For marketers, every industry comes with its unique challenges. Marketing a car is very different to marketing fast food, as one example.
But what if you’re marketing something that only exists on a computer? Something that blurs the line between product and service?
Well, that’s the unique challenge that SaaS marketers face. And to make their jobs a little easier, experienced B2B marketer Tom Hunt founded SaaS Marketer – a blog, newsletter and podcast that aims to “positively impact the growth rate of every SaaS business in the world.“
Intrigued, we caught up with Tom to find out more about how he got started and what’s on the horizon.
To start, tell us a bit about your background.
I spent four years getting a Masters degree in Chemistry, then four years as a management consultant in the City Of London. I then realised it was time to move into the world of entrepreneurship.
Over the past seven years I have grown eCom stores, built and sold an online marketplace, built a podcast-hosting SaaS product called bCast and a podcast agency called Fame.
But really, I spent seven years learning how to sell things online – this is my passion.
What motivated you to start SaaS Marketer?
When coming up in the online marketing game, I learnt a MASSIVE amount from other people publishing content showing how they had grown stuff. I started to focus on SaaS marketing and started writing notes on how big SaaS businesses had grown. So I thought, why not publish these to help others learn, whilst growing a media asset at the same time.
How are you growing your audience and how does email fit into what you do?
So we currently just have one email opt-in where people can join to get the weekly email I send out with EmailOctopus. All content goes out on email FIRST, and then is added to the blog.
I grow traffic through SEO and posting the content into other online communities. We see an approx. 3% conversion from site visitors into an email opt-in. We collect email addresses from a form in the header of the site, along with an exit intent pop-up.
What sort of engagement do you see from your subscribers?
Open rates used to be as high as 50% when the email list was small – this has since dropped to approx. 30% now the list is bigger. We also see approx. 5% click-through rates. I also urge people to reply so I often get 3-5 responses from each email, which is great to see.
I also use EmailOctopus for our bCast user update emails where we see an open rate of above 40% and again, click-through rates of approx. 5%.
Why did you choose EmailOctopus for your email solution?
Honestly … it was price!
I was starting SaaS Marketer and wasn’t sure how long it would last so was watching costs. EmailOctopus was by far the most cost effective and when I jumped into the free account I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of use.
Did you consider any other platforms? And if so, how do we compare?
Yep, a few others – but EmailOctopus beat them all on price!
Aside from EmailOctopus, what other platforms do you use in your tech stack?
We use Trello, Slack and Google Drive for project management and communication. We use bCast for podcast hosting, Qualzz for email opt-in and Rewardful for affiliate management.
What has been your biggest lesson since starting SaaS Marketer?
In the media or content marketing game – content quality rules. If you get this part right, you will win eventually.
To ensure this, I make sure that content creation takes priority in my day. The first two hours are no-Slack and no-email where I (try!) to just focus on creating the best content possible for my audience.
What advice would you give other founders just starting out?
Find out what’s the most important thing for your business and execute relentlessly, over a number of years. As I’ve mentioned, for a media business or in content marketing, content quality is #1. For a SaaS business, this could be product quality. For a service business, this would be the quality of client output.
If you focus consistently on that, customers will come, and they’ll be happy – bringing more customers.
Finally, what does the future hold for SaaS Marketer?
So SaaS Marketer is the media business that has spawned two other businesses I’ve already mentioned – bCast and Fame. Right now I’m focussed on growing the SaaS Marketer audience – listening to the audience and then ultimately creating more content, products or services that improve the lives of the SaaS Marketer!