Simon Willison’s Weblog


What are the best ways to get traffic to my SAAS project management app?

3rd October 2013

My answer to What are the best ways to get traffic to my SAAS project management app? on Quora

At your stage you won’t be able to get meaningful paying customers from regular web traffic. You need to be building up your customer base manually, one at a time, through a high touch sales process.

If no one is paying for your product yet, how can you be sure that you’ve built something that people are willing to pay for? If you haven’t yet achieved that, no amount of website traffic will result in meaningful conversions.

Once you do have some paying customers, you’ll be able to start growing the service towards being able to attract self-service sign ups.

Firstly, you’ll get much better feedback on what you need to improve and which aspects if your product are most valuable (and hence should be used to build your marketing message).

Secondly, you’ll have actual paying customers who can in turn refer other paying customers. Having testimonials from real customers on your site is a powerful form of social proof, essential for getting other potential customers to take you seriously.

Finally, having active users will spread word of your product. Every time someone using basecamp invites a new collaborator to their project, that’s potentially one new person who has heard if basecamp. Your product can gain from the same kind of viral loop.