Guest writer, Author at B2B SaaS Lead Generation & Onboarding Agency

[Infographic] How do businesses use Instagram stories?

Learn How Businesses Use Instagram Stories (Infographic)

Having a perfect marketing (or in our case, SaaS sales) campaign is of utmost importance as it is the best way to increase sales. Nowadays, the internet is considered the perfect place for companies to advertise products and services, and with such a huge online audience it is no wonder why.

Ever since it was released in 2016, Instagram Stories became a hit among marketers. One of the reasons is that it has more than 400 million users on a daily basis.

Whether it’s a product promotion, an inside look, or an influencer takeover, companies use different types of Stories to bring their products and services closer to the customers.

For instance, Apple’s AirPay mobile payment service made Stories to drive app installs among millennials. This eventually resulted in a 17% increase in app installs, 52% decrease in CPR, and a 35% decrease in CPM.

Another great example is ecommerce platform Tokopedia. It created a mobile app install campaign using Stories, which led to a 54% increase in app installs, a 35% lower cost per app install, and an 11% increase in reach.

Let’s take a look at several figures which show the current trends in business usage.

24% of businesses rank Story engagement as a measure of success.

88% of businesses state that they want to increase posting to Instagram Stories in 2018.

30% of businesses plan to create Instagram Stories ads in 2018.

Don’t stop here! Scroll down and take a look at the infographic below to find out more about how businesses use Instagram Stories.

How Businesses Use Instagram Stories – 30 Case Studies

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The future of CRM systems: What’s Next?

The future of CRM systems: What’s Next?

Sales teams used to heavily depend on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to sell more effectively. But now, it looks like things have changed. According to recent research studies, sales representatives only spend about one-third of their time actually selling and another 18% of their time in the CRM. All the rest of their time is spent working on spreadsheets and managing tasks for CRM.

When CRM came out in the 1980s, it changed everything for sales representatives. You can read more about the latest CRM transformation here.  The software basically automated the management process of their customer contact lists. Since then, CRM has advanced and accomplished a whole lot. Millions of organizations have used CRM to manage their sales because of its effectiveness at increasing productivity.

Gartner released a statistic which showed that the CRM industry was worth about $31 billion. By the year 2017, the value increased to $40 billion. The CRM software industry has increased in value by 2 digits annually.

All companies involved in sales are using CRM, or at least wish to use it, because of how strong it is. But this power might be what brings it down. The classic sales model involves a potential customer calling and inquiring about the price and features of a product. Based on the circumstances, the deal may close or not. However, this linear structure of CRM may be becoming obsolete.

Inside Sales Changes Everything

In modern times, customers don’t even want to bother talking to a vendor. They would rather search the internet to find the right products and services to suit their needs. Instead of asking salespeople for advice on products, customers have the ability to research products themselves and come to their own conclusions. They can read the recommendations of other customers to find out the truth about a product’s cost and features.

Aside from reading reviews, customers can learn about product specifications and download data sheets and eBooks. If you are familiar with B2B marketing, then you already know that customers won’t make a purchasing choice until they are presented with, on average, around 5 different sources of content.

Customer engagement and sales

– The customer is already 70% closer toward making a purchase by the time they talk to the sales representative.

More than 50% of B2B clients will decide to make a purchase by looking at content.

Approximately 88% of consumers have the same trust for internet reviews as they do for personal recommendations.

Organizations now have more inside sales representatives than ever. Over the past 4 years, these roles have increased in organizations by as much as 89%. When a consumer contacts a company to inquire about their products and services, the first person they will talk to is an inside sales representative.

Sales representatives can no longer depend on the classic sales funnel or CRM.

CRM Receives Poor Rating for its Lack of Usefulness

According to a study from Labs, sales representatives perform an average of 13 tasks per week. Out of all the time they spend on these tasks, not much of it requires selling. Furthermore, CRM is very frustrating for them and they don’t find it to be useful at all.

Instead of spending their time selling, 64% of sales representatives are spending their time on activities that don’t involve generating revenue. The other 35.2% of representatives are performing activities for generating revenue.

Sales representatives are spending so much of their time handling administrative duties. But in fact, they should be spending time prospecting and handling your SaaS sales cold emailing or lead nurturing. About 14.8% of their time is spent working on internal approvals and policies while another 14% is devoted to customer meetings. Sales representatives don’t even find these tasks to be an effective part of their job. In fact, they think the effectiveness of social media use is 7% better than handling administrative meetings and tasks.

What is missing from an ideal CRM?

Studies show that sales representatives will spend their time in the following ways: 18% is devoted to CRM; 61.7% is devoted to sales technology; 33.2% for email sales; and 0.4% for collecting sales intelligence by utilizing tools.

Since CRM is quite inefficient, 9.7% of the average sales representative’s time is devoted to managing tasks connected to CRM. This usually means they are dealing with spreadsheets for most of that time.

Analytical data suggests that CRM is great as a system for recordkeeping. However, if salespeople are unable to get tough questions answered, they will not succeed. Here are some of those tough questions:

– Which leads are the most critical ones to pay attention to?

– Which contact method do customers prefer? When is the best time to contact them?

– At what time will customers accept my phone call? What kind of sales pitch should I use?

Technologies which help you prospect for customers have an effectiveness rate of 80%. Unfortunately, these technologies are not used much. About 1.9% of a sales representative’s time is spent using them.

If you know anyone who is a salesperson and you ask them about their feelings toward CRM, they will likely say it is a love-hate relationship.

CRM is not totally useless for them. The problem is that it lacks the functionality necessary for them to be productive.

Hubspot is a good sales tool to try out. A lot of sales representatives like to use it because it does a good job of tracking every lead. Playbooks is a good source of information regarding this tool.

Artificial Intelligence Can Change CRM Forever

For over 5 years, we’ve all wondered if CRM is still relevant anymore. The short answer is… yes.

Sales representatives continue to actively utilize CRM. All they wish is that CRM had more functions so that it could be quicker and more intelligent. Most importantly, they want CRM to provide more than simply a phone number and name of a lead.

Today, the world of technology provides a number of automation tools, which are to rationalize sales processes. They allow to manage CRM workflow faster and easier: a user is able to update necessary information, focus on the most critical deals, etc. You literally can leave CRM interaction to such an assistant as, for example, Closer bot.

Sales representatives are hoping that CRM can better assist them in closing their future sales and making better deals.

Artificial intelligence is being built into a lot of new sales acceleration technologies. This will give sales representatives more power in the way they negotiate deals and manage closings. Furthermore, sales representatives will get to cut back on the spreadsheets and become more productive while using CRM.

These “smart sales systems” provide users with more information and insight than what is found in their database. This will make a world of difference when it comes to increasing revenue and sales productivity. CRM’s functionality will get better because you will be able to predict customer behavior, receive accurate forecasts of revenue earned, predict deals, and analyze funnels. Sales are going to change forever, thanks to artificial intelligence. This is a good thing that all sales representatives should accept.

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How to build a SaaS product?

How to build a SaaS product?

Nowadays, the use of SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) applications gains momentum throughout the globe. And this stands for a reason. SaaS applications obviate the necessity of downloading software, managing its install process, and configuring settings as well.

With a SaaS app, you don’t have to bother yourself with building the whole app functional at once. Instead, you can launch a demo version of your product with a limited scope of functions at once, and add new features over time.  For this reason, many startups give priority of building a SaaS app, since it is a budget-friendly and easy to maintain solution.

We have reviewed the vital aspects of SaaS app development lifecycle. If you want to start own SaaS project, our article “How to build” will suggest you seven tips for building a successful application.


Preparatory stage

1. Specify app’s core features

At the initial stage of development, you need to elaborate a clear concept of a SaaS application. It means you have to find out the target users’ needs and requirements.

With this information in mind, it will be easier for you to set up a goal for a SaaS application. It will define the scope of features that are essential for your app.

In fact, customer requirements may change over time. Nevertheless, there is some core features your SaaS app should have regardless of users demands and preferences.

