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Acquisition Channel Opportunities: Email, buy-now-pay-later, SEO

Hey guys. I've analyzed around 3400 tech/marketing articles from last week to identify the top 3 opportunities you can take advantage of to get more paying users. Here they are:

1. How these companies took advantage of the Facebook outage

Have you heard about newshacking? It's aligning your company to a current event that's on everybody's mind to generate attention. Two weeks ago, that event was the Facebook outage.

Newsjacking in practice: These companies did newshacking for the 6-hour Facebook outage that happened on October 4th with email marketing. While the social network was down, they sent emails with subject lines like:

  • Instagram May Be Down, but Our Holiday Arrivals Are Up
  • Instagram is down, so we have a SALE!
  • Facebook and Instagram relief is here!

Newsjacking works: These emails had above-average open rates because they were aboutsomething that was on everyone's mind.

The opportunity: There are major news happening around the world all the time. There are probably major news happening once in a while in your industry as well.

Take advantage of these news events and connect them to your product like these companies did. Write an email with a relevant subject line. Run an ad with a newsjacking angle (eg: if you're a SaaS providing uptime monitoring, you could run ads on Twitter such as: "Facebook was down. Don't allow that to happen to your website").

You could insert a newsjacking angle for almost every acquisition channel with a little bit of creativity.

2. Buy-now-pay-later (or paying in installments) is eventually coming to SaaS

Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) is dominating e-commerce. According to a report published on Yahoo Finance, 30% of people have taken a buy-now-pay-later loan and 60% think they'll try it in the future.

What is BNPL: Buy-now-pay-later is a fancy term for paying in installments. Let's say someone arrives to your website and wants to buy something for $100. As long as your site is integrated with a BNPL provider, the user can pay the BNPL provider directly for the purchase. The BNPL provider then sends you the $100 while it collects payments from the user in installments without any interest.

Industry Leaders: Klarna, Afterpay and Affirm are seen as the top BNPL players in the e-ommerce space. And they're really, really big. Affirm has partered up with Amazon and Amazon will soon start offering a BNPL option via checkout. Millenials and Gen Z are addicted to Klarna. Last but not least, Square has acquired Afterpay for $29B (yes, that's a billion with a B).

Buy-now-pay-later is growing beyond e-commerce. This company, for example, recently got funding to bring buy-now-pay-later to in-person services. It's a matter of time before BNPL becomes a mainstream and generally accepted way to pay for anything (including digital services like SaaS).

**The opportunity: ** Have you considered adding a buy-now-pay-later option for more expensive (or annual) plans? Your options for doing this may be limited for now (see Stripe and Paypal documentation on this), but expect this to change soon. BNPL is becoming an "acceptable" way to pay and e-commerce is leading the way. It's a matter of time before things spill to SaaS and digital products as well.

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3. Google's search results to include more and more short videos. Here's how to take advantage of this

SEO is hard. It also takes time. So it's worth noticing when there's a new content format that's getting traction in search results.

The background: A few weeks ago, The Information reported that Google is quietly negotiating with Instagram and TikTok to include their videos in search results.

And now it seems the negotiations are paying off. Broodie Clark, an SEO consultant, reported on Twitter that Google is testing a "Short Videos" carousel for their desktop search results:

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The opportunity: Are there any search results in your niche for which short videos would be a good fit? The query for which Google was testing short videos for was "easy recipes". You can easily see how short videos would fit here.

It looks like Google is going in the direction of adding more and more short videos to its search results where it makes sense, so getting prepared might be a good idea.

If you have a SaaS for teams, for example, one relevant keyword for a short video could be "how to import slack into teams". Can you create a short (max 1 minute video) on that?

  1. 3

    Nice example with using email marketing to take advantage of the outage. I've also seen digital marketing agencies run campaigns like "now is the time to diversify", etc, knowing that many businesses run FB ads.

    1. 1

      What comes to mind with newsjacking:

      It seems like a high leverage activity if it makes sense for the context of your business (e.g. digital marketing agencies with FB outage). If you don't put your effort into a high leverage activity when available, you are working harder, not smarter. If you don't seek high leverage opportunities, you are working harder, not smarter.

    2. 1

      I've seen the same thing as well. This was THE ultimate moment for b2b to tell you to get less dependent on Facebook.

  2. 2

    Holy crap, this post is pure gold 👌

    The BNPL section is very interesting, I never thought it was that big. So interested to see mainstream adoption of this kind of system and I'm just mindblown that Amazon will roll this out. Unfortunately for me, I feel like Amazon Canada won't be the first to have this feature.

    1. 1

      It's really, really big. I disagree on the Amazon Canada part though, if not the first, it'll probably be the second site to get this :)

  3. 1

    Worth reading, Darko. Google is definitely changing SERP. And looking forward for BNPL.

  4. 1

    Okay. This is cool, thanks alot.

  5. 1

    I'm not sure about the BNPL use-case for Saas, to be honest. The majority of SaaS licenses are available in monthly plans anyway. The benefit of getting an annual plan is the discount. The disadvantage is that you already paid upfront for a year, while you're not sure you'll keep using the product that long. Not sure the very small financial gain outweighs the flexibility of canceling each month.

    Apart from that: most SaaS is B2B. If you have to use a BNPL format to buy a $500 annual SaaS license, your business is not in a good spot.

    1. 1

      You're forgetting about developing countries where $500 is the average monthly salary. Also many SaaS companies have a $500 monthly plan.

      1. 1

        True, but how is BNPL going to fix what you mentioned? You can't use BNPL for an ongoing monthly subscription, since you technically just postpone your payment to eternity.

        In the end: paying for a $500 monthly license in a developing country is still going to be just as hard as today.

  6. 1

    Nice content.
    About the trend "buy now, pay later", I read that in Europe, there are thinking to stop this trend to avoid people having huge credits.

    1. 1

      Woah, is it that pervasive in Europe?

  7. 1

    That was helpful, learnt something new

  8. 1

    @zerotousers Darko back at it again with a great post. Very excited to finally see the short form videos coming to fruition - this has been in the works for nearly a year now. Our company @Sturppy is betting big on short form video across FB, IG, and YT in the future.

    1. 1

      Best of luck with Sturppy, John!

  9. 1

    I didn't know about the short videos coming to Google. That's a really exciting development.

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. 1

    Would be interesting to see if BNPL for SaaS has any conversion rate effects. BNPL could be also beneficial to offer free trial periods for upselling/upgrades. I wrote yesterday an article on pricing tips for SaaS pricing: https://startupbusinesstips.substack.com/p/10-hands-on-tips-for-saas-pricing --> So if anyone has done a A/B test on how BNPL affects conversion, please let me know and I will add it to the article.

    1. 1

      There are many studies on how BNPL affects conversion rate for e-commerce. Not enough examples to make a study for SaaS.

  11. 1

    Paying in installments can make sense for annual plans. Or for getting monthly users to upgrade. Is Stripe or Paddle preparing a BNPL option? Will be interesting to see.

    1. 1

      Stripe is planing everything :D they'll probably become the amazon of payments soon

      1. 1

        Yeah, if they got into crypto, I bet they'll also get into BNPL.

  12. 1

    Interesting observation under 3). Now that short videos are getting up to a minute long, could they expand to more queries?

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