Everyone’s running webinars right now. I can almost guarantee that you’ve watched at least a couple during your quarantine, am I right?
Now the problem is, many of these webinars have zero substance to them. As a SaaS marketer or founder, I’m sure you know how valuable webinars can be. But many of you don’t know how to do them right.
Enter Leadfeeder and their CMO Andy. They’ve been putting together some fantastic webinars over the last month or so that are driving thousands of attendees, hundreds of qualified signups and more importantly a tonne of value for the audience.
In this episode, Andy breaks down exactly what his team’s approach is to creating and promoting these webinars.
Andy describes himself as a marketer stuck in a sales person’s body. He knows that the only way to achieve revenue growth is through sales and marketing alignment. He has close to a decade of experience marketing SaaS companies and has been the CMO at Leadfeeder since November 2019.
Please note: We edit the transcript below for a better reading experience.
Dylan: [00:00:00] Hello everyone. Welcome to this week’s episode of The SaaS Marketing Show. I’m excited about this one. I’m joined with Andy Culligan, who is the CMO at Leadfeeder, the company where I used to work. For anyone that doesn’t know, Leadfeeder is a sales and marketing tool for performance-driven teams, that allows them to generate more leads by seeing exactly which company has been on the website, how they found you, what they’ve been interested in, how they’re visiting the site.
Andy, welcome to the show. We’re really pleased to have you here.
Andy: [00:00:35] Thanks very much, and thanks for the invite. I’m excited to be here.
Dylan: [00:00:38] Okay. So today we’re going to be talking specifically about how you guys have responded to this current situation in the wild, and off the back of that, how you’ve been driving really impressive numbers of webinar signups because you’ve been talking about that a lot on LinkedIn. We’re going to deep dive into how you’ve been doing that, but also what the strategy is behind these webinars and how useful they’ve been for the business.
But before jumping into that, let’s just talk a little bit about Leadfeeder. You joined the team what, about six or seven months ago?
Andy: [00:01:06] We’re in April now, so I’m coming into my sixth month now with Leadfeeeder. Yeah.
Dylan: [00:01:13] Awesome.
So Leadfeeder raised a Series A in April of last year, so 2019, €3.1M. So that was from Endeit Capital, Superhero Capital and Vendep Capital. You just said to me that we can share some MRR numbers and paying client numbers. Maybe you could just set the scene as to roughly where you guys are at, in terms of some of those key metrics.
Andy: [00:01:34] Yeah, absolutely. So, in terms of MRR, we look at everything MRR-focused. So we’re just north of half a million in MRR right now, at those 5,000 paying customers. On top of that, then we have about 45,000 users. Within those users, we also have freemium users, so people that are using the product for free, which is also something that we offer. So we have 45,000, 5,000 of which are paying.
Dylan: [00:01:59] Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that.
Before we jump into webinar strategy and how you guys are responding, I think it’d be really cool to hear, not just for me personally, but for everyone else too, how the team is structured from a marketing and a growth standpoint. So what does your marketing team look like and how do you collaborate with the sales team and the growth team?
Andy: [00:02:20] First and foremost, I would say that marketing and sales are very well-aligned to Leadfeeder. It’s something that I focus on typically anyway because I make the marketing targets revenue-focused targets.
So when we talk about growth, we’ll always talk about growth and revenue, rather than growth of lead generation or growth of signups or growth of leads or NQLs or something like that. I’m less concerned about the growth at the top of funnel, but more concerned about the growth at the bottom of the funnel, which typically gets me well-aligned with the Head of Sales.
Our Head of Sales is our CRO, Jaakko. Myself and Jaakko probably speak 10 times a day, I would say. All hours of the day, 10 times a day, regardless if something’s happening. If we’re seeing some trends, hourly trends or something in the data, then we have to do something about that, myself and Jaakko are on it. So from that perspective, really well-aligned.
I would say another thing that we focus on from a marketing perspective is trying to keep a lean in of team. I try not to make rocket science out of things, I try to keep things relatively simple. So some things that I’ve brought in at Leadfeeder are focused on account-based marketing, and that’s in alignment with the outbound strategy that we’re currently building.