Data protection and privacy

As SaaS applications are mostly cloud-based, there is always a risk of security breaches. Unlike the self-contained app that stores user data locally, a SaaS service tends to store it in a cloud. Thus, if there is a flaw in app’s security measures, user information can be easily compromised. For this reason, your SaaS application has to provide sustainable security measures that prevent data from stealing, compromising, and hacker attacks as well.

Nowadays, there is plenty of security patterns used to ensure data protection. Let’s consider the most popular ones.

  • Trusted database connection

Within this security pattern, a SaaS app connects to the database with the help of own process identity.

  • Customer data encryption

If your application is intended to store a bulk of sensitive high-value information, it should be efficiently encrypted in the databases.

  • Access control list

You can realize proper access control by implementing authentication and authorization processes in your SaaS app. User access is limited to a particular tenant during authentication and depending on access rights, to a specific module during authorization.

  • Restricted API

Restricted APIs provide limited capabilities of data manipulation.


Third-party app integration

In fact, there is plenty of accessible and useful applications that perform some particular functions truly seamlessly.  In such a manner, many users would like to have access to these apps at their fingerprints while using a SaaS application.

For this reason, it is worth considering a third-party app integration in a SaaS application. This way you can extend the capacities of your app’s functionality and avoid a need to build some additional features yourself.

As a result, a third-party app integration not only enriches your SaaS-application but also saves times and expenses of project development.


There is a wide range of SaaS services for any taste and budget. If you want to make your app stand out of the other applications in a particular niche, it should offer personalization features.

When a customer can change the look of the app according to his/her preferences, he/she gets more pleasant experience from using your application.

2. Choose the right technology stack

It’s a well-known fact that modern software industry offers a dime a dozen of development tools that may come in handy while crafting a SaaS application. As most of these tools are open-source, they generate additional value for SaaS app creators.

How can you benefit from using open-source dev tools? First, you can reduce the expenses of app development by using free tools.

Second, the open-source solutions allow anyone to inspect your source code. This way you can engage more people in detecting bugs and security flaws. As a result, you will be able to react to tech issues more quickly.

Third, with the help of open-source software, you can easily customize your app and adapt it to any use case.

In the long run, the performance and expandability of your SaaS application will depend entirely on the chosen technology stack.

Development efforts

3. Build an effective development strategy

A development stage is a crucial part of an app project that calls for particular attention to every detail. If you want to propel a development process to the highest level and ensure app’s success, you need to choose a right methodology for product management. In fact, modern small and large businesses make such kinds of product management methodologies like Agile and Waterfall first choice.


Agile is a methodology which assumes using sprints in software development process. A sprint divides the whole project into small parts. Each part of the project is aimed at the implementation of a new feature for software.

As a rule, a sprint takes around two-four weeks for realization. In such a way, a development team crafts a product in a piecemeal manner.

Agile offers wide range of features including:

  • Building a cross-functional team
  • High profile on quick release of a shippable product
  • Regular and consistent client involvement
  • Fast response to changes

Due to the straight course of software building, the Agile methodology allows developers to iron out software features, foresee probable tech issues and respond to them promptly.


Unlike Agile, Waterfall is a more rigid model of software development. When a developers’ team have completed a particular stage of software building, it moves on to the next stages without a possibility to go back to the previous ones.

The main features of Waterfall:

  • Upfront gathering of client’s requirements
  • Sequential completions of tasks
  • Lack of client’s involvement at each development stage except for the initial one
  • Software testing as a final stage of the development lifecycle

There are still a lot of disputes among developers and project managers which methodology is the most suitable for app development.

To opt for the most optimal one for your project, you have to consider the following factors that should influence your decision:

  • Project size
  • Project duration
  • Development complexity
  • Organisational factors
  • Clients’ involvement


4. Apply regular tests

It goes without saying that any project will fail without continual thorough testings.

A SaaS app will provide an outstanding bug-free experience, only if you incorporate your development workflow with the following types of tests.

  • Unit testing

Within this method, a QA team conducts testings for each app’s module separately. It is aimed at isolating each unit of a system that makes bug identification and fixing more effective.

  • Integration testing

This type of testing allows checking how the separate units of the system work together.

  • Functional testing

With the help of functional tests, you can make sure your product’s functionalities meet client’s and developers’ requirements.

  • Performance testing

Performance testings pursue a goal to check out how new pieces of code can influence the overall app performance.

After all, it is worth considering the automatization of your testing processes. It will help you save time spent on manual tests, avoid human errors, runs tests unattended, and eliminate the risks of regression as well.

5. Ensure continuous integration

To amalgamate different pieces of code into the main path, you need to set up continuous integration.

How does CI work? The code testing begins automatically when developers push up their pieces of code into the shared repository. This way developers can quickly identify the incompatible fragments of code and carry out its debugging in time.

Product verification

6. Perform beta-testings

The final stage of app testing comes, when your demo version of a SaaS application is ready. A beta-testing will reveal whether your product is on the beam or not.

Getting feedback from your beta-testers, you will be able to elaborate and implement the app only those functionalities that meet users’ actual requirements and needs.

7. Provide proper support and maintenance

Before launching your SaaS application, you should make sure your developers’ team is ready to support and maintain it.

If you want to provide a seamless performance of your app, ongoing environment and infrastructure monitoring is a must. In such a way, it will be easier for your developers’ team to detect tech issues, resolve them at the first onset, and release the updates that will correspond users’ expectations and needs.

Summing up

A SaaS app development is a complicated process that consists of a research, development efforts, testings, and maintenance. Indeed, every step towards building a successful product requires a particular emphasis on details and effort commitment.

The tips mentioned above will help you set up an advantageous strategy for creating a robust SaaS product.


Short bio

Helen Morrice is a technical writer at IDAP Group. She is doing her best to keep abreast of up-to-date news in mobile app development.

If IT-stuff kindles your interest, check up her other articles in our blog and subscribe to our channel on Facebook/Twitter

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5 Key Reasons Why Your Business Needs a SaaS CRM Solution

5 Key Reasons Why Your Business Needs a SaaS CRM Solution

Both SaaS and CRM have been major buzzwords in the business world for quite a while now, and with good reason. Numerous brilliant SaaS and CRM solutions currently available on the market keep completely transforming the way businesses work and will only continue to bring huge positive changes to the sales and marketing landscape.

One of the best things that happened to businesses all around the globe is the combination of SaaS and CRM solutions. Instead of utilizing on-premise CRM software that requires not only a significant initial investment, but also constant hardware and server maintenance and a lot of costs down the line, you can now utilize a SaaS CRM (cloud CRM) solution that can really take your entire business to a whole new level.


What Is SaaS CRM?

The CRM definition doesn’t really need much explaining, as CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management”, meaning that this piece of software helps you manage your customer interactions and build strong, meaningful and long-lasting customer relationships. With a reliable CRM solution, you can seamlessly communicate with your customers and prospects, following them on their entire buyer’s journey and fostering excellent experiences with your brand.

When you add SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) to the equation, you get a magical combination that can significantly improve all your efforts and help you considerably expand your customer base. This is because SaaS CRM is based in the cloud, which means that you don’t need to invest a lot of money into its deployment and maintenance, so you can greatly reduce your costs and, thus, increase your ROI.

There are many benefits that SaaS CRM software can provide your business with, but take a look at the most important ones that will certainly make you utilize this type of software as soon as possible.


Great Cost-Efficiency

As already discussed, SaaS CRM requires no great initial costs, as well as no costs for maintenance, updates and backups, since you don’t need to install any hardware whatsoever. Your SaaS CRM vendor is the one responsible for all the technical stuff.

With SaaS CRM, you can pay-as-you-go or subscribe to use a particular service, and almost all the solutions available are more than affordable, so you can save even more money than you may think. When utilizing a particular software solution, all you need to do is pay to use the service, and you can completely focus on your core competencies.


24/7 Access

Since SaaS CRM is based in the cloud, you can access any necessary information you need anytime you want, anywhere you are, regardless of the device you are using. With this tool, you can work on-the-go and communicate with your teams in real-time, significantly improving team collaboration, efficiency, and productivity.

