SaaS Breakthrough – Featuring Casey Hill

demio saas breakthrough featuring casey hillAbout Casey Hill:
Casey Hill is the Growth Manager at Bonjoro, a personalized video messaging company, with the mission of making business communication more human and personalized.
For the last decade Casey has been focusing on helping SaaS companies rapidly scale, and doing so through finding levers to create customer evangelism and brand advocacy.

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Show Notes:
A Video Tool That Integrates W/ Existing Tech And Goes Where The Business Owner Goes
Creating Triggers And Videos At Different Stages Of Your Customer Life Cycle
Finding Product Market Fit As A Spinoff Of Another Company Of The Founder
Joining The Team To Help With PR Content And Moving Into Overall Growth
Facilitating The Implementation Of Personalization At Scale
"The first thing that we're doing to kind of help it happen at scale is things like the templates, things like the standardized buttons. And basically different processes that we put into place to really as people, as these companies are growing and they have more and more of these things coming in, we try to make it as turnkey as possible,"
The Beauty Of Video Is That It's All About That Personal Touch
"The beauty of video is that it's all about that personal touch. And I think that it doesn't require any crazy pedigree to be successful with it, right? It's all about authenticity and kind of letting the human side of your brand shine through. And I think it's kind of easy in our modern age to forget that there's a person on the other side of these electronic correspondence is sometimes, right. So I think that being kind of down to earth and being relatable is a hugely important component."
The Critically Important Email Subject Line
Building The "Video Funnel Playbook"
"We kind of took the information that we were gathering from customers about what was successful, what was working and we basically packaged that all into a massive asset and put that together."
"When it comes to marketing, to me, there's kind of these two buckets. There's the why. And there's the how. So as a starting point, you know, you can imagine that people need to understand, well, why is video relevant to me? Right? Like why do I even care about video in the first place? But then once you are able to see that like, okay, I get why this is valuable, then the next huge step is how am I going to execute this."
Reaching Out To Customers For What's Working For Them
The Decision Process And Mistakes To Avoid When Building A Big Resource
" I think the biggest thing is to really keep a customer centric mindset in it right? When you're dealing with a lot of information and you're trying to gather a lot of stuff, it can be easy to sometimes get lost in the weeds and make things too dense. And so one of the things that was important as we were gathering all this feedback, was to really put ourselves in the shoes that, okay, again, imagine that this person coming in doesn't know anything,"
Using Personalized Video In The Onboarding Process
"One of the important things of video is trying to say address, for instance, the problem of Hey, this looks really cool, but I'm just a little overwhelmed. There's too much. And you're kind of trying to make that injection of a human element that easily relates to them and says, Hey, I totally get it."
"A big thing for me when I use video is really trying to paint it as saying like, okay, let's break this down. Let's have you focus on this one specific thing. We'll touch base, here's the specific resource or guide to do that specific thing and then having that's set in time, next touch point."
Deciding Where To Inject Video In Your Process
Implementing Niche Specific Onboarding Processes
Sales Conversations Using Tangible Testing
"One of the problems that happens sometimes during these initial trial processes is people kind of go dark and then people struggle to get back a hold of them. So I think that what's really important is having specific times and you're like, Hey, let's run this test together and then when you meet on Friday, that person almost always shows up cause there's a specific reason for them to do so. And, and we use this both post-sale too in the, on the retention set."
The Importance Of Staying Customer Centric And Invest On The Non-Glamourous Stuff
The Focus For 2020: Education, Specificity And Simplicity
Lightning Questions

DA (02:42):
Hey Casey, thanks so much for joining me today on the SaaS breakthrough podcast. Super excited to have you here. Bonjoro. I'm really excited to have the company on, a Demio customer, someone we look at and love, love what you guys are doing, how are you doing today?

CH (02:55):
I'm doing awesome. Thanks for having me, David.

DA (02:57):
Yeah, it's truly my pleasure, I've got a great interview lined up today. Before we jump into marketing and marketing experiments, talk to us about the company. When was it founded? Who are your customers and what are you guys doing uniquely in the marketplace?

CH (03:13):
Yeah, absolutely. So Bonjoro was started in 2017. We're a personalized video messaging tool. And essentially what that means is say you get a customer inquiry that comes in, on your website, someone has a question and it pops up normally it might come to you through email, but you can have this pop up on your phone as a little notification. It says, Hey, record a Bonjoro response to this person. So what it allows you to do is send out a personal tailored message out to the customer and obviously there's a huge range of applications around how people are using this. People are using this as, you know, reminders when someone say books in a call, Hey, just want to touch base. This is what we're going to be covering. People are using this during, you know, trial periods for, for instance, SaaS or software companies to shoot out a message and kind of keeping that human connection during that segment of it. And people are using it post-sale on kind of the retention and really make sure that we maximize customer delight and kind of make people feel like more than a number. And so that's kind of what the product is and, and kind of how it, a little bit of how it came to be is, you know, there was a handful of video tools that currently exist and obviously still currently exist on the market. But we found there was a strong focus around kind of screen recordings and desktop recordings and we really wanted something that would seamlessly kind of go where the business owner was going. Right? So if you're out and about and you're busy and you're moving around, we wanted to make something that could just come onto your phone, you could then easily have, you know, just click record, send out that video and it would kind of go with you in your work style.

CH (04:49):
So that was really kind of focus of, of what we were trying to do. And I think too, along with that mobile component, one of the things we really wanted to do as well was make sure that it integrated in with people's existing technology. Right. So a big thing with Bonjoro is tying in with your existing CRM or your existing ISP or email system. So that you know, again, someone comes in and you just have as a trigger, it comes from that system, pops up on your phone and it's very turnkey for those business owners.

