SaaS Companies: How To Save Time With Social Media Marketing Using Habits

To get leads, free trial users, and prospects for your SaaS product, you need to use social media. So far, so good. There’s just one problem. You’re probably terribly inefficient in your social marketing. That’s costing you time that could be

Why Your Bad Social Media Habits Undermine Your Marketing Success

You publish a new blog post to promote a new feature like your Salesforce integration. To get traffic, you post that link to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Your vague intention is to publish the update and move on with your day. However, that “quick update” quickly becomes a half hour or longer social media session. You see all the updates from your friends and contacts.

Yikes! When a fifteen-minute marketing task becomes a 60 minute aimless wandering, you have a problem.

It’s Not Your Fault – These Are Habit Forming Products

If you find it difficult to tear yourself away from social media platforms, you’re far from alone. These products have been crafted by engineers and marketers to engaging. That’s a bit strange when you think about it. How can use a computer or mobile device become habit forming? That’s a big question best answered in the book – Read Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal for more insight.

You cannot change the design of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms yourself. However, you can change your habits.

How To Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Habits

You cannot ignore social media platforms when it comes to promoting your business. That’s no solution! There are simply too many leads on those platforms to ignore. Instead, you need to use systems and rules to optimize your process. Use these rules to guide your process

1 Write your social media to do list in advance

When I was growing my project management website, I had a standard social media promotion procedure. With every new post, I would publish updates to Twitter, LinkedIn, and specific LinkedIn groups. Once updates were published to those specific places, my job was done.

2 Write your social media updates off the platform

Writing your social media updates directly on the platform is not a good idea. Instead, I recommend creating those updates in Word or Google Docs. Compared to social media, these apps are distraction-free, so you will be able to write your updates much faster.

3 Set a timer for direct social media use

I’m a huge fan of using count down timers as a productivity tool. For example, set a timer on your phone for 15 or 20 minutes. As the clock counts down, you need to go through each part of your social media update list from step 1. If you’re not sure how long to set the timer for, I recommend 20 minutes as a starting point.

4 Publish the updates

Copy and paste the updates onto each platform. Next, add in the other needed elements such as links, images, emojis, and the like.

5 Return in 1-2 hours for a 15-minute engagement session

After you publish your content to social platforms, you job is not done. When people engage with your content, you need to return to platform to engage. Scheduling a reminder to check and respond to comments and likes in 15 minutes is enough in most cases. If you happen across a prospect who appears particularly excited about your product, introduce them to your sales team.

The #1 Blog Mistake SaaS Companies Make

Last year, I reviewed more than 100 software company (SaaS) websites to better understand the market. The result was a mixed picture. Some companies were doing well in using inbound marketing effectively. Many others were failing. Let’s take a closer look at one of the most common problems.

The “All About Us” Mistake On SaaS Company Blogs

Look at your last twenty blog posts.

How many of them are company news like feature announcements, personnel announcements, and other insider information? If you answered more than 50%, you just committed the “all about us” mistake. When you talk about your new feature release or other company news too often, it is a turn off to new prospects. Sure, a tiny percentage of customers are interested in your product roadmap and engineering. However, most prospects have no time for that.

They are silently asking themselves, “what’s in it for me?” when they view your website, your social media updates, and emails. If you make them guess or work to find that answer, you are going to lose them. That means fewer leads, higher customer acquisition cost, and greater difficulty in hitting your growth targets.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution. Reframe how you view your blog!

What Is The Job of Your Company’s Blog?

Copyhackers pioneered a great concept on applying Jobs To Be Done To Copywriting. In essence, look at your copy – and that includes your company blog, email newsletter, and social media – as performing a job. In that way, your copy can perform well on the job, or it can fail. What’s the job of your company’s blog? Depending on your mix of marketing strategies, it will probably be one of the following:

Attract qualified leads. Without relevant leads, no sale can happen.

Convert website visitors to your email list. For products like enterprise marketing automation, few people are ready to buy immediately after they discover a new product. Therefore, your company blog and online channels can offer an alternative: encourage customers to sign up for your email list so you can follow up with them,

Increase customer lifetime value (Moz found that customers who consumed their content before buying tended to have higher LTV than customers who have not consumed content.

Support your positioning. Want to feel scared about your company’s prospects? Open up one of the large categories on Capterra or G2 Crowd. At this moment, there are over 600+ customer relationship management (CRM) applications on Capterra. Yikes! Many of them offer similar features and have comparable pricing. What do you do about this? You need to position yourself as a distinct solution, and your blog can help. In the CRM market, karmaCRM comes to mind as a company with clear positioning: “CRM for professional speakers.” Your blog can support your positioning strategy by separating you from others.

