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.
Chatbot falls into support and marketing
The 3 A’s!
Create a 3rd party software ‘get started list’ that has all the things you’re going to need for a new SaaS
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
Organic content and SEO
Why you need keyword research
The difference between this guy and that guy
How to do keyword research
Increased organic reduces advertising costs
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.)
Comparing similar articles
Making money from your competitors
Story of selling weed
Let people think they have a choice
Teach and learn
Make it simple
Chatbots and onboarding
Running a webinar
Launch methods - you need an audience
With people that have an audience
With sales groups
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
Started and failed
Started and in process
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
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.
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
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.
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:
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:
CPC to CAC
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.
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:
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.
Valued features The results from your market research and feature value analysis. Each buyer persona should have different features that they value over others.
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
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Pricing is foundational
Understand SaaS growth
SaaS pricing & accounting metrics
Aspects and methods of pricing
Knowing your customers is critical
How to price your SaaS
Bringing it all together in your pricing page
Initial users - getting them and how to use them
Organic SEO - why you need it and what it does
Lifetime Deals (LTDs) - is it right for you and lessons learned
Community building - Forming your own personal fan club
Outbound campaigns - Outreach the right way
Influencer and affiliate marketing - Secret to success for so many SaaS systems
Paid advertising - If you believe in what you’re doing, you put money into it
Continuous Marketing - All of this, all the time
Attrition / Retention
Supporting your customers
Keeping up with the Joneses