how to use customers from your ltd to become brand advocates activation is not there you can run promotions referral deals see how often they are using your app - identify who is actively using the tool - who use sometimes - who never take action - people who signed up because it is free see who is willing to engage with you send emails with surveys

  • what stops you from using the tool?

  • if they are not willing to answer the question then let them go

Ask them for a call

  • 15m only

  • make sure you have questions ready

  • what is stopping them from using the app

  • what do they want to see from using your app

  • rapid fire question round

once you have the feedback and have implemented it, then let them know it has been added

  • creates incentive to go back and use the system

better to have multiple calls

  • create multiple engagements with customers

recommends making emails very interactive

  • lots of emails do not get read

  • lots of emails get unsubscribed

  • start interactive emails with questions

  • questions and quizzes are working well

  • need to be interactive


asking for interviewsscaling up revenue

  • chat support only for paying customers

  • so that you can spend more time on getting clients onboarded

  • pitching to non-english speaking audiences

  • identify influencers in your niche in those non-english speaking countries

  • for english speaking countries, get in touch with influencers that are promoting your competitors

add Sampath to the list for BLtarget VCs SaaS Mantra university - podcast

Recommended Reading

Some additional marketing automation reading:

Growth Through Teaching

The best way to grow your business is to teach. It also happens to be one of the best things you can do to help humanity. Think about it, every blog article, every video, every training, every seminar, every course, every worksheet, and every quiz you took led you to this point. You listened to those podcasts, watched to those Ted talks, and read this book because you wanted to grow yourself or grow your business. Those things grew you while simultaneously growing the reputations and statuses of the authors.

When you’re building a SaaS, by the time you start and definitely by the time you start selling, you’re going to know a whole lot about your industry and your subject. If it’s worth buying, it’s worth learning about, and there are people who want to learn all over the world. So teach it!

Teach Socially

The fastest, easiest way to get started is to write an article and post it on your blog. It is almost always true that the articles written by the founder or CEO of the business are the most interesting, readable, and actionable. I can tell you for certain that the articles I personally have written are some of the top ranking articles the company has produced. So write your articles and post them to your personal and business social media and let the world learn.

Don’t have time to write? No problem. Can you talk? If so, do a daily or weekly video and post it up to Youtube, then share your video with the world socially. A great addition to your social sharing is to just post onto the online community you’ve been building around your SaaS.

Teach Locally

Being a SaaS entrepreneur can have its location independent charms, but if you’re not traveling, or if you are and have a home base, then consider putting on some local training to your target markets or just to the community. You can do this by going to your local Chamber of Commerce and telling them that you want to run a class. They will almost always support that for their members and help you get up and running.

If you have a few years of experience, you can also reach out to local grade schools, colleges and universities to be a guest speaker, or just offer to talk at an event run through

Teaching locally can give you a boost that a lot of people never realized was available to them. Teaching people about your subject not only gives you fodder for your online campaigns, but also helps you get right in front of your target markets in ways that are not possible online. You can almost always learn more from your users by sitting beside them than you can virtually.

Teach Individually

Mentoring individuals is not only personally fulfilling, but can bring you connections that you would never otherwise be able to achieve. You know about your subject in ways that other people would love to know and need to know to grow themselves, so help them and they will in turn help you.

In addition to what you personally gain by learning from others and helping them learn, very often those you teach will become your social proof for others socially. So often, I have been able to help others grow their businesses at some point in the past and then to see them pushing me up later down the road. This often happens in the form of a glowing social remark, but can also be a personal introduction to a lead I would never have otherwise met or a connection to an opportunity that would never presented itself if it were just me going it alone.

ProTip: At the end of the day, business is about relationships. The more people you know, the more people you have helped, and the more people who like you, the more value you have as a person and the more people want to do business with you.

Jumpstart with advertising, sustain through SEO

Hopefully, you read this book before getting started and you know that one of the most cost effective things to do to get your system out there is SEO. Because of this, you definitely started working on SEO before you even started working on the SaaS, right?

No? Hmmm… well then you probably need to take the route of advertising to jumpstart and SEO to sustain.

