T: @DuaneBrown

What Are The Two Best Research Sources For SaaS Pricing?

A few months ago I wrote about pricing your agency services. A follow up piece to this and one that on the surface looks like something for startups and SaaS businesses. Actually applies to anyone starting their agency. You just have to dig below the surface to see it.

Since March I have been spending a lot of time looking at, thinking about and analyzing pricing pages of B2B and SaaS brands as I buy tools and technology for my agency; Take Some Risk. As I pitch and work with startups and established brands on both sides of the pond. Pricing and how they talk about their brands becomes a part of our servicing offering because no matter how well designed a product or service is, if it’s priced wrong we are not going to be able to sell it to our potential customers.

Beyond looking at direct competitors in your space and running polls against visitors of your website. It’s important to research what other B2B and SaaS businesses are doing in regard to their pricing

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • How they design the landing page
  • How they pricing their product
  • What yard stick they use to measure an upgrade
  • Do they offer a free plan
  • Do their offer a trial period before you pay
  • Do you need a credit card to sign up

The Two Best Research Sources For SaaS Pricing
Beyond doing a Google search or sending out a tweet to your network. I think you should use the following resources that have been my go to: Dribbble and Pinterest

Dribbble
While doing some other research I came across the pricing tag on Dribble that has heaps of beautifully designed landing pages and pricing pages for SaaS businesses. This came at a perfect moment as I just finished talking about a/b testing the pricing page with a client. I wanted to send their paid media traffic to a landing page that has a modified pricing page compared to the main pricing page that everyone else would see. Other awesome tags I looked at are: Purchase, Pricing Tables, Cost, Plans and Price to name a few. To a lesser extent you can also look at Subscription and Subscribe. Seems that 3 tier pricing is still the name of the game when you look at all those tags.

Pinterest
Beyond the Top SaaS Pricing Pages, there are other boards across Pinterest that can help you understand what others are doing in the space. It’s important to get out of our point of view and field of vision to truly see what is going on. Otherwise we risk getting into a rut and complacent in our jobs.

Designing That Pricing Page For SaaS
The team over at ChartMogul designs this cool pricing page diagram that gets at the heart of what a high converting pricing page could include. I say could and not should because there are always exceptions to every rule in business.

Combining the above graph with my post on how to build a high converting landing page, means you’re in the right place to build a pricing page that can help you startup grow faster and be profitable as you grow.

Conclusion
Designing any page on your site is going to be a mix of art and science. It’s important to mix tried and tested ideas with new inspiration as you search around on the Internet to see what others in the space are doing.

13 Tools To Help Market Your Startup In 2017

Startup Marketing Bullhorn

Working in the performance marketing space for 8 of the last 10 years has been amazing. I’ve been able to use many tools and services to do my job better (and faster). Maintaining quality should always been number 1.

I also believe in automation not repetition where possible. You should know how to do the task manually before automating anything (and why you’re doing it).

Below are some of the tools I use each week (some daily) to get my job done. A couple I’ve been using for 8 years now. They have stood the test of time.

Automation
Zapier – The software helps you connect two programs together that don’t have an official integration. e.g. importing a Twitter list into a Slack channel, so it’s searchable later by your team. I did this recently for a Twitter list I had based on research publications. Zapier’s recipe library.

IFTTT – It’s is a web-based service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements, called “recipes”, which are triggered based on changes to other web services such as Gmail, Dropbox, Instagram, and Craigslist. Seer Interactive put together a great list of IFTTT recipes for marketers.

AdWords Scripts – Provide a way to programmatically control your AdWords data. You can use scripts to automate common procedures or interact with external data in one to many AdWords accounts. A couple cool scripts I’ve been using over the last year are URL Link Checkers and Keyword Performance. Brainlabs also has an AdWords script library that is a great resource if you work in the commerce space or have a ton of different inventory and SKUs type clients.

Read more…

Paid Media Salary Survey Results 2017

It’s that time of year. No not tax season but that’s fast approaching for many of us on both sides of the pond. However, it’s our second annual salary survey!

This year we recieved 302 responses, which is a 25% increase YoY. Again the USA, UK and Canada round out the top 3. Australia, you’re so close again this year with spot #4. Netherlands takes spot #5 and my Germany friends are #6 (they were #5 last year).

We have a new feature section this year. We show a break down of male and female salaries in our top 4 markets, which is a nice new addition. WUNDERBAR! (German for wonderful). We’ve also added median salary as well per a request from the community. I think that covers it.

READ THE 2017 PAID MEDIA SALARY SURVEY RESULTS

P.S. As per my note last year. Some people have only been in paid 3 – 5 years BUT have been working for 10+ years in their career. This can skew salaries higher then you’d expect. Please take that into account across all countries.

Pricing Your Agency Services in 2017

Pricing is a sensitive subject because often talking about money is taboo, in some people’s eyes. However, you’ve to want to get paid and you’ve to want to talk about money if you’re going to run your own company. Once you’re comfortable talking about money then you’ve to honestly figure out the harder question of…

How Much Am I Going To Charge?

This isn’t as easy as it seems. Traditionally people said you should take your costs for the year and divide by 2,000 hours. The reason people said 2,000 hours was because it was assumed you’d take 2 weeks of vacation. Plus 50 weeks X 40 Hours/Week = 2,000 hours. Lets not forget that predicting your costs for the year is wildly inaccurate most of the time.

1. What happen if an emergency comes up?

2.What if you want to take 4 weeks vacation?

Plus by selling hours to your clients, means you can only make more money if you work more sells each year. This usually means you work more hours or you hire someone to help out. When that person is maxed on hours you start the vicious cycle all over again. A twist on selling hours is adding 10% or even 20% on top for profit.  This can work but again you’re still limited by hours and you’re assuming you’ll bill 2,000 hours/year. Plus it incentivizes agencies to work as many hours as they can to max billable hours each month. There is no reason for them to be effective and then efficient with your account.

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How To Accelerate Your Startups Marketing For Profitable Growth

The Problem
2016. There are more startups than money, talent or consumers can support or even VC money can fund. We’re reaching a point where the pendulum is swinging back in the other direction for startups to be profitable. I mean profitable beyond just on a cash flow bases. This should always be a goal from day one with your startup. Spending more money  then you make to acquire a customer is a losing business model.

The question then becomes; how do you build a startup marketing engine to fuel your growth? Over the last 10 years I’ve worked around the world from Toronto to Sydney, Melbourne to London and now I’m back home in Canada giving Vancouver a run. One phrase that keeps coming up is how different I work then some of my colleagues in marketing over the last decade. I thought I’d share some of my thinking and how I work.

The Answer
Answering how you fuel your growth can be the difference between being number one in your space and being dead last. Though you don’t have to be number one in your space to win. You could be number two or even carve out a niche focus within an industry that attracts customers to your brand. This isn’t a question of out spending your competition like Uber does because that’s not the reality of most startups in the world. Plus Uber is spending money to subsidies their customer’s purchases. Being number one or a leader in your space is a question of doing the following:

  1. Focus Your Marketing
  2. Position Your Brand
  3. Foundation: Build That Basement
  4. Customers: Know Them. Love Them

These are the areas in marketing that is going to separates A+ work that is going to shift your business from small startup to a rocket ship growth. Otherwise, you’ll have average or worse yet, mediocre marketing that most startups do and think they just have to outspend to win the war. Having my last startup, mopp.com, exit with an acquisition after I came on board after 9 month earlier is a testament to my process and data informed approach to marketing.

Read more…

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