• http://www.betadvisor.com Jerome Camblain

    Very nicely put. This post will in in our Hall of Fame, the must read articles/videos for our new joiners. Now that you have given us free education, I am ready to buy something from you…nothing beats the creation of added value for brand recognition. Merci

  • Lucien

    Another incredibly thoughtful and helpful post. Thank you!

  • darrollbuytenhuys

    David:

    Thanks for this. As usual, very helpful. A common blockage point is trial to customer conversions. Any thoughts on emailing/calling cadence after trial registration? Too much too soon is a irritant, too little is a lost opportunity?

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    I have heard from various SaaS folks that they have found a good time to be in the 6-8 hours after registration timeframe. The key to these calls is not to make them sales calls. Constant Contact calls the people that make these calls “coaches”, and their job is to help the customer be successful with the trial, and NEVER to sell. The coaches ask questions like “What were you hoping to achieve with email marketing?”, and “How can I help you achieve your goal?”.

    - David

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Thanks for the support, Jerome! It is appreciated.

  • darrollbuytenhuys

    David:

    How about after the initial contact? I am thinking about simple, short emails with links to tips and tricks, value propositions, etc. One per week for the duration of the trial?

  • http://www.saasmarketingstrategy.com Peter Cohen

    Excellent advice here, David. Thanks.

    One implicit insight from your observations: The customer acquisition machine needs constant attention.

    For one, the blockages move from one place in the funnel to another. When you “fix” one part of the process, you “break” another part.

    Second, there's no technique guaranteed to be successful in breaking through blockages. Some may work today, but not tomorrow. And some techniques, like the insurance industry event, may work for some companies, while others couldn't possibly generate enough revenue to recover the costs.

    Peter Cohen
    SaaS Marketing Strategy Advisors

  • http://twitter.com/kinconsult KinConsult

    Wonderful stuff. I have been educated.

  • http://detroit.fwix.com Jamie Favreau

    Thanks for all this information!! Wow… Very impressive and helpful!

  • http://www.opensourceadvisory.com Fred Holahan

    David,

    Superb work, as usual. Among the many useful insights, three stand out to me:

    1. Put in extra effort to understand the engagement lifecycle through your customers' eyes. This will help you anticipate where bottlenecks are likely to occur, and to recognize them when they're happening.

    2. Find things that will make it a “no brainer” for customers to take the next step. In an ideal world, the transitions will be so natural, customers won't even consciously decide to progress – they'll just do it.

    3. In the early stages of the funnel, the value exchanges are not about products/services in trade for money; they're about vendors providing high-value assets in exchange for customers' time and, ultimately, identity. As part of this early interaction, knowing when and how to ask for a registration is crucial.

    I learn every time I read your posts.

    Fred

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Thanks for your kind words and support. Much appreciated!

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Darroll, if you are doing a four week trial, then one per week might be OK, but if the trial is only one week, then you could do one per day, and if a two week trial, then one every two days. This is one of those things that is best split tested. The way to test is to split your traffic, and try different variations on each group to see which results in the highest conversion rates. Also try different emails. It is good to hear that you are thinking of tips and tricks emails. I would strongly avoid sales emails, and focus on what will allow the customer to achieve the success that they were hoping for when they signed up for the trial.

    - David

  • gopsig

    Great post. These are all the classic points we try to teach entrepreneurs, but I've never seen it summed up as concisely as you have. This will be highly recommended reading for all of our founders at SproutBox.

  • http://twitter.com/ericnsantos Eric Santos

    Excellent post David.
    I think I'll need to revisit it many times to extract all the nuggets.
    Eric
    @ericnsantos

  • http://treypennington.com treypennington

    Wow. Not only very thorough, but extremely well illustrated. Great example of a teaching blog post—would make for a perfect two class period lecture. Thanks for sharing such good stuff.

    I discovered you through a comment by James on a B2BBloggers post: http://www.b2bbloggers.com/blog/5-steps-to-keep

  • David Morse

    David – Wow! Excellent post. The idea that we expect prospects to do something they are not motivated to do is especially powerful. As the old saying goes, “hope is not a strategy.”

  • http://webbroi.com Casey

    Thanks a lot David. Definitely going to print that out and dissect it more.

  • http://www.taylormiles.com Me

    One of the best Analysis I have seen.

  • http://www.chrisowenacademy.com/ Chris Owen

    Hey David,

    Very thorough post. I love the way you used many examples and illustrations to make your points. Finding the filters that are clogged in your funnel and creating solutions is an essential part of marketing.

    Thanks for putting the time into this.

  • http://www.SimplifiedEcommerce.com Colin8ch

    This is going to one of those posts that I come back to again and again, thanks for sharing! I’ a very strong believer that education is the best sales tool, via a useful tool like the hubspot graders (web and Blog) or providing your prospects and customers with ongoing consultancy in your area of expertise. The “Thank You” economy pays off financially, and it’s so fulfilling to be able to help those that look to you for your advice based on your skills and experience.

  • http://www.admarco.net rmarkgibson

    Steve,
    This is a sales training course and inbound marketing tutorial in one post.
    I have to print this and internalize all the ideas….may I borrow some of them to incorporate into my training curriculum and Website.
    I like the zero impedance ideas….Wow.

    All the best,
    Mark

  • http://www.webhostings.in/ web hosting companies

    Excellent written skills.I get it clear idea about your topic.Above all the points are explained very clearly.

  • Analyser

    Well said, great analysis
    thanx David
    Cheap Escorts London

  • http://shobhitchugh.blogspot.com/ Shobhit Chugh

    Great post David! I think one of the best examples of the time to Wow I have seen is from Yammer. To access the complete suite, all you have to do is enter your corporate email address. Once you verify that, you can automatically access all the functionality needed. The actual sales cycle happens later – Yammer sells to IT, on the basis of administrative control, functionality etc.

  • 40Nuggets

    Found this to be very helpful. Thank you David. @40Nuggets

  • Basavaraj

    Hi David n every1 here!
    I am from India.. Nice to see u all here with great thots and ideas.. I have become follower of David from today 9am.. I will be follower in future too.

    Great Job David.

    Good day

  • Basavaraj

    I have done masters in science and working in pharmaceutical industry. Even though I have dream of starting my own enterprises but unable to start as I entered in to slogging EMPLOYEE category.

    Soon wanna quit here and start on my own. Your inspirational words and guide to me help lot.

    guide me at; biotechbasu@gmail.com

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