It goes without saying that this 24/7 availability can help you reach your goals much faster, not to mention that it extremely helps your remote employees, as well as field teams, who need to have constant access to customer information.


Seamless Integrations

As technology keeps advancing at a very fast pace, integrations of various tools are becoming more and more vital to business success. Instead of having multiple tools for different kinds of tasks and projects, which not only increases costs (deployment, training, and monthly fees), but also requires more time for tasks completion, you can now use only a few tools for most of your daily operations.

This is where SaaS CRM absolutely shines, as it seamlessly integrates with a great number of tools, so that you can streamline all your daily operations and make sure that everything is running smoothly.


Flexibility and Easy Scalability

CRM solutions offer excellent flexibility when it comes to all the features that they provide. You can choose only those features that fit your business needs and customize your CRM so that it will perfectly align with your business goals.

As you scale your business, you can scale your SaaS CRM as well, so you can add more features or more storage space, or even completely change your subscription plan. This means that you can scale your CRM both up and down, depending on your changing business needs.


High Data Security

Security is a major concern for businesses, which is why a lot of them still refuse to rely on any kind of web-based tools. However, SaaS CRM vendors understand how important it is to have your sensitive data, including all the customer information, safe and secure at all times, so they offer solutions that provide high levels of security. Their success basically depends on data security, which is precisely why they make it their main priority.

There are certainly many more benefits of SaaS CRM software solutions, but these are absolutely the most vital ones that you should take into consideration. Of course, on-premise CRM does have its advantages, but SaaS CRM is definitely the future, so embrace that future and get ready to play with the big guns.

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How to properly integrate technology into your bootstrapped SaaS startup

Understanding When To Integrate Technology into Your Bootstrapped Startup

Startup CEOs have to make hundreds of decisions every single day to properly manage their small companies and help them gain traction and get off the ground. Some of these decisions are small. However, some can be quite significant. Big investments into new technology may be one decision that many entrepreneurs have to make several different times over the course of their careers.


There are many ways technology can benefit a company. However, sometimes making such investments is a mistake that allocates important resources without much return on the large investment. You have to be smart about it. With that in mind, here are some tips for understanding when it’s the right time to make an investment to integrate new tech into your business.


Keep a Tab on Macro Market Trends

One pitfall for many startups is making large investments much too early. Especially, if it’s into technology that fails to last for the long term.

You may remember Betamax videos or HD-DVD, home video formats that did not last the test of time and were wiped out by their competitors, VHS and Blu-ray, respectively.

Companies that plan to be around for awhile need to plan for the long term. Tech that may seem fashionable one year may be obsolete only months later.

This is especially true for small businesses. An upstart vape shop, for example, might topple before it gained any traction if it put too much money into an atomizer that appeared to be the next big thing, but turned out to be a flop.


While it can be hard to predict what tech will stand the test of time, you can get a better handle of the situation by studying macro economic trends that affect large swaths of the public.

Smartphones and mobile devices, for example, are one example of a kind of tech that is here to stay. Proving so is quite easy as well. 90 percent of the American public now owns a smartphone. The statistics released also suggest extreme growth trends of near 50 percent since 2010.


With all that data in mind, the trend is clear and extremely substantial. As such, investing in apps and other mobile related campaigns is likely to pay off since most consumers are using smartphones regardless.


Do the Math

However, just because the market trends seem favorable to the technology in question, it does not mean investing in that kind of tech is the right course to take.

Instead, you need to be very deliberative about the decision. This requires determining exactly how much the investment is going to cost and whether you have the extra funds in reserve to make the investment.

51 percent of companies plan to invest into big data analytics. This decision was only reached after extensive research by those businesses.


Part of this process means trying to gauge the profit that could be made from the investment. While you won’t know for absolute sure, you should perform the research needed to get a close approximation as well as the odds for that outcome occurring.

If you find that there is a 70 percent chance that making the investment will produce an additional profit of $1 million, it may be a good idea.

Alternatively, if the foreseeable profits are moderate at best or only pay for the expense required to make the investment, that money would probably be better allocated somewhere else within the organization.


Investing in Technology Requires Investing in Training

You also need to actually consider costs related to the technology apart from the hardware and software itself. One of the biggest expenses will be related to training employees on how to use that technology to reach the company’s goals.


Companies spend $1,208 to train each employee. With more tech training, this expense could increase. If the tech in question is needed to effectively manage the company, you will also need to integrate that technology into your leadership development program.


Technology can make the difference between developing a strong competitive advantage and losing your profits to more tech savvy competitors. Certainly consider different ways to invest in tech in your company. However, do so strategically and only when you have substantial research and reason to believe it will increase your bottom line.


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SaaS customer success

6 tips on how to increase SaaS customer lifetime value (CLTV)

6 tips on how to increase SaaS customer lifetime value (CLTV)


In an online business, you can easily pick out all types of numbers through which you can analyse your brand. You can calculate bounce rates, CTRs, conversion rates, and micro conversion rates – all of which are immensely important.

There is another metric, however, the importance of which far outweighs that of all the others. It’s called CLTV— the customer  lifetime value.

The following article is going to highlight the factors required to improve customers’ LTV for an ecommerce business.

The value behind customer retention

While there is nothing wrong with increasing your consumer base, it is essential to remember the real value behind customer retention and brand loyalty. A research by social analytics platform SumAll suggests:

“25% to 40% of the total revenues of the most stable businesses in the SumAll network come from returning customers. Even better, steady customers help businesses weather lean economic times; businesses with 40% repeat customers generated nearly 50% more revenue than similar businesses with only 10% repeat customers.”















Attaining brand loyalty is one of the most difficult assets for a company. Or at least, it used to be. We used to depend on customers having a good experience with our service or with our team. Now, brands can give them a great experience, even though most businesses still haven’t figured out how to do it.

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Why Lifetime Value (LTV) matters

LTV is the total amount of money you will receive from a buyer throughout their entire lifetime as a consumer. Let’s say you have an online store. If the average visitor spends $100 per year and does so for an average of three years, then the average customer’s LTV is $300.

Here are some of the reasons discussing why this is of such a significant value:

  • LTV affects every area of business

LTV matters because it affects all areas of business. Take a closer look at how the customer’s lifecycle virtually impacts every section of an ecommerce business.

customer lifetime value










Image source

In the diagram above, what do you see beyond the labels? Strategy outreach, development, product, customer service, management decision-making – basically everything that makes an online brand viable. LTV is part and parcel of it all.

  • Increasing LTV means higher profits

LTV shows you the path to achieve higher profits. The Marketing Metrics suggest the possibility of selling to a new prospect to be 5-20%, but the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. By maintaining focus on existing consumers, you are focusing on a strategy that gives your business much higher profit margins.

An ecommerce store provider, BigCommerce, writes;  to ensure a high profit, it is important to ‘influence your customers to keep coming back to purchase.’ This means that you would want your churn to lessen once you get a customer. Lower churn means higher LTV and a healthier business overall.

As a marketer, what can you do to level up your customer’s lifetime value? The following six ideas will get you there:


1. Publish engaging content to increase CLTV

A newsletter may sound like an old-school trick, but it is also a great method of improving LTV.

How so, you may ask?

Firstly, a newsletter keeps your company front and centre in a customer’s mind. How can they forget about you when you keep sending them regular offers via email? They can’t. And when they remember, they are more likely to return and buy.

Second, you can gain even higher value from each letter by segmenting customers. A targeted email to customer segments is way better than a generic email sent to a huge mailing list. Just having a newsletter, however, isn’t enough. Here is how you can make your messages truly valuable:

  • Make your emails worth reading

Few emails make it to the junk pile faster than a boring newsletter. Therefore, keep your emails interesting if you want to use it as an LTV growth strategy. “People will open good emails no matter how often you send them,” says Kevan Lee from Buffer app.

  • Test your subject lines

The best emails are those that begin with an attention grabbing subject line. By testing my email subject lines, Brian Kelly, the CEO of Kissmetrics, said that he was able to improve his open rate by 203%.