So as you imagine, when you were at Leadfeeder, it was very much focused on inbound. That hasn’t changed per se, but we have also introduced an outbound team. The outbound team are being built in the Nordics and then also in the US for building an outbound team right now. We thought they’re going to need some support from a marketing perspective, and I’ve just put it quite simply. It’s like, if the outbound team have a list of accounts that they’re targeting, then I should also be targeting those same list of accounts from a marketing perspective.
I’ve got a couple of people, so I have a guy that’s focused on our paid marketing strategy. He will help out with the ABM piece. Then I also have a guy that’s just focused primarily on the ABM piece and building data out. But it’s quite simple to say, what are the profilese that we want to target? What type of content do we need to, in order to target those profiles, create gated pieces of content and push it out on channels like LinkedIn?
We also need to make sure that we’re getting the right up-to-date data from the sales team and making sure it is a good process there. So there’s two people there that are managing them. One of them is also managing the inbound piece. So Dara is managing both inbound from the paid perspective, as well as managing some of the stuff from ABM. Jonny is managing primarily just the ABM piece.
Then I’ve got somebody that’s managing content overall, which is looking after organic, as well as helping out with things like, creating the right content for the right personas for the ABM as well. Anna’s role would be to focus on growing that organic traffic on a monthly basis, as well as focusing on creating new content for the sales team to push out for the ABM piece, as well the stuff that we can push out is on LinkedIn.
Then on top of that, I also have a developer on the team that’s focused on building out, for example, the website and different landing pages and stuff that we need around that. Then I have another person that’s there to focus on the figures around how things are converting. So Dominic is very much focused on the website; how the website is performing, what we can be doing to get better performance out of the site. Because typically on any given month, we get about 90,000 users on the site. So how can we be converting more of those users into signups or trials or converting them with more lead generation content, for example? How do we make sure that our lead generation content isn’t cannibalizing our signup, for example? How do we get around that? Things like that, Dominic would be focused on.
On top of that, then I have somebody focus on customer marketing to make sure that we’re not losing customers because of any marketing efforts that we’re doing. So let’s say, like a mix up in communication.
So we currently use a number of tools to push out an email. So when people sign up for trial, they’re getting an email from one system. Whereas, when they’re a paying customer, they might get an email from another system. Those two systems could be, for example, Intercom and Natero. Natero being a customer success tool, versus Intercom, which is a tool which is used across all stages in the life cycle. Then we’d also have our marketing tool, which would also be an active campaign, for example. So how do all of those different tools integrate with one another? How do we make sure that the emails that are going out are in line with one another and all of the columns are in line?
So that’s the entire team. It’s not a massive team. In previous roles, I’ve led larger teams. With Leadfeeder, to be honest with you, in terms of what our strategy is and how we want to churn out content and how we get things rolling, it’s a bit all-hands-on-deck, but everybody has a specific role. That’s how it works.
Dylan: [00:07:04] Awesome. Thank you for breaking that down and explaining that too. Because I think people often find that interesting, especially if they’re maybe an earlier stage startup when they’re trying to build out their marketing division or team or arm. There’s so many different options out there for which route to go down.
Yesterday, I did a podcast interview with someone from a company called Bonjoro. Oliver, their Head of Marketing and Growth, he was talking about how they really pushed hard on affiliate marketing to grow from the outset. There’s people like Leadfeeder and you guys who really relied heavily on inbound to begin with and content marketing. There’s some people that go outbound from the start. So I think it’s useful for people to find out how different things are structured, but then also to see that you don’t necessarily need this giant team at the point that you guys are at. You can do everything with a more finely tuned and specific team, rather than having to build that out loads and loads of people and training those people up. So I like the way that you guys have things set up.
Andy: [00:08:00] I agree. I think it’s about not trying to do all of the things, but do some of the things well.
