Awesome interview with Nathan Barry (founder of ConvertKit) on Escape Velocity.
He talks about the early days when ConvertKit was doing $2K MRR and increased to $90K MRR in the space of a year. Direct sales was the key to that growth and what he did is relevant to anyone starting out today.
4 (😄) lessons…
- The first thing to do is figure out the specific group of people that your product is for. It’s the only way to compete in a crowded market where you’re selling people on switching from an existing solution. Unless you have a massive marketing budget. Once you know who they are, you can list them out by name and then go and target them with cold outreach.
- When reaching out, short emails work best. Long looks copy and pasted. Short looks personal. Don’t sell in the email. Ask about problems with what they’re doing today and ask for advice about what you’re building.
- If you’re going to use affiliates keep in mind the 98/2 rule. Only 2% of your signed up affiliates will ever make a single sale. You have to “sell” to your affiliates to sell for you. You need to help them with tools and encourage them to remember to promote you. It’s not a way to sit back and watch the money roll in.
- It’s difficult to add scarcity to SaaS products to encourage immediate action (without discounts). ConvertKit sells via webinars with partners (so tapping into their audiences) and adds exclusive deals to the offer. Things like extended trials, courses, books. The audience gets them only if it buys there and then.