2. Focus on your SaaS customers to increase CLTV

SaaS CLTV cohort analysis












The Cohort Analysis chart shown above is a marketer’s new best friend. This script has a really useful function with an aim to expose which specific months in your customers’ lifetime are at the highest risk for churn. To instantly identify where you have a problem, you can examine the churn rate per cohort, and take immediate action by focusing on customer success efforts in that particular period (or before it).

Let’s say, if compared to other days, month-3 has a much higher churn rate, try talking with your consumer base entering month 3, and understand the problems they’re facing with your services. Fixing this may require product enhancements, or a better on boarding and support process.


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3. Send your fans an unexpected present

If your fans take an interest in what you’re selling and what you care about, it’s only fair for you to do the same. Take a look at their social profiles to see what kinds of things they really enjoy, and then send them something you know they’ll like. They will definitely talk about it on their social media platforms as well as in person with their family, friends and anyone else willing to listen.

General electric sent a batman book to one of their buyers, with the latter referencing the gesture in three widely shared articles.

SaaS customer success case study















Remember to not pick out something obvious when it comes to the gift you send. Do a little research and find something unique from what most people are talking about. (Unless they flat-out said, ‘I really wish to have…’)

4. Be wary of your rivals

One of the essential factors that determine the strength of your consumer bond is their view of your competitors. If they don’t perceive any of your rival brands to be better than you, there is a lesser chance of them churning.

Keeping an eye out for your competition is another important part of the SaaS marketing ideas. See what they’re doing right and wrong to figure out where you stack up against them. By calculating your rival’s next move, you’ll be able to adapt your SaaS marketing ideas accordingly and find something different to offer to your customers.

5. Add sticky features to your product

This one always brings up some conversation, including a term that is usually avoided in product discussions: User lock-in. The idea of adding metaphorical prison bars to your product makes it hard for them to leave, going against everything we have learned about making a great service experience.

Build features in your product that allow consumers to create their own data and add further value to your platform, making them reluctant to leave. For example, if it’s a service app, an automation testing tool like accelQ could enhance product features, with consumers building their own segments inside the platform.

Result: Adding sticky features equals lower churn rate, thus, increasing customers’ LTV.

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6. Solve a consumer problem

Go beyond your actual services and provide your customers something that makes their life easier on a regular basis. Portent did this with their content idea generator and Neil Patel did it with his website analyser on QuickSprout.

Try to understand your customer, find out what product would simplify their lives, and build it. When you are able to pull this off right, you make your buyer dependent on you for more than just your service, and that makes you almost irreplaceable.














Customer lifetime value (CLTV) is a mysterious beast…

The ideas above represent some of the most common yet effective ways to extend the length of customer lifetime and the amount of money each one is willing to pay.

The only difficult part is having a solid hold on LTV estimation, carefully tweaked to the characteristics of your company, and being able to achieve highly reliable, measurable results from the above ways to grow your consumer lifetime value.


About the author: 

Audrey Throne is a mother of a 2-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Throne is passionate about health, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics.

Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.

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SaaS customer success

Make customer success a part of your business DNA for higher SaaS MRR and decreased churn

Delivering SaaS Customer Success for improved business performance


How to ensure customer success with SaaS?

In recent years, an increasing number of SaaS companies have come to recognize the impressive array of benefits available through customer (or client) success management, also known as CSM. As a result, more and more SaaS companies have placed a greater emphasis on customer success and have taken steps to ensure that the happiness of their customers contributes to an increase in conversions and a decrease in churn, both of which are critical for SaaS companies that rely on recurring revenue streams.


At first glance, the concept behind customer success management seems simple enough. After all, ensuring customer success requires only that SaaS companies orient any and all customer interactions in such a way that the customer is ultimately positioned to achieve a specifically desired outcome. Despite the relative simplicity of the underlying concept, the process that goes into ensuring customer success is nonetheless worthy of a thorough and detailed explanation.


In the sections that follow, we’ll discuss why ensuring customer success is so important to recurring revenue businesses while also answering some of the most common questions associated with CSM, including each the following:


  • What is the relationship between customer success and recurring revenue increases?
  • How can a SaaS company make customer success part of its company DNA?
  • Which metrics are best for measuring customer success?


In addition to answering these critical questions, we will also review the best practices associated with CSM and will detail how each of those practices directly contribute to increased conversion, improved customer satisfaction, and reduced churn.


How Customer Success Leads to More Recurring Revenue


Customers have to be able to clearly see the value of investing in your SaaS company’s product, and there is only a brief window available to demonstrate this value. This window occurs during the onboarding period, and it may be as brief as 24 to 48 hours. During this time, your SaaS company must prove how its product will help the customer achieve a desired outcome or risk permanently losing the customer.


Since renewals and up-selling — all of which occur after the initial sale — represent the overwhelming majority of revenue generated by SaaS companies, a successful onboarding process that demonstrates the product’s immediate value to the customer increases customer lifetime value, or CLV, by a significant margin.


Of course, immediately demonstrating the value of a product in this way dramatically reduces churn rates and also makes customers much more likely to become brand advocates. The impact of these outcomes on recurring revenue ought to be obvious, further underscoring the significant benefits associated with highly effective customer success management.


CSM and Company Culture: How to Make Customer Success Part of Your Company DNA


Now that we have reviewed the benefits made possible through an effective approach to CSM, it is important to discuss the many ways in which your SaaS company can make ensuring customer success a lasting part of your company DNA. During this process, it is especially critical that every department recognizes how they contribute to ensuring customer success and why it is necessary that they take a proactive approach in doing so.


It is only when your entire company feels responsible for ensuring customer success that the full range of benefits associated with CSM can be realized. This is why it is so important that your company’s leadership team emphasizes CSM at every level and highlights the specific rationale behind the use of CSM strategies.


When each department understands the importance of CSM and feels responsible for ensuring customer success, every interaction between the company and the customer will revolve around the achievement of the same core objective: helping the customer achieve a specifically desired outcome.


Of course, it’s worth noting that an increasing number of SaaS companies have created CSM teams specifically dedicated to ensuring customer success. Creating a dedicated CSM team is especially effective if you have already successfully embedded customer success in your company DNA, as it is of the utmost importance that you have a team of employees solely dedicated to developing strategies and processes for ensuring customer success at every stage of the customer journey.


Metrics to Measure Customer Success


While your company will certainly benefit from the addition of a dedicated CSM team and the establishment of a company culture that emphasizes customer success, the only way to maximize those benefits is through the use of specific metrics designed to measure the various elements associated with customer success. The most successful SaaS companies tend to rely on metrics that focus on measuring each of the following:


  • Customer Satisfaction (e.g., Support Satisfaction Rating; Net Promoter Score)
  • Churn Rate
  • Onboarding Engagement (e.g., Core Tasks Completion; First Session Length; Returning Sessions)
  • Trial-To-Paid Conversion Rate


Each of these metrics is designed to help identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses as they relate to CSM, thereby making it possible for you to quickly address any weaknesses that might be hindering your company’s ability to ensure customer success.


In order to yield the short- and long-term benefits that accompany efforts aimed at ensuring customer success — including, for example, recurring revenue increases, churn rate reductions, improved customer satisfaction, and increased activity and support from brand advocates — SaaS companies must remain attentive to these CSM metrics while also remaining wholly committed to the underlying principles associated with effective customer success management.


About the author:

Gina Kawalek is currently a Senior Marketing Manager at QASymphony, a leading provider of QA testing software for agile developers. Prior to QASymphony, she spent 5 years in B2B marketing at ExactTarget, Salesforce and Insightpool.

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SaaS customer success

The 4 Best Practices for SaaS Customer Success

In the SaaS world, Customer Success is everything!

Customer Success in SaaS has gone from a dull, ‘Hackneyed’ saying to a crucial sales weapon to increase conversions, enhance customer happiness and reduce the churn for returning revenue businesses. There is no doubt why a customer success has moved from ‘optional to obligatory’ for SaaS companies in recent years.


In today’s competitive marketplace, the companies that are not providing SaaS , or not even the technology companies, have appreciated the transformational power of customer success and adopted it as their operating model.


According to Lincoln Murphy “Customer success is about more than delivering service or support.”


