One of the key benefits to product-led growth (PLG) is increased customer acquisition at a decreased cost - it’s a beautiful thing. By providing potential customers an easy, frictionless way to evaluate your product, you enable them to quickly decide if your product is like Goldilocks and feels just right.
PLG companies rely on their product to do the heavy lifting of showing its value to potential buyers autonomously. It’s not just more efficient - it’s also what buyers want. Today’s software buyers would rather self-educate while they discover a product rather than go through a lengthy sales-driven process. With this in mind, proactively helping buyers find valuable information about your product throughout their unique journey is a key ingredient to your company’s growth.
As a new MarTech company launching in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been Cobomba’s early-stage mission to control our customer acquisition costs (CAC) while effectively saying HELLO WORLD. This post will share a portion of our product and company growth strategy which led us to launching Cobomba with:
- A frictionless free-trial experience
- Event-driven/automated user communication capability
- Invaluable tools we’ve used along the way
The Magical World of Low-Code / No-Code SaaS Platforms
Low-code / no-code is a visual approach to software development. According to Mendix, low-code / no-code abstracts and automates every step of the application lifecycle to enable rapid delivery of software solutions. Think of content management systems like WordPress or more recently, WebFlow, which make building a powerful website a cake-walk for non-technical resources with their simple drag n’ drop capabilities.
Low-code/no-code development platforms empower both technical and non-technical resources to build and/or enhance production-level solutions. Twenty years ago, enterprise systems were implemented by hundreds of consultants and experts at a multi-million dollar cost, points out Simon Chan, Founder and CEO, DigiVue Consulting. Now with low-code / no-code, the same systems can be implemented by smaller players at a fraction of the price and in a fraction of the time. Internet, Cloud and social media, has leveled the playing field.
While the technical underpinnings of Cobomba are comprised of highly-customized code, we have selected a handful of low-code/no-code SaaS tools to quickly enhance our platform capabilities. The enhanced functionality provided by these solutions allow us to increase our customer acquisition while keeping costs down.
Appcues helps Cobomba provide a rich onboarding experience that presents targeted content to users as they interact with the platform. We have instrumented Cobomba to trigger in-app tips, tricks, and bite-sized help videos that are presented at optimized intervals. As a user performs specific activities (events), Appcues instantly presents a predefined flow of information.
We use Zapier to connect Cobomba to other cloud-based services (ex. HubSpot). Micro-integrations, known as Zaps, are capable of pushing and pulling data from one platform to another. At Cobomba, we trigger these Zaps in real-time based on predefined events or on a smart timer.
Klipfolio offers a powerful dashboarding and analytics solution, which we use to ingest many of our favorite SaaS tool ‘digital fumes’ and transform them into critical KPIs. Klipfolio is also able to query enterprise-level databases and make REST API calls which indefinitely expands its flexibility to ingest data.
These solutions are rather affordable when comparing what it would cost to engage talented software engineers to create similar integrations and automation through custom code development.
Autonomously Providing our Buyer a Product Self-Education
When a prospective customer converts on our free trial page, we know there’s still plenty of work to do. To continue to support prospective customers that are curious about our platform, it's important that we deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. Our model orients, proactively informs, and supports the new user before they even have to ask. We do this through our adoption of Event-Driven Architecture (EDA).
EDA is a software development methodology for building applications that asynchronously communicate and/or integrate with other applications via events. We currently leverage EDA to promote event-driven user communication. PLG has taught us how essential it is to provide new trialers with effective, proactive (and reactive) communication throughout their product discovery journey.
Providing white-glove service to our new trial subscribers is critical to our growth. Doing so through intelligent automation is scalable. Let’s explain: user behaviors on Cobomba are processed as events that trigger external apps (e.g. Appcues, Zapier, and HubSpot) to facilitate real-time, targeted, and personalized communication with our users. With Appcues, we deliver a rich new user onboarding experience that quickly orients the user through our free trial and shepherds them through Cobomba’s most valuable activities.
Combining Appcues + Zapier has increased our event-based communication capability. Events that are triggered by the user are instantly shipped to Appcues which trigger a variety of Zaps (Zapier). These Zaps securely push and pull key user data to/from external systems which dramatically enhance the level of personalized and timely communications with our users.
The following is a powerful example that illuminates how Cobomba, through EDA and our use of external low-code / no-code solutions, is able to autonomously deliver the right information to the right people at the right time:
When Cobomba detects that a user performs ‘X’ and ‘Y’, but not ‘Z’ within a predefined time frame:
- A Zapier automation is triggered
- The Zap dives into our operational database and grabs relevant info for the user
- The Zap triggers HubSpot to send a series of personalized communications to that specific user
These automated communications provide a peek at the valuable data waiting for the potential buyer and serve as a motivator to continue to explore Cobomba. We have defined a number of use cases that leverage this type of event-driven communication. These automations run 24x7 providing the necessary information to buyers that are looking to be self-educated on our product.
User Behavior Analytics
PLG places significant emphasis on measurement in order to identify real moments of truth that lead to company growth. At Cobomba, every key interaction is processed as an event and consumed by the tools mentioned above. The data is aggregated and presented in a variety of delightful Klipfolio-powered dashboards aligned to both leadership and support needs. The events that our tools capture and report on empower us to make data-driven product decisions and ultimately optimize our outreach to the market.
Since EDA enables a platform to deliver data in real-time, we are able to capture highly accurate user behavior statistics. We’ve constructed our own time-to-value tool which summarizes exactly how long it takes each user to interact with our most valuable features. Having visibility into this level of user behavior provides us decision support to decrease time-to-value and increase customer conversions.
Product-led growth has helped shape our approach to growing our newly launched company. Utilizing an Event-Driven architecture has enabled us to digitally marry select low-code / no-code SaaS tools with our main platform to extend our capabilities with minimal effort and cost. The Cobomba team is able to do more with less in its mission to empower content marketers to plan high-quality content with the power of AI.