DA (05:20):
Can you set up rules for specific types of customers to trigger that notification to do a video?

CH (05:26):
When you say specific types of customers, what do you mean by that?

DA (05:30):
So for instance, for us, if an ICP customer was a trial user and it just came in, could I get a notification that that specific type of user came in and make a video specific for them?

CH (05:40):
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, you can definitely create, basically videos at different kind of stages of that customer life cycle, 100%. And you can organize those together too. So you can have kind of a series of videos and that's another actually kind of component on the scalability side. We allowed you to build templates around this so you can have a specific call to action next to that. So you record a video, but another important piece is there's a little button next to every Bonjoro that goes out that's kind of like what is your intended action. It could be book a call, it could be leave us a review. It could be just like white papers or additional resources for them. And so based on where it is in the life cycle, you can tailor that message template and that call to action button to be geared towards that specific use case.

DA (06:24):
I have so many ideas rolling around in my head right now on how I want to use this application. We're definitely digging more into kind of these personalized videos and onboarding sequences and lots of stuff that we'll talk about today. But that's awesome. Lots of cool stuff going on. There's a ton of use cases though. So like when you guys first got started and you've had, you know, a few years now to kind of build this out, how did you guys initially find product market fit? You said you're in different industries, different use cases. How do you guys find how to, how to get this product in the right place to market it?

CH (06:55):
Well, yeah. Great question. So Bonjoro actually initially came as a spinoff of our, another one of our CEO's companies, which was Verbate. So Verbate was Matt, our founder, his original company. And it basically did video surveys. And he found that because that business was also passionate about this idea of video and the importance of video, he found that he was using it to send some personalized videos out to correspond with customers. And customers were all saying like, you ever made this into a product, we would love this. Like we haven't seen something that come and delivers like this. And so customers are really excited. So it basically started there, we're like, Hey, we're getting a bunch of demand around that. And so because of that demand, we created Bonjoro. And then kind of started experimenting, really to narrow down and really find that ICP we were looking, we saw a lot of application for SaaS. We saw a lot of application for like charities and real estate. And so we were kind of just playing around with the market. and seeing where we could get traction and kind of gathering customer feedback.

CH (07:58):
You know, another big part, part of kind of developing, developing this process for us was reaching out, communicating with customers, seeing what was working, seeing how we kind of could iterate and make it better for them.

DA (08:11):
And so it's definitely been an evolution. Yeah, that's definitely the right way to do it. It's nice when you kind of have that kind of prebuilt audience already building off from the other products. That's amazing. By the way, when did you join the team?

CH (08:24):
Yeah, so I came onboard about six months ago. And initially I was kind of helping on the PR kind of content side. So I was using tools like, are you familiar with HARO, H A R O?

DA (08:36):
I think I've heard of HARO. Yeah.

CH (08:38):
Yeah. So basically what it is is journal outlets like say the Wall Street Journal or Forbes or Business Insider will say, Hey, we want a story on ways to optimize e-commerce processes. And if you have a good pitch for that and you would write back, they'll then write a story on, you know, say Forbes and then linked back to your company. So it's a way that you can build kind of SEO and backlinks. And so initially I came on and I was kind of helping both write content and using tools like HARO to kind of get some additional exposure. And then over time, over these last six months, I've kind of just been working on overall growth, kind of getting as many eyes as possible on Bonjoro and also helping with our copy and making sure that our correspondence is reaching out to customers is, is really valuable and is tailored to kind of what they need. And, you know, that goes into the video funnel playbook, which is one of our assets that we built out. That's been one of our most successful campaigns. That's also been like a big project that I was working on at the last few months.

DA (09:37):
Yeah, no, that definitely makes sense. So you're, you're kind of getting more into it. You're seeing more of your customers, how have you seen some of those customers start to use these different use cases? I mean, listen, personalization at scale is a big hot topic. Really all of our past guests have talked about it at some point. They are trying to change the messaging and the outbound campaigns. They're trying to connect better with their customers. As you've gotten into this growth process, you've seen more accounts, you've seen how people are using it. What are some of those use cases or maybe some tips you've seen from people trying to utilize Bonjoro at this kind of personalization for scale level?

CH (10:14):
Yeah, yeah, that's a phenomenal question. So there's kind of two parts of the question, that I'll kind of look at, the first thing that we're doing to kind of help it happen at scale is things like the templates, things like the standardized buttons. And basically different processes that we put into place to really as people, as these companies are growing and they have more and more of these things coming in, we try to make it as turnkey as possible, right? So creating a seamless integration with your existing CRM or ESP, that's the start of it, right? To make sure that this flows in. This isn't just like a manual process that people are having to pick up each time. The second part is having a really turnkey set up templates and buttons so that again, really what the person's having to do, it's just click and send out that message.

CH (10:55):
A feature that we actually put into place a few months back is something called roll-up, which also means that hey, if you're, if you have a day where you're just getting in a ton of trials that you want to message out to, but you got say a hundred trials that came in and that's just no, not feasible for you to send a hundred of those out in one day, you can also use a feature called roll-up where you record a message and you can then shoot it out to that segment. Right? But the idea again I think is to try to keep it as custom and as tailored as possible by really saying like, you know, for instance, if you know that these people coming in are SaaS companies and these people coming in are you know marketing agencies, right. Try to maybe separate those two and at least cater a little bit to, to that grouping. So I think that that's kind of one side of it.