I think at the moment it’s a little bit tricky with that, so my team wants to kill me at the moment because of how things are. Because I’m jumping from one thing to the next, just trying to combat what the current world situation is. But I think they understand that it’s needed and we’ll get to the success that we’ve seen in some of these things in a couple of minutes, I guess. It’s been necessary to be able to pivot.
Dylan: [00:08:28] For sure. So let’s dive into that then. Let’s talk about how you guys have adapted or changed things from your perspective over the last three, four weeks.
Now, I don’t need us to go ultra specific on how everything has changed for you guys. Because ironically, I know that one of the webinars that you did originally was titled, “Tearing up the Playbook: How Leadfeeder Marketing Has Adapted to the New Normal.” I haven’t checked, but if there’s like a replay of that available or something, if people want to check that, I’m sure they can go ahead and do that.
So I want to talk just top-level about maybe one or two of the things that you’ve changed, and then, because I know webinars is a big part of that, so I want to go into those specifically. But tell me, as a CMO, how your thoughts have changed as to how you approach marketing at this point in time? Are you going heavier on brand, less so on real lead generation content? If you are doing lead generation content, how do you make sure you’re not doing shitty lead generation content and just not changing anything? How are you guys approaching things at the moment?
Andy: [00:09:29] I think you need to look at what’s useful to people. This is something that you should be doing all the time, in any case. What would people actually want to digest at the moment, rather than proper old school lead generation top of funnel down their throat. It should be stuff that people can walk away and do something actionable with, I think that’s the main point is. I’ve always tried to introduce that in anything that I’m doing, but you lose sight of the actionable or actionability. I don’t know what the right word is there, but the thing that somebody can take away and start doing immediately with their team is something that I’d always had in sight in the past.
So whenever I did something large, from an event perspective, if we were running our own event or if I was doing a webinar or if I was giving out a white paper, I’d want to have something in there that somebody would be able to take away and actually use. Because I think a lot of the times, I’ve been in this situation where I’ve downloaded something and I’m like, “Well, that is just pure lead gen magnet there and I’m not learning anything from this. There’s no template for me to use off the back of this to tell me how to do better cold calls or better cold emails or something. It’s just giving me blah, blah.” So that was the first thing that we started to discuss as a team.
When we say ‘Tearing up the Playbook’, we really did tear up the playbook. Because I sat down with Anna, who is the Head of Content, and I was like, “What are you working on?” She said, “Well, I’m cleaning up these old blog posts because we need to make sure that they’re clean, and there’s all these other teams that we want to be discussing over the next couple of months.” I said, “Stop all that. Focus on the situation at hand right now.”
So typically, organic growth is always a longterm strategy. Right now, we are trying to focus on fixing up the old content and so on and do a bit of that, but at the same time, what are the content pieces that people want to read right now? How do we drive that traffic right now? At the same time, keeping an eye on the numbers, making sure that we are driving the right amount of traffic, as well as maybe the amount of signups, for example.
Like you mentioned, I don’t need to get into any detail, but you did mention that webinar that we did with the marketing team a couple of weeks ago. You’ll find that on YouTube and it brings you through exactly what we done, step-by-step, exactly what each little team within the marketing division is doing right now in order to combat. So go have a look at that to get exact details of what we did there. But a lot of chopping and changing, a lot of pausing of budgets, and at the same time, the pausing of budgets funnily enough hasn’t had any impact on the numbers.
Dylan: [00:12:07] Cool. So yeah, I’ll make sure, wherever anyone’s either watching or listening to this, I’ll put the link to that YouTube video in the show notes if you’re on iTunes or Spotify or wherever, and in the description on YouTube.
Now let’s talk about, I’ve seen you over the last four or five days sharing some cool pictures and numbers around some of the webinars that you’re doing. I know that there was one where, I don’t know if this was all the same webinar, but it was, launched this 24 hours ago and there were already 600 people signed up. Then the next day there was a post from you saying now there’s a 1,000, and then the next day there was one saying now there’s 1,800. Of course, they’re not all going to show up, but a lot of people would love to have the attention of that many people on one of the webinars or content pieces that they’re doing.
