SaaS Growth: Video Ads Perform 2x – 3x Better

“We normally focus on the higher traffic channels like Adwords and Facebook and have found that to work well for us when we’re continuously optimizing. Video ads generally perform 2-3X better for us than image and text.”

 

Written by Sterling Sweeney: Published Jan 19th, 2020 | Updated Jan 19th, 2020.

Sterling Sweeney is a growth hacker and the driving force behind WhalePages, a SaaS marketing agency. Today, he sits down with Harmonie Spalding from Flow to talk about Flow’s growth so far.

 

6 Minute Read

One year and 40,000 lines of code later…

Today, WhalePages was fortunate enough to chat with Harmonie Spalding from Flow, a digital project management platform, to discuss Flow’s growth journey so far.

So let’s jump into the interview!

Hi there and thanks for joining us today. Kick off the interview by telling us a little bit more about Flow. What was it that triggered you to move forward with development and turn your project from an idea into a reality?

Hello! Thanks for chatting with us. Flow is a project management software where teams can manage their tasks, projects, timelines and communication in one beautifully designed workspace. We were originally founded in Victoria, Canada but our team is now 100% distributed throughout Canada and the US. We believe work shouldn’t be confined to a specific location so we empower our team to work from where they feel they thrive best. In 2020, it will be exactly 10 years ago that we built Flow for companies just like us that are looking for seamless collaboration. We’re proud to say that our customers are the most ambitious organizations in the world — like Apple, Red Bull, Shopify, TED, and Yale.

How long did it take you to develop a first version / MVP? What did the MVP development process look like?

The first version of Flow took just under a year to develop and was roughly 40,000 lines of code. At that time, we had a team of 9 people that consisted of both developers and designers. Check out our first ever promo video here.

What have been some of the biggest product decisions you’ve needed to make as a company? Have you ever had to pivot or change your offering? How has Flow changed over time?

Flow started as a simple task app. We later moved into being a multi-use project management tool. We’ve gone through various designs changes but generally, the functionality and features are what have changed the most. For our 10 year anniversary, we’ll be launching Flow X — a completely rebuilt Flow with a long list of exciting improvements (shameless plug 🙂 )

Are you self funded or do you have outside backing (VCs, angels etc). What are the pros / cons of your funding path?

We’re completely bootstrapped. Luckily, the folks who founded Flow (Tiny), also start, purchase and invest in various other companies.

As time has gone on, what have proven to be your best customer acquisition channels?

Customer referrals/word of mouth make up large portion of our customer acquisition. SEO/content strategies have also worked well for us.

How do paid ads fit into your growth program? How have paid ads performed for you?

We normally focus on the higher traffic channels like Adwords and Facebook and have found that to work well for us when we’re continuously optimizing. Video ads generally perform 2-3X better for us than image and text.

If you have an affiliate / partner program, how important has your program been to your company’s growth?

We don’t at the moment, but it’s on our roadmap to launch an affiliate program next year.

What’s a “must read” book for SaaS entrepreneurs?

A couple good ones on our shelf are The Hard Thing About Building Hard Things by Ben Horowitz and The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.

When you were first starting out, how did you go about onboarding your first customers? What were the main channels you found your first customers through?

Word of mouth was the main source getting customers to try us. Our sister company, Metalab, had already established a reputation for its design work and a lot of people were eager to try out a task app that had been designed and built with a bit more consideration and polish.

What was the single hardest development challenge you faced early on? How did you overcome those obstacles.

Back in 2010 things were a lot different when it came to websites. For perspective, IE8 had just been released the previous year, Chrome had only been around for a few years, and the iPhone 4 wasn’t released until mid 2010. From the start, Flow needed to be responsive and fast to use, while also able to handle a lot of tasks and other data. The pre-release version of Flow went through a few different iterations as we experimented with different tools and frameworks before landing on Backbone.js + Handlebars + Thorax to help us manage data and build the interface.

Thank you greatly for taking the time to chat with our SaaS blog readers today about Flow. We truly appreciate it. To our readers, if you’d like to learn more about Flow, you can follow them on Twitter or head over to their website here

Written by Sterling Sweeney: Published Jan 19th, 2020 | Updated Jan 19th, 2020.

Sterling Sweeney is a growth hacker and the driving force behind WhalePages, a company that grows SaaS websites. So, if you have a SaaS company and you’re kinda into things like website traffic and increasing your MRR, then our SaaS growth boxes are probably for you.

 

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