Startup Growth Academy #3: SaaS Virality Checklist


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So you don't believe in SaaS virality? Better start! Andrew Chen was god damn right in his article, that’s hardly possible to make a SaaS product go viral. However, I wouldn’t completely cross off virality as a customer acquisition strategy. According to the SaaS Conversion Survey almost 18% of SaaS starups founders voted “referral” as the most important customer acquisition channel. And Virality is without a doubt the best way of boosting your referral rate.

If you ask SaaS startup founders who already benefit from virality you’ll hear something like: “we acquire around 10% users via viral channels and it doesn’t seem to be a big effort” - that’s exactly my point. 10% of new users for free sounds like a great deal to me. How could you give up on such an opportunity for faster growth? Stay with me, because you can do better than 10%.

As I said before, viral features help you enhance your best user acquisition channel – referrals. Sharing & collaboration are top sources of virality – you must include those mechanisms in your product to reach remarkable growth results. It means that you have to optimize sharing & collaboration features of your product, or even design them from scratch. If your products is not about sharing your content with unlimited friends (like Dropbox) or a collaboration tool (like Hackpad), it doesn’t mean there’s no hope. Believe me, there’s always something for users to share.

If you want to learn more about virality check my article on KISSmetrics blog:

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Startup Growth Academy #3: SaaS Virality Checklist

  1. #Virality My SaaS product is not about sharing content or collaboration. Can I benefit form virality?
  2. The answer is: YES
  3. Follow this checklist to find your viral opportunities:
  4. #1 API Integration: Get access to your users contacts
  5. Connect with existing platforms (such as social networks or email clients) to make any sharing action super-easy. Nobody will manually write friend’s email addresses to refer a product! 
  6. Hackpad: type only a persons name to share
  7. What other platforms are already used by your customers? Which will be best sharing channels? Will they be willing to use login info from that platform to sign in to your product?
  8. #2 Take care of your ambassadors: Remember about rewarding users who successfully refer your product to friends. 
  9. Longer trial, subscription plan upgrade or even some fun features – find out what’s most precious to your users.
  10. 7 days of Blinkist for free for a successful referral.
  11. Access to Trello Gold – set of VIP fun features
  12. What will best motivate your users to share your product? What kind of “prize” can you afford to give away?
  13. #3 Passive Refferals: There’s always something users can share directly from your product.
  14. Invoice from CRM, Report from social media monitoring system or new design idea. Don’t miss the chance to put your logo there - your customers will passively share your product!
  15. Quoteroller (TODO: potrzebujemy screen, poprosiłem ich) – branded proposal to share with Proposal shared via potential customers Quoteroller platform
  16. Mailchimps obligatory footer
  17. What can be shared from your product? What information users are already sharing with collaborators and customers? 
  18. Can you provide read-only access to this information? Can you create email notification about sharing this information? Or at least place your logo somewhere on the exported file (report, design, invoice)?
  19. #4 “Powered By”
  20. Use “powered by [your products name]” tactics to make your customers advertise your product while using it. Works perfectly for any kind of widgets, etc.
  21. Qualaroo puts „Powered by” in every survey
  22. Just like Bounce Exchange
  23. What part of your product is exposed to your customers users? Can you put the “powered by” link there? How can you make the better call (example: use [product’s name] to boost your sales)? 
  24. #5 Coworkers Refferals
  25. Is your pricing based on users limits? Great. Make sure your users pull in all of their coworkers into your platform!
  26. Yammer pushes inviting coworkers into their product.
  27. How can you encourage users to invite all of their coworkers? Is productivity and communication boost enough to convince them to join?
  28. #6 Find the right time
  29. Only active users can refer your product, don’t push new ones too much. They have to fall in love with your product to spread it!
  30. What is the best time to suggest users to make a referral? How do you define your active user? Is there anything to share at that moment? 
  31. Full post is available on: http: //
  32. Join FREE Marketing Course: Greg Pietruszynski | @pietruszynski