Jeremy Weisz 5:34
What is what is a good outreach message, right? So we get these outreach messages from people that are saying, Hey, I see this article, I’d love to place a link, what would be a good outreach message that you recommend, because also, we’ll get into the software a bit, but you can actually send outreach messages through your your software,
Farzad Rashidi 5:55
or you can do it manually, right. So what responder does is no magic, we basically just make it 10 times faster, right? So you can still do whatever responder does yourself. So if you’re very new to this, don’t spend your money on all these fancy tools, right? Maybe try to work yourself doing some manual outreach and kind of see what works best for you and your niche and, and kind of help respond to the gasoline you pour on that little fire. Right. As far as average tactics go, there is no silver bullet is not one single strategy that works for everyone. It’s entirely reliant on the type of industry you’re in and the type of company you are in. And as a matter of fact, it’s not the right fit for every type of company. So we can dig a little deeper and understanding what type of companies could benefit from this type of strategies. But I can give you some examples. So we’re not just talking hypotheticals, right. For example, one of the simplest strategies I always recommend, especially founders to go on apt to do is is what I’m doing right now. So right now we’re gonna get a backlink from Rise25. Believe it or not, so not that’s, by the way, let me pause here real quick. That is not to say I’m only here to get a backlink from your website, right? Obviously, there’s a myriad of benefits to me spending an hour of my time to do this. Number one goal is for him to make connections with smart people like yourself and industry to is basically So building that relationship is number one to is obviously getting free advertising to a niche audience by educating the audience on a topic they feel comfortable talking about. And also, and the side effect of that is also you’re getting these mentions from high authority websites that wouldn’t otherwise work with you. So that’s a very simple strategy where you’re providing value to the podcast host, but coming on to the show, helping them create a episode, right, helping them create content. And in return, you’re also sending a signal to the search engines that hey, fires, respond, I must be an interesting guy, because Jeremy is taking time out of his day to talk, talk to him and link to his website. So that that’s one of the simplest strategies everybody can implement. Obviously, given that, you are already decided, you’ve already decided i SEOs the right acquisition strategy for you.
Jeremy Weisz 8:17
Yeah, I mean, I’ve had people flat out told me that part of that was like, I’m, when I first came out, I came on just to get a backlink for SEO. And because they know, I’m going to publish it on Spotify, iTunes, Google, play Amazon music, YouTube, it’s going to be a separate blog post. So they’re gonna get across over 15 different channels and get their links on over 15 different channels as well.
Farzad Rashidi 8:41
Yeah, exactly. And, you know, the process of doing that is also very simple, like you don’t need a whole lot of tools to be able to make it work. So the way our team did it basically was first of all, I have one of my marketing team members lives actually listening to your show. So this one was, was special, but basically what he does is he finds people in our space that we respect people that are other founders of other software companies, people that are in our space and SEO game and he pops their name through responded respondent and or if you don’t have access to our tools, you can just look it up on iTunes, basically and see what are some of the episodes of podcast I have interviewed that person whom you respect, right and go ahead and do some digging again, respond automates a lot of that, but you can go in and manually find the person that the host, they’re very easy to spot. Then get your contact information and reach out to them and say, Hey, Jeremy Campbell crochet interview with Farzad and I love the fact how you guys talked about SEO and, and respond. And, you know, I’m a founder of this and that company would love to hop on a show and talk about XYZ if you’re still accepting guests, right? So you’re not spamming anybody. You’re implying to the host that hey, I’ve actually done my research and and I believe I can add value to your audience, hence why I’m here. It’s not you know, spamming email I’m sending out to everyone. And at the same time, it doesn’t require a whole lot of resources or time to be able to make work.
Jeremy Weisz 10:09
Yeah, no, I want you to comment on the outreach too, because I get over, like 600 emails a day. And I got a message from your team member. And obviously, I responded to it, it was very specific. It was very personal. And I responded to it. Right. And so it was effective on me. And I’m sure it’s effective with other people. I love to hear with Visby. Right. So this idea and concept, everything kind of was fraught came from that. What were you doing with visit me, I’m sure everyone wants to know, that was working so well, that you’re going to do with respond as well, that was helping get 3 million, over 3 million monthly organic, traffic visitors to the site.