To be successful, a SaaS (Software as a Service) must focus on establishing an accurate customer acquisition and steady customer retention strategy.


In this article, I will share the top 4 best practices or approaches the ISVs should follow to ensure customer loyalty, satisfaction and develop customer success as the company’s culture. By following these top practices, organizations can leverage to develop and establish the client success culture from the level zero.


Without further ado, let’s start!

Success Culture as Your Top Priority

It is essential for the SaaS companies to ensure that every department, be it sales, marketing or software development are dedicated to create a customer success culture.


And how do you achieve that?


Well, the key is to ensure that every team member is to be made clear that customer success is a priority for the company. Employees will be directly or indirectly involved in making that happen.


Implementation of the culture of success is not only the CSM role alone!


Let’s take Sales and Marketing Team as examples:


  • If Mr.A from the Sales is selling a product to the wrong customer or overselling the product, customer success will not meet its retention goals.


  • Similarly, if Mr. M from Marketing department is not able to capture the customer success stories or include current customers in his outbound marketing campaigns, the customer success goals will suffer.


I don’t mean that Customer Success should be used to pinpoint the Sales or Marketing efforts. I simply mean that the success and retention goals of the organization will require the efforts and participation from all departments.

Follow up on every customer interaction and sales

I don’t mean service requests. I’m talking about that instant moment of courtesy after the customer query is solved or a product is purchased.


Following up your customer interaction and sales not only showcase your allegiance to customer service but also assist in building customer loyalty and ensuring repetitive sales.


A follow up usually include:

  • Providing refunds, repairs, and warranties
  • Interacting with customers after purchase or query solution to ensure they are happy
  • Creating customer follow-up opportunities like sales alerts


Customers appreciate the personalized attention and care. Even a small hacks like remembering his name, a previous interaction with ended on a positive note, assist your customer to feel “belonged” to the business.


It is advised that you remember your customer and pay attention to their interests and requirements.


Align to Customers’ Goals & KPIs


The key to establishing a mutually beneficial and strategic partnership between your customers and SaaS organization is understanding the customer inside out.


As a service provider, it is necessary that your team should form a solid relationship with the decision makers, architects and with everyone associated with the business including your users and even beyond.


Your team should be well aligned to get to the roots of everything, especially the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the individual goals.


You should be asking them various questions including:


  • What are their foremost KPIs?
  • How are the compensated or measured personally?
  • What are their preparations and team goals to offer solutions?


And more…


After all the information is collected and well understood, it is now time to customise the solution to what matters most to the client. This will ultimately assist you in realizing what will make your customer successful.


Brand yourself as a service, not a software


World is a tricky place for SaaS providers. It is so much of the competition around. They offer both the software and service and can’t fake it on either side.

Your customers are paying you every month, isn’t it? Are you not serving them? Don’t they know this? If you are able to offer your customers the service in tangible ways, you will more successful in rendering the customer satisfaction.


It is advised that you roll out service improvements schedule with your billing schedule. While your customer watches the withdrawal of the payment, he should also be convinced that he is getting something valuable in return.


By introducing new updates, increasing the security, storage, etc. you can make your customer feel comfortable in the value-addition process.




Customer Success is the most important activity in a SaaS business.


A real testimony on any organization’s culture, product and professionals is highlighted in the success of its customers. Customer success should be given top priority, not just by the company itself but by each and every employee or a team which is associated or own a stake in the customer’s success.


How do you find the article?


What is your favourite Customer Success Strategy?


About Author


Ankur Kumar is a content marketing expert and an experienced blogger. He works in a reputed software development India firm and likes to ideate, write on various topics including technology, digital marketing, startups and environment. An avid outdoorsman, explorer and nature lover who believes in minimalist lifestyle. You can find Ankur on LinkedIn.



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On-Premise vs SaaS: How to Choose the Right Enterprise Order Management System (OMS)

The average American spends $1,800 shopping online each year, according to the Statista Digital Market Outlook. That’s an enormous market. Efficient operations and great customer service will help you attract and retain more of those customers, and an Enterprise Order Management System (OMS) is designed to do just that—by improving internal operations, inventory management and stocking, and customer service. Picking the right one for your business is a big, complex decision, but it all starts from understanding which fundamental approach is right for you.

The Two Approaches to Enterprise OMS Deployment

There are many important decisions along the road to choosing an OMS, and one of the earliest you’ll need to make is the deployment model:


  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): A SaaS solution is deployed and maintained by the vendor, on their local servers or on a cloud server. They’re responsible for maintenance, uptime, and hardware upgrades.
  • On-Premise Solutions: In this model, the software is installed on a local server, which is operated and maintained entirely by the eCommerce business.


Each model has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the decision will depend on your strengths and needs.

SaaS Solution Pros & Cons

SaaS has transformed the tech world, including OMS, by providing solutions at a lower cost and with greater scalability. SaaS vendors can provide robust hosting environments, high performance, and excellent security and compliance features by distributing the costs across their many subscribers. You’re also protected from sudden spikes in cost, such as costly hardware upgrades, or emergency security patches. Deployment is generally simpler than an on-premise solution, allowing your tech team to focus on tackling other problems.

Data from Forrester Research shows that over one-fifth (21%) of OMS users at medium to large organizations have already made a switch toward SaaS for their primary OMS deployment. Another 40% are planning to either fully replace or complement their existing OMS with a SaaS solution over the next two years.


There are few drawbacks to SaaS deployment. For some large, long-established retailers, losing direct control over the server environment or having their data reside outside the company firewalls may be uncomfortable. If it’s important to you to have a direct role in security and compliance, SaaS will likely be out of the question. Finally, SaaS vendors have the power to schedule maintenance windows when necessary, so you may not have control over scheduled downtime.

What About On-Premise Solutions?

The market for on-premise OMS solutions is shrinking, but still going strong. Their strengths include the potential for greater customization, flexibility and dedicated custom IT environments designed for high scalability, which is valuable to large retailers with outstanding technical resources. If your company already has a powerful data center, you may be able to leverage that investment and reduce the cost of an on-premise deployment. Finally, you’d maintain complete control over your data, security, and compliance, which may make this model more palatable to some businesses.


According to Forrester Research, the average life expectancy for an enterprise ecommerce platform was over seven years in the last decade, but this trend is changing. Today, the pace of change and rapid innovation means that businesses that still host their own software will need to significantly upgrade their software as often as every four years. Thus, on-premises merchants will need to replatform every four to seven years. These shortening replatforming life cycles will continue to drive on-premise, licensed-based solution upgrades but we’ll see a gradual decline in the popularity of new on-premise solution installations going forward.


The weaknesses of on-premise deployments are considerable. There are a lot of unknowns and potential headaches, as your organization is entirely responsible for deployment and maintenance. IT costs can be highly variable and difficult to predict, and you’re responsible for hardware costs, network maintenance, monitoring, and security. These issues should be seriously weighed against the advantages of on-premise deployment.

First, Know Thyself

This important decision truly comes down to you: examine your operational strengths, current pain points, and plans for scale, and compare them against the pros and cons of each approach. This blog can help you start that process, but there’s plenty more to consider before making this complex, nuanced decision.


About the author:

Manish Chowdhary is the CEO of Pulse Commerce, the leading cloud platform for order & inventory management. He is a thought leader and speaker for technology innovation and all things ecommerce. In January 2017, Manish was recognized as one of The 30 Most Innovative Business Leaders by Insights Success Magazine. He has been featured in the New York Times, Internet Retailer, and other leading publications. Follow Pulse Commerce on LinkedIn for company updates and industry news.


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The biggest mistakes to avoid while developing a mobile app

Mistakes to avoid while developing a mobile app

App development has recently undergone a lot of changes, and it still keeps changing. Nowadays, more and more innovations are introduced to the app development – new coding languages, technologies, etc.

Mobile app developers are always looking for some new ways and means to develop outstanding mobile software meeting the needs of the modern society. Everyone is piquing the interest in how to develop an app bringing huge profits.