This may be something social like Facebook or Instagram, or just regular ole Adwords to start you off. But don’t just focus on advertising! Your long-term strategy most likely will need to include SEO.

Remember, if you’re ranking number one for your keywords, then you DON’T NEED so much advertising.

Three things to do to ensure success

As with most of the stuff in this book, I didn’t come up with this. I learned it from someone a lot smarter than myself and integrated it into my processes and life. I was at a seminar run by John Logar from Consulting Unleashed when he brought up these four things that will always grow a business. He actually brought up four items, not two, but one of them was “Teach What You Know”, which was covered earlier in the book, and the other one doesn’t apply to SaaS.

So the three remaining are:

  • Understand a new customer once a week

  • Make an offer every day

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well, it actually is pretty simple. Let’s take a look:

Understand a new customer once a week

Understanding your customers, their problems, and their businesses is easiest way to create a solution that works and a message that speaks to them. So the best way to understand a customer is to sit down and have a real one-on-one conversation. Personally, I recommend lunch.

A lot of people working on the internet have a hard time getting in front of people, so let me help you. This is how to do it:

Send an email:



My name is Jason Long, and I run a business here in town that helps businesses like your succeed by [HOW YOU HELP THEM HERE]. I was wondering if there was any way I could take you out to lunch and talk to you about the issues you have with [THAT THING AGAIN HERE].

I’m not trying to sell you anything. I just want to be able to understand exactly what your issues are and how you’re currently solving them so that we can do an even better job solving these issues for you.

How about lunch on:


Thank you so much!



It’s even easier if you have users in your area already using your system. Just send an email saying that you run the business and want to make it even better for them. System users will almost always accept a free lunch from someone whose software they use regularly.

Next, you can just call them. The phone call is going to be almost identical to the email noted above.

Once you get in front of your users, you need to be sure to ask questions about what they like, what they don’t like, what features are really causing issues, and what their major requests are. Next, ask about the user’s day by day experiences at work, what their major issues are, and what processes they use on a daily basis. Those kinds of conversations can unveil critical aspects of user interaction that you would otherwise never realize.

You will also learn ways that your customer communicates within their business to their co-workers that you would never otherwise probably not have any insight into. Inter-office communication is an important aspect that will shed light on the effectiveness of your marketing messages. Look out for words or acronyms that your customer use that you don’t know, they can be critical to forming new advertising or marketing campaigns.

When you take the time to understand, really understand, the needs, wants, problems, and day to day lives of your customers, you will know the marketing buttons to push and the problems to solve that really make a difference.

Make An Offer Every Day

This is exactly what it sounds like, and it is really simple. Everyday your business is in operation, call, email, knock on a door, send a letter or stop someone on the street and make an offer. Every. Single. Day.

Your offer can be the same standard thing you always offer someone, or it can be something special. It doesn’t matter as long as you make an offer to someone. It also doesn’t have to be you making the offer, although it helps a lot in the beginning.

Let’s say that your SaaS goes for $50/mo and your personal calls close 10% of the people you talk to. That means that every 10 days initially you’re going to be pulling in an additional $600/yr. It doesn’t sound like a lot initially, these things snowball. Each time you make that sale, you are going to get better and better and better at doing it. You’re going to know more and more what people want and need, and your marketing, advertising, and sales are all going to get better every day.

At a certain point you’ll have people that work with you that do this so you can focus on other things, but up front, you need to be able to sell your own stuff. No one else is going to be able to grow this initially the way you can.

The best growth hacks no one wants you to know

Free Resources:

Paid Resources:

Some of my favorite emails come from:




Roles and what they need:

  • Developers want specs and tasks, need deadlines

  • Designers want flexibility, need structure

  • PMs want structure, need timelines

  • Marketers want conversions, need data/analytics

The Inbetween - when you do your first sale and have validation, then need to finish building the thing!

Set up times to do each thing - especially marketing items

Add JHMG Asana board SaaS marketing template to list of resources

Venn diagram with major areas of SaaS and where different aspects fall.

For example:

Chatbot falls into support and marketing






The 3 A’s!

Marketing automation:

Create a 3rd party software ‘get started list’ that has all the things you’re going to need for a new SaaS

Recommended reading:

Spin Selling

Pricing book

The Lean Startup

What you need checklist:

Parts of the saas

Marketing automation items


    • In the beginning, there was a need.