Farzad Rashidi 10:58
I’m happy to dive a little deeper than that. So it’s easy now looking back to say, oh, you know, it all made sense, what we did at the time, I had no idea what we were doing. And as a matter of fact, whatever we’re doing at the time didn’t work. So I’m happy to kind of dig a little deeper on that. But I think one one key thing I want people who are listening to the show take away is that if SEO is working for a company, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. So the first question you need to ask yourself is, if it’s the right strategy to begin with, right? So for example, if you run a enterprise grade software company, or a medical device company that sells like hundreds of 1000s of dollars worth of like medical equipment to hospitals, put yourself in the shoes of your customers, how are they finding you? Is this a type? Is this the type of product or service you sell that people are actively searching for? Are they were even aware of the problem they’re solving? Right? And if so, where are they looking for it? Or googling it? Yes. Okay. There’s almost idiotic for you not to him as resources in SEO. So, but understanding those two key questions, one, are your customers aware of the problems that are solving and to whether they’re Googling about it is two objective questions you can ask yourself, and that’s going to kind of weed out the majority of businesses. So a lot of people come to me, especially friends of mine who are working at our companies, they’re like, hey, farsighted, I know your SEO guy, and and our company? Is my boss trying to hire SEO agency? And what Who do you recommend we hire? And I’m like, just don’t you guys sell a product that’s $100,000. This is an entirely different sales cycle, and different market. And it’s not the type of customer that would come Google and find Jane and Nora to find a product. Now. This is also not to say, to discourage people from from taking initiative, you just need to be mindful that whatever customer acquisition strategy you pick, it’s got to be resource intensive, there is no, you know, get rich, fast home. Exactly. So understanding what your main customer acquisition strategy is very important from the get go. Now, when you decide to, for example, visit me. For folks who don’t know what it is, it’s an it’s a platform, you can as a business, you can create any sort of visual content, like presentations, infographics, etc. In a matter of a few minutes, and this is something that’s on brand and basically matches your brand. And now, let’s say, Jeremy, you want to create an infographic about this episode that we are doing today? All right, and you don’t already have a solution to make it work? Well, it’s the first thing you do when it comes to finding a solution to make an infographic look, tell me what what’s the first thing you do first action?
Jeremy Weisz 13:55
I mean, I put an Invoker, I would rather ask a friend or Google it. Yeah,
Farzad Rashidi 14:00
exactly. Just go and Google, right. And as if, as a matter of fact, we knew that from day one, because a lot of our when you go take a look at the I would say Google search results. It’s quite clear, when, when you type look at the volume of keywords that are being searched, it’s a significant volume in our target countries. So we already knew that these are the type of customers want to get in front of gets very expensive to trying to be a household name. But if you present your solution in place where they’re looking for a solution to their problem, then it becomes you know, easy sale. So problem was, so we’re like, that’s great. Let’s go and put out a bunch of landing pages, write a bunch of blog posts. That’s like two months ago, and we put it on our website. And guess what happened? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was completely crickets. And I was like, Well, that was kind of A slap in the face, right? Jazz, a small company mess all this resources, and nothing. So here’s what I did actually. Can you do me a favor? Jeremy, while you’re here? Can you open up a new tab? And just look at one of our key words like presentation software, for example? Just Google Presentations over just Google Presentations. So that’s one of the key terms we’re going after. All right. So you see, tell me how many search results you see pop up at the very top right below the search bar? says about there. Yeah, no, but how many?
Jeremy Weisz 15:39
881,000,880 1 million? I was a. Okay. This is interesting to me is right here. Okay. Well,
Farzad Rashidi 15:49
that’s that’s our paid ad spots.
Jeremy Weisz 15:53
Number one, yeah.
Farzad Rashidi 15:54
Yeah, organic search results, baby. That’s right. So let me tell you, the problem was when we had put together his pages and put them up there, we thought that we were in the top 1% when it came to quality of content, how or where you want to define it, right? We had hired an expensive writer, we had put together all of our resources and keyword research on page optimizations, you name it, yada, yada, yada, all the nerdy things, Sash cycles, mobile friendly, loaded fast. The problem is, if there are 881 million search results, for a key words, doesn’t matter. You’re in the top 1% You’re still in the millions, right? How do you go from the million search results?