Before you publish your next blog post, ask yourself these questions:

1) Is this post about our company or our customers?

2) Which marketing goal (e.g., attract leads, support positioning, or convert visitors to subscribers) does the post contribute to?

Why Content Marketing Enhances Growth Strategies For Marketing Automation Companies

To grow revenue in a marketing automation company, there are two popular choices. Most companies use both. Whenever you feel overwhelmed by all the marketing options available, it pays to return to first principles. If your marketing efforts are not connected to one of these growth methods, you may need to re-evaluate your growth strategy.

Option 1: Acquire new customers

Attracting more customers is the simplest way to grow. Using inbound or outbound, you find a qualified lead for your product. They complete the purchase, and you’re done! This process quickly starts to become more complicated when you dive into the numbers.

In enterprise marketing automation software, a single new customer could be worth $20,000 per year or more. To close that deal, you have to spend significant time and resources. That’s way SaaS leaders have become comfortable with a payback period of 12 months or longer on new customer acquisition.

What’s the next option?

Option 2: Land and expand: sell more to your current customers

Ever heard the expression “loss leader”? I first heard this concept in the world of retail sales. A retailer offers a discount on a popular product like milk or eggs to bring you into the store. They may not make any meaningful profit on that product. However, while you are in the store, you are likely to make additional purchases. It happens every day of the week at companies like Costco, Target, and even e-commerce firms like Amazon. uses the land and expand the strategy to sell more software. Consider the company’s customer relationship management (CRM) software. If the company sells 100 user licenses to the west coast sales division of a Fortune 500 company and the rollout is successful, what will happen next? Salesforce’s account executives are going to start looking at other sales teams within the same company to expand.

Don’t assume that land and expand is limited to billion-dollar marketing automation companies either. ActiveDEMAND, a marketing automation company with 500-1000 customers, uses land and demand to grow. For example, the company often starts by selling a call tracking product to marketing agency clients. After that product delivers results, ActiveDEMAND can sell more products and increase the value of that customer.

Why Content Marketing Helps With Both Growth Options

With all the sales and marketing methods on the market, why does content marketing make a difference? Consider the trust impact of content marketing. Purchasing marketing automation software is a scary decision! What if the product fails to deliver results and the company fails to hit its revenue target this year? That’s the worry quietly going through the mind of most buyers.

With content marketing, a buyer can discover your company’s point of view in a low-pressure way. Russell Brunson, the co-founder of ClickFunnels, does excellent work with content marketing across several platforms: several podcasts, conferences, and books like Dot Com Secrets. By using content marketing to build trust, you’re also forced to come up with new ideas that set you apart from the competition.

How Using Pipedrive CRM Improved My Business Habits

A Peak Inside My Pipedrive CRM Sales Pipeline

This month, I started using the Pipedrive CRM. It’s been fantastic! You might assume that I’m excited because I’ve used it to close a deal. That hasn’t happened yet. In fact, the reason I like it comes down to process and habits.

Pipedrive advocates the “activity-based sales” concept, which I find quite helpful. Instead of hoping and praying for a sale to close, you view sales as a series of discrete steps. Once you have that view, you can ask, “what happens at each stage of the sale?” Then you can become much more confident in planning your daily and weekly activities.

In my case, I started with a simple sales habit. I would listen to a podcast episode that involved someone from my target market – marketing automation software companies. Next, I would send then an introduction email and log this action through Pipedrive. In fact, I can open up my email and send it directly from the Pipedrive app.

Unlike other CRMs I have used, Pipedrive makes it easy to track activity for the individual user. I find that immensely helpful because I can see how many deals I have started and plan the next activity of the sales process. Too many other CRMs have reporting and analytics designed for the needs of senior management rather than the end user.

Now that I have this daily habit established, how else can use Pipedrive as a platform to grow sales habits? This is an area that I’m still figuring out. Some initial thoughts include:

1) Weekly Habit: Pipeline Review – Determine Next Action.

Review the pipeline to ensure that every deal has a next action assigned. Without an assigned next action, I’m essentially relying on the other person to take action. That’s not good enough! Estimated time required: 1 hour.

2) Weekly Habit: Prepare For Value Added Follow Up

. Research value-added follow up. Instead of sending boring “did you get my email?” style follow up messages, I want to do something better. Ideally, I want to share valuable insight with each person I contact. To do that, I need to read and consume a significant amount of industry information.

Estimated time required: 1-4 hours. Note that some information gathering like listening to podcasts is doable during commuting, errands, and other activities. A few of my favorites include The Top Podcast with Nathan Latka, The SaaS Podcast with Omer Khan and the Indie Hackers podcast by Courtland Allen.