Of course, there are a lot of tutorials, coverages, how-to guides, books available both in paper and online, but there is still one thing to consider – you can’t achieve success in the field without outlining the main pitfalls to evade while developing a mobile app.

We’ve analyzed a great many of surveys and shoveled up hundreds of book on app development.

And here are four top mistakes you should circumvent when developing a successful mobile app.

Building an app for all screens

A common issue developer run into is deciding which OS to run first – Android or iOS. When considering the platform, take into account your target audience. This should help you make an informed decision.

For statistic data, you can use the following platforms:

Launching an app for both platforms at once will double(or triple) your expenses since you should develop two different apps making any alterations to design or/and functionality. Note, developing an app for iOS takes less time than for Android because of a limited number of screens.

And this means, it’s somehow cheaper and allows getting an MVP (minimum viable product) as soon as possible to iTunes and see how the market reacts.

Try developing an app for one platform, then fix the bugs and make some iterations before launching for other platforms.

Did you know that Instagram was firstly built for iOS? After its spectacular success – Instagram has got nearly 30 million of active users, it was launched to Google Play.

Packing too many features

Nearly every beginner developer wants to use all built-in features of a cell phone in one app. Most modern smartphones are loaded with a great variety of features such as camera, accelerometer, pedometer, gyroscope, GPS, and so on.

Using them all in your app won’t add more value to the software. You, as a developer, should outline the main do’s of an app. Pack it with unique features designated to serve the customers well.

You’d better load an MVP with the core features focusing on the immediate needs of your target audience. You can add more useful features later in the future app versions.

Adding new features, later on, look like you’re constantly updating the app and think over the users. Hence, the app will gain more and more popularity.

Complicated UIs

Your MVP should have an extremely easy-to-use and highly intuitive user interface. The UI should be such allowing the user to learn quickly how to use it without reading the user manual.

Note, your average user is not a tech geek. Allow the user to experience the basic features of a cell phone to ease the daily routine. Try to create a well-defined User Interface where each screen, button, and function are well-thought-out.

Of course, if you want to develop an app for a real geek with the elaborate UIs, multi-gestures, and virtual reality features, it’ll be great to include a how-to section in an app.

In a nutshell, make your UI consistent and homogeneous in all your upcoming versions, so that the users won’t have to learn how to navigate the updated app.

Marketing after launching app

It’s vital to start your marketing campaign as soon as possible to achieve first visible results within a short period. Waiting until submitting an app to Google Play or App Store to start a press outreach campaign may throw you a wobbly.

It’s better to start contacting media around a month before a planned launch. Before sending outreach emails, look through the Web to find bloggers, journalists or platforms writing about similar apps.

While writing emails, try to keep them short and precise for the bloggers to grasp the main idea of what you want and what your app is capable of. Try to end your email with a call-to-action:

  • Do you want to know more?
  • Find it interesting?


Developing an app is the very first (and the most important) step in your app development career. Due to the fact, the app market is really overloaded with mobile software and without a proper marketing strategy, it may be hard to succeed.

Try to avoid the common mistakes while developing an own app and your chances to develop a fruitful app is going up and up.

Are there any mistakes that I didn’t manage to cover? Leave a comment below.


About the author:

Tasha Bronitska

She runs a blog at IDAP Group. Tasha stays tuned for more news regarding app development and other geek stuff. Want to be the first to read her must-use guides and ultimate coverages, follow IDAP on Facebook or Twitter.

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SaaS customer success

Not sure how to prospect effectively for your b2b start-up? You need to see this infographic!

Sales play a crucial role in bringing in cash flow into the business. A business cannot sustain its daily operation without it, and without it, a business would eventually fail. One of its most important and initial steps is called “prospecting” – the process of qualifying the leads who has demonstrated the desire to make a purchase decision.


Here is an in-depth definition of ringDNA on what prospecting is, and what it involves:


“The definition of sales prospecting is when inside sales reps make outbound calls or send outbound emails to leads in hopes of creating opportunities for account executives. Prospecting can involve cold-calling as well as reaching out to nurture leads that have gone cold. Many inside sales organizations have achieved successful results by hiring dedicated sales prospectors. Prospectors, also known as sales development reps (SDRs) can help achieve predictable ROI by creating a steady stream of opportunities for account executives. This can be highly effective because it frees account executives from having to prospect for their own leads.  Instead, they can spend their time selling to sales-ready prospects that have been qualified by sales development reps.”


Prospecting is pivotal in closing deals, which is the reason why it must be executed properly and in the right time. According to statistics, the first viable vendor to reach a decision maker has a 74% chance to win the deal if they manage to set the buying vision.


Here are the key takeaways from this infographic by Business Coaches Sydney on what it takes to prospect more effectively:

  1. Follow a consistent schedule
  2. Focus, focus, and focus
  3. Implement different techniques
  4. Create prospecting scripts
  5. Be a provider of great solutions
  6. Practice warm calling
  7. Establish yourself as a thought leader
  8. Know that prospecting is not selling

Check out their infographic to find out more.


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How to increase SaaS CLTV

The best 15+ tools you need to get more leads for your b2b start-up

The best 15+ tools you need to get more leads for your b2b start-up

Have you just started your B2B business and wondering how to generate more leads? B2b lead generation can be tricky without a proven track record.


You may have tried some strategies, but the result isn’t what you expected. And all of it is taking too much work and time.


You may also be wondering how some start-ups grow so fast and build their client base in a few months only.


Here I’ll share 15+ tools with you which will help you to find new quality leads to your B2B business, and build up your client base quickly.


Let’s start.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


These days search engines are the map of Internet – especially Google. Search engines have the largest audience to redirect, and you simply can’t ignore them.


If you know how these engines work and how you can get your targeted keywords on top in there, your business will skyrocket like you’ve never thought.


Here’re some tools to help you with SEO.


#1. Google Keyword Planner (free)


All the SEO strategy starts with keywords. In fact, your whole strategy, implementation, and its success are hugely dependent on the keywords you want to rank for. So, finding appropriate keywords for your business is a crucial process.


Google keyword planner gives you keyword ideas, its monthly search volume, difficulty level, and more important things.


#2. Mozbar Extension (freemium)


Another important part of SEO is to study your competition. You need to know your competitor’s strength, so you can do your preparation accordingly and beat them.


Mozbar tool tells you page authority, domain authority, backlinks, and more information while viewing any page or SERP. With premium, you can see keyword difficulty, page optimization and content suggestions, and more metrics.


#3. Yoast (freemium)


When your website is up, and you start publishing content, you need to optimize it for search engines. Yoast is your friend there. It’s a plugin that helps you to make your website search engine optimized.


You get snippet editor, real time page analysis, optimize your page content, image titles, create XML sitemaps, and much more. With premium, you get redirect manager, multiple focus keywords, internal linking, and premium support.


Analyzing Traffic


Have you ever thought of analyzing your website traffic and finding leads from there? Imagine if you can find who is visiting your website, and see the visiting pattern.


By studying your audience behavior, you can optimize your website for the maximum conversion. And if you do some more research, you can find the contact details of your potential client.


This is a great strategy for finding quality leads for your B2B business. Here’re some tools to help:


#4. Google Analytics (freemium)


Google Analytics is a website monitoring and visitors tracking system. It helps you to find how many people are visiting your website, where are they coming from, what device are they using, what visiting pattern are they following, and much more. Google Analytics is so powerful and has a lot of other useful features. However, it has a little learning curve. You’ve to spend some time and learn how it works to get most out of it.


#5. Lead Forensics (free trial)


We build our website, attract our audience, and wait for the potential client to contact us. This approach has a flaw because 98% visitors never make a contact. But it doesn’t mean they don’t need your product.


Lead Forensics insert a small code (similar to Google Analytics) into your pages and tracks visitors. After tracking, it matches that information with their database and gives you the contact information of your lead.


#6. Lead Feeder (free trial)


Lead Feeder is another lead capturing tool working on the same concept – tracking your visitors and giving you the contact information. The good part is that it integrates with your Google Analytics account. The process is simple, and the interface is beautiful.


The advantage of integration with Google Analytics is that you can get leads from the last months which means you set this up and get your results instantly.