So let’s talk about in a second, specifically how you’ve done that. But first, I want to touch on, for you guys, these webinars, what’s the ultimate goal from these? From looking at the titles of them, I know this was maybe one based on outbound sales during COVID-19 or something like that. So of course, it’s a branding play too, because we’re getting more eyes on you. But I’m guessing, topics like this, based on what you guys do, I’m sure all this is generating leads for the business as well that are pretty good. So maybe talk to us a bit about how you approach these, how you come up with the ideas, and what impact they’re having on the business at the moment?
Andy: [00:13:32] Okay. So yeah, the topics obviously are driving a lot of attention. So from our business perspective, let’s talk about it. I think we need to be sure here in terms of what’s in that content. I always keep this in mind that the strongest pitch is no pitch at all. So in these webinars, I tend not to pitch the product. I mention the product and I mention that what the product does, and if people aren’t familiar with the product, they can go check it out. Our followup afterwards then asks people, “Hey, if you want to sign up for a free trial, here’s the link”, and we can maybe extend those free trials a little bit, for example, what we’ve done sometimes.
The impact of that on the business, it’s a couple of things. So internally, I joined at a time where sales people are a little bit concerned and a little bit worried about things. We’ve managed to create a lot of rah-rah in the team. People are excited about it, and sales people are texting me the night before saying, “Oh, tomorrow we’re going to launch a rocket ship.” So the sales people are getting really involved and really excited about it. That’s why I’m posting all these numbers and stuff on LinkedIn as well, so that our team as well is getting excited about it and getting proud about the brand and so on, and also sharing it, so you get broader exposure then.
Then from the overall lead generation perspective, we’ve seen signups off the back of that. So off the back of that, we’ve gotten 2,000 signups from the webinar that you’re speaking about here from last week. I’ve done some numbers on it and so on. If we manage to even do a pessimistic amount of signups off the back of that, it would still equate to what we’re typically doing in one day across the business right now. So just from that one effort, if I take the pessimistic version of the number of people that will sign up for a trial off the back of that, then it will be equating probably a little bit more than what we’re bringing in through all other channels in one day.
So from a business perspective, they make sense for the immediate need. I think for the longterm need, and is this teaching element? So for people that are either in existing pipeline, it enables the sales team to have a torch. So the whole point of all of this different content that we’re pushing out at the moment is to give sales some fuel to use to be able to reach out to either new prospects or existing prospects.
So if they’re an existing prospect, they can say, “Hey, by the way, we’re teaching people how to keep focused on outbounds during this time and give you some tips and takeaways. Here’s a link, go register. We don’t need to talk about your specific opportunity right now with us, but go have a look at this.” So it keeps them engaged. At the same time, for complete new stuff, it enables the guys in the outbound team to do some outreach and get that initial torch, because they’re having the same issues on the clients like everybody’s having right now. So they’d say, “Well, this is a learning opportunity for me. How can I see some actionable takeaways that I can do, that are provided by Leadfeeder, for me to really capitalize on?”
So with that, you’re helping people. You’re not driving people to get into the opportunity pipeline with you or to move them further down the pipeline, you are helping them. So that’s the longterm play. So most of our sales team have even said it to me, the great thing about these things is keeping Leadfeeder top of mind for people that are already in the pipeline. And then when we come out of this thing, which we will come out in a couple of months time, that people will remember and say, “Oh yeah, on a weekly basis, Leadfeeder were doing this with me and they were helping me with alleviating this specific problem or need that I had. Therefore, I’m going to put them above others that I’m looking at for that specific solution.”
Dylan: [00:17:26] Yeah, for sure. That makes so much sense. There’s so many different touch-points involved in a sales. Not just a sales conversation, but a conversion, the way that someone finds out about you guys and then sees a piece of content, and then maybe speaks to a salesperson, does a demo, sees this, sees that. Especially now, more than ever, it’s more important to be top of mind of those people or to be expanding on brand right now too. There’s an opportunity to do that instead of hiding away like most people are doing and going into churn reduction mode, which I understand from one perspective, but really now’s the time where if you do something good, it’s very easy to stand out from people that are just posting the same stuff or not doing anything at all. So yeah, I totally get it. It’s really cool.
