[Week 4] Building in Public - Connecting the Dots
I started exploring a friction-free way of receiving video & text testimonials over a link.
Did this made a material difference to conversions for SaaS companies, e-commerce stores and marketplaces?
SaaS companies solve this in many different ways today, and those using a "wall of love" look at it as brand collateral not a first-degree conversion instrument.
I began talking to a few e-commerce stores. One in particular might have just given us our most clarifying insight yet.
I connected with Punit Shah, the co-founder of MyTrioRings, an accessible diamond wedding jewelry seller with a few million in annual revenue.
He signed up for PlusOne and sent a well-written message out to his customers of the last 180 days. He received many videos within hours! Check out his wall. He also embedded the PlusOne widget on his site here. He is still testing, hence it is on a separate page, where as his main reviews live here (Scroll down to see the picture/text configuration that Punit built himself!)
Here were our biggest learnings:
If you notice most of the videos he received on PlusOne, they are not articulate or useful, and certainly cannot be used in an Instagram ad. Only 20% of customer videos are well-made.
What is Punit's biggest problem? He needs promotional videos that can be used for both social media ads, feeds, and on-site and email marketing.
What is his bottleneck in getting these? Customers might not provide a useable video and high-end agency creators cannot be used on a frequent basis. Most stores that are $1mm-$25mm in revenue cannot probably spend for a "shoot" unless its a one off.
He doesn't need the videos to be from customers per se. He needs low-friction videos for around $100. There are lot of "influencers" offering this, but not for $100 since they are also distributing the videos to their followers and are a source of new traffic. Influencers solve the marketing problem, not the stand-alone content problem.
Can we enable customers or non-customer creators to make high-efficacy videos for Punit?
First, I need to validate this need of promotional videos by talking to 10-25 folks like Punit. I kicked off the following campaign to do that.
📫 My outbound email sequences to Shopify Store owners
I signed up for Store Leads and started with Shopify stores in the US with over a $1mm in revenue selling Apparel. The revenue is important, but the Apparel filter is just a starting point.
I picked only 25 founders/owners per day from this list, and started by sending them the following campaign & got my first reply! Check it out:
He replied on the 2nd touch. My campaign is set out to send 3 emails over 2.5 weeks. Will keep you guys posted on the progress.
🤔 Other data points
One of our early beta users Swimply also started playing around with the Chrome Plugin. Check out their wall! They want to use it for community promotions. I am trying to replicate this use case to see if community teams at consumer companies would find collating their testimonial videos and social media love in one place to tell a story:
Our Chrome Plugin lets them pull their social media posts in a second. They also received a few video testimonials through the PlusOne link.
🧩 One more data point on creators for e-commerce
I spoke to the Head of Content of a very large e-commerce company in India. I can't name them or share all their numbers on content strategy as per their request. However, we have two insights from this chat:
Marketing content: Most of this comes from Influencers. Both large and small influencers. For long-tail influencers, they have an affiliate program.
Product content: In-house creators. Since they are super-large, they have several in house creators on payroll and a studio at their office.
This is an enterprise company. Any possible solution that we come up with will be for companies between $1-$50mm in revenue. These guys are at $500mm in revenue.