What makes a killer SaaS product? How do you get customers and keep them?
Neil Patel, together with his brother-in-law Hiten Shah, is currently operating three SaaS companies, Crazy Egg, HelloBar, and KISSmetrics. Some of Neil’s clients include such well-known companies as Amazon, NBC, General Motors, HP, and Viacom. Entrepreneur Magazine says that they “created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world.” The Wall Street Journal calls Neil a “top influencer on the web,” and Forbes calls him “one of the top 10 online marketers.” He has been recognized by the United States House of Representatives, President Obama named him one the Top 100 Entrepreneurs Under the Age of 30, and the United Nations has distinguished him as one of the Top 100 Entrepreneurs under the age of 35.
Neil talks about his first businesses and how trying to copy Monster.com led to him learning internet marketing. He talks about borrowing money to start a cloud hosting company before such things existed, losing all of the borrowed money, and paying it back. He discusses why he and Hiten Shah started CrazyEgg and KISSmetrics. He then discusses why SaaS companies need to solve customer problems and provide awesome customer support. He discusses the importance of support and why he keeps all of his in-house. Even today he spends some time fielding customer service calls to stay grounded and connected with his customers. Neil’s advice for retaining your clients is to keep them happy and provide them with SaaS solutions they can’t live without.
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- [spp-timestamp time=”01:50″] Ron introduces Neil Patel.
- [spp-timestamp time=”02:40″] Entrepreneurship was in Neil’s blood.
- [spp-timestamp time=”03:25″] Neil started his first business as a freshman in high school.
- [spp-timestamp time=”04:35″] Set his sights on becoming an Oracle consultant when he didn’t even know what Oracle was.
- [spp-timestamp time=”05:10″] Neil began to look for jobs as an Oracle consultant on Monster.com but ended up analyzing Monster.com’s business model. What did he learn?
- [spp-timestamp time=”06:00″] Neil learned that he needed to drive traffic to his website and how to do it.
- [spp-timestamp time=”06:45″] Neil applied himself and learned Internet marketing.
- [spp-timestamp time=”06:55″] Neil compares Internet marketing to the presidential election system.
- [spp-timestamp time=”07:20″] People who provide a good product or service tend to win.
- [spp-timestamp time=”07:30″] Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
- [spp-timestamp time=”08:05″] Neil shares how he acquired a client for $3,500 a month from a talk about how search engines work in a college class.
- [spp-timestamp time=”08:50″] Neil begins to partner with Hiten Shah. They start an Internet ad agency.
- [spp-timestamp time=”09:30″] They began to invest in a cloud hosting company before there were such things and lost a lot of borrowed money that he had to pay back himself.
- [spp-timestamp time=”10:05″] Neil and Hiten transition to CrazyEgg.
- [spp-timestamp time=”10:30″] What was the painful problem CrazyEgg was designed to solve?
- [spp-timestamp time=”11:20″] How did they make CrazyEgg profitable?
- [spp-timestamp time=”12:10″] What’s the best way to ensure that you venture into a good SaaS product?
- [spp-timestamp time=”12:15″] SaaS is all about solving a problem.
- [spp-timestamp time=”12:40″] They wanted to tackle a larger problem with KISSmetrics
- [spp-timestamp time=”13:50″] What advice does Neil have for SaaS entrepreneurs considering taking on investors?
- [spp-timestamp time=”14:45″] Neil wants to share what he has learned with others.
- [spp-timestamp time=”15:10″] What is Quick Sprout?
- [spp-timestamp time=”15:35″] Neil’s long-term goal is to work with non-profits.
- [spp-timestamp time=”16:05″] Neil believes awesome products and killer support are the key to a good SaaS product.
- [spp-timestamp time=”16:25″] What is awesome support?
- [spp-timestamp time=”16:45″] Support response should be fast, accurate, concise, clear, and actionable for the other party.
- [spp-timestamp time=”16:55″] Solve as much as you can on your end before reaching out to the customer.
- [spp-timestamp time=”17:00″] Neil keeps all of his support in-house because it is too important to outsource.
- [spp-timestamp time=”17:10″] Neil personally deals with support on a weekly basis because it helps him understand pain points.
- [spp-timestamp time=”17:35″] The best SaaS product is a subscription-based model.
- [spp-timestamp time=”18:15″] Neil is a fan of the freemium model to get customers in and upsell a portion of them.
- [spp-timestamp time=”18:40″] Always keep learning.
- [spp-timestamp time=”18:55″] Neil recommends Moz blog, Search Engine Land, Quick Sprout blog, and the KISSmetrics blog as valuable resources.
- CrazyEgg – heat maps to see what people are doing on your website.
- KISSmetrics – “key insights and timely interactions to turn visitors into customers.”
- KISSmetrics blog – “a blog about analytics, marketing, and testing.”
- Moz blog – “The industry’s top wizards, doctors, and other experts offer their best advice, research, how-tos, and insights—all in the name of helping you level-up your SEO and online marketing skills.”
- Quick Sprout – Neil’s personal website.
- Quick Sprout blog – Neil’s blog on Quick Sprout.
- Quick Sprout University – Neil provides resources to learn about online market subjects like SEO, link building, content marketing, social media, paid advertising, email marketing, reputation management, and conversion optimization.
- SaaSBusinessPodcast.com – this podcast’s website.
- Search Engine Land – all about search engines including current events.
See the Resources page for a consolidated list of resources from all episodes and more.
*Disclosure: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you purchase through these links. These commissions help to cover the cost of producing the podcast. I am affiliated only with companies I know and trust to deliver what you need. In most cases, affiliate links are to products and services I currently use or have used in the past. I would not recommend these resources if I did not sincerely believe that they would help you. I value you as a visitor/customer far more than any small commission I might earn from recommending a product or service. I recommend many more resources with which I am not affiliated than affiliated. In most cases where there is an affiliation, I will note it, but affiliations come and go and the notes may not keep up.