CH (11:41):
The other side, I do think too, sometimes I get, someone will say something like, Hey, well, you know, what if Casey we're getting a thousand signups a day, right? Are we going to really be able to send all a thousand of those new customers, videos and kind of my response is, I think there is part of this human element that I think at a certain point, you know, my response would be if you're getting a thousand new customers per day, hire more people, hire more people to send out these videos. Cause that's the beauty of video is that it's all about that personal touch. And I think that it doesn't require any crazy pedigree to be successful with it, right? It's all about authenticity and kind of letting the human side of your brand shine through. And I think it's kind of easy in our modern age to forget that there's a person on the other side of these electronic correspondence is sometimes, right. So I think that being kind of down to earth and being relatable is a hugely important component. And the other thing that I want to add too is I think also creating a personal tie in with your messages is really important. So I'll give you an example.

CH (12:46):
You know a lot of times say someone signs up for a trial and then they kind of go dark, right? And you're shooting this person messages and saying, Hey, just checking in, how's stuff going with the software? Or how stuff going with this proposal, right? And I think that we're video can be really powerful is instead of just saying that, Hey, just checking in email over and over again, you launch something like Hey it was awesome to connect last week. In addition to the proposal, I know we were talking about, how a friend of mine actually runs a B2B SaaS company and he actually had a couple specific tricks that he's using to optimize trial conversions. I recorded you a quick video about it. Whoa. That is way more compelling. There's like a personal anecdote. It's like relating to something that you guys directly talked about. I think the value in the conversion from that kind of message, it's going to be a lot more compelling than that just you know kind of waving our hands to say that we're still here.

DA (13:37):
Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. And I guess a question that just comes up when I'm listening to this is like this is still held within an email message, right?

CH (13:47):
Yes, correct.

DA (13:48):
So open rates are still a critical piece of this whole thing. Have you seen specific messaging or subject lines that work really well to get those open rates? Cause I think, you know, we've tried to do this on a manual level, never used Bonjoro to do it, which would be amazing. But we were doing like Loom videos of accounts and the big thing was still getting people to open and then click on that actual video. And I think the tips that you just made as far as the messaging in, in the actual email makes a ton of sense. But the subject line is critically important too because it just dramatically drops that percentage of clicks that you'll get to those personal videos. What have you guys seen there?

CH (14:24):
Yeah, that's a phenomenal question. So one of the things I was referring to earlier, that video funnel playbook, essentially is a massive package of templates that has those exact things, the exact subject lines we're using and the exact body of talks we're using at all these different stages of the life cycle. So we kind of took the information that we were gathering from customers about what was successful, what was working and we basically packaged that all into a massive asset and put that together because you're 100% right. That is super important. So I mean as a starting point, one of the things that's really nice about one-to-one messages is they'd have a much higher chance of actually inboxing than an automation, right?

CH (15:06):
Because you're not going to land in a promotions folder when you're sending a one off message. So the first thing is from a deliverability standpoint, you do get a boost there, but you're, you're right. Even if it lands in someone's inbox doesn't mean they're going to open it. And so that, that goes into us doing the kind of research and due diligence to really compile these templates with those subject lines that we're seeing working and seeing as successful and kind of putting those together into an asset for, for customers.

DA (15:30):
So from a product marketing perspective, a big win that I'm taking away from is having templates, predesigned campaigns laid out, anything that takes away any of the friction of trying to figure things out and just putting them in position of saying, we have done the research for you. Now you can go out and do your own personalization, but here's kind of the constructs, the foundation you can build off of which I love. And you just talked about the video funnel playbook, which I want to talk about and I am going to link in our show notes. So if anyone wants to check this out, I'm going to be downloading this after the show. Definitely go there and check it out. I know this playbook contains over 30 tried and tested high converting video funnels that you just mentioned with a bunch of the different success teams and marketing teams that have actually used this. But what I want to know about is from the marketing experiment, the, the marketing and lead generation side of things. What made you want to build this kind of funnel? What made you think this is what we need to do? And I guess just walk us through how you've set it up because I think it's been such a big success.

CH (16:30):
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I think that when it comes to marketing, to me, there's kind of these two buckets. There's the why. And there's the how. So as a starting point, you know, you can imagine that people need to understand, well, why is video relevant to me? Right? Like why do I even care about video in the first place? But then once you are able to see that like, okay, I get why this is valuable, then the next huge step is how am I going to execute this? Right? And so what we saw and kind of the impetus behind how this came to be was we saw that we were doing a good job on that why. People were understanding why video was valuable, but there was still this gap in the how, how do we execute it? How do we use this to the best of our abilities?

CH (17:10):
Right? And so that's where we said, look, we know that we have this huge body, current customers that are using this and getting tremendous success. Why don't we take some of the blueprints that we see working across these different industries and these different stages and put it kind of together in a really streamlined asset so we can address that how part of the equation cause the end of the day that is one of the most significant components of all of this, right? It's like with Demio, one of the reasons that you guys have a lot of success is because of that simplicity, because of that streamlined process. And so that was a huge component for us. So me and our CMO, really kind of sat down sort of all this information. And you know, took several months. I mean it was a big project to really, number one, gather all the customer data.

