How Slack Did SaaS Marketing Right
No gimmicks, no wasted ad spend, and how you can do the same.
Slack is the fastest growing SaaS company…of all time! Five years ago, they were worth $0 and now they are worth around $7 billion while adding $1 million worth of new memberships every eleven days. As of today, they are boasting about 10 million daily active users.
How Slack Marketed Differently
Slack focused on Top of the Funnel marketing, focusing on building awareness and interest in the market. With their digital word-of-mouth with the Wall of Love, Slack hired an outside agency to build their brand while they focused on the product itself. It paid off well for them as their product went viral as soon as it went to market.
“Its growth rate is unheard of. Both Slack’s daily user count and its paid seat count are up 3.5X in just a year.” ~ Josh Constine, TechCrunch
They got feedback from their community. Not customers, but their community of users who felt the product was made for them. While everyone else fakes (or pays for) their testimonials on their website, Slack built up social proof with their “Wall of Love” on Twitter for everyone to share their experience with the app. All these mentions from respected figures in the industry took them to celebrity status in the SaaS world.
When you get that type of feedback, you create a special connection between the audience and brand. It’s more than just customer support, you engage and have conversations with your community to find out what you’re doing right, where you can improve, and how you’re helping people in their day to day life.
The Importance of An Emerging Market
Emerging markets are a great place to come into, especially when you already have people raving about your product. Partner with the people who are the best at what they do and able to handle the pressure of a rapidly changing start-up.
Competition is a good sign that you’re on the right track, but launching a product in an emerging market market allows you to build what you want and play by your rules.
You just need to find the pain point, solve the issue, and build trust with your fan base. Instead of product-market fit, you’re essentially doing problem-market fit. Addressing the problem people are facing every day puts you as an authority in people’s eyes as being the one to have a solution.
Slack knew they had the solution to a major business pain point. Because of their prior success, the team was able to get venture capital so they could focus on a strategic and exceptional product launch.
Customer Experience Obsession
When Bill Macaitis, former CMO at Zendesk and Senior VP at Salesforce, joined the team in November2014, they had already been launched for nine months. He wasn’t coming in to build it from the ground up with growth hacks, but rather focusing on the long-term and creating the best possible customer experience with the brand.
“A brand is the sum of every experience a customer has with you.”
With Macaitis preaching this philosophy, the marketing team set out to do everything to ensure positive brand perception and customer success. They wanted each customer to stay with them for life. Only way to do this was to ensure the users feel appreciated by the brand. Slack did this by giving away so much value that the users couldn’t live without them.
Every experience you have with your community is a marketing opportunity. Every twitter discussion, every email, and every post can be leveraged to draw them closer to you and your product. A lot of other SaaS companies are not using these methods and they’re also not experiencing the same growth. Coincidence?