Digital marketing has been redefining the way we look at traditional marketing and advertising. As the whole process became more data-driven, the marketer’s focus moved beyond growing awareness and attracting customers towards targeting, acquiring and keeping loyal, engaged customers through growth marketing.
Growth marketing has become particularly in demand with the expansion of SaaS (software as a service) business, where constant growth is key to survival. Only 2-3% of a monthly churn requires at least 27%-43% of annual growth to keep revenue afloat.
In this article, we will share with you 5 growth marketing lessons that helped us close 189 clients in just 2 years and generate $720,000 in annual revenue. The secret to our success was a solid team of early adopters, which kept our retention rate at the level that allowed us to experiment and grow freely.
Why digital agencies need growth marketing?
The expansion of growth marketing is a serious challenge for digital agencies – most of them still focus on top of the sales funnel, and many marketers feel that their expertise doesn’t cover a holistic approach. A particular challenge when it comes to growth marketing is getting your or your client’s business to take off and be able to immediately report palpable results.
There are plenty of articles focusing on successful examples of growth hacking, but most of them don’t come with detailed insight into these businesses’ experiences and strategies. In this post, we will help you with our experience – so let’s see how LeadQuizzes built a solid foundation for growth marketing.
Create a product that works
First, let’s see what is a product that works. A product that works is not a product your Mom and best friend think is cool.
A product that works is something a decent number of people is ready to commit to – financially. Growth marketing is deeply intertwined with product development, so whether you’re doing marketing for yourself or a client, you have to be deeply invested in every aspect of this process.
LeadQuizzes started out as a digital marketing agency, but the idea of LeadQuizzes as a lead generation platform was born as part of a successful marketing strategy. While we were working with one of our clients, we used a quiz as a Facebook add, and it performed really well – repeatedly.
Once it was certain that quizzes do a hell of a job with lead generation, we knew we were onto something and decided to build a marketing software in its own right. But if you want to turn this simple tool into a powerful software that could carry the brunt of successful marketing campaigns, you also need to think about the complementary features of such tool.
This is how LeadQuizzes moved beyond a quiz maker to include the collecting of marketing data that allows users to segment their leads and fine-tune campaigns based on their preferences and interests. But beyond successful campaigns and clients, how could we make sure that people would use our marketing software?
Before the software was even built, we launched an early adopters program which helped us fund the platform’s beta version creation. We did a cold outreach to potential customers and offered them access to the software and premium features in exchange for $97 deposit and another $97 payment after the release. Out of 400 contacted prospects, we got around 100 early adopters.
The takeaway: Test your offer
Developing software is neither easy nor cheap – so SaaS clients are rarely in a position to burn through their investments hanging onto the bare hope that it is going to work. Quizzes may look like a fine tool, but convincing people into using them as a marketing software in its own right took some work.
There are several ways to feel the pulse of your potential customers – emailing your existing network of contacts, cold outreach, or crowdfunding.
We were in a favorable position as we already had a network of clients to choose from, but it was not the sole source of contacts we relied on. We used LeadQuizzes to grow our email list to 400 contacts – but we didn’t stop there.
Have a strategy
There is plenty of advice on writing attention-grabbing cold outreach email, as it follows a fairly simple pattern. But it’s having a strategy that brings you closer to sealing the deal. We knew exactly what we were going to do – from generating a lead to closing the sale.
From the very beginning, we decided to make content marketing a cornerstone of our business growth. After all, it’s how most SaaS businesses grow their traffic and sales. Chanty, for example, got from 0 to 10K leads by relying primarily on content marketing.
We started off by writing a convincing piece of content marketing – a blog post leveraging our case study with the hormone doctor who used quizzes to generate over 35,000 leads with zero marketing experience and minimum investment in Facebook advertising.
We sent this blog post to our email list – based on how “warm” our leads were, we sent different outreach emails. For example, our existing clients were getting emails that go into greater detail about the efficiency of quizzes and their pricing.
In our cold outreach email, we went a bit slower, explaining how we found them, mentioning mutual contacts, and challenging them to join our challenge to grow their email list to 100K contacts in one year. Most importantly, we emailed these people multiple times. We prepared a five email sequence and dripped quiz-related educational content to them.
The takeaway: Take it step by step
Don’t try to cram your product or service down people’s throats in one sitting. Come to terms with the fact that some people won’t be interested, that some people may be slightly interested and give up, some may come close to saying yes but then drop out.
Don’t be afraid of separating that process into several steps. It is not about the sheer number – it is about building a solid foundation with loyal early adopters. It is better to have 10 customers who are genuinely interested in using your software, than 50 lukewarm prospects that may drop out at any time.