CH (17:57):
Number two, put it into templates and make it so it's easily searchable. So if you said, Hey, I'm really interested on once customers are already onboard, right? That's the, that's the stage that I want to focus on. Great. You just click, it'll take you down to that section and it will have all these different templates on. Here's how you can get reviews. Here's how you can, you know, increase retention. Here's, you know, all the different templates that people are utilizing in that specific spot. Just kind of totally spelled out with you. From the subject line to the little coffee, the preview copy before they even click the video to what the specific buttons we're using are, I mean, really trying to make this so that it's plug and play. It's been awesome. I mean, I think that that's really resonated. We got over a thousand downloads on product time, on the first day that we launched it. And it's been a huge lever for us to really help new trials coming onboard and saying, Hey, here's a blueprint. Here's something tangible that you can work with. And so we're really excited about that and the results we, we've kind of been seeing with it.

DA (18:54):
That's awesome. So just a couple of questions on the setup process of this. Were you reaching out to current customers and being like, Hey, we're creating a guide. Can we, can we feature one of your campaigns in this guide? And if you were like, what were you saying in that? Was there a benefit to them? Were you like going to exclude name or like how did that all work?

CH (19:12):
Yeah. So you'll actually see some of the testimonials from some of our customers that contributed directly in that guide, little quotes or snippets. But I mean I think it even started even a little more broadly than that. Like we just started reaching out to customers that we knew were kind of using Bonjoro and seeing success and, and just kind of asking them, okay, how are you using this thing? Right? Making sure that we were really dialed in on, you know, what are the specific processes, what are the specific times that you're using it, how are you using it? And then obviously, yeah, what are the specific kind of structures or templates, around how you're using it. And because I think at Bonjoro one of the things we've worked really hard is to create a really close knit community, and really try to give back as much as we can with customers and really try to get involved with them. I think a lot of people were willing to kind of raise their hand and just contribute that insight to us. And so we were really grateful that we had quite a few people that kind of chipped in and, and from a number of industries and gave us their feedback, here's what's working in these different segments.

DA (20:07):
I love that. Were you doing this on calls, via email? Did you have like a survey set up?

CH (20:13):
I think it was a range. Right? You know, I know for myself, like some of these people were people that I met at conventions, right? Like we were going to mutual conventions together and I actually sat down and talked with them. Some people were people that you would talk with on the phone and some were people that would shoot out emails to, so it was kind of a range, kind of different things. You know, again, we could use Bonjoro to kind of kick off this process, right? Shoot a Bonjoro out to one of our customers and just say like, Hey, we're working on compiling this thing. This is why we're doing it. You know, you've had a lot of success, with, you know, say SaaS companies and getting more conversions during that process. Like we'd love to just pick your brain about you know, ways we might be able to get your insight and leverage this for others. And then have like a little button that says like, book a call with us, they hop on and then the conversation kind of hops from that.

DA (20:56):
Yeah. I love that. I love that. You said this took about seven months to put together. When you're going into an initiative this big, you know, is there just a big bet that this is going to work? Are you initially trying to task like, Hey, let's put out three and see if people like it or you just kind of going all in on it because again, talking to customers, you already know that the problem is they don't know exactly what campaigns to do. So you're like, we're going to create this pain solvent and we're going to put all our energy into it and this is going to be our big thing. But it's still an experiment. I mean, how did you guys approach that?

CH (21:30):
Yeah, no, that's a, that's a great question. And it rudely was a system where, you know, we kind of built it out and our COO was, was again, building it out even before I came on board and then I kind of jumped in to help and contribute more insights. I think we really did kind of put our eggs in the basket of we really know that this is going to be valuable based on the fact that we're getting a lot of feedback of basically people saying like, you know, we want more actionable, tangible assets on the help, like on how to leverage this, right? So we've look, number one, we can look at our churn data. We could see people that were leaving that were like, Hey, this is cool, but you know, I'm just not able, like if someone says this is cool but I'm not able to produce the result that I want, right?

CH (22:10):
At the end of the day, this is all about producing a specific result, whether that's getting more trial conversions, getting more reviews, et cetera. And so we look at that and we say, okay, that's a huge opportunity for us to be able to provide something more actionable to get that person (inaudible). So I feel like we really had a very strong inkling that this was going to be valuable and will be an asset that we can use for people. And then we just kind of progressive, we rolled it out. And not to say that we didn't share templates or take pieces of this and leverage it in the interim. Right. But in terms of the final kind of asset that we compiled, I think that was something that, you know, basically just kind of move through and continue to add to it until we felt like it was at a spot that was really comprehensive.

DA (22:51):
Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, that makes sense. From like a, you know, gathering data to design, to implementation of, of the distribution, which I guess was initially your Product Hunt launch, any things that went increasingly or incredibly well or things that you wish you could do again, little mistakes you made. I'm just thinking about people that are maybe listening and wanting to build something like this, a big initiative like this.

CH (23:17):
Yeah, that's a great question. I mean, I think that the biggest thing, I think the biggest thing is to really keep a customer centric mindset in it right? When you're dealing with a lot of information and you're trying to gather a lot of stuff, it can be easy to sometimes get lost in the weeds and make things too dense. And so one of the things that was important as we were gathering all this feedback, was to really put ourselves in the shoes that, okay, again, imagine that this person coming in doesn't know anything, right?

CH (23:43):
They have absolutely no insight to how this works. You need to make a resource that is super, super turnkey. It doesn't skip the small stuff because they don't know that stuff you're familiar with as a business owner because you're using it every day. That person who's not familiar with the product, they don't know that stuff, right? So it's important to make sure that you come in and you make it very navigable and you make it very streamlined and that's something that we continued to iterate as we went and one of the reasons why it was really important for us not to just put together, you know, a 30 page doc that was just, a run on a tax, but make it so that you could jump to different sections, make it so that you can say, Oh, I'm interested in this thing. Go straight there, and that information was there.

