What You Need To Know About SaaS
SaaS stands for software as a service and is sometimes known as “cloud-based software.” In the past few years, the Saas industry has exploded and has become the default type of software for most business technology. SaaS is differentiated from other cloud-based technology because it’s focus in entirely on products for business.
What’s the advantage of using SaaS?
What’s the advantage of using SaaS? There are many! For one thing, since Saas is entirely web based there’s no set up or installation and the software is maintained by the vendors. This allows business owners to focus on using the tools instead of learning complicated systems or maintaining hardware.
Another advantage is that most SaaS systems are paid for with a subscription. This eliminates setup expenses and cuts down on long term costs. SaaS user interfaces are usually highly customizable making an easy user experience. These two things making SaaS ideal for small business because it allows them to have powerful, potentially expensive software that could have otherwise been unattainable.
The SaaS Business Plan
The SaaS business model is split into three parts. Part one is “Setup.” The setup phase is where is where you create the foundation for your business. Either by starting completely form scratch or integrating business data.
Step two is “Growth.” (which says a lot about the effectiveness of SaaS systems.) Once you have new customers, you’ll also have increased data about your customer base, and you can use that information to generate more customers. More customers also means more revenue that you can reinvest into your business.
Step three is “Stabilization.” In this phase you’ve created enough infrastructure that the systems you have in place can keep up with customer increases and you can refocus to other aspects of your business.
What are some examples of SaaS services?
Theres countless SaaS companies but some of the big SaaS companies include Google, HubSpot, MailChimp, Slack, SurveyMonkey, and Spotify. Adobe and Microsoft also have SaaS services available.
Here’s some SaaS companies we use every day:
- High Level
- Click Funnels.
What do you think the essential SaaS companies are?
Learn More about SaaS and business growth from High Level founder, Shaun Clark here.
How Can You Increase Sales Volume?
We all love talking about the big sale accomplishments, the brag worthy sales. But the day-to-day is often defined, not by the amount of a sale, but by the quantity of them. How can you increase sales volume?
Technically, sales volume is the percent of units sold within a period of time. Companies use sales volume to see what products are selling successfully.
What are some ways to increase sales volume?
- Know your product. Do you know all the things that make your product superior to your competition? Why should a customer choose your product? What’s your elevator pitch?
- Focus on the benefits? All buyers have only one question: Does this solve my problem? They want to know that what they are receiving will benefit them and be worth the exchange of time and money.
- Sell to the right prospects. If your sales volume seems to be decreasing it may be a good time to reevaluate your target audience. It is also a good idea to get an updated a list.
- Understand your customer’s problems. What problems are your target customers trying to solve?
- Work with your marketing team. Your marketing team will be able to create content and structures to support your sales volume.
- Remember, time is money. Increasing your sales velocity or the amount of time it takes a prospect to move through your pipeline will positively impact your sales volume.
What ways have you found successful in increasing your sales volume?
3 Types of Alternative Black Friday Campaigns
Calling Black Friday the biggest shopping event of the year is an understatement. In 2019, consumers spent $7.4 Billion online alone. This year more than ever, online spending is expected to grow. What are some ways to stand out online this holiday season?
Instead of the usual ‘one-day-only % off’ sale, campaigns focused on other things can be a great way to set you brand apart, gain awareness, and increase conversions. Here are three examples.
#1 – the Anti-Black Friday.
Taking a page from REI’s #OptOutside campaign, focusing on not buying anything on Black Friday can be very effective. Since 2015 REI closes on Black Friday and uses #OptOutside to encourage people to spend the day outside, which goes along perfectly with their brand mission and has helped grow their online community. Due to the longevity of the campaign and community it has created, the Opt Outside campaign helps increase REI sales year-round.
Another company using the Anti-Black Friday approach is the skincare company Deciem. In 2019, closed their stores and blacked out their website to protest the hyper consumerism focused Black Friday. Instead, their holiday campaign focused on “shopping slow.” For the entire month of November, every product was on sale. The longer, inclusive sale increased sales and helped reinforce their brand ideals with their customers.
#2 Highlight Your Mission
Many companies use Black Friday as an opportunity to show their customers what their brand ideals are. Donating to charities is a popular way. For example, Patagonia is known for alternative Black Friday campaigns but one especially effective one was 2016. They pledged to donate all their Black Friday sales to grassroot organizations that aligned with their brand goals. The campaign ended up generating $10 million in sales, over 5xs their goal!
The fashion company Kotn did something similar. Instead of sales, they promoted that they were going to donate Black Friday weekend profits to a charity that builds schools in Egypt, where the cotton used in their products is grown.
#3 Make it an event
A great example of this is MeUndies’ 2016 campaign. They promoted a Facebook live event for Black Friday. As more people joined, they unlocked more discounts and promotions. The event ended up with over 13,000 viewers and had a conversion rate of over 25%, which is 13x more than their average!
All of these brands used a day usually clogged with advertising to redirect their customer’s focus. They reminded people of their band mission and goals and helped strength their connection to their customers. What fun ways have you seen company handle Black Friday?
