You don’t need a big budget or a six-week-long strategic planning session to get started with product marketing. Sure, you’ll need to do this eventually, but it shouldn’t put on hold your product adoption and awareness tasks. Educating customers and prospects about the power and utility of what you’ve worked so hard to build is easier than you think, and today I’ll show you exactly how we think about SaaS product adoption and awareness at Unbounce.
Back in 2012 we launched The Landing Page Conversion Course (LPCC for short), and as part of the rollout, I sat down and rattled off 25 quick and easy things we could do to create awareness. It took me less than ten minutes. I then grabbed Cody and Dan, and headed to a local bar to continue the session. Between the three of us, we notched it up to sixty before our first pint was done.
Getting scrappy is a great way to mobilize your team. These impromptu brainstorms not only created over 50 ideas we could implement really quickly, but it uncovered some that would become part of a larger strategic vision. Also, one of our dogs is called Scrappy, and he’s very cute.
Last week I sat down and repeated this exercise for the new products Unbounce: popups and sticky bars. Even though my focus was our own products (you can check them out via the 3 orange buttons in the nav ^^^), the majority of this list can be applied to any business, SaaS in particular.
You can create your own list like this too
I’d encourage you to repeat this exercise, starting by yourself, and then with some team members. Encourage them to come up with crazy and ridiculous ideas, as this will help expand your minds into ideas you’d typically consider off limits. After all, setting up a stall outside a conference (not your own), handing out bacon to tired hungover attendees as they arrive in the morning, might seem bizarre, but I guarantee you’ll be the favorite sponsor of the event.
Help us out by sharing your best ideas
With the collective wisdom of all of you reading this, we should easily be able to come up with 50 or 100 more ideas, so please drop them in the comments below and if they’re awesome I’ll add them to the master list with your name/company/product listed beside them.
Below are 50 ideas you can get started on today, broken into two parts, SaaS product adoption, and SaaS product awareness.
Part One: SaaS Product Adoption Tips
Click on the ideas to show the full description and instructions.
To enhance the impact of your content, try showcasing it directly in your content. This won’t apply to every business, but if you offer any kind of website tech you can try it. If you do it right, you can create an experience that is better than the content alone.
I just demoed our sticky bar product by asking for your participation.
The on-click trigger is one of many options available in Unbounce, including scroll down, scroll up, entrance, exit, and timed delay.
Brainstorm ways that you might be able to show your product in the context of your content.
Here’s the “Builder Basics” template we created for this purpose. You can use it to get the full builder experience in less than 10 minutes or less, which is perfect for showcasing initial value and improving your Time to Value (TTV) metric.
This concept allows people to try your tool without needing to already have an idea they want to build and launch. You can also use it to specifically guide people to using the features you’ve identified as having the ability to create those all-important ah ha moments.
With an interactive sandbox experience like this, the only barrier to entry is the complexity of the product or the clarity of how you communicate its use. And because we’ll be linking to ours from tens of different campaigns and contexts, we’re using entrance popups to speak directly to the message and source that led people to the demo, as well as introduce how the demo works.
Entry popups are a brilliant way of scaling this idea as we can use referrer or URL or cookie targeting to show the right message to the right people.
It’s key once you outline your product’s ah ha moments that whatever they are, they’re trackable from inside your product. This ensures you can truly measure adoption and understand where people get stuck.
Part Two: SaaS Product Awareness Tips
Click on the ideas to show the full description and instructions.
Here’s the product marketing kicker: don’t sell or mention the product in the letter – keep it personal and thankful – but follow your signature with a fun and made up job title that mentions the new product or feature.
For example: Oli Gardner, Chief Unbounce Sticky-Bar-with-Geo-Targeting Champion
I just mentioned the new product, and one of its features. In a delightful manner.
Bonus points if you create some content (like a custom landing page) that ranks for the keywords in that job title (and has your face on it).
Side benefit bonus: your coworkers get to rewrite their own job title every day for a month.
Note: I made it appear at the bottom because if it appeared at the top you wouldn’t really see it because it’s so similar to the header.
Note that this was a fairly simple interface change, but there is still a massive amount of code that our engineering team had built based on the previous hierarchy. That will remain for now as we run these experiments, but it was a substantial barrier in getting buy-in to make these changes.
Overall, if you’re not being 100% clear about the context of use in the naming of your products, don’t stick with a name because you came up with it, be prepared to pivot for the sake of both awareness and adoption.
Drag & Drop Match
For this challenge, we had two screens: one showing a completed landing page and the other where the Unbounce app was open and you had to replicate the completed page from jumbled components. You had to match the two pages by dragging elements, changing widths, colors and page sections.
There was a locked box with sweet sweet swag inside, and to get the combination, you had to trigger a popup or sticky bar using all of the available triggering settings: click, entrance, exit, scroll down, scroll up, and timed delay. Each one had a number on it that made up the combination for the lock.
Here’s how to do it. Choose (and protect) a cell somewhere in your sheet(s), and paste this code into it:
=image(googleanalytics(“UA-xxxxxxxx-1″,”Doc Name”,”Sheet Name”))
Obviously replace the xxxxxxxx with your GA account ID, and the doc and sheet names.
No harm in experimentation though, so throw in a single line of CSS to set the ID or class of the meta info (date etc.) to hidden. .blogMetaEtc: display:none !important; will most likely work.
Replace .blogMetaEtc with the actual class or ID. Then after a week/month (depending on traffic levels), look in GA to see if the bounce rate or time on page is different.
Note that both of those metrics can be a bit shady if it’s the only page they visit on your site, as GA can only produce a real number if you visit more than one page. But you might spot something. If you DO find that people spend more time on the “no date” version, you can focus on getting more product mentions on those posts.
Probably very rarely.
So just ask them! But don’t waste people’s time with a long-winded and generic, “Can you Tweet this?” email.
That shit drives me bonkers, it’s total amateur hour.
Send them a three-line email that says, “Hey team, it would really help if you could give our new product launch/feature some love on social.
Here’s a Click-to-Tweet ready to go, and here’s one for LinkedIn.” etc. etc. for the social channels that matter for you.
Include a p.s. “p.s. I would like to bug you to help like this once per month, so expect emails with that frequency. Thank you!” << letting them know it’s a regular thing will A) make you do it regularly, which you should be, and B) stop you from having to grovel every time you send an email like that. You can even have a consistent “Product Marketing Tweet Request #23” in the subject line. Super clear, super simple, super respectful of people’s time.
In SaaS, for example, you can use a Hotjar poll to collect 2-month onboarding feedback, and then use sticky bars to funnel a the positive feedback onto your site using the on-scroll trigger. This can help address purchase anxiety by helping current prospects see who’s already starting trials and providing terrific feedback about their onboarding experience.
An interstitial is just a fancy way of saying a gateway experience that you pass through.
Something along the lines of “Did you know that you can also create website popups and sticky bars with Unbounce?” We haven’t done this yet, but the idea came from the product team during a brainstorm.
Personally, I think it’s genius.
Like the in-app “Create” button, this is a brilliant way to present an interstitial popup to tell returning customers about your latest and greatest, with a simple button to continue on their way.
Phewf! That was a lot of tips. I hope they help you get more people seeing and using your products. Let’s open this puppy up! Share your own tips below and if they rock, I’ll add ’em to the post (with attribution).