CH (24:21):
Small tweaks like that were really significant because they were, I think what made that resource more actionable and more kind of helpful for sure the customers. I think my biggest tip for people that are going through this process would really be to take a step back and obviously to test this by sending it to people that aren't familiar and saying, does this make sense? Are you following here?

DA (24:40):
I love that idea. Yeah, just kind of sending it out, getting that feedback loop before you do a big launch. Incredibly important. You know, from the video funnel playbook itself. Maybe you have some examples, but I think the onboarding process has such a huge opportunity for people to utilize this personalized video. I know that's like number one where we want to attack where we see, you know, the biggest ROI. If we can get maybe, you know, trial users activating and converting or new users activating and continuing and reducing kind of that, reducing churn and increasing LTV there. What have you guys seen in that onboarding process that has worked incredibly well for you guys?

CH (25:22):
Yeah, yeah, great question. So I think that when it comes to onboarding, right? One of the things that happens with companies sometimes is, again, there's this little bit of a kind of going dark problem that happens for some companies, right? That you have basic people, they get on board the software and you see that there's not a lot of usage but you're not able to make that connection. Right. It's honestly kind of a similar process that happens in terms of trial conversions as well, right? Where you have users that just kind of fall off and there's a handful of reasons of why that might happen, right? They might be, it might be complex and they might be confused. They might just be busy and it's not a super high priority. Right. But, I think that one of the important things of video is trying to say address, for instance, the problem of Hey, this looks really cool, but I'm just a little overwhelmed. There's too much. Right? And you're kind of trying to make that injection of a human element that easily relates to them and says, Hey, I totally get it. Right? Like when you're starting out, there's so many pieces and so do this very specific thing, right? And let's talk about that then and say, you know, X amount of time, four days or whatever, and trying to make that very tangible and very clear. So that's a big thing for me when I use video is really trying to paint it as saying like, okay, let's break this down. Let's have you focus on this one specific thing. We'll touch base, here's the specific resource or guide to do that specific thing and then having that's set in time, next touch point. So that all kind of flows seamlessly. I think that's, kind a big kind of piece of how video can serve you in that context.

DA (26:56):
So for us like a big goal was like, Hey, we want you to run an event , is like the big kind of aha moment, key moment. But to get there we had to do a couple of things. Like we have them running one of our simulated events and then checking analytics and then creating your own event. So your kind of thought processes each maybe video should be individually for that one tiny process. Go ahead and click here, run the event and then have another video that sends out after that action for the next action. Just each one a little guideline.?

CH (27:27):
Yeah, I mean I think it would take looking at the data and seeing where you're seeing people getting stuck. Right? I think that that's one way potentially, right as you break it down by each section or you might look at the data and see, Hey, people are really good at you know setting up the initial simulation, but then after that they don't go forward and do whatever that next spot is. So then based on that problem that you see, you're like, here's where we're going to inject video because this is where we see is kind of the sticky spot. This is rather the fallen off spot that it's happening at this stage if that makes sense.

DA (27:56):
That makes a lot of sense. Yeah. Again, light bulbs going off in my head right now. Lots of cool stuff coming from this interview. So I appreciate your time sharing all this stuff. Now I know one of the things that you guys are starting to look at that's very interesting to me as well is almost niche specific onboarding processes that you guys are looking at from the individual types of customers that are coming in and you know, tying videos or your different campaigns to the ICP that are coming in. do you want to share with us, you know, how you guys came up with this idea and why you're trying to implement it?

CH (28:25):
Yeah, 100%. So I mean really it goes back to this kind of concept of being customer centric and thinking about what really serves our customers in the most robust way. And so I think with these we realize, Hey, people come on board and we have a series of specific, we have a series of all kind of onboarding steps that happened, right? We realized that those series of onboarding steps, like for instance like we would send people personal video, but we also start emails that go too that are like, Hey, do this to set up your account and do this, you know, next step, next step, next step. And so we're kind of using a combination of our own personal videos to make those intros, but then a series of onboarding steps that happen as well. And we kind of were thinking from a customer perspective, were thinking what would be really cool is for someone to come on board who's a SaaS company and for there to be a specific tailored onboarding path for just that.

CH (29:16):
So they're essentially would say, Hey, you're a SaaS company. That's awesome. Here's what we see SaaS companies doing specifically. Usually some of the most important things are converting more of your trials, increasing your retention rate and getting more reviews. Any of those three goals sound critical to you or sound important to you? And then the person's thinking, Oh yeah, that sounds awesome. You're like, Oh sweet, here's some specific templates on exactly how you do that. And here's the video funnel playbook, which is a more expansive version if you want to drill deeper, but now the person's starting to see it really in their context exactly how they're going to use it. And you're also providing customer proof saying other people like you are using it like this. There is differences for sure between how a SaaS company or a real estate company or a charity use Bonjoro and so we really started to drill into that and say, Hey, if we made that onboarding process specific to a niche that would add a ton of value from a customer perspective on, I can now really relate to it from this angle.

CH (30:13):
So we're really excited to do that. That's something that's still in the process. We're, we're kind of finishing that up currently but, my intuition tells me from someone who's kind of worked on the marketing side and who's worked on on the sales side, that this is going to be a huge asset t kind of helping people once they're on board.

DA (30:32):
I love it. I absolutely love it because so easy to get into an onboarding process that's so generic and open and wide arrange for like every type of customer can be put in different area and like you said, having different campaigns for them, the different steps to set up. That's fantastic. My only question is how are you guys finding out what niche they're in? Are you guys putting them through something like clear bit, this is going through your software. Like how are you finding out who they are in the onboarding process?