So, once they express their interest in your service or product, explain your offer in greater detail, the way your product works, linking to case studies or success stories and explaining what both of you get from their early adoption.
If they express interest at that point, you can go on to schedule a call or chat. Oh yes, I understand it looks so old-fashioned, and I will go back to that part in the following section. Before we move on to that, another thing.
Keep in mind that each business has a specific audience and goals. The entire process of reaching them and getting them to try your service requires you to have a deep understanding of their business.
For example, since our first successful quiz client was in the health niche, we spent a great deal of time researching online summits relevant to this target market. This is how we built our cold outreach list.
Similarly, keep your prospects’ goals in mind. Building a 100K email list sounds great when you are reaching out to an online marketer or a blogger, but if you are addressing an e-commerce store or a health clinic, it’s much more effective to promise them higher revenue or number of patients.
Don’t push aside traditional sales tactics
This part of the process is actually intertwined with the previous one, but we decided to talk about it in a separate section because of its importance in the process of acquiring early adopters.
Sure, for the larger part of the funnel, we used digital advertising tolls, running our quizzes as Facebook ads targeted towards various customized audiences. And sure, 21st-century advertising is all about NOT looking like advertising. But once you reach a certain point, things need to get a little sales-y.
As our prospects were led through the sales funnel, we decided to turn from content marketing to the old school sales strategies, to make sure we are closing a mutually satisfying deal. Nothing compares to a direct conversation, so we hired a sales team that phoned people who stuck around for three emails in the sequence.
The sales script usually included an introduction, sales questions, presentation, pricing, objection handling, and, ideally, closing.
The Takeaway: Traditional can be pricey, and have a big pay-off
Yes, hiring a sales team which is going to be swift and efficient with closing the deals with customers within a limited time frame requires investment.
However, it can easily make this investment profitable because in quite a few cases you can convince the prospects to purchase a bigger package. More importantly, direct conversations with the early adopters allowed us to improve retention in the early stages because we were able to make sure our customers get everything they need in their package.
Don’t worry that sales calls will come across as aggressive – remember, the calls are reserved for people who have repeatedly expressed interest in your product or service.
Weaponize positive feedback
One of the important milestones we reached early on was getting a major marketing influencer to be one of our early adopters.
We reached out to Neil Patel who had a regular opt-in on Nutrition Secrets website. Although his opt-in was converting well, we offered him to use our software for free in exchange for a case study – and he said yes. We built a quiz around nutrition and dieting, he added it to his site via hello bar, and his conversion rate jumped by 500%.
Mind it, Neil Patel already had a fairly decent conversion rate before the quizzes, measuring in several hundred sign-ups. But the spike was enough to turn him into one of our most important clients.
Moreover, the whole cooperation started with a simple could outreach email – we didn’t have any names to drop or mutual connections that could put in a good word for us. Following the strategy laid out in the second section, we simply told Neil Patel how quizzes work and how efficient they can be. We offered him value in exchange for his time – and it worked!
The takeaway: Don’t be afraid to reach out to big names
Sure, influencers get dozens of emails and offers every day, but that doesn’t mean they don’t pay attention to them. The thing is, most of them are willing to give you their time, advice or a shoot-out if they feel that you are offering something of value.
Marketing is an industry where constant development is a means of survival, so logically, even the most successful marketers always seek new ways to tweak their strategy or product. In the grand scheme of things, we all need each other. When you have a product that works and numbers to prove that, you will impress both an anonymous business beginner and a celebrity entrepreneur.
Neil Patel was LeadQuizzes early adopter free of charge. He didn’t have anything to lose, but the software enabled him to generate thousands of leads. On the other hand, the exposure and credibility he brought to LeadQuizzes was an immensely powerful asset in our growth marketing. Even now, occasional shoot-outs from Neil Patel still continue to bring us traffic, sign-ups, and customers.
Of course, don’t reach out to influencers exclusively – any positive feedback can be weaponized and used as a growth generator. We understood the importance of our client’s experiences and built our marketing strategy around it.
Seems too simple? Well, this is is just a beginning. However, we felt that it was important to focus on explaining the foundations of growth marketing from our perspective and experience. This phase is often skipped or vaguely described in conversations about growth marketing.
As I said in the beginning, the key to our growth was acquiring a solid base of loyal customers who kept our retention rate solid. While LeadQuizzes are growing, one of the important details we focus on is recruiting and finding the right talent – not just on the developing end, but also customer success and marketing.
If you want to read how LeadQuizzes grew to $720,000 of annual revenue in greater detail, step by step, take a look at this guide. If you feel confident enough to try and kickstart your growth marketing with quizzes, click below.