Selling software to developers and software engineers is a thriving business. Developers are under pressure to ship features and build reliable products. They also need to move vast volumes of data around to keep their products working smoothly. That’s where Uploadcare helps.
Irina Rimecode, VP of Marketing at Uploadcare, recently shared a few thoughts on the company’s SaaS growth.
1) Tell us about your role and the company
I strategize and orchestrate 20+ specialists responsible for several marketing functions in the organization, public relations and connecting with the software engineering community included. Also, we support the sales team with marketing collateral like landing pages, white papers, and presale documentation.
We have both self-service and business customers on our platform. Most of my focus is on the self-serve market. In contrast, the sales team focuses on the enterprise group.
2) In the past year, what’s the most significant marketing success you’ve achieved?
The most significant accomplishment in the past year is successfully meeting our pipeline goal. Right now, we’re preparing for Round A for investing. To get ready for that, we’re working on achieving a more stable sales and marketing process. In 2019, we doubled our revenue!
3) What are some of the growth tactics that have worked well for you?
Even though we offer a technical product, we are seeing good results for consumer-oriented marketing.
- Black Friday promotions. This strategy has worked well for us.
- Social Media: We are using Instagram and Facebook to reach business customers.
On Instagram, we use this channel to promote annual subscriptions to our platform during the Black Friday promotion. This promotion makes sense because we are aiming to move more of our customer base to a yearly subscription.
I find that this type of retargeting advertising works well when you have an automated purchase process that only 1-2 clicks to buy.
Ultimately, you need to remember that people are forgetful. They may not remember your offer at first. Instagram and Facebook helped us to remind them of the offering. While Uploadcare is a business product, it’s essential to recognize that business people are still on consumer channels like Instagram and Facebook. We market to our audience wherever we can find them.
4) What’s working for you in terms of SEO?
SEO is a significant growth channel for us. In particular, it is influential in helping us to attract self-serve customers. In the long term, SEO traffic also helps us to build up retargeting lists. In 2019 30% of total traffic came from search compared to 24% in 2018.
It is valuable for us to appear in search results for generic terms like “uploader.” Appearing highly on the search results for generic industry keywords also helps to position us as a credible company.
So far, I’ve observed one major limitation with SEO. It has not been as effective in attracting enterprise customers.
5) Uploadcare has many impressive customer stories. What is your strategy for choosing which customers to highlight?
A case study is helpful for larger customers. It should tell larger customers that you can serve their needs. In developing case studies, we first identify a highly satisfied customer. Next, we explore the journey: what problem were they having and how did they overcome that problem
In the case study themselves, you need to balance a few elements. You need to show that the customer was satisfied. Also, show the numbers that prove the results you achieved for the customer.
6) What are the themes you’ve observed in preparing case studies?
I see three main themes: better web performance, improved quality of experience, and enhanced customer experience. Also, there is a lot of interest in understanding how to cut costs by using the platform. For example, you can deploy faster. The total cost of ownership for our platform and it is faster than our competing solutions.
For high growth companies, our product helps people achieve faster time to market, and you can move products more quickly. This is critical for developers and start-ups. In this case, they want to have a proven product faster.
7) Your email list has 86,000+ subscribers. Take us inside your email marketing strategy. What’s working well?
My best email marketing advice: don’t bother people with irrelevant emails. When people sign up for our newsletter, that’s exactly what we give to them.
It’s not about pushing a product. Instead, we mainly focused on publishing exciting content for our audience.
To improve your email marketing results, use your analytics.
Our experience shows that it’s crucial to include at least one CTA in your email. In case you’re trying to sell something, design a very short customer journey from the email: use just one link or button to drive a customer directly to the dashboard with pre-filled offer and discount parameters. Conversion and customer behavior are the two main things in the spotlight of our analytics. You need to understand why people are opening emails vs. not opening them. Analyze your results and look for ways to improve it. For example, we should be willing to remove people from the email list if it is clear that they are not engaged or interested in our offering.
8) Uploadcare offers a free plan and paid plans. What’s your marketing approach to transition free users to paid accounts?
The conversions rate varies broadly. Some people downgrade to the free plan after a trial. In those cases, the reason is that they only need a fraction of our platform’s capabilities.
It is still helpful to obtain free users because it is an opportunity for us to become part of a developer’s daily workflow. Once they see how it works, they may move to a higher-priced plan because they need to handle more volume.
We don’t push people to buy plans. The point is to communicate with people who see the value. We watch which users are using the product.
8) In the online marketing world, who are you following or studying right now?
I focus my effort on studying software engineers. I’m mostly interested in a mathematical approach to marketing and running experiments.
I’m reading blogs that feature automatic marketing. I look for recommendations from my network to come across exciting ideas. Among several blogs I’ve been reading recently are Joshua Hardwick, Alex Birkett, Nick Eubanks, and Mike Rudenko.