Jeremy Weisz 16:36
There’s some joke about I forgot, you probably know it. What do you call a company that’s obsolete on page two of Google or something? You know,
Farzad Rashidi 16:45
right? Yeah. So that’s, that’s a great place to hide a dead body. Right, exact. So the matter of fact is, it becomes a matter of popularity at that point, because we can all agree that the top 1% of anything is pretty good, out of 800 million. So out of these 800 million, we don’t claim we don’t have we have the best content, or we have the best pitch, right? Most of these guys are pretty, pretty damn good. Now, we need to understand how Google works as a search engine. And that’s something that you need to go back to the late 90s When Google wasn’t really a big player in a Search, Search Engine game, back in the day, when there was AOL, and Yahoo and Bing, were still, you know, one of the main players, the problem with them was that the way they were prioritizing search results was entirely based on the content it was on the page. And marketers tend to ruin everything. So what happened was a lot of people were just stuffing keywords on their pages. And guess what it was working, like bank was shown at the top of the search results. So what happened was I quit very quickly, enter became a junkyard, right as when whenever keyword you would search for, it’s just brings in relevant content. What Google guys did, at a made a billion multibillionaires was basically develop this algorithm called PageRank. So that was developed by it’s actually funny, because it always thought it was because it was ranking pages, but it’s actually because of Larry Page, their founder, who developed a good called PageRank. But anyway, so what they did develop was that Mean Girls popularity contests that I described earlier, right? We’re now not only we rely on the content on a page, we want to make sure that you have all the basics then right into content is good. And, you know, people come on here spend enough time on it, right? They don’t just immediately jump back and all that other stuff. But the main thing that really put them over the top was this concept of links and understanding that similar to how academic articles are judged by the number of citations, they get similar way where they’re like, why don’t we put that into practice for web pages. So if other people are constantly talking about this brand, this domain, this web page, they must be credible research. Now, because interesting, isn’t it? Because it’s not only reliant on the amount of work that you put in to build that content. It’s also what other people think about it. And that’s what’s really making it very difficult to cheat algorithm, that obviously there are ways to cheat it. But Google very quickly became very smart identifying some of these cheaters. Now, 20 years later, if I ask for 2022. It’s almost impossible for you to get rankings for competitive terms if you don’t have a very solid backlink profile. And that is mentions from authoritative publications that are relevant to your space. And that’s sort of the problem that respondent solves and it was something that we were struggling and visit me at the beginning because it’s very hard to scale. And we built it initially as an internal tool worked ridiculously well and we decided to release it as a standalone product.
Jeremy Weisz 19:56
So how are you using it internally at that time, and I’d love to hear how You know, because one thing we are talking about before we hit record is, how do you keep improving the product? So I’m sure what did it look like when you’re using a visma? And it worked? Well, then what did you improve on an ad? Now? So talk about sales. Let me first.
Farzad Rashidi 20:17
Sure. So this means it’s kind of funny. And I looking back at some of the old screenshots that I see, we were basically duct taping together a bunch of different tools that we were using, put it under one roof to sort of help us streamline the process, and save time. And that was a process of basically identifying, okay, what are some of the pages that we need to find some of the websites we need to work with? Who is the right person at each one of these websites? What’s their contact information, what’s the best way to contact them and reach out to them and follow up. And we’re all done by using like five or six different software tools. And we basically, at some point, we were hitting up the same website twice in a day, like it was became a mess very quickly. And still respond is cool initially, was just to help us keep our sanity with things, right, we’re basically we’re like, okay, let’s put it all on one roof. So we can’t really mess it up. And, and we vastly underestimated of how much work it takes. Because I wasn’t a founding member of Disney, I joined us as a marketing as a first marketing hire, but product was built on at the time of how much work it is to build commercial software, that people who come on to this website and sign up and come into the platform would be able to just understand how to make it work. And that’s what’s what’s been keeping us on our toes for the for the past number of years. So, and the rest is history.
Jeremy Weisz 21:48
I have a quick question. So it was me, you know, you basically, you know, had to create content, but you know, you build it and they will come as not, not the case. So you had to do a lot of outreach. So you kind of build this internal tool, which now is respond to, to help reach out and get some of these links plays to this high quality content. Let’s start with you know, this came up one of the top search results when we looked at, you know, presentation software, and this is obviously coming from your site, and it’s a really robust platform, what is your thought on? Now in within this you’re mentioning, quote, unquote, competitors? Right. So how what What’s your thought on that? If people are like, well, now you’re I know, it’s coming from your, your listing number one, your thoughts on that?
Farzad Rashidi 22:40
So, so let me let me take it back in that so. So we we kind of break it down into two parts. investment on page out or, as this is just general standard practice, on page SEO and off page SEO on page SEO is all the all the nerdy things we do that basically, start from keyword research and building pages and writing content, and an offbeat side of things is why respondent comes into play. And that’s a game of reaching out to other websites, building relationships, yada yada yada promotion tactics. Now the on page side of things, we can we can get a little bit deeper in data, understanding how we go about it. And again, it may be difficult to follow what I’m saying because I can’t share my screen just basically show you I think what would be best is for me to kind of send people over to a guide that I’ve actually put together. So if you Google actually visit me marketing strategy. I wrote 160 page book, it wasn’t meant to be that long, but I tend to blabber a lot. But I look up Visby marketing strategy, Google it. And it’s a free ebook that I put together that basically outlines step by step of all of our strategy from start to finish. So it should be the first one. So you’re more than welcome to mention also in the shownotes, folks who are listening to take a look at that, and just pass it on to your writing team or your marketing team, get him to take a look at it, some good stuff in there. And we don’t plug
Jeremy Weisz 24:11
me.co vi s m e.co/marketing-strategy. If you’re listening to the audio, and you can’t see the video piece, but that’s where we are right now, if you’re watching the
Farzad Rashidi 24:22
video. That’s right. And so basically, what the process is we create three types of content, right? First kinds of content is what we call SEO focused content. So these are normally higher volume, top of the funnel content pieces, education, educational resources. Think of it as for example, how do I create a presentation or how do I present well in front of an audience or yada, yada, yada, right. Second type of content we create is what we call the link magnet content. And these are content pieces that are It sounds kind of bad, we should probably rename it. But these are type of content that are original research stuff that is interesting enough that people would actually want to reference in their articles. It could be statistics, it could be studies, right. And these sort of type of content pieces that we exclusively create, not just because of the search volume to get is probably close to zero, right. But because it’s a conduit for us to drive a lot of links to because we create interesting info that people actually would like to do it. Like one example of that type of content is so that content first piece of content you saw was like first best presentation tools. That was an example of SEO focused content, right to get a lot of search traffic. If you want to take a look at a mid funnel content, which is for Link magnets, you can look up for example, visma Game of Thrones. I know trust me, it would make sense. So purpose behind this. So what we did have you watch Game of Thrones? I’ve never
Jeremy Weisz 26:00
seen it actually. Now. I get addicted to shows. And so I’ve come on man scared if I start I will. You won’t see me for a couple of months.