CH (30:58):
Yeah, so that's one of the beauties of how we're tying in again. Well one of the things I talked about initially was having that clear tie in with your CRM or ESP system, right? So one of the beauties behind that is that when you have that tie in with whatever that say ESP is, for example, we can now pull pieces of those data in. So you'll then have that information on hand and you can leverage it. So that's one of the ways where when you record a personal video, you might ask like for instance, what's your industry? Right? And that's a piece of information that then comes in on that Bonjoro request. So you can see what's their industry or like what's their company size or different bits of information that you're pulling. That's kind of the data enrichment side that through those, integrations, many of which we have direct, some are through Zapier, but many of those are direct. And the direct integrations, weill pull that information and stick it right there in that preview. So it makes it super turnkey for you.

DA (31:47):
That's awesome. Oh man, that's so powerful. I can totally see in my head how we could do different campaigns based on that. And then we have like a survey internally in Demio specifically, which asks even more questions along the stage level. So being able to understand their niche and their stage. You could really have some very specific onboarding processes that guide people to activation and success really fast and utilize that video to do that. So just a fantastic campaign idea. I do want to quickly talk about sales conversation here. I know you guys have a really cool approach that involves the use of testing and you kind of named it tangible testing. Do you want to explain a little bit about your approach here and how you guys have implemented this?

CH (32:28):
Yeah, I'm really glad you asked that because that is something that I think is super big. And so one of the things, that I think is really compelling is if you're able to provide someone just really clear examples of something being effective before kind of, they make a decision, right? So with us, one of the things I love to do is someone comes on board, say a free trial and they're interested in Bonjoro, but they're not a hundred percent sure whether it's going to be able to generate the result that they want. So what I think, what I love to do is something called tangible testing, which is I say, look at you currently are gathering leads through this online form and you're following up with them like this. That's awesome. I want you to spend 50% of your time doing it exactly how you're doing.

CH (33:07):
And I want you to just now use the other 50% of your time to try that with Bonjoro. So let's say we have a hundred people that come in, 50 of those are going to get your standard email messages and 50 of those are going to get Bonjoros. Now Bonjoros take time to record. So let's not discount that. So what we'll do is we'll look at what are the results? We'll look at how much time you spent on those Bonjoros that you put together and then you make that calculation. Hey, we got six more people that converted because those Bonjoros that took us on average 45 seconds each to record as an example. And is that worth kind of your time? Right. And I feel like once we're able to present it like that. It really, really helps. And it also is something that helps us have a specific touch point. So I meet with someone and I say, awesome, we're going to design this test together. I want you to send 50 of your people, your normal process, 50 of your people Bonjoros and let's touch base on Friday and talk about it.

CH (33:59):
And so this is another thing that I think is really important, and I touched on this earlier, but I think one of the problems that happens sometimes during these initial trial processes is people kind of go dark and then people struggle to get back a hold of them. So I think that what's really important is having specific times and you're like, Hey, let's run this test together and then when you meet on Friday, that person almost always shows up cause there's a specific reason for them to do so. And, and we use this both post-sale too in the, on the retention set, Hey, let's run this test together. Right? And then let's meet up on this specific day to talk about this test. And that has been revolutionary in terms of kind of getting people to show up and have those conversations and not having people go dark and not having people kind of blow it off because there's a very specific reason for why they're meeting with you. It's not just like, let's touch base or, yeah, let me hop on and try to answer questions. It's like we're going to talk about this test that we designed together and if your product or tool is working well, then it's like a super easy sell. If you're up to the presale stage, you're like, Hey, we converted this many more customers versus like, yeah, that's awesome. Like I'll take that all day. And it's like boom, that person's on board.

DA (35:07):
I love that. So you're setting expectations, you're making a tangible test and then you're having a exact reason to follow up and get back with them. My only question is, during this time, in this testing period, are you guys utilizing a trial is it a free period? How are you getting over that initial activation hump?

CH (35:26):
Yeah, so we offer a free trial. So we have a free trial that allows people to get in and start sending Bonjoros right away, right? So they can basically immediately test out and validate the product, and also have some pretty low threshold, you know, above that our basic practice, $15 a month. So we have some pretty low threshold. If the person's like, yeah, I want a test, but I want my own branding on it. Right. Which the free trial doesn't have, they can hop in there on a month to month subscription, test it out and do it that way. So either one, we see a handful of people to kind of using both approaches.

DA (35:54):
And are you guys doing this type of sales call with every single person that comes in or is it like a specific request?

CH (36:01):
Right now it's something that we're continuing to expand. So we've had a lot of trials kind of surging in. And we're still a relatively small team. Right. And so one of the things we've been kind of doing right now is, is trying to do as many as possible and trying to kind of foster those conversations and trying to have copy that's like, Hey, book a call with us. That comes in on the email side so we can then get involved in that sense. So we're still expanding. We want to get as many possible people as we can talk to is what we want to do. Right. So we're working on right now we definitely don't have a touch point on, you know, every single person cause it's, you know, thousands of people coming in. So we're working on trying to expand. And when I said thousands I mean trials specifically, right? Everyone who signs up and is on a pay package, we're getting every single one of those people a Bonjoro. But at the trial stage we're still working on getting as many of those people as possible onto, onto offset calls.

DA (36:50):
That's amazing. Definitely a fantastic initiative as far as just getting on those calls. A great sales opportunity. You guys are probably crushed with that. I love that. I love that strategy. But I want to know, you know, in the past six months, have there been any things that you have worked on that didn't work out as expected? We've talked about some really amazing initiatives that are all been been rocking and, and crushing it. But what about maybe some missed opportunities, things you look back on and you know, you want to improve on here in 2020?