Marketing Tactics That Will Actually Make You Poor
It’s so frustrating.
You heard some advice that really seemed to make so much sense, so you go for it. All in, 100%.
But then you grind and grind and nothing happens. You stay up late and hustle for every single response. It’s like you’re spinning your wheels, not getting anywhere.
What’s the problem? Does the idea even work?
Good news: marketing still works, and really well. Don’t give up. But there are a lot of popular tactics that won’t move the needle.
So why not ditch the useless ideas and start upping your game (and results) with what’s actually working? But to do this, you need to recognize these tactics that make you poor.
Here’s the first one…
Investing In That New Thing Because Everybody’s Doing It
Take AI, for example. Accenture Interactive says 80% of B2B marketers feel AI will revolutionize marketing.
Yet Andrew Stephen, writing for Forbes points out:
Look how easy it is to get Siri or Alexa confused – just ask the wrong question. Data quality is a huge issue. Garbage in, garbage out. If you feed poor marketing data to AI, you fail to get results.
Another big issue? Nobody agrees on the terminology yet.
Greedy sharks are throwing out fancy tech words and making big promises… But if you don’t carefully find out what they’re talking about, you’ll get sucked in. All your money gone. Nothing in return.
Slap together an audience selection tool, choose a few triggers, time a few messages and voila! A brand new “AI” thing with a big price tag. “Of course you should buy it,” they say. “Everybody’s getting into AI.”
Newsflash: it’s not really AI. And marketers have been using this simple, relatively inexpensive process (audience selection, triggers, message timing) for years.
Yes, you should innovate, disrupt and adopt new things, but… how much more profitable to ask yourself first: Where’s my business really at? What growth stage am I in?
If you’re a small business or just starting out, you definitely don’t need an advanced-stage marketing tactic with a high-dollar price tag on it. No matter how successful people say it is.
What to do instead?
Go back to the basics. Look at the marketing that’s always worked and still does: Pick up your phone and call people. Send emails. Leverage direct mail. There’s a far more predictable success rate here.
People know this, but why do so many still avoid what works?
It’s because you’re told to…
Just Do The Marketing That’s Comfortable
Maybe you hate selling face to face. Or on the phone. That’s why those supposedly enlightened gurus say, “Do what you love.” True, it helps to be excited about your work. And you should always sell yourself on what you’re doing.
But if you take these “follow your passion” phrases literally, you’re on a road that leads to…dead broke. So many of these traditional-marketing haters decide that digital is the only way to go, so they…
Hide behind the keyboard and pray to get rich quick.
And some metrics are so misleading. One Twitter influence metric can rank you in the top 2% of your industry, even if you have almost no clicks through to your website.
Other people crank out video after video on Facebook Live or Periscope. And while this works for some…
Hearts and thumbs up will not pay your bills.
What about paid advertising? Will you get the results you want with Facebook audience targeting? Let’s say you want to target everyone on Facebook with a yearly income of $50,000+ who also like boating.
But if you’re not targeting that same audience with mail and email, what are you missing?
Guaranteed, there are quite a number of middle-class boat enthusiasts who don’t really use Facebook that much. And an even larger number who might use Facebook, but they won’t get into your sales funnel this way.
Speaking of funnels, ever heard of click funnels? You can spend a truckload on these – but how much money will they really make you?
Granted, some people make a living with these things. Yet how many businesses are finding out the hard way that they aren’t what they thought.
What to do instead?
Even digital marketing experts agree: don’t sell directly on social media. The only purpose of social should be to get people onto your website and your email list. Where you can… sell them directly.
Ask yourself: What is going to get me to my audience the quickest? How do I get in front of people who will spend money? What’s the quickest way there?
Inevitably, this leads you back to the basics… calling people, collecting and sending emails, using direct mail.
Here’s another road to the poor house…
Just because somebody says is free doesn’t make it free.
What if somebody called you up today and gave you 3 full days of free training? And what happens, if after 3 days, you realize: well, that was kinda cool, but I knew most of it already. Common sense stuff.
Or they show you only one piece, just one of the many ingredients you actually need to succeed.
And in case you hadn’t figured this out… free training is there to sell you something. And of course the presenter makes it look SO easy. But the reality is, what you learned can sometimes take you months or even years to get set up and working profitably.
Truth is, those 3 days didn’t REALLY help you. You could have been using your time to actually get customers. So how expensive were those 3 days…really?
Well, how much do you WANT your time per hour to be worth? And once you’re actually worth that much per hour, you’re going to get paid that much. Without fail.
What to do instead?
Be very intentional with what you learn. When you write out your goals, ask yourself: what exactly do I need to learn to reach these goals?
And then force yourself to learn ONLY those things. Don’t get distracted.
What All This Means For You
Small and medium-sized businesses are getting fleeced by so many schemes and scams. All while good old-fashioned phone calls, direct mail and email marketing will help your business grow.