      • Make yourself available for that meeting in new york

      • Spend time with your initial users

      • Cajoling and coercing new users

      • Testimonials

    • Groups

      • Facebook

      • Forums

    • Organic content and SEO

      • Why you need keyword research

        1. The difference between this guy and that guy

        2. How to do keyword research

      • Writing articles

      • Increased organic reduces advertising costs

        1. You’re going to pay one way or another, but most of the time organic seo is a better deal

      • Content creation/documentation (articles, videos, audio, etc.)

      • Tricks

        1. Comparing similar articles

          1. Making money from your competitors

        2. Skyscraper Method

          1. Story of selling weed

        3. Free tool

    • Onboarding

      • Let people think they have a choice

      • Teach and learn

      • Make it simple

      • Chatbots and onboarding

    • Webinars

      • Running a webinar

      • Starting well

      • The pitch

      • Sales

    • Launch methods - you need an audience

      • LTDs

      • Advisory Boards

      • Partnerships

        1. With people that have an audience

        2. With sales groups

    • Outbound

    • Sales Process

    • Continuous marketing

      • chatbots

    • PPC

    • Upselling

    • Affiliates & Other Partnerships

Before we can spend a drop of your (or someone else’s) hard earned money, we need to know what we’re actually look at cost-wise for everything BEFORE and after you build the thing. There’s no point in building this thing if you can’t see it through to the end, is there?

You did it!!! Now the dollars will just roll in! No more going to that 9 to 5 job, just sit back, relax, and wait for the millions of dollars to hit your bank account.

Add chapter on costs of building a SaaS

Churn to be attrition

Advantage Assets in SaaS Modes Resources Accounts Sources Gear

Instruments, Means, Channels

SaaS Growth Channels




Successes to failures

Started but didn’t finish

  • Incentivs

  • Dogwalkit

  • Leadbutton

Started and failed

  • Diagnostics Marketing

  • RIS

  • GuideFor Platform

Started and in process

  • BrainLeaf

  • Medrev

  • Guide for Seniors

  • Project is validated and your are 100% sure people want to buy it so much they have already pre-purchased it

  • Major groups of users, what features they want, and what value metric you’re using are determined

  • Different plans and their costs figured out

  • Pricing page is planned out

  • Team is selected

  • Tech stack decided

  • Project management system is selected and team has been informed on how to use the tool.

  • Project plan written and approved accepted by all team members and stakeholders

  • Information architecture written

  • Your documentation system is planned and prepared

  • Admin panel data management needs outlined and planned

  • Payment system chosen, accounts set up, and bank accounts connected

  • Unit testing system chosen and integration planned

  • User processes generally planned

  • System transactional emails planned and designed

  • User flows designed

  • Page designs and views created and agreed upon

  • Integrations with other systems generally planned out

  • Initial user tagging and triggers planned

  • 3rd party systems to be built into your system considered and planned

  • Development environment is set up

  • Code repository is selected and a repo has been set up

  • Remote systems deployments prepared

  • Automations server for continuous integrations is selected and planned for deployment

  • Dependency and systems costs generally planned

  • 3rd party systems costs planned

  • System build labor costs estimated

  • Operational labor costs estimated

  • Initial marketing & advertising costs determined

  • All initial costs have been funded and ongoing costs planned or funded

SaaS Accounting - to do in next edition

What do you think you are building/doing?

Business canvas

Validating your idea

Validation canvas

Tools of the trade

When building a SaaS business, there are a number of project aspects that most entrepreneurs don't consider. These are systems and implementations that will very often need to be built into the project.

Where is your customer in the buying cycle?

Understanding where your user falls in the buying cycle helps you understand how to interact with the user and what information to send them. So enabling your customer support team members to understand lead scoring can help automate their processes

SaaS Pricing Metrics

This is

Often ignored because it touches everything

Positioning = people

Packaging = presentation

Pricing = pricing

Customer acquisition costs (CAC)

CAC = total cost of sales and marketing / # of customers acquired

In the CPC channel,

Lifetime value (LTV)

LTV/CAC is the math your entire business is built on

If you position price package effectively, then a significant part of your sales and marketing job is done already. Without it, you are attracting the wrong people that don’t fit your value.