CH (37:17):
Yeah, that's, that's a great question. I mean, I think that one of the things that happens, and I think this happens for a lot of businesses is you work on this amazing new feature, it's this groundbreaking feature and you're like, Oh my gosh, our customers are going to be dying for this. People have been asking us for it and you launch it and everything's, you know, you're so super stoked and it goes well, but it's not a game changer. Right? I think that as small businesses and as businesses that are continuing to grow and scale, sometimes we have this thought in our head that, Hey, we're going to go from, you know, 1 million ARR to 10 million ARR with this, with this big groundbreaking thing. And then you go from, you know, one to 1.2 right or whatever, right? In terms of that change. And it's, and so I think that part of the process that I find is really number one, going back to keeping it customer centric, right?

CH (38:03):
And making sure that you're really bringing people into the process and two realizing that these things take time, right? It takes time to get market saturation. It takes time to get adoption. It takes time for a lot of these things to process. And so I think that one side of this is basically making sure that you understand those timeframes and you aren't setting up unrealistic expectations. So when you launch out a new feature and you see a bump, but it's not a game changer, you don't freak out. And I think that the others, that kind of component of this too is really making sure that you invest in the non-glamorous stuff, right? System stability, great support, communication. These are vital things for you making sure that you're successful in spreading it out, but they're not glamorous. I think that one of the problems, especially in SaaS that I see is that we get kind of lost.

CH (38:53):
A lot of companies get lost in this feature bloat. Right. And again, I think it's something that, that you guys at Demio identified and said like, Hey, this is a problem. We're not going to do that. Right? And that's why there's such a big focus with your guys' organization around simplicity. Right? But I think that from looking at the marketplace, I'm sure you've seen that there can be this kind of rush to, Oh, we need to do this one special different feature. We need to do this one different thing so we can stand out. So really it's important to remember that ultimately it's about delivering a result, right? So things like systems stability, great support, communication, those are vital parts of you delivering that result. And so they're not glamorous. They're not the, you know, Hey, our system is X percent more stable doesn't necessarily get you a feature in Techcrunch. Right? But it is going to be vital for your long term success. And so I think if I was to you know, yeah, kind of distill that down. I would say number one, having patience when you launch new stuff and realizing that sometimes it won't be an absolute game changer overnight. And number two, really making sure that you're tied in with that non-glamorous stuff and that you embrace that as as an important part, even if it isn't PR worthy.

DA (39:57):
Wow. Casey, I could not have said that better myself. That was just an amazing piece of insight there. I absolutely love that. Listen, we're huge fans of simplicity. We understand that features are not silver bullets. We've fallen into that trap before and I think that's what you're talking about. But yes, patience and doing the small things and we understand it takes one step at a time and I think you guys have that exact same philosophy and that's amazing advice. I just want to listen back on that again. It was fantastic. Looking forward here in 2020 anything you're excited about from marketing, video changes, personalization?

CH (40:31):
Yeah, I mean there's, we're always working on a handful of, of new initiatives and new things to kind of, you know, expand out the feature set, but I think the really to me, the major focuses are around education and specificity. I actually a third one, education, specificity and simplicity, right? I think those are three cornerstones that embody where I see us really drilling down in 2020. Education is stuff like the video funnel playbook. Explain the how make this clear, you know, make this something that's highly actionable. Specificity is basically going to be like the niche specific onboarding, right? Making sure that it's very turnkey and tailored to them. And simplicity is honestly maybe the most important part of all of this, which is to say that, you know, just like we were saying with the feature bloat, it doesn't matter what features you have or any other components if people aren't leveraging them.

CH (41:21):
And I see so many enterprise companies that are falling into that trap, you know, go down that road. So we're very dedicated to simplicity. And we realized too that that's also one of the ways that you win against the guys, right? Just again, I keep drawing parallels to you guys at Demio because I feel like you guys have that same ethos of simplicity in your organization, but that's why you'll win relative to some of those big companies that are, you know, say ten the revenue is because you're answering that question of simplicity. And so we're very much dedicated on that same path and trying to say, Hey, we're going to try to deliver this result, which is allow people to get their personal message and their, you know, that human connection out there with personal video. And we're going to try to make this as simple as possible for people to use. And so I think that's our major focus in 2020.

DA (42:07):
Well you guys are doing a great job. It sounds like you are, you know where you're going, you understand the simplicity aspect of it and I'm so excited. I honestly can't wait to use you guys. It sounds like it's going to be an amazing experience, but based on time, what I wanted to do, Casey, is I want to jump over to our lightning round questions. Five quick questions you can answer with the first best thought that comes to mind. You ready to get started?

CH (42:28):

DA (42:29):
All right, let's do this and you need to do awesome. You've been killing it today. What advice do you have for early stage SaaS companies starting marketing today?

CH (42:37):
Yeah, so, so I have, I have a couple. I think the first one is find a niche and get specific. Jason Lumpkin, who I'm a huge fan of from, from the SaaS World. He talks a ton about this where he basically says, look at like you need to drill down and to find that niche. And so one side of this I think is find a niche and get specific. Another thing I think is really important is to make sure that you realize that your first 100 customers will be different from your next 1000. There's a book that I really love called Crossing the Chasm, which I think is kind of a seminal book and kind of the SaaS world, what it basically talks about, this difference between those early adapters and then the regular kind of mainstream customers that you're going to face as you continue to scale.

