By Geoff Roberts 3 min read
The home stretch of 2018 is upon us and it’s been an exciting year at Outseta. We began charging users for the first time in January and the evolution of our product since that time has been remarkable to see. Here’s what we’ve been up to since our last company update.
New Feature! Live Chat
Live chat tools have been a big deal as of late - companies like Intercom and Drift, Hubspot and Zendesk - they’ve all gotten into the mix. While Outseta has long offered various customer communication tools - email marketing, a customer support ticketing system, and knowledge base functionality - this means of engaging with prospects and customers had been missing from our platform.
We’re psyched to announce that we now offer live chat to all Outseta customers - it can easily be installed on your website or within your product. A few specific advantages of our live chat offering…
Live chat tools have become very expensive almost overnight. With Outseta live chat, you can have as many users and conversations as you want for one set price. Your company will grow, but your bill won’t.
Because our live chat tool is built from the ground up as part of the same platform as Outseta CRM and our other customer communication tools, chat history is automatically recorded on CRM records. No integration necessary.
Live chat also represents an exciting milestone for us - it’s the last “core” piece of functionality that we plan to add to the Outseta platform. Going forward, you’ll see us taking each of our primary features deeper but we won’t be adding any new core features. We’ve got the functionality SaaS start-ups need to launch and scale covered.
You can read more about Outseta live chat here.
Update! Paid Advertising Experiment Results
Earlier this year we set off to run some experiments with paid customer acquisition channels. Our September company update detailed some initial results when we experimented with Linkedin advertising. Since that time, experimented with both Twitter advertising and Google Ads.
As you may recall, with all of our paid acquisition experiments we’ve needed to think outside the box a bit because our product competes against better funded competitors in extremely competitive categories. One audience we’ve decided to target is attendees of MicroConf, which is a conference specifically for self-funded software entrepreneurs.
Twitter offers marketers some pretty unique targeting abilities; in this case we chose to target ads to people who follow @MicroConf on Twitter. You can also target ads to people who use a specific hashtag (like #MicroConf for example). As such, we ran this ad to followers of @MicroConf.
The ad landed visitors on a landing page we designed specifically for this audience. Here are the results of that experiment.
Ad spend: $254.88
Clicks: 48 clicks
Account sign-ups: 2
Cost per account: $127.44
We also experimented with Google Ads (formerly called Google Adwords). This experiment was different because instead of targeting a specific audience based on demographic factors like we did with Linkedin or Twitter, this time we were targeting people who searched for specific search queries.
We conducted keyword research to identify search queries that were highly relevant to our product but had low search volume and low competition (to keep costs down). Here are the keywords we targeted and a few examples of what the ads looked like.
“Best platform for startup” and “Best free tools for startups”
“Subscriber management” and “Recurring credit card billing”
Here are the results of this experiment:
Ad Spend: $506
Account sign-ups: 27
Cost per account: $18.74
Having now experimented with Linkedin, Twitter, and Google ads we now have a decent baseline - at least some early understanding - of the opportunity each of these channels represents to our business. These initial results will at least be helpful in informing any future spending on paid digital advertising.
That’s all for this month. Thanks as always for following along.
-Geoff, Dave, Dimitris, & James