ARPU = Average Revenue Per User

LTV = ARPU/Churn Rate

LTV (simplified) = (sum of all customer mrr / total # of customers) / (# customers who churned / total # of customers)

Value metric = what you selling that determines price

Reducing churn comes from giving customers true value, which they get if the positioning is precise.

LTV/CAC ratio of >1 is good, but not good enough. You need substantially higher LTV than CAC. At least a 3 to 1 ratio to run a successful business. But more like an 11 to 1 ration.

CAC increase - better positioning and packaging to target ideal customers

LTV increase - higher prices and better retention

Grows customers and revenue

Average SaaS company spends 6 hours over their whole lifecycle on pricing.

Value based pricing is best

Cost plus vs. competitor based vs. value based - your own strategy

If you are just giving someone what is already out there with the same packaging, same price, etc. they are just going to go with what is already out there.

Could be called ‘customer based pricing’

Your SaaS company exists to offer value to your customers. This is why the only viable option in SaaS pricing is value based pricing.

Quantified buyer personas are the foundation of your entire pricing strategy.

Without advanced buyer personas, you are reduced to ‘guess and check’ marketing and development.

You need:

How to identify your highest value customers so you can position effectively

What are the valued features of your packaging that different subsets of customers really want?

What these types of customers willing to pay for the right product for them?

Are the unit economics such as CAC of these customers profitable

Need to know:

Company size



Look at current customers and build profiles from there. Use profitwell to pull up payment info and sort by MRR

Willingness to pay

  • People are not good at tell you if your product is worth $99/mo or $79/mo.

  • 4 questions from Van Westenhorps Price Sensitivity meter:

    • At what price would you consider the product to be so expensive it is not worth buying? (too expensive)

    • At what price would you consider the product starting to get expensive, so that it is not out of the question, but you would have to give some thought to buying it? (Expensive/high)

    • At what price would you consider the product to be priced so low that you would feel the quality couldn’t be very good (too cheap)

    • At would price would you consider the product to be a bargain - a great byy for the money? (cheap/good value)

The highest share of the market is found in the trough at the bottom. This is the price point where the maximum percentage of sales can be found. However, you can also see other price points that may return higher profits. In this case, moving from $200 to $400 barely sacrifices market but potentially has far better LTV per customer.

For CPC channel:


CAC = CPC / % trial x % paid

Your pricing page:

The demographics are condensed into a single word that best describes that persona: a bootstrapper, a startup, a growing company, or a large unicorn.

The willingness to pay is shown in the actual pricing, which grows with the growing demographics and features.

The packaging of the valued features show the relative preferences of each buyer persona. The Bootstrap persona only wants quick and easy access to the product, while Growth wants custom analytics and support.

Quantifying your buyer personas gives you concrete starting points for your pricing and packaging, showing you exactly what your customers value, and what they are willing to pay.

If you know what feature your customers really value then that should be the first thing they see when they hit your landing page.

Your sub-landing pages can be designed around each of the main features for each buyer persona.

You can construct your sales funnel to pass through different features as potential customers travel to your pricing page

Though you should always be looking for ways to maximize efficiency within a SaaS, cutting back on CAC is generally the unfavored option to increase your LTV/CAC ratio. Customers, particularly the high-value ones, cost money to acquire. Cutting back here means cutting back on acquisition, leading to further problems.

Value Metrics - what you’re charging for

You need to have something that scales up cost with the size of the business. Period.

1. To be easy to understand 2. To align with your customer’s needs 3. To grow with your customer

Why A Value Metric Means You Grow As Your Customers Grow

Growing with your customers is all about getting the thresholds for your value metric correct. Though you should have an idea of the correct pricing and thresholds from your buyer persona willingness to pay data, the only way to drill down on exactly what works is to continually test and optimize.

Value metrics are the best way to optimize your pricing for growth.

Growth levers:

  • Acquisition

  • Retention

  • Monetization

This data, taken from our study of 512 SaaS companies, shows that just a 1% improvement in monetization allows you to increase revenue by 12.7%. This makes it by far the best growth lever in your business. Monetization is almost 4X more effective than acquisition at raising your bottom line.

