
The better you know your audience, the better you are at demonstrating empathy towards your customer’s pain points. The more effective your content is in driving and sustaining traffic, the more effective you are at increasing your MRR.
Be as consistent (as you can)
Once you’ve narrowed down your audience method that works, be consistent and keep up with it.
“The greatest threat to success is not failure, but boredom. We get bored with habits because they stop delighting us. The outcome becomes expected. And as our habits become ordinary, we start derailing our progress to seek novelty.” - James Clear, Atomic Habits
Set goals. One thing that we use almost obsessively across our organization is our calendar. Adding in regular reminders (e.g. write an article on ___) makes a huge difference.
Even if writing that article is not achievable that day, for whatever reason, you have to make an active effort to move or postpone that task. Sometimes, it’s just easier to get it done than to think about when next you would have capacity.
Maximize the content you have. You can have the most perfect article, but it doesn’t mean much if no one can see it. Share it across multiple channels if you have them, re-use content snippets, implement SEO basics, like internal linking, etc.
The exciting thing about product marketing as a practice, is that there is no one-size-fits-all mold that companies need to prescribe to.
There are both tried and tested methods that often cost very little to test out, as well as room to experiment specific to your company. Different companies achieve the same results differently.
If there’s only one take away from this, it's to always keep in mind the shared goal to grow. From there, the only suggestion is to experiment and find out what works for you!
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