Co-founder & CEO
Co-Founder of Demio, that started as a small concept, but ignited into a grand vision. SaaS Enthusiast and Operations Lover.
My co-founder and I head up a lot of the marketing and sales initiatives, and like any business, we’re looking to create a consistent flow of qualified leads that fit our ideal customer profile.
However, in the early days, we struggled to find product/market fit. Our product works for so many different users, from consultants and SaaS businesses to education companies and info-marketers. We also help with a whole range of use cases, from sales and training to lead generation and onboarding. As a result, we struggled to find out who that ideal customer looked like.
Who exactly was that ideal customer profile?
The quest for the ideal customer profileWe started looking at different strategies to go about finding who that ICP was and building a lead gen flow, and one strategy that stood out was outbound marketing using cold email. The book Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross had a lot of great strategies for outbound and we decided to implement these in the early days of Demio.
We wanted to reach out to people with a strategy we could scale. By creating an ideal customer profile around a position or a demographic, we could build an outbound campaign, sending out emails every single day and bring us qualified leads for a demo or free trial.
We started reaching out to people who we assumed would be our ideal customer, using Reply to reach out and get those people on a call and learn more about them. We still use Reply in that same scenario today, reaching out and getting feedback from our current customers or talking to new people in the market.
Reply also worked well with getting a better understanding of survey results. We’d send out emails to people who’d just completed a survey to get more insights.
That helped us map out customer frustrations, aspirations, desires, all that kind of stuff. We were able to find out a ton of information using this system by just putting in leads and getting out the results on the other end (have a sneak peek at the questions and results for yourself).
As an incentive we offer them a gift card for their time; if they spend 10-15 minutes with us talking through some questions we'll get an Amazon gift card sent out directly to them.
Sometimes we’ll also follow up if we're a good fit for each other, or if there’s a way we can add value, such as doing a blog post or having them on our podcast.
Direct sales vs. brand awarenessAlong with using Reply to learn more about our customers or stuff like that, we also tried some outbound direct sales. However, our campaigns didn’t do as well as we hoped, as we didn't have our value props properly aligned and a strategic message specific to our ICP.
Instead, we created a content plan to build awareness in the marketplace, using what we’d learned about our ICP from those initial conversations. As a result, we launched the SaaS Breakthrough podcast.
We started using Reply to reach out to possible guests for the podcast, with 70 percent open rates and 25 percent response rates.
The SaaS Breakthrough podcast is a show where we actually bring on marketers from great SaaS companies (we were lucky enough to even be joined by Olivia and Lucy from Reply).
We go through the tactical information of what’s happening in marketing today in the SaaS world. This includes talking about what channels are working, experiments and different initiatives that our guests have tried in marketing, along with any challenges they went through. We want to share our guest’s major insights and breakthroughs with our listeners. it's about what's working now for marketers, by marketers, with tactical information to help you improve your business.
It's been a great way for us to build a following, to build strategic relationships, to break into a marketplace that we've struggled with, and also get a lot of feedback.
We’ve seen leads and customers come through who said they had found out about us from the podcast, but more than anything it is about building brand awareness and learning more about who we serve.
Sending cold email that gets resultsCold emails absolutely work. The biggest thing you need to think about is that people get a lot of these cold email reach outs. You need to figure out what the value they're going to be getting from your email. Why should they read it? Often our best emails are short, to the point, and value driven.
Our podcasts reach out has done well because it's all about offering value to that person. They're also very much focused on a specific user persona. The podcast reach out goes to marketing directors, the people that are leading a marketing team. So this email is directly beneficial for them and adds value to them, which gives us a great reply rate.
If you want to get a lower rate, it’s simple: be very generic, don't personalize, have a long email and be all about you. I'm sure no-one will reply.
The benefits of using ReplyReply allows us to bring in survey responses or direct podcast guests to us without us having to do the heavy lifting.
Before Reply, we were manually emailing out to our guests or survey respondents. This meant we had to create our own kind of pipeline if we followed up. It was a much more manual, more tedious process for us.
We tried a different platform prior to Reply and while it did the basic stuff, it was really hard to set up. The user interface wasn't great and we weren't in love with the brand and the platform. We learned about Reply from a few other marketers and they had nothing but great things to say. We felt from the get-go that the brand, the mission, and the values are very similar to ours and we love what they're doing. We love the user interface and it's been super easy to set up.
When we started using Reply we were able to split test subject lines, body statements, and see which campaigns had the best open/reply rates.
A useful feature was how Reply sent the emails automatically from our address. So when we got a reply back it went directly into our inbox and we could just continue the conversation.We didn't have to waste time sending emails. We didn't have to go through a pipeline. Everything was taken care of for us. All we had to do was bring in leads and then Reply started the conversation.
It’s invaluable to be able to understand what our messages are doing in terms of analytics. It's much harder when you're doing anything on a manual basis to understand what your campaign results are. You just start without any way to track or measure. Of course, you can manually send out emails. That's totally fine. But it's hard to measure and improve what you can't see. The ability to see your metrics quickly on the fly and make changes as you need is essential.
It was a perfect fit for what we needed.
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