One plan per persona

Each persona should have 3 elements:

  1. Demographic data The size and type of target company, along with specific title and role definitions from individuals at those companies. This is common buyer persona information, but yours should be based on current customer data rather than just brainstorming.

  2. Valued features The results from your market research and feature value analysis. Each buyer persona should have different features that they value over others.

  3. Willingness to pay Price sensitivity data from your market research showing pricing ranges that each buyer persona will pay for their most valued features or positioning on your value metric scale.

Your pricing page is the most important page on your marketing site.

This is the most important page of your marketing site. It is the one that is going to convince prospects to sign up or not. To part with their hard-earned revenue or not. So the design has to be right

Need to consider price localization

But by discounting, you have already hurt that value.

Discounting Undervalues Your Product Both Externally and Internally


  1. Appraisement

    1. Pricing is foundational

    2. Understand SaaS growth

    3. SaaS pricing & accounting metrics

    4. Aspects and methods of pricing

    5. Knowing your customers is critical

    6. How to price your SaaS

    7. Analyzing scenarios

    8. Bringing it all together in your pricing page

  2. Acquisition

    1. Initial users - getting them and how to use them

    2. Organic SEO - why you need it and what it does

    3. Lifetime Deals (LTDs) - is it right for you and lessons learned

    4. Community building - Forming your own personal fan club

    5. Outbound campaigns - Outreach the right way

    6. Influencer and affiliate marketing - Secret to success for so many SaaS systems

    7. Paid advertising - If you believe in what you’re doing, you put money into it

    8. Continuous Marketing - All of this, all the time

  3. Attrition / Retention

    1. Community building

    2. Supporting your customers

    3. Knowledge base

    4. Education

    5. Constant communication

    6. Keeping up with the Joneses

If you didn’t just skip to the end, you should now have to tools to:

  • Validate your idea and get some pre-sales

  • Understand the different aspects of a SaaS

  • Build a team

  • Develop your system

  • Price your system

  • Release a MVP

  • Acquire customers and keep them from leaving

  • Build a community

  • Support your customers

  • Manage the development growth of your system

All of this is necessary to know, but so often the questions come up at this point:

  1. What is my process?

  2. Is there a steps I should take now?

  3. How do I gain traction?

That’s always the trick isn’t it? You can build the greatest thing in the world, but if no one knows about, it doesn’t do a whole lot of good. So in this chapter, we’re going to walk through the steps you can take to gain traction.

Important disclaimer! This is a good process. It’s worked for some businesses, but it’s not foolproof, and for every business that has succeeded, there are tons of other businesses that have tried this and failed. For more on this see one of my first lessons in the book. This is a guide to help you get going and grow.

The Process

Now that you

Before we start we need to make some assumptions about where you are. If you started off at the beginning of this book and worked your way though, doing most or all of these recommendations then you:

  1. Already have a few customers that you developed during your validation phase and they are waiting for your launch.

  2. Have been working on your SEO for a while by the time you are ready to start really marketing you’re already starting to push up to the first page of Google, if you’re not there already.

  3. Have a validated system with a validated customer base.


Before we get into the step by step, here are a couple of the most important things you can do. After this, the process.

No one wants to follow you unless other people think you’re important

If you have less than about 20,000 followers on Twitter, no one with 100,000 followers and up is going to take you seriously. The same thing applies to Facebook, LinkedIn, and just about every other social platform. No one who is someone wants to talk to someone who isn’t. Well, at least they don’t want to follow you back.

Don’t get too upset about this though, there’s a good reason for it. Your popularity on most of these systems is based on the ratio of how many people follow you to how many people you follow, the greater the ratio the better. Once you get to the point where you have tons of followers, you’re not going to want to follow no-name people and businesses back either.

So here’s the secret.

