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Designing the SaaS tool and getting the first 100 early adopters – Startup Journey Chapter 2

It’s been awhile since we published the first chapter of Cross Promo startup journey, and it’s time we update you on the advancement we’ve made so far. A lot of things have happened lately, and we are making significant progress with our Cross-Promotion tool for online businesses.

In case this is the first time you stumbled across this blog, you can read more about our startup here. We are building the first cross-promotion platform for SaaS and online businesses, and we are making everything publicly so that others can learn from our mistakes, achievements, and strategies.

Without any further ado, here’s what’s new and what you should know about Cross Promo.

1. Cross Promo logo – final version

It’s been a battle of ideas, opinions, and feedback, but we finally decided on a final version for the logo of Cross Promo. It’s the one below, and we would love to hear your feedback and thoughts on it. Share any comments you might have in the comments section at the bottom of the article.

cross-promo-logo-black-text-2

The symbol signifies a rocket, which should make you think that your leads are growing as fast as a spaceship takes off from Earth. How do you like it?

2. Cross Promo tool design

We are still working on the user interface, but we would like to share some screenshots of the tool, so you can give us some feedback on what we’ve made so far.

The dashboard of Cross Promo will look similar to what’s shown in the screenshot below.

cross_promo_dashboard
The page where you can search for new partners will look like this:

find-partners-on-cross-promo

Small adjustments will take place, but the images above illustrate the big picture of how Cross Promo will look.

3. Cross-Promotion campaign examples run with Cross Promo

Several startups that we approached asked how a cross-promotion campaign run with our tool will look. At first, we’ll only have email cross-promotion campaigns, but in the future, we plan to expand to other channels as well. Below you can find an example of an email partnership between two SaaS businesses.

cross-promo-partnership-example-1
And this is another example of a cross-promotion campaign.

cross-promo-partnership-example-2

Emails will be customizable, and our users can choose the discount or offer they want to give to their partner’s subscribers.

4. Cross Promo mentioned on reputable sites

Links from authoritative sites will not only help us with referring traffic, and brand awareness, but also with SEO. As I am a regular contributor on Entrepreneur.com, I published an article titled “5 Smart Ways To Integrate Cross-Promotion With Online Marketing”, and linked to Cross Promo. The post earned 806 shares on social media and was republished by other sites, such as FoxNews. This way, we earned two quality links from some of the most authoritative sites in the world.

I also submitted and published articles on Business2Community.com, StartupNation.com, Business.com and more.

Writing articles on third party sites will be one of our on-going marketing techniques.

5. Approximately 100 SaaS companies have requested an invitation to Cross Promo so far

Our marketing efforts are fully focused on spreading the word about our tool, and we are doing that by email outreach. In a recent article, I mentioned how we are finding email addresses of CEOs and Salespersons, to promote our startup. I highly recommend you to read that article, if you are interested to know how you can find almost anyone’s email address. Besides the tools mentioned in that article, I found another useful platform that allows you to send emails to your prospects and set up follow-ups automatically. The tool is called WoodPecker and I recommend giving their trial a try.

Here are some stats I’m getting with my cold email outreach campaigns run with WoodPecker.

cold-email-outreach-at-cross-promo
I average a 60-80% open rate, which is pretty good, considering I never talked with these people before. My open rate is high because I use some of the best email subject lines. Best of all, the response rate is ranging between 10-20%.

The feedback we received so far is beyond great, and most people were very interested in learning more about our tool.

Below you can find a pie chart indicating the categories of the SaaS businesses that requested access to Cross Promo.

saas-categories-at-cross-promo
A significant portion of the companies are into Business Intelligence and Analytics, Online Marketing and Ecommerce.

The most popular payment provider is Stripe and Paypal, which is good news for us because we’ll have integration with both.

payment-providers-at-cross-promo

In regards to the CRM platform, the most popular are Intercom and Segment.io, just as we expected.

crm-tools-at-cross-promo

6. Cross Promo has been selected to attend How To Web Spotlight 2016

We are proud to be one of the 50 tech startups chosen to attend and pitch at the Startup Spotlight 2016. This means that we’ll be present at HowToWeb conference in Bucharest, at the beginning of November.

We’ll have to pitch Cross Promo in front of investors and the entire audience of the conference. Our team will also attend tailored mentoring sessions and have the chance to win cash prizes.

We want to participate in as many conferences as possible after we release Cross Promo. Such meetings are great for engaging with people that work in the same industry with us, and we can get valuable feedback, and even create some business partnerships.

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