How are you guys going about the promotion of these webinars at the moment. How are you driving up this interest? Is it all from your own email list? Is it partnering with other people, because I know I’ve seen other guest speakers? How are you doing things?
Andy: [00:18:25] So the guest speakers are ones that have worked at really well, particularly the one from last week, Aaron. So Aaron Ross is the guy that we did it with last week. When I asked him, I said, “Oh, Aaron, this has been probably good for you too”, because I know Aaron for a while. I said, “It’s probably been good for you the past couple of weeks, to not be on the road so much.” He said, “Yeah, it’s been nice.” Before that, he was in Brazil and he was doing a keynote there at a large conference. He said, “Yeah, it’s funny, in Brazil I’m like the David Hasselhoff of Brazil” is what they call him. So I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but he’s super-famous, so he’s known worldwide. It just so happened that I’ve done some business with Aaron in the past. He actually reached out to me saying, “Hey, I’ve seen your content. Maybe there’s room for us to do something together.” I said, “Yeah, that sounds great.” So I just jumped on that opportunity. I said, “Okay, let’s do a webinar.” I spoke with his team and we put a webinar in the calendar real quick and just said, “Okay, well let’s get it on ASAP.”
So from a partner perspective, that’s been the most important thing I think in driving those high numbers. Whereas, Aaron has obviously been able to ping his database. He’s got his own company, Predictable Revenue. So they’ve been able to send it out back to their database, which is very much within our ideal customer profile as well, because it’s all sales teams and that’s who we sell to. Then our own database, which we have about 40,000 opt-in prospects in. And then also to our own customer base as well, which I mentioned before, which is 45,000 users. So yeah, we used our own data quite heavily for it.
On top of that, quite a lot came in from LinkedIn. You’ve been seeing my LinkedIn posts. So I’ve been doing, as I said, a lot of rah-rah within the company to try to get people really excited about it, and people have been pushing it out. So we’ve got this thing in Leadfeeder, whenever somebody shares something on social, we then share it with everybody else and make sure that people are liking and sharing it. Simple enough.
On top of that then, we did some paid, but not much. I think for that webinar that we did last week, we’ve probably spent like $300 on Facebook, and we were typically getting a signup for $5 a piece. So there were 60 signups or something like that, that we got from Facebook, which is working pretty well . But generally, it’s been the organic piece, it’s been really utilizing social pretty well, sharing it via Facebook. We have our own user group on Facebook as well, which I posted some videos into that I asked people to get involved, which we got some people in as well. Then me sharing it, all the senior leadership team sharing it on LinkedIn, getting the rest of the team to share it on LinkedIn, and then the use of the email. Pretty simple, there’s been no rocket science behind it at all.
Half the reason I posted this stuff on LinkedIn is because, honestly, I was shocked myself. People are like, “Oh, what did you do? Tell me exactly what you did on the landing page?” I was like, “The landing page is shit. The landing page is nothing special. It’s classic, just a landing page that has been given to us by the webinar provider.” So it’s been nothing crazy.
Dylan: [00:21:37] Yeah. You say that it’s been nothing crazy, but this is the result of years of building a brand and doing good marketing and actually helping people, and then all the other work that you’ve done then leads up to something like this, and that’s what people miss sometimes. It’s like, “Oh, there has to be this secret sauce or whatever.” But that’s the power of building that brand, building that audience, having a relationship with them, and then ultimately putting together something that people actually give a shit about. Because that’s the thing that most people do. Usually in marketing, a webinar is an after-thought. It’s like, “Oh, let’s just throw a webinar in there”, and it’s like half an hour or an hour of either a complete pitch fest of just content that’s regurgitated and not useful to anybody.
