What I did on Day 1 at AppealTrack

Today was officially day 1 with AppealTrack. I’m preparing to crush it with this great SaaS company (thanks again for the intro, Dustin). We’re well beyond minimum viable product (MVP) with a mature feature set and growing customer base. Now it’s time to step on the gas and scale new business.

My friends at Expected Behavior challenged me last year to look for ways to multiply myself without hiring more people. Instead of throwing copious amounts of time and effort at a challenge (energy is more valuable than you think in a small team), it is better to stop, think about what you’re trying to solve, and then engineer a system to automate the solution. This logic is most certainly true for software, but it also applies to sales & marketing.

Marketing Automation

Closing new business requires a sales pipeline of qualified prospective customers. And qualified prospects are obtained by either inbound or outbound marketing. Personally I’m a fan of inbound leads, which are people who find you and to some degree are aware of what you do. So over the next few months I’ll be rolling out a content strategy to attract people to AppealTrack’s tax appeal software. But first I need a system that will automatically deliver this content for me.

It turns out that there are A LOT of options out there, especially when I broaden my search to include disparate tools that meet my requirements for various content channels. I’ve interviewed 5 marketing experts whom I highly respect. In fact, I even called the smart folks at PaperlessPipeline.com today to ask them how they boostrapped their amazing company with savvy educational drip content. Pretty much no two answers to how to approach marketing automation were the same.

Fortunately our founder, Doug, is an expert in technical requirements analysis and decision-making (that’s how he stumbled upon the idea for AppealTrack tax appeal software). Together we created the following criteria:

  • Price
  • Volume constraints
  • Contact management integration
  • Other integration
  • Analytics/Reporting
  • Ease of Use/Complexity
  • Support
  • Email Drip/Nurture
  • Landing Pages
  • Contract Term

Most SaaS companies get this wrong with their marketing

The first mistake that SaaS companies make is not marketing at all. The second mistake is a failure to plan. Planning is annoying. It’s time-consuming. You get to the end of a day like today and feel like you’ve accomplished nothing. But constructing an automated system based on unchanging requirements will allow us to focus our time on what matters most – taking care of all our new customers.

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