Landing Page Builder Voted #1 New Product of Mass Innovation Nights!

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in News, SaaS, Small Business | Posted on Dec 13, 2012

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Rob and Jim giving our presentation to the Mass Innovation attendees
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Thanks to everyone who made last night’s Mass Innovation Night a resounding success! There were a lot of great products on display, and we’d like to thank the Selections Committee for including us among such fantastic competitors.

Landing Page Builder has been in development for several months now and is currently in its last stages of BETA development. We submitted the product to Mass Innovation Nights, an organizer of monthly events that showcase new products being developed in the State of Massachusetts, who decided to include it in their Year-end event hosted at the Boston Globe.

Throughout the night, visitors were encouraged to browse booths set up by the selected businesses and use a ballot to cast a vote for their favorite. After all 480 registered participants had gotten a chance to review the products and vote for their favorite, the results were tallied and Landing Page Builder won! Now, with Mass Innovation Nights’ support, we’re more excited than ever to move forward with Landing Page Builder’s release!

Our BETA is closing soon, but there’s still a week left to get a first look! You can sign up here:

And be sure to check out Mass Innovation Nights and all the cool products that they host!

The video from our the presentation:

The Shift to SaaS

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in SaaS | Posted on Oct 18, 2011

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How to Sell SaaS

SaaS

Software as a Service (SaaS) has been an incredibly hot topic lately in the software industry.  The perpetual license model is in trouble, and if you are refusing to consider SaaS as an option for your company, you will be very disappointed in the coming years. Chief Blogger for Building Keystone – Craig Vodnik, is a huge SaaS advocate.  If you want to learn more about the transition to SaaS I would recommend checking out the Webinar hosted by Craig at the Building Keystones Blog.

Difficulty: Selling SaaS to those with a traditional mindset

Change is tough, and selling anew concept is even more tough. When you develop a SaaS application, you are not just selling your product anymore, you are selling a methodology. This because a two step sale (1) Selling your buyers to a SaaS model (2) selling your product. Since I don’t know the particular industry you are in at the moment, let’s focus on selling SaaS. The following are what I see as the best reasons for your customers to get out of the perpetual license mindset and move into a SaaS state of mind.

Quick Implementation

The benefit of SaaS (or traditional SaaS models) is that there is one UNIVERSAL set of code for your application.  This cuts down development time exponentially. Not to mention the onus is put onto the purchaser to place the code where it belongs in their infrastructure.

I know people love to have custom features, but for a traditional SaaS product, an update to one is an update to all.  Though this does cut the competitive edge, a SaaS product should be implemented as a supplement to your already great product/service offering. I mean, let’s be serious, which of the following would you rather have?

A complete implementation in a business day or a custom job that can be strung out for months?

Pro Bono Universal Updates

Since you are paying a regular fee it isn’t actually free, but let me expand upon this a little more. Whenever there is a new update to the application it is implemented immediately without any help form your IT department. All of the heavy lifting is done by the provider and your IT guys were only needed during the initial implementation. This saves so much time and money for your organization, rather than having to administer the changes on your own and sending your IT guys all around the office, EVERYONE in your organization will be up to date immediately.

The fee you pay each month ensures that you will have the most up to date version of the product without having to lift a finger. You don’t have to spend money on the latest version anymore, because your monthly fee covers all of these updates. SaaS eliminates excess time and money with its immediate updates.

It’s Cheaper

I already discussed how SaaS is cheaper from the standpoint of eliminating update costs and the time to implement these updates. Sticker shock can have a crippling affect on a business transaction. Prior to SaaS a company would pay a large up front cost for the development of the product. In essence the company then owned this service and could request many custom features.

Negotiations became more important under this model. The provider would want to make sure to cover all of the development costs, and in some cases wouldn’t have a clear picture about the costs of some of the requests by the customer. The customer never wants to pay a huge up front cost, so a provider would have to worry about shooting to high (even if it some cases these were the necessary costs for development).

More Accessible

This was discussed briefly above, but a SaaS product doesn’t leave a company at the mercy of the IT department.  I am not trying to sound negative here, but if you are in a large company implementing a non SaaS product could take your IT department an incredibly long time.  This would leave you in a standstill, and in a position where you have paid for the product but can’t use it just yet.

Social Media for Customer Retention

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Opinion, SaaS, Social Media | Posted on Sep 07, 2011

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Social Media + SaaS = A Customer Service Re-Awakening

The following quote came up on my Twitter feed and really inspired me to write this post:

“If you’re not using social media to make money, you’re doing it wrong.”

As I have said countless times, Social Media is a micro conversion for generating leads. However, I have also pointed out is a way to build community and thus a way to nurture your current client base.  I would like to add a minor change to this quote from Social Fresh:

“If you’re not using social media to make money, you’re doing it wrong. If you are using social media to continue to make money, you’re doing it right.”

Social media is not a medium by which you will bring in new sales immediately. It is a way to personalize your company to your current and new customer base.  Who is more likely to be a brand advocate, a new customer or a long time customer?  Simply put, social media is the ultimate way to increase your customer retention.

Introduction to SaaS

Keeping customers is becoming even more important for digital companies who are moving to the ‘cloud’.  SaaS (Subscription as a Service) are web based applications hat users buy into over a period of time.  Some companies have monthly billing, quarterly billing, or yearly billing. In any case you want your customers to be happy with your product so that they sign on for the next billing cycle.  Reducing churn rate is the only way a company will be able to become profitable with SaaS.

By adopting the SaaS model, a company is getting rid of large license fees and is letting their customers opt-in to their service over a period of time for a digestible sum. SaaS products grant users with many benefits (as opposed to digital downloads or physical software) such as:

  • Access to the product anytime & anywhere
  • Operating system agnostic, i.e., runs on a Mac or PC
  • Nothing to download
  • Updated immediately
  • Low Price
  • Easy exit strategy

SaaS products are truly a service to the customers that use it. Every time there is a new version of a product it is the responsibility of the company to update everything on their back end. Customers only need an Internet connection and they have access to the most up-to-date version of their SaaS product. Also, there is no need to pay for any more upgrades, the monthly subscription takes care of that.

The Social Turn

We have heard this time and time again, ‘Social Media is about community and engagement’. The members of this community are prospective customers and current customers.  For SaaS products, your current customers can cancel their service at any time, much like a prospective social lead can unsubscribe from your news feed, unlike your page, or stop following you on twitter.  Social media is about keeping your customers and leads happy, and the same is true for SaaS products.

Since Social Media and SaaS can be so volatile, it is important that you can keep users interested in your page and your product.  People remain followers on Social Media because of amazing content created by your company.  People remain customers of SaaS based products because they continue to improve their product and utilize as many possible mediums for immediate customer service.

Social Media and SaaS have caused a renewed focus on the customer, we no longer patronize the customer with the old saying ‘The customer is always right’ but we regard the customer as an equal and address their issues on a personal level with incredible results. To conclude, for both SaaS and traditional products, Social Media will not make you money but it will help you continue to make money form your users.

“If you’re not using social media to make money, you’re doing it wrong.”