3) Monthly Activity: Sales Process Continuous Improvement.

Assess the sales process for continuous improvement. What is working? What isn’t working? For example, I might review the email copy I’m using and the what kind of replies I’ve received. An outside perspective during this review might also be helpful.

Time Required: 1-2 hours

4) Quarterly Activity: Sales Pipeline Maintenance

Clean the pipeline! Seeing a pipeline with hundreds of deals in it may give a false sense of security. During this process, I would review each deal and assess whether it is worth keeping. In some cases, using The Magic Email might make sense to get deals moving again.

Time Required: Varies depending on the size of the pipeline

Be Mindful of The Habits Your Tools Encourage

In this case, I have found that the Pipedrive CRM has encouraged productive sales habits. Other apps may encourage habits that are good for the company (e.g. “habit forming” websites or social media services that consume attention without much benefit). Ask yourself whether you can use an app like a CRM to stimulate better habits in your business.

5 Marketing Automation Software Companies Getting Funded In 2019

Tired of reading about Google Ads and Facebook Ads? Those two giants tend to dominate discussions about online marketing because they have the ability to deliver incredible traffic. However, there are other up and coming companies you need to know about.

To find them, let’s look at startups that investors are funding in 2019. It might sound scary to trust part of your company’s marketing strategy to an untested startup. Here’s a different way to look at it. You are going to seize the advantage of a new ways to increase marketing productivity before your competition finds them.

1. Adjust (Berlin, Germany, Established 2012)

Total Funding: Over $255 million (per Crunchbase)
Employees: 301 Employees

How do you know if your online advertising budget is being wasted? That’s one of the problems that Adjust solves. According to their LinkedIn page, “Adjust is the industry leader in mobile measurement and fraud prevention.” To add to their capabilities, Adjust has acquired several other companies including (a data aggregation platform) and Unbotify (a cybersecurity startup).

With 25,000 apps already using Adjust’s platform, it looks like the company has found a successful niche. Preventing fraud and enhancing measurement are needs that are going away anytime soon.

2. CleverTap (Sunnyvale, CA, Established 2013)

Total Funding: Over $41 million (per Crunchbase)
Employees: 128 Employees

With over 8000 brands on its platform, CleverTap is a marketing platform that uses machine learning to support segmentation. On G2 Crowd, the company has attracted over 100 reviews with an average rating of 4.6 Unlike other platforms that simply provide analytics data, CleverTap makes it easy to bring those insights and apply them to campaigns. Some of CleverTap’s key benefits for users focus on re-engagement and evaluating customer acquisition activities.

CleverTap extends its value by working with various partners such as AWS, Branch, Mandrill, SendGrid, Mobincube, and AppsFlyer. I was somewhat surprised to see that Zapier was not on their list, but perhaps that partnership will come in the future.

In terms of content marketing, CleverTap is exceeding expectations with the sheer variety of resources on its websites. For example, the company offers a Customer Lifetime Value Calculator ( where users need to opt-in to receive the results. Other content resources include case studies, podcasts, webinars, and white papers. Well done, CleverTap!

3. (San Francisco, CA, Established 2012)

Total Funding: Over $50 million (per Crunchbase)
Employees: 106 Employees

Have you heard of the “no code” revolution? It’s a trend to make software and automation techniques easier to implement. As the Tray homepage puts it: “Empower your citizen automators to grow your company faster. No dev resources required.” At first glance, Tray strikes me as an enterprise-level version of Zapier, a popular automation and integration platform. From a marketing perspective, I like that Tray combines content marketing (e.g., “Free Guide: Automate the Lead Lifecycle”) and chat style services. If you already use Clearbit, G Sheets, Intercom, Salesforce, and Asana, it’s worth looking into the Tray’s platform.

On G2 Crowd, has 18 reviews with an average rating of 4.7 as of this writing. One reviewer pointed out that helps them to automate GDPR processes. Other users have commented on the lack of some more advanced collaboration features. However, it looks like is making fast progress in adding new features and working to take care of customers.

4. The Ticket Fairy (San Francisco, CA, Established 2011)

Total Funding: Over $3 million (per Crunchbase)
Employees: 22 Employees

When you spend all your time in front of a computer, it’s easy to forget how important events are. Have you seen how many corporate events that Las Vegas alone holds every month? The event marketing industry is vast. Yet, I also know from personal experience that it is difficult to optimize. That’s where The Ticket Fairy comes to play. Whether you are looking to increase ticket revenue or improve marketing results, The Ticket Fairy is an interesting choice. Event organizers will also appreciate the fact that fraud prevention is a key feature for the platform.

