How We Are Driving Growth In The Early Days

All businesses want to know how to get customers.

Lead generation can be tricky, especially you are on a budget.

Intuition tells us to try a little bit of everything, see what works, and double down on those.

However, trying a little bit of everything can easily be dozens of different marketing channels.

The problem is that spreading yourself too thin is almost like trying nothing at all.

Imagine a plate full of lightly toasted bread - yuck!

You have to dig deep and optimize.

Ninja Outreach is growing.

After 16 days live we were at $168 MRR.

9 days later an we're at $400.

I wouldn't call this explosive, but it is definitely growing.

So what's working for us right now?

Twitter MarketingHow We Are Driving Growth In The Early Days

I mentioned Twitter in our post What We Learned From Launching Our Beta To Over 400 People

And it still continues to be an excellent way to generate buzz.

We have a constant campaign going where we treat out invites to Internet marketers and SCO's inviting them to use the tool.

It is extremely automated and low touch, and there is an endless supply of our target market on Twitter.

I also love how to the point it is as a platform - we can avoid the whole song and dance typical of email.

Affiliate ProgramHow We Are Driving Growth In The Early Days

I wanted an affiliate program so that we had something to offer bloggers for their hard work in promoting our product. This is why we have generous 50% monthly recurring commissions.

In every email we send out we always offer our affiliate program.

And so far seems to be paying off.

We have over 40 people signed up to our affiliate program, and every day they send traffic to our website.

Although directly this has only resulted in a small number of trial sign ups, indirectly it is helping us build relationships with influencers, which has long term payoffs.

Content MarketingHow We Are Driving Growth In The Early Days

Content marketing is all the rage lately. In my opinion, if your product is at all related to online marketing and online business, you should have some sort of content marketing presence.

It's such a low cost way of getting front of people.

In the month that we have been live, we have had

And a bunch more on the way!

Ninja Outreach gets 1 to 2 pretrial sign-ups a day. The vast majority of those people come over organically to the website. I can't necessarily always link them back to a particular guest post or product review; some are just finding us in search, etc.

But in general it can all be tied back to the fact that we are building a brand online, and without a doubt this will be the most cost-effective channel for us.

It scales quite easily and accumulates very well too.

Link Building

How We Are Driving Growth In The Early Days

I am not much of a link builder in the traditional sense, but since I consider Ninja Outreach to be a valuable tool, I wanted to see what would happen if I contacted bloggers who have resource pages and offered them to feature Ninja Outreach.

Here is the script that I sent out.

Hello Sue

My name is Dave and I run the SelfMadeBusinessman.com blog.

I saw that you have a bunch of great resources on http://www.successfulblogging.com/Resources

I was wondering if you would be interested in adding another.

We have a prospecting and outreach tool, NinjaOutreach, that we just launched and we’re looking to get the word out.

I’d be happy to give you:

• Lifetime free use of the product
• Several licenses to giveaway to your audience
• Affiliate program with 50% commissions (affiliate.ninjaoutreach.com)

We’re looking for guest post opportunities, podcast appearances, and product reviews.

If you feel like adding it, here is the HTML.

NinjaOutreach is a blogger outreach software for digital marketers and small businesses interested in growing their presence online. Find influencers, build lists, and send customized all from this simple, software application.

Lastly, please let me know if there is anything of YOURS that I can promote for you. I’m happy to share it on my social media accounts and with my audience.

I just followed you on twitter so I can stay updated.

Thanks!

Dave

Although the call to action was to add our HTML to the resource page, you can also see that it was just a general attempt to solicit guest posting, podcast, and interview opportunities.

Although I wasn't keeping track of the exact numbers, without a doubt it was worth the effort.

We ended up getting featured in several resources pages, as well as having another handful of bloggers sign up for the affiliate program, and agree to write a product review. We also got at least one guest post invite on a very well-known blogging website, which will be appearing in March.

Phone Sales - Maybe?

I read a lot of business articles, and the typical advice says that below an MRR of about $300 per lead, phone sales are not efficient.

You can't afford to hire a sales team, because the math for conversion rates and the lifetime value of a customer just doesn't work.

This is probably true - I'm sure a lot of smart people have tested phone sales and done the math.

However, I spend a lot of time in the car, and the other day I decided to make some phone calls to see what I could make of it.

The results were, interesting.

I used a list of digital marketing agencies and their phone numbers, which I had collected from Ninja Outreach itself.

I spent around 50 minutes making phone calls, calling 15 businesses. My goal was to collect email addresses so that I could sign people up for a free trial.

Out of those 15 calls

  • 4 were not interested.
  • 8 voicemails were left.
  • 3 emails were collected.

Of course, it is not clear if those three emails will activate the software or convert to paying customers - more hours need to be dedicated to phone sales.

But I would certainly say there is potential.

What's Next?

For the most part, our plan is despicable of the same. The panel seemed to be working, and we want to go more into depth on each of them.

Aside from that, however, we are looking into retargeting as a form of paid advertising.

Down the line, as we build up more affiliates, we will also consider webinars. The question there is how do you get the initial audience.

So, what's working for you?

About Dave Schneider

How We Are Driving Growth In The Early Days  Dave is one of the original co-founders of NinjaOutreach. He has since handed over the reins of the company but remains a contributor to the blog.
Dave is passionate about digital marketing and you can find him at @ACoupleTraveler documenting his travels around the world.

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