Lead Magnet Forms


Once you start getting traffic, you must prepare to get a recurring audience. Every visitor is an opportunity to grow your business and his life as well. People must go away with something valuable from your site. It could be an ebook, case-study, cheat sheet, or something else.


You may have seen big brands giving out valuable things to their visitors for free. It helps to grow the authority, getting recurring visitors, and quality leads from there.


Here’re some tools:


#7. Sumo Plugin (freemium)


Sumo is a suite of free tools that can be used to grow your website traffic and generating leads. It’s easy to setup and has features like Welcome Mat, Scroll box, Smart bar, social share buttons, and more. You can integrate your list with email service provider such MailChimp, Aweber, Active Campaign, and all other big email service providers.


#8. Lead Pages (Premium)


Lead Pages is a landing page creator that has an intuitive, drag-n-drop feature which helps you to generate simple and complex forms in minutes. It has hundreds of templates you can choose from and start instantly. It also supports popup box and integrates with your website and email service provider.


#9. TypeForm (freemium)


Another form generating tool you can use to create multiple types of forms like lead generating forms, survey forms, registration forms, quizzes, and more. The interface is minimal, and its drag-n-drop feature helps to design forms quickly. It provides an embedded code so you can display your forms on your website, social media channels, and other places.




Email marketing is an old, yet the best strategy to get new clients and grow your business. A study says that email marketing has 4400% ROI. It means for every $1 you spend, you get $44 in return.


Let’s see some tools to help you in your email game.


#10. MailChimp (freemium)


As your email list grows, it becomes hard to handle it and sending emails turns into a nerve wrecking process. MailChimp is an email marketing automation tool that helps you to organize your email list, sending automated emails, analyzing conversion reports and more.


With a free version, you can have up to 2000 subscribers and send 12,000 emails per month. As you grow, you can upgrade your account.


#11. Hunter (freemium)


What if you’re having trouble to find an email address of someone in the company? Hunter comes there to rescue in that situation. You enter the domain name, and it tells you the company’s email format and available email address on the Internet.


#12. MailMentor (free)


The conversion rate of an email is dependent on its subject line and the body. If you’re worried about crafting better emails, use MailMentor as a helping hand. Its algorithm checks your email quality on various parameters and suggests you changes to turn your emails a little better.


Social Networks


Probably the easiest and quickest way of generating leads. Most businesses use social media for branding only, but social networks can be your great weapon for generating leads. Many growth hackers are already using it. Here’re some tools to help:


#13. LinkedIn Pulse (free)


As you know, LinkedIn is a platform for making professional connections. It has a publishing platform called “Pulse” where you can post your content and get recognition in the community. The more quality content you publish, the more eyes you get. It’s a great way of enhancing your credibility and reaching out to hundreds of quality leads at once.


#14. Buffer (freemium)


The most important part of building authority on social networks is consistency. You’ve to provide valuable content to your audience consistently. Only then you may get some recognition and quality leads.


Buffer is a tool that helps you to schedule and automate your social messages publishing on your selected platform. You can connect your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google Plus, and Pinterest account there.


#15. Facebook Ads (Paid)


Some people think that Facebook is just for spreading fake news. Well, it’s much more useful than that. Facebook has billions of users, and if you implement right thing in the right order, you may get dozens of quality leads there. Through Facebook Ads, you can reach to your targeted audience quickly by just spending a few dollars.


Another idea to run a contest on Facebook. If you’re giving a good deal, it may go viral, and you’ll get plenty of sign ups.


#16. Quora (free)


Quora is the most popular Q&A community on earth. It covers a wide range of niches. No matter what industry you belongs to, you’ll find your audience here.


You need to find boards and topics related to your niche and start getting engaged there. Ask questions and answer what others are asking. Soon you’ll be known and taken as an expert, which will help you to get quality leads.


Starting a business and taking it to the heights isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work, time, and money. You’ve to keep yourself in the searching and learning mode all the time. I hope this post will help you in the journey. Share your experience in the comment box.


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5 best apps to earn money with using only your smartphone

Are you using your smartphone on the go? The chances are that you are! This article will show you how you can turn normal use of your smartphone into an effective way to earn more money.

Having an internet connection and downloading apps is probably one of the main reasons for owning a smartphone. However, there are many more features that might be more interesting. While you pay a huge amount of money to buy your new smartphone, it might also pay you a huge amount in return.


Want to know how get your smartphone investment back?

There are many Smartphone Apps which allows you to make money just by using it.These apps have

These apps have tied up with a wide variety of brands in a number of different domains. In return, these brands pay them to promote their campaign. The platform aggregators provide users, an easy to use interface, and can contribute their useful time in generating money. Here are some of the best apps that you can have a look and kick start with.


  1. Surveys on the Go:

More than a million of surveys available, the Surveys on the Go Application is probably one of the best applications which you might like to use. From the political campaigns to the different jury trials, you might find a lot of survey options available at Surveys on the Go. The regular surveys will offer you $ 0.25 and the high paying surveys will offer you $ 5 each to get out with a hefty income. The Surveys on the Go is definitely a great application to earn money.

You can download this app from the play store if you are an android user or can download from itunes for iphone users. Typically they send out one to two new surveys per week and you will receive notifications as the new one comes in.


  1. GigWalk

The GigWalk app usually connects with the businesses that are looking to get local contract work done. There are many job opportunities including testing a beta application, taking photos of a particular store or doing a delivery to a local personal. The app pays you around $6 to $220 which completely depends on the type of work to be done. There are many more things that you can enjoy with the GigWalk and also make it to be one of the best places to enjoy.

The most important thing about Gigwalk app is that they transfer amount through Paypal only. So you must have a linked paypal account to receive money.


  1. Ibotta

Available both for iPhone and android versions, the Ibotta is a beautiful app that you can earn from. Generally, the Ibotta application is based out from a brand for shopping with products and in return, you might win cash. The Ibotta app pays you real cash for buying one’s favourite products with an option available from 40 stores in the world. You can also get an additional $10 for joining Ibotta. It also gives out referral benefits.

The best part of ibotta app is that 100% of your earnings can be transferred to PayPal or Venmo as soon as you’ve earned money. If you’d rather convert your earnings into a gift card, you can do that, too.


  1. Shopkick

The Shopkick is another great application that offers you incentives to check out the specific stores and also items which are available in those stores. You can even earn more money by making certain purchases and also you can get the best results declared. With the Shopkick application, the earning can be made huge as you can easily earn $10 gift card options and also many other coupon options for you to earn money. So, why wait to join and be the member of 1 lac+ community actively making discounted money every day.


  1. CheckPoints

The CheckPoints might be one of the most entertaining apps that will lead you to earn money easily. With the help of this app, you can easily earn points by watching videos that are viral and indeed funny. You cannot win direct cash amounts in your bank account but you might win money through Amazon and Walmart Gift Cards.

Also, there is an option to scan bar decodes for you to use and make money out of it.


So, here we have mentioned the 5 best apps that can easily give you the extra income just by sitting at home and using your smartphone. All that you need to do is to find your favorite application and start making good money.

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The Top Business Intelligence Methods for App Developers

Whether you’re an independent app developer or create apps for a company, you need to be up to date with what apps are trending. This is where insights from a business intelligence (BI) solution becomes an invaluable resource. Determine what apps in your industry are trending and what features users are looking for.


Why BI Matters

Here’s a jaw-dropping fact: about 200 apps account for 70% of total app usage in the U.S. That is pretty shocking considering that there are roughly 160 million apps, according to a 2015 report.

How do you create a successful app when so few dominate the entire marketplace? This is why big data is so important. It helps you understand the who, what, why, and how of an app and their intended users.


Define Your Metrics

Metrics should include performance of previous apps. Get specific to determine what makes a particular app click with demographic users. Avoid broad metrics like overall download rate. Examples of well defined metrics include:

  • download rate of app X according to gender, age group, and geo-location
  • download rate of app X within 24 hours of release, 48 hours, etc.
  • consensus of app according to social media reviews
  • the success rate of native versus hybrid apps, if you have developed both app types in the past

When you evaluate the specific performance parameters of past apps, you gain insight into what resonates with users.