CH (43:15):
So making sure that you understand the unique challenges of someone who is an early tech adapter and they're excited and if it's a little bit buggy or it has this or this problem, they don't care cause they want to do something new and something kind of exciting. It's different from that mainstream kind of person. And the third one I noticed is lightning around because going through a few, but just a handful of things that I really would love to share with early stage SaaS companies. The third one I would say is to focus on leading indicators, right? Not lagging indicators. So things like basically a net promoter score for NPS, right? Or monthly active users, right? Focusing on metrics like that over revenue or churn numbers is going to allow you to catch those problems in advance. If you have a really low net promoter score or if you have a really low number in terms of your monthly active user percentage, like how active people are then you're going to have those revenue or churn problems down the line. Right? And so one of the things with SaaS is you want to be dynamic, you want to be able to change as quickly as possible. So if you're always waiting to look at revenue numbers or to look at churn numbers, right, then you're going to wait for a problem to develop out. And so that would be my third tip would be really drill in on those leading indicators.

DA (44:24):
I love that man. You are just dropping gold today. This is awesome. What skill do think is vital for marketing teams improve and build on today?

CH (44:33):
Yeah. So I think that for that one, what I would say, I might sound a little cliche, but I really think creativity, there's so much wisdom out there from, from gurus and there's so many growth hacks and there's so many kinds of magic bullets. We were kind of joking about like the silver bullet solution earlier. I think that the reality is that there is no silver bullets, right? And the companies that win are companies that are creative, they're customer centric and they're trying different strategies based on data. So I think that my biggest thing, that I would say to these marketing teams to kind of improve is go out there and test something different. Get creative. If you run with just the run of the mill mainstream stuff, you're going to get run of the mill mainstream results. If you want to break from that mold, you really need to try to put something in place that is going to differentiate you. And so I think that's, that's kind of the angle that I would take.

DA (45:22):
In the ever expanding realm of B2B. SaaS, it's more important than ever to be creative, to differentiate, to have that brand affinity, to really make yourself stand out. I think that's an amazing answer. What about a best educational resource you recommend for learning about marketing or growth?

CH (45:39):
So for me, I love SaaStr. There's a YouTube channel where you can watch tons of videos from people. Hey, how did I go from zero, zero to 10 million ARR, right? Or how did I break through this specific barrier? Or how did I scale my sales team? Or how did I hire the right VP? I am a huge fan again of Jason Lumpkin and everything he's done to kind of curate that community. I'm actually heading to SaaStr conference, at the beginning of next month. And so I'm a huge advocate and that would be my first go to resource, for people that are interested around marketing growth, especially people that are in the SaaS world that are interested in marketing growth.

DA (46:16):
Love SaaStr, an amazing event. Been there numerous times not going this year, but we'll have to catch up next year you there. What about a favorite tool you can't live without?

CH (46:25):
Yeah, so one that we've recently been loving is a tool actually called Notion. So it's like an organizational tool that makes it super easy for us to coordinate on projects, throw together a quick table. it's, I don't even know almost the best way to describe it. It's kind of you know, Excel on steroids where it just makes it very, very easy for us to coordinate across departments on different things that we're working on. And whether that's like projects or new initiatives to share information, to build tables, to look at data. So yeah, that's, that's one Notion that, we've actually put into place fairly recently. But we've really been enjoying what that's kinda brought to us.

DA (47:05):
We moved our entire company in there. Like the entire company Wiki. Everything that we use is now in Notion. It's such a great resource. Highly recommended. And what about a brand or a team that you admire today?

CH (47:15):
So there's a lot of brands and teams that matter, but one that kind of hops to mind off the bat is Twillio. I just am so impressed with the speed, of how fast they've grown out. Their kind of adaptability, how they've pivoted and, and just kind of taken the SMS world by storm. And also the luggers that they've put into place to really make themselves scalable. Right. Having, you know, just their focus around the APIs and around the integration side. I just, there's so many aspects of what Twilio has done there are super impressive and to this day I still deeply regret the fact that I invested a bunch in Twillio and then got out when they went up a little bit and if I would've kept it there now like five X, that investment would have been. So I'm still kicking myself for that mistake. but yeah, they're, they're definitely a team that I respect a lot.

DA (48:12):
When you believe in a company, you got to stay in for the long term man.

CH (48:17):
I went against my own, my own mantra. So, yeah, it's a, that was definitely, definitely a lesson learned.

DA (48:24):
That's funny. No, it's an amazing company. We love Twillio as well. Great company, great brand. Casey, I just want to say thank you again for all your time. This has been an amazing, amazing episode. You've done a great job of really bringing some great tactical and strategic advice. You guys are doing some really great stuff over there and I, and I can't wait to see what's next for you guys.

CH (48:46):
Yeah, thank you so much. I really appreciate you kind of have me on to talk about this. I'm really passionate about video. You know, I love it. I think it's such a cool medium and so, you know, any opportunity I can just kind of share around personal video on the (inaudible) even, you know, system agnostic Bonjoro just the concept of personal video in general, I think is really transformative in this next generation. So I always love having the opportunity to share around it.

DA (49:08):
That's amazing. And you definitely have that passion. I can tell. I love it. So thank you again and we will talk to you soo Casey, have a great day.

CH (49:16):
Thanks a lot David.

DA (49:19):
Huge shout out to Bonjoro and the entire team over there. Casey, thanks so much for jumping on with us sharing so much great knowledge. I love that we went over both strategy and tactical breakdowns of what is working. I know here at Demio we already started talking about some of the lessons learned in this episode and are looking at ways to actually implement this now (...).

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