Most of these companies got where they are with some dirty tactics. Even the white knights out there wear a little grey hat every now and then. For example, there are a ton of videos out there on Youtube telling you how to grow your subscribers. They have tons of great tips about making sure your videos show on the same day and same time, how to increase watch time and how that helps you, and so much more. But what NO ONE ever says is that they placed a note in their video description or comments that says “Follow this link and I’ll follow your back.” Of course everyone wants someone super popular to follow them, so they become a follower. The next thing no one really sees coming, those guys then unfollow their followers slowly over time. Because remember, their popularity is based on the ratio of how many people follow them to how many people they follow. This is a dirty trick known as an ‘unfollow campaign’. It’s dirty, its gray or black hat, and tons of businesses do it. Clearly, I’m not going to recommend you do this since the penalties can be stiff, but I may know someone who tried this with great success. Just sayin.

The other way you can become popular is to just produce great content regularly over tons of time and devote lots and lots of time to it, which you should be doing anyway. But if you want a little bump in the beginning, there may be other ways.

Finding a hook

Fear not the welcome mat

  • So far, you have been given the tools, but now it’s time to put them into action. We took you through

    • List of things here

  • This is a ‘how to’ on gaining traction on a SaaS

    • Can’t tell you how to be successful, but I can tell you how not to fail

    • The trick is having something that everyone wants and having validated the idea before you started.

    • If you haven’t done exactly this, you can still follow these steps, but you may not have as much success.

    • Even if you do everything perfectly, you may still fail, especially if this is your first time doing this.

  • Grow through teaching

    • Teach socially

    • Teach locally

    • Teach individually

  • Grow through ads, sustain through SEO

    • Ads

    • SEO

  • Channel partners

    • Affiliates

  • How to grow your business

    • Do things that don’t scale so you can scale

      • Signup for an invite and talk to everyone who signs up

      • Don’t call it a beta

      • Be in New York

    • Understand a new customer once a week

    • Teach what you know

    • Make an offer every day

    • Set an appointment every day

  • Kick it off

    • Once you have a workable product, get everyone you know to use it and give COMMENTS which you will post on your website

    • Find the ‘Hook’ - Slack is an ‘email killer’

    • Invite people to try the preview release (sign up for your invitation)

    • Launch to the public

      • Email

      • Company name

      • Signup for invite

      • It’s NOT a fast thing - years sometimes

    • Drive all traffic from different channels to a centralized place (videos)

    • Podcasts - run one and sponsor ones

    • Comparison sites

    • Welcome mats with CTAs that drive users to collect customer reviews

    • Growth through integrations - piggyback on top of systems your customers are already using

    • Don’t be afraid of the welcome mat

    • Write on Medium

      • Product updates

      • Product tutorials

      • Practical workplace tips

      • Personal stories

      • Needs to be great content

      • Make sure to post CTAs

      • When you post to Medium, make sure it’s connected to Twitter or Facebook so your followers can recommend you

    • Steal competitor traffic with ‘alternative-to’ landing pages

      • Use question-based copy to tie each unique selling point to convince people to change over.

      • Show social proof

    • “Import” content to Medium

    • Post “controversial” articles

    • The “starter kit” - intercom does this

    • The ‘Assessment’ CTA

      • Takes user to a form that gives an assessment

      • Grabs attention

      • Asks probing questions

      • Based on needs can follow up with the right questions

    • Page title to show the right messaging

    • AIDA Formula:

    • Giveaway Freebies

  • Growth hacks

    • Competitor vs. competitor and make money on ads articles

    • Videos - getting people to share your videos

      • Show example of the video growth guy

    • Grey hat twitter campaigns

      • Unfollow campaigns\

      • No one wants to talk to you unless you have at least 20k followers.

    • Quupromote

    • Book - long article as a book

    • Grow SEO through podcasts

    • Run a podcast

    • Facebook ads

  • Your first customers are your most important

  • Sales team

  1. Idea

  2. Initiate

  3. Validate

  4. Learn

  5. Presell

  6. Create

  7. Lead

  8. Organize

  9. Grow

  10. Learn

  11. Repeat

  12. Thrive

Now you have the tools you need to:

  • Validate your idea

  • Understand the different aspects of a SaaS

  • Build a team

  • Develop your system

  • Price your system

  • Release a MVP

  • Acquire customers and keep them from leaving

  • Build a community

  • Support your customers

  • Manage the development growth of your system

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