In addition, you should also define a separate set of metrics for your demographic consumers. Learn who they are and why they are interested in your industry and products in the first place. You can even flat out ask them what kind of app would they be interested in. It doesn’t get any more straightforward than that.

Through online surveys or social media input, you can get to know your customers at a more personal level. This helps you determine what type of app to create that caters to demographic demands.

Know What Matters Most to Users

What do users hope to get out of an app? What do they value the most? A study by Compuware made these discoveries regarding what people expect out of an app:

  • zero errors and glitches. Users will often abandon an app just after one or two failed attempts.
  • an easy-to-navigate and intuitive interface. Perform a usability testing to determine whether it meets this criteria. Introduce the app to a layperson; if he/she can’t figure the ins and outs within five minutes, then it’s too complex.
  • an app that’s responsive and identifies what device and platform they’re using.

The same study also found that dissatisfied users will likely submit negative reviews. These findings may or may not pertain to app use for your industry. Use online surveys and BI tools to collect data on what they expect out of an app.


What About Enterprise Apps?

It’s a different matter altogether if you’re creating an app for workplace or internal department use. In this case, what do employees expect to get out of it? Employees want an app that simplifies their job in some shape or form. Structured and unstructured data can determine many insights about employees and the type of app they want. Data analysis may indicate that workers may prioritize the following:

  • an app that provides 24/7 mobile access to sales sheets, invoices, and other similar data updated in real time
  • apps that send urgent notification alerts, such as a delay in supply delivery, an overcharge in an invoice, or an item needing restocking
  • apps that present big data in an easy-to-read format, such as through charts or bar graphs
  • multi-featured apps with functions that include time tracking, enhanced resource, and project analytics


Data-Driven Marketing for Apps

Big data doesn’t just help you produce an app that resonates with users, it also helps you determine an optimal marketing strategy. If the data shows the highest download rate among users who are also the most active on social media, for example, then you can dedicate more resources to social media marketing, as opposed to, say, email or Google Adsense.

Multiple factors must be taken into consideration to create an app that resonates with users. With BI analytics, you can gauge user behavior and predict patterns common of a successful app.


Lucy Boyle (@BoyleLucy2), is a full-time mother, blogger for Allocable and freelance business consultant, interested in finance, business, home gardening and mental health.

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Airbnb acquired Montreal’s Luxury Retreats – What does it mean?

It’s an achievement to Airbnb to acquire Montreal’s Luxury Retreats

Have you ever noticed most of the entrepreneurs and limited partners often ask the same question: what should they do to get the successful exit? The answer is quite simple, it’s optionality.


Is optionality time-consuming?

There will be the complex opportunity of identifying the early-stage tech entrepreneurs, with them we feel confident enough to partner with over the long-run so that both the partnering companies will have the good name and they can expand their business as they desire. The opportunity of selecting the entrepreneurs comes with the challenge of identifying the entrepreneurs with whom we have chemistry, affinity, similar values, and the alignment of interest. Nowadays, there are many emerging entrepreneurs, but the size of each fund and the time commitment will make the companies to partner with a limited number of entrepreneurs and thus there will be a finite number of entrepreneurs per fund. Another complexity is that we need to be selected by the entrepreneur as well.


Not your usual acquisition deal

Usually, the nascent partnership with the founder will happen after the years of efforts in supporting and enhancing the company’s growth and vision. The VC supporting their entrepreneurs in developing the category-leading companies, sound boarding and focus on the three core elements is mandatory they are attracting talent, attracting capital growth, and helping build corporate relationships.

The exit stage is the most challenging one, in which the whole set of dimensions, comes into play. Some believe that exit is not the best term as an entrepreneur should not have to sell his/ her company, but rather you should up the possibility to get acquired or should have the opportunity to IPO to enable their next chapter.

We understand that it will be difficult for the CEO to get into the mindset of early relationship building that may bring new offers. Building towards the optionality is the time-consuming one because it needs the support of the resources and can divert from the daily operations, but the CEO has the option to say no to the unrequested offer that is quite powerful.


Optionality for luxury retreats

The CEO of luxury retreats, Joe Poulin said that they didn’t raise any venture capital in 2010; at that time they have an option of choosing the investors to fund their vision. Now, Airbnb has acquired Luxury Retreats after many successful attempts. Managing partner of iNovia, Chris Arsenault, was an early investor of Luxury Retreats said that their relationship building with Luxury Retreats has resulted in an investment in the first quarter of 2012. With enough capital on hand, Joe started to pull the high-quality board of directors Hugh Crean, Peter Kern, and Bertrand Cesvet. Chris also has the opportunity to join as a member of the board.

The board was in line with the vision that Joe has already set on and he expected the growth challenges ahead.


Planning the timing

Subsequently, the actions were implemented to solidify the team in order to enhance the growth. Over the few years, iNovia actively concentrated on the work. Joe and the board were helping to attract a stellar executive team with the deep sector expertise. It was really difficult, it took few rounds to attract the right team members, but they eventually found there.

Luxury Retreats were requested a number of times over the years to be acquired and this made them think ever better. It forced the management to check their growth path, which the company has followed over the years. And take decisions concern to how it will step into the next level. This resulted in accelerating the Luxury Retreats. The second financing round was led by iNovia in 2015. This time the company invented three of their limited partners into the round to invest in the fund and it resulted in financial closing internally.

During this whole journey, Joe never moved aimlessly from his original vision of developing and owning the most elegant luxury travel experience for all his guests. He has the ability to attract the top talent, develop technology-based experiences, and concierge management. And he has the ability to build the strong strategic relationships that proved very valuable. According to Joe, building the strategic partnerships was the second nature. Earlier, Luxury Retreats has partnered with HomeAway, VRBO, and Airbnb for their reach and distribution.


Closing the big deal

Joe, the CEO, and co-founder of the profitable company has evaluated every acquisition opportunity and the financing offer as if it was the last. He encourages the relationships and he will make sure the competition and deep pocket acquirers should know about Luxury Retreats, its entire performance, and results. He also makes sure the investors and the key industry players should know about the company and he ensures that the key industry players knew about the company and they are inspired by the team’s execution activities and should know that the company had the exit opportunities and also the financial options. All these relationships were developed over long periods of time and basically, they require a working relationship first. This allows both the sides to understand each other better and better and above all, it discovers the strategic value, which you can bring to a potential acquirer. It considers the unique skills to build the feasible options prior to engaging the company into following any of them. Sometimes, the founders may focus on the narrow set of options, but Joe followed them all.


Making hard business decisions

Optionality was one of the Luxury’s biggest strengths and when Airbnb approached Luxury Retreats to investigate how much deeper the initial commercial relationship can extend. Joe’s vision for the Luxury tourism services was very much clear and for sure the Co-founder of Airbnb, Brian would have fallen in love with it. Along with the powerful management team, and the high growth potential of combining both the partnering companies. The coincidence of interests and the key assumptions would have made Airbnb acquire Luxury Retreats.

To get acquired by another company doesn’t mean that you should have to put up for sale, but as a CEO it means that having an opportunity to review and decline the uninvited order. And if the company is in the situation of optionality requires the investment in the correct time and it also requires the proper effort towards building the key relationship along the same way. iNovia is proud to work with the highly promising company, Luxury Retreats.


The acquisition

With the support of the Luxury Retreats acquisition, Airbnb will gain more than 4,000 best properties in the world. It has the unique technology and the knowledge of 260 main employees with the immense luxury travel and concierge expertise, the vision and clear understanding of the executive team will help to grow this segment like none in the industry have done.

Luxury Retreats, the second transaction iNovia has been involved next to Airbnb. It is an added advantage for the Airbnb to have such a substantial footprint in their history. Great ecosystems happen when this kind of healthy and wise transaction happen. And it is time for the Montreal to raise the bar again. This acquisition will be one of the footpaths in the history of both Luxury Retreats and Airbnb. And it will also help the tech community to grow further. And this acquisition may have the multiplier effect on the Montreal tech ecosystem.


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