It’s been a couple of months since our last Outseta Company update, so we figured we’d hit you with one before you’re all lounging by the lake/beach/pool for the 4th of July. Here’s what we’ve been up to since April.
Since James Lavine joined our team, he’s been focusing on improvements to our user interface. These changes are perhaps most evident in our new navigation, where you’ll see CRM, Marketing, Support, and Billing tools running down the left hand side of the screen. We’ve also added search functionality at the top of the screen, so you can locate People, Accounts, or Deals that much more quickly.
We’ve rolled out a new onboarding process to make it easier for customers to get started off on the right foot. You can see the new onboarding workflow for yourself either by creating a free account and walking through the account setup steps (complete with jokes about canned meats), or by clicking through this InvisionApp prototype.
We also added a “Getting Started” checklist once you complete the initial account setup steps along with some calls-to-action to complete the most common onboarding actions.
A few other noteworthy enhancements; you can now accept Amex payments, merge email lists, and look at drip email campaign performance statistics on both an aggregate and email-by- email basis.
We recently pow-wowed to set goals for Q3 and came away with two primary product priorities that we'll be working on this summer. The first is allowing Outseta customers to process payments through Stripe in addition to Forte Payment Systems, our existing payment gateway. We've had some inbound interest from international customers, and offering Stripe will help us better support them.
The second major product priority is adding live chat functionality, both for use on your website and inside your application. Live chat is commonly used in both the context of sales and support, and adding this feature will help bring us closer to feature parity with the more established players in this space who are increasingly being dragged upmarket. This is one example of additional value we are delivering to our users, without any increase in price; the goal here is make the decision to use Outseta a no-brainer for an early stage subscription business.
After launching our MVP on January 1, we made a deliberate decision to think long term and fight the urge to start pursuing growth aggressively. It was more important for us to start working with a small number of customers to validate what we’ve already built and incorporate their feedback into the product. So far we’re happy to say that customer retention is at 100%, which was our primary goal as a company.
In addition to things like launching on Product Hunt and growing our organic website traffic via content marketing, the vast majority of effort towards landing those early customers has been focused on email prospecting. Some quick stats on this front.
Companies contacted: 329
Companies that engaged with us: 120 (36.5%)
Product demos: 24 (7.3%)
All of this outreach was 100% “cold,” sourcing leads from sites like AngelList, Product Hunt, Betalist, and GetProspect. You can read more about our approach to email prospecting here.
As we move into the second half of the year, we have a much more mature product and are going to look to test some paid acquisition channels - primarily via Facebook and Google Adwords.
Our prospecting efforts have given us a significant and highly targeted list that we can use in Facebook to build a look-a-like audience and expand our reach to new buyers of the same persona.
We’re going to focus our Adword experiments in two areas - one is targeting software buyers specifically at small, self-funded SaaS companies. The other will try to intercept search intent for relevant keywords that have a low search volume, but also low competition. We’ll provide an update of the success of these experiments later this year.
As you may recall from our operating agreement, we've made a deliberate decision to embrace remote work. We think it's a significant competitive advantage both in terms of recruiting and in terms of employee retention. So catch this...
On a normal day, I work in San Diego, CA. James works in Portland, ME. Dimitris and Dave work in Boston, MA. So if I hopped on my sleigh and rode to pick up James in Maine, then we roared down to Boston to pick up Dimitris and Dave, chipped the ice off our windshield and headed to San Diego for an afternoon surf we'd cover about 6,296 miles.
This summer we're stretching that net quite a bit. At various points this summer, Dave will be working from Oahu, Hawaii. Dimitris will be in Athens and Varkiza, Greece. Geoff will be in Sifnos, Greece before joining Dimitris in Varkiza. And James will be in Nairobi, Kenya.
So if Dave jetpacked from Hawaii to Greece to meet Dimitris and Geoff for our weekly team meeting, before shooting down to Nairobi to swoop up James, then we all continued on our way back to Hawaii for some R&R, we'd cover about...
We hope you don't do that - it's summer, it's hot, and we hope you enjoy your 4th of July wherever you are!
-Dimitris, Dave, Geoff, & James
We send two emails per month - that's it. One is a monthly company update, the other provides tips on growing early stage SaaS businesses.