Think of what stage you’re at in your business. If you’re mowing lawns (or anywhere near just getting started with your business – you know who you are), you don’t need click funnels or AI.
Maybe you just need to use door hangers. Or a sign on your car. Or pound the phone. Even Mark Zuckerberg got Facebook started by sending a bunch of emails to his college buddies.
Sure, there are all those cool, shiny, fantastic marketing tools out there. But they may not be for you. At least not yet.
But if you stay focused and stay away from all these distractions, you can actually take your business to the next level. The level where there’s no more frustration, stress and worry about what works. Where there’s freedom to play with new ideas and options.
Where growing your business is fun again.
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A Huge Mistake That Will Kill Your Profits Immediately
At first everything was great. Tens of thousands of customers accept offers and cash in on coupons. The customer analytics data pouring in is an absolute gold mine.
Any company would love to have these solid, specific, fresh details: what offers people are actually responding to, when, what they’re buying, how they’re buying, what they’re ignoring and what they buy again.
But then the bottom dropped out…
The marketing director suddenly decided to ignore all this precious response data and go in a new direction. Months later? Sales are stagnant and everybody wonders what happened.
2017 was a bloodbath for companies making stupid mistakes like this. And sadly, the trend will continue. Why? It doesn’t have to happen, but people simply refuse to learn to market. “You’re selling from your heels,” the well paid expert explained to the nearly dead company. How does he explain the advice?
“It means you don’t 100% believe in what you’re doing.”
Despite all the hard work they put into marketing, tracking customer behavior, analyzing the data and sending out more offers… they threw it all in the trash.
Let’s say you have an employee. He’s a likeable and friendly salesman. But there’s a customer with deep pockets standing outside your door. And a whole week goes by. The customer still passes your door, pausing, waiting for an invitation to come in and buy. But your employee does nothing.
How long would you keep this employee?
Do you make this same blunder with your response data? It cost you real time, effort and money to execute marketing campaigns, track customer behavior and then store the data. Yet if you do nothing with it, this will cost you far more money than you ever spent to get the data.
In one study, 93% of businesses say data is important (or very important) to their success. Yet some companies lie to themselves: “Oh yes, we use our data.” But the truth is, they don’t send out any marketing until the next quarter. Data from the last quarter or last year?
It’s actually rotten by now. Unusable.
Nobody can deny it. Our business environment is changing so rapidly it takes real focus to keep up. It’s vital to know exactly who your target audience is… this month, this week, today. And it’s becoming essential for survival to use behavior data to narrow your focus down to who is going to buy right now.
Let’s say your analytics find 100,000 people who look just like your current customers. Yet predictive modeling shows that only 15,000 of these people will buy immediately. You’re smart. You don’t dismiss the other 85,000. You simply market to them differently than the 15,000.
You keep on digging. You find 5,000 among the 15,000 who become the prime focus of your marketing initiative. And you send out offers to them at least every month.
Companies who will dominate this year have a strategy and a plan that includes action like this. Are you starting to appreciate why it’s absolutely critical that you use really reliable data?
And then act on it?
The biggest mistake companies make is failure to take action. Enough action. Often enough. To grow their business and achieve the results, success and freedom they want.
Don’t make this mistake. Guard your data. Use your data. Refresh your data. Profit from your data.
Let’s make this year the best one yet.
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National List Services Expands Its Data Offerings With The Addition Of A Leading U.S. Business Database To Its Online Search & Delivery Count Platform
Bellevue, NE: National List Services (NLS), a division of First Direct, recently added a new National U.S. Business Database to its online search & delivery count system at http://www.NationalListCounts.com. The addition of this highly-anticipated B2B lead generation database is a continuation of NLS’s vision to seek and develop good relationships with leading compilers as to provide the most ethical and accurate lead data to marketers in a real-time, one-stop search and delivery online platform.
Internal marketing teams and external agencies rely on accurate lead and prospect data for maximizing conversions and minimizing wasted spend. With omni-channel and right-time marketing quickly becoming the standards for high-performance campaigns, providing marketers with the right data is essential to their businesses and our industry.
Joel Buhr, President of National List Services: “I’m excited to add another quality database to our count system simply because of what it means to our customers. The convenience and power of being able to search, order, and download records from major leading data files from industry giants like MCH Strategic Data, a leader in the B2i space, on one online system is a tremendous value to marketers searching for and comparing data required for their unique needs.”
“Partnering with National List Services made sense to us because of our shared passion for supporting marketers with accurate, result-generating data.” said Angela Ridpath, VP of Marketing of MCH. “We take great care to understand the nuances of institutions to build a superior data source for healthcare marketers; and providing our databases on their [NLS] platform allows us to reach more marketers looking for the right data.”
About National List Services: National List Services provides the most complete access to the nation’s leading compiled Saturation, Consumer, Business, Automotive, and Specialty List Segments. All made available on the most robust 24/7 count system found at http://www.nationallistcounts.com and supported by our experienced support team. Get the best list recommendations, the best service to solve today’s tough marketing challenges.