5. Iterable (San Francisco, CA, Established 2013)

Total Funding: Over $82 million (per Crunchbase)
Employees: 224 Employees

This marketing automation platform is designed to empower marketers without involving engineering. Cross-channel engagement is the focus of Iterable. If you want to market on the web, SMS or in-app, this platform can do it.

From a content perspective, it’s interesting to note that Iterable runs two blogs. There’s an engineering blog focused on topics like Scrum and feature announcements. There is also another more traditional company blog. The blog has dedicated themes covering areas such as growth marketing, cross-channel, company, and product. When I visited the website on June 14, it looks like the blog had not been updated in several weeks.

Tip: Iterable is currently hiring for two marketing roles in San Francisco: Field Marketing Manager and Senior Demand Generation Marketing Manager.

What Can We Learn From These Growing Marketing Automation Companies?

There are four themes we can see from these platforms.

First, there is still tremendous opportunity to integrate marketing across multiple channels. The dream of “omnichannel marketing” where a customer or prospect has a consistent experience regardless of location or media is still not quite here. 

Second: partnerships and integrations are becoming more important. Several of these companies emphasize partnerships with companies like Zapier. That tells me that marketing automation firms recognize they can’t think of everything. Therefore, there’s a push to empower the user to connect their platform to

Third, we see the continued rise of “code less” marketing automation. In practical terms, that means that marketers will need to develop more technical skills. If your primary discipline is copywriting or design, you will need to develop more skills to enhance your value. I recommend looking into Zapier as an entry point into the world of automation. To give you a sense of what’s possible, I recommend Maria Myre’s post, “Turn Your Google Analytics Data into Actionable Tasks.”

Fourth, all five of these companies received venture investment in 2019. There is still investment pouring into marketing automation. Unlike other niches, marketing automation has clear value: get more customers and retain current customers. Increased regulatory controls on marketing like GDPR mean that companies need to become more sophisticated in their marketing.

Lost CRM Opportunities: Lessons From Buying New Shoes

Yesterday, I bought new black dress shoes from a store in Toronto. I’ve bought shoes and boots from the same store a few years in a row. While the store is doing the fundamentals right, there’s a big piece missing in their CRM and use of customer data!

As I completed the checkout process, they asked me for my phone number. After I provided it, they pulled up my customer file on their terminal. Out of curiosity, I asked if they had a record of the last purchase I made. They did! In fact, they had three or four different purchases logged in their file.
The problem? They were collecting detailed customer profiles and then doing nothing with it. I can’t recall receiving a single phone call from the store. If you’re never going to call the customer, why bother asking for the information? Likewise, they only send generic direct mail to me. Given the fact that they collect detailed purchase data, this seems like a major oversight.

What Could This Shoe Store Do Differently?

There are at least three different ways the company could make better use of their CRM data. My suggestions are partly inspired by one of the best sales books of all time: The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes.

  1. Call the customer after purchase to check on satisfaction and offer an upsell
    The salesperson mentioned that the shoes could be returned in a certain amount of time. Why not use this guarantee to proactively reach out to me by day five or six after the purchase? If the customer is unhappy, you can work to address their problems. If they are content, you can offer an upsell (e.g., a replacement cleaning product to be sold in three months).
  2. Contact the customer when the seasons change
    I’m based in Toronto, Canada. That means we have an intense winter season for several months each year. My wonderful new black dress shoes are not going to perform well in half a foot of snow. So, they could make a note in their CRM to contact me in late November. Perhaps let me know about a Christmas sale?
  3. Send a customized card or offer in the mail A few years ago, I received a customized thank you card in the mail after buying some clothes at Brooks Brothers. They are the only retailer that has ever done that! Admittedly, not every retailer will have high enough customer lifetime value (CLV) to justify that effort. A decent shoe store that sells shows for $150, $200 or more? A customer for such a store is easily worth $500 or $1000 over several years. That means there is a good case to be made for sending a customized card.

What Does This Mean For Marketing Automation Companies?

Rethink the customer information you are gathering.

In a post GDPR world, simply gathering all the data you can in the hope that you can find a use for it later is not going to cut it. Your CRM data is only usable if you encourage staff to build habits and processes to do the following:

Acknowledge customers!

Thank them for their business. In the marketing automation industry, ClickFunnels is fantastic at this process.

Set out checkpoints for Customer Success.

In the first month as a customer, ask the customer success team to reach out to the customer. Don’t accept the “let us know if you have any questions” approach. Come prepared with one value-added tip that helps new users use the problem.