General Manager of 7-figure SaaS company
A lot of founders start thinking about the advanced tactics before they've even defined product market fit. When we've identified product market fit successfully, growth has come magically — even without ads or marketing. It's possible, and I'll share lessons on how we've done it successfully with a million-dollar SaaS company... and lessons learned when we tried to do it with another business, but it wasn't successful. You can learn from both situations for your own business.
My FAVORITE way to build a business is from $0. We built SendFox to $1 million with $0 in marketing or ad budget. Having no marketing or growth budget might seem like a problem... but it really just requires more creative solutions to grow. And here's a secret: Many of these "secret" free marketing channels are more sustainable than paid platforms, which is subject to the paid platform's latest whim (looking at you, Facebook Ads).
Growing a startup can be so challenging... why do we do this to ourselves?! I've been there. As recently as last year. Grinding and trying to grow a startup when we had no money to spend on advertising or marketing. But we found a way to grow to 7-figures, and a big part of it is mindset. I'll share what I know.
I'm an email marketing NERD. I was the Email Marketing Lead for Student Loan Hero, and helped email marketing become a seven-figure revenue channel for them before being sold to LendingTree. I've also helped lead email marketing for Sumo.com (which has a list of over 1 million subscribers), plus consulted for brands like Degree 33 Surfboards.
I'm the GM of SendFox, which we built from $0 to $1 million in 18 months... with a small three-person team and a zero-dollar marketing and ads budget. Good times! Before that, I was employee #11 and the Email Marketing Lead for Student Loan Hero — which sold to LendingTree for $60 million.
I've used Ahrefs on a blog with over a million visitors per year. We did careful keyword research to find the BEST keywords to target for organic SEO. I'm very comfortable using Ahrefs to identify SEO-focused keywords for blogs and other businesses that want to get more SEO traffic.
I've e-met Laura (the founder of Edgar) a few times over the years, and I've used the Buffer platform for helping blogs and content businesses get more social traffic to their site. I'm familiar with setting up variations, adding a bunch of content, a lot of small optimizations — and of course measuring results.
I used to lead many of the social channels at Fox Corporation when I was a Product Manager for News Corp. To push out messages on social, we were early users of the Buffer platform. To this day, I use Buffer to schedule social messages — and I'm friends with a few Buffer guys so I know the tool extra-well.
As a marketer, my bread-and-butter for measuring how campaigns are performing is within Google Analytics. I'm familiar with tracking marketing results, campaigns, and more within GA. I love GA so much I even use it on my personal site — and have custom alerts set up on it, too!
I've used Infusionsoft for both an ecommerce company and for a marketing thought leader with an email list of 250,000. I've set up campaigns, emails, and everything. I've personally done the work inside of Infusionsoft — I haven't off-shored it — so I can see how it's REALLY done, and can help REALLY guide.
I've used Mailchimp for so many brands — a marketing thought leader with a 100,000+ email list, an ecommerce brand who relied on email marketing for 70%+ of their revenue, my own personal brand. I wasn't off-shoring the work either. I was the one in the weeds of setting up emails and automations.
Have used AWeber to manage an email list of 100,000+. I wasn't off-shoring this either — I was in AWeber every day managing our campaigns, writing emails, setting up automations...
Sumo Labs, part of Sumo Group (AppSumo and Sumo.com). Sumo Labs is the "Google X" division of Sumo Group, and we have two SaaS products I help lead called SendFox and KingSumo.
Employee #11, first full-time marketer, and part of leadership team. Grew email marketing to a seven-figure revenue channel with only one other team member. Then we sold the company to LendingTree for $60 million in cash.
Without a doubt, one of the coolest and most helpful people I've met on GrowthMentor! He went above and beyond my expectations in terms of what we covered, and the advice he shared with me in terms of leading a team and how to prioritize marketing initiatives properly. I highly recommend booking a call with him - and I bet you'll be very happy you did.
My call with David exceeded my expectations by a mile. Not only does he know SaaS marketing at a Jedi-master level, but he is an exceptional listener, and just a fun dude to chat with. He gave me actionable next steps and we made a plan to check in the following week. As a result of the call, I feel like a major psychic weight has been lifted, and I am exponentially more hopeful about attracting clients to my copywriting business. Very much looking forward to my next session with him. Thanks, David!!
I could tell within minutes that David truly loves mentorship. He has an infectious passion for business and for helping startup entrepreneurs strategize and execute with their GoToMarket plans. He is one of the most truly encouraging people I've met in a long time and I am delighted to say that after giving me some action points to execute on regarding email marketing, we will be continuing with our mentor/mentee relationship as I will meet with him soon again so that we can discuss further progress.
David is super friendly, empathetic and enthusiastic! He shared a few very unique approaches to lead generation we can apply he has used successfully. And he helped me identify areas of opportunity that may need some attention. A very informative and valuable call.
Ultra friendly guy, who even makes up time beforehand to read into your situation. This guy understand you AND help you find the solution yourself. I'm definitely inspired by David and hope to talk to him again :).
As always, David is eager to help. This was a very productive session.
This should have been a 6-star review, actually. David went above and beyond this session: we set specific questions in advance, and David prepared answers ahead of time, which was already SO valuable. During the session we went through details and clarified more, so I can't express how much I got out of it. Enough for me to keep implementing for weeks. Thanks David. I'd book this again (multiple times)
David is knowledgeable, patient and very friendly! Our first session was very productive. He was able to give me solid action items to start.