Friction-Free Marketing

If you’ve watched a reality TV series like Survivor, you’ll have noticed that the contestants always struggle to make fire. By vigorously rubbing two sticks together they might be able to create enough friction to make the wood (and tinder around it) ignite. Fortunately, we have lighters, matches, and electric combustion nowadays. We don’t need to rub sticks together anymore. Friction-free marketing is based on the same premise: it generates prospects with ease.

60% of the top 100 SaaS companies require prospects to talk with a sales rep before making a purchase (rubbing two sticks together). Only 40% give them self-serve tools to purchase services online (electric combustion). Why create a hurdle when the prospect is ready to buy?

Here are 5 tips for setting up friction-free marketing:

  1. Find your audience. Understand where prospects are shopping, browsing, reading, watching, listening, and subscribing, and who they’re following.
  2. Invest in digital marketing. Advertise using PPC, SEM, and omnichannel messaging.
  3. Create social proof. Align your platform with someone well-known, or with marque companies. Add case studies to support your cause.
  4. Set up landing pages. Craft copy that explains your platform, simply. Make it sexy and interesting. Create a call-to-action for a free trial or demo.
  5. Configure follow-up automation. For each prospect that signs up for trial/demo, send a series of emails, texts, and social media messages. Share tips, tricks, case studies, and testimonials.

Let’s look at a few examples from the top 100 SaaS companies:

Find Your Audience: MailChimp finds their audience on the Serial podcast.

Lain Shakespeare, MailChimps’ Marketing Manager for Brand Marketing, said, “The people who listen to podcasts tend to be passionate and have an abiding attachment to what they listen to. The opportunity for brand awareness is tremendous.”

MailChimp found people who were passionate and were attached to what they listened to…

“…for us it’s about building that relationship with an audience. It’s about communicating with them in a way that’s in service to them and the medium. It’s about helping people make great things and building brand awareness alongside their success.”

MailChimp used the Serial podcast as a platform to connect with a larger audience. MailChimp’s marketing director, Mark DiCristina, says “Hundreds and hundreds of people everyday are using the #MailKimp hashtag”. #MailKimp was the marketing message used in their Serial ad.

Slack leverages Facebook Ads for digital marketing.

Something as boring as a chat app is made exciting by using colorful images and problem-solution marketing. Who doesn’t want fewer meetings?

By investing in PPC through Facebook, Slack increases awareness and drives sales.

Squarespace aligns their platform with actor Jeff Bridges.

Anthony Casalena, Squarespace Founder and CEO said, “We wanted to create a campaign to illustrate that any idea, no matter how wild or weird, can be presented beautifully and meaningfully through Squarespace. Instead of being built around an ad, our campaign is built around a real project on our platform.”

Perhaps more importantly, they created association with an Academy Award-winning actor, Jeff Bridges. This association provided credibility to the Squarespace platform.

mention keeps their landing page simple

mention successfully explains what they do. Simply. They provide an opportunity to trial their service (enter your email address), and posted several marque logos to demonstrate credibility.

mention sends a personalized follow up when you start their trial

Using email, mention follows up with the start of your trial. Their personalized email contains:

  • Credibility by touting their 650,000 users
  • Clear hand-off to an account rep
  • Link to a live training session
  • Funny image to get you smiling 🙂

If you’re a sales-focused SaaS provider, adding a friction-free marketing system will generate more leads and increase sales. By empowering your prospects to become customers (on their own), you’ll create a highly profitable revenue machine.

Start by finding your audience. Then create social proof, set up PPC and SEM, create a simple yet sexy landing page, and configure a follow up system to keep prospects interested until they’re ready to buy.

Not all customers need to be sold, some are ready to buy if you give them the chance.