So I definitely think, just from everything that you’ve said so far, there’s a ton of takeaways that people can utilize. The key one that stands out to me is making content that people actually care about. If you can find someone that is also a good partner with something like this in a webinar, where they share their target audience with you and they have a good size audience, then yeah, that’s great. But also, you don’t have to go down that route.
I think the thing that you said about LinkedIn and social is really important too, and especially getting the team involved. Because I know there’ll be some people listening going, “Oh wow, they have a list of like 40,000 people or whatever, so it’s easier for them.” Of course that helps, but there’s still loads of other stuff that you’ve been doing. If you didn’t have a list, like if you had no email lists, you can still go and be actively promoting this kind of stuff on LinkedIn. It’s so easy to get in front of people there. We launched the podcast and the only promotion we’ve done is like a few video clips about it on LinkedIn, and it’s driving hundreds and soon thousands of downloads. So it’s really simple, but most people just don’t go down that route. Getting the team involved, being actively sharing is a really good one too.
To be honest, I think everything that you’ve shared so far is valuable enough in itself that we could probably start to wrap things up here. So I just have one more question for you, and then we’ll wrap this up.
If someone is thinking about, “Okay, we’re a SaaS company right now and have these options. Shall we do a webinar? Shall we be doing more content? Should we be doing more outbound?” What have you seen? It sounds like webinars are a big point of this for you, but what would your advice be to say, maybe give this a go? Is it a webinar or is there something else that you’re doing as well at the moment? What tips would you give to someone else in your position at the moment?
Andy: [00:23:57] I think what I’m seeing right now is that people are in a bit of paralysis. So one tip that I’ve been giving to people is, if you’re not busy right now, you’re doing something wrong. So I’ve spoken to a number of people and they’re like, “Oh yeah, we work from home, watch a bit of TV in the afternoon, then be finished by 4 o’clock, have a couple of beers.” That’s not what it’s like with us at the moment. We’re running around like headless chickens at the moment, but in a direction, with a certain amount of direction too. Like, it’s crazy busy right now. So that would be my first tip. If you’re sitting on your hands doing nothing right now, that’s wrong.
So if that’s the case, then you should be focused on a couple of different areas. So the first thing I’d focus on is content. Create some content piece which are acting as sales fuel. Sales fuel being empathetic content which can help people right now. So it doesn’t need to be 100% focused on what your product can do to help, or your service if you offer a service. It needs to be focused on what information you can provide as a professional in one area to another person that may not have that area of expertise, which is going to enable the sales team to then go in and start handing that out to people.
Now, whatever media you push that out on is completely up to you. What’s worked for us is webinars. Also another thing is blog posts, so blog posts have worked particularly well. If you want to capture leads or do some lead generation activity around it, then probably webinars are not a bad idea, or a gated piece of content, so whether it be a checklist or an ebook or something along those lines.
But whatever it is, just make sure there’s something actionable that can be taken out of it, I mentioned that a couple of times. If you’re giving somebody some information, make sure there’s like a workbook or something with it. As an example, I wrote an ebook recently, which was around creating revenue-driven marketing teams. Within that, I also gave a link to a Google sheet that I created, where you just plug in your targets, and what it will do is it will create an entire marketing and sales funnel for you.
So that’s me creating the blah-blah in terms of the ebook and going through all of the different steps in terms of how you can create something. But at the same time, also giving somebody something tangible to take away, to plug in their own numbers into, so that it spits out something that they can focus on afterwards. That’s just a small example. I know that that would take a couple of hours to put together, but nothing major. Once you get that sales field, then you need to be enabling your sales team and pushing them to really push it out. That’s it.
Dylan: [00:26:35] Awesome. Yeah, these are really great points. Andy, thank you so much for coming and sharing this with us. I know you said you’re super-busy now, running around like crazy with lots of stuff to crack on with. So I’ll let you go ahead and do that. But yeah, thank you for coming here. Thank you for sharing these tips with everybody. Looking forward to seeing what else you guys start pushing out from a content or a webinar perspective as well