Farzad Rashidi 26:10
No problem. But anyway, so if you take a look at the first one, right before the last season came out, sorry, spoiler alert. We went to a betting site. And we were like, Okay, here’s how much people are betting on these characters who’s going to win the game of thrones, right? And we put together like this infographic data, this thing that would basically visualize who’s going to win it right? And surprise, we are we actually thought that Johnson was going to win, and we we were wrong. I’m not gonna say who, just because you haven’t watched it yet. But that didn’t matter. So what we did basically was just to put together this, this blog post, and we were like, Okay, let’s go and pitch all the journalists, all the people that are writing on Game of Thrones, because this means more data is like more on the I would say. So it’s a broader market and perk response. As again, it’s not to say you should do the same thing. It’s something that makes sense for us. And basically, this brought in, I think, around 60, or 90, some, I don’t quite recall, the number, like top tier publication mentions that with links to visit me, just that one article. And so these are a type of articles we use actually drive these links and mentions backlinks from website. And then the third piece, the third leg of that type of content is what we call our commercial content, or money pages, where basically, if you look up presentation software, that landing page, that’s money page, right? Those are pages that we don’t ever build links to, because nobody wants to link to a sales page, right. But we include internal links from our educational resources to them so that when we go build links to these educational pieces with these linked magnetic content, they will indirectly basically, pass on these link equity over to these landing pages now helps them get up in the search results. So I know it sounds very complicated and very tedious. But here’s the thing, I know is tedious is supposed to be because it’s a competitive advantage, right? Anybody in their grandmother’s basement can go build a software right? Now there’s the barrier to entry has become so low. But now guess guess what is going to take years decades to get to the same level of traffic that division is getting. So right now if we were to pay Google for the same level of traffic dividends means getting Guess how much we would have to pay in AdWords get the same keyword, same millions $1.4 million a month, every month, you have to write a check to Sergey or to Larry Page. And so it’s worth it. If done right over time. It’s not an easy time. It’s not an easy initiative. And it’s not supposed to be because it’s a competitive advantage. That’s why I mentioned in the very beginning you need to first understand if it’s the right fit for your business, if this is your cause if this is the way you would acquire customers in the first place, and if it does, it’s a step by step instructions you can follow
Jeremy Weisz 29:04
I just want to say to Rosa Thanks for walking walking us through that if people are listening to the audio version and you do want to see the video version if you’re on iTunes or wherever or Spotify you can go to inspiredinsider.com And we are walking through this on from a video component as well. But I love the thought process of you know from SEO link building, which is really what that means is traffic which what that means is more clients or customers I mean in the end, yes or no Is it a good fit? If it is there’s on page off page and you kind of walk through, you know, the off page components and how that feeds the on page and educational content, the link magnets and how those though those educational and those those content pieces feed top of funnel mid funnel and bottom of funnel so I appreciate you kind of breaking that down because it is a really complex topic in at least a framework so But people can think about those pieces and, and what they could start with.
Farzad Rashidi 30:03
Right? Exactly. And understanding these basics is I think is essential for any type of business owner, even if this is not something you have capacity for doing in house, and you’re looking to get some outside help. These are things that people would charge it do, right? We don’t offer services per se, but you can hire someone to do this for you don’t, don’t get discouraged, you’re like, okay, man, that sounds like a lot of work. But it’s important to understand these so you can hire the right person, because anybody again, in their grandmother’s basement, you sell SEO Services, most of them don’t know what they’re doing. So you at least having a basic understanding of what needs to be done gives you a better perspective, when it comes to hiring the right person to do it.
Jeremy Weisz 30:47
There’s a talk about Cloudbeds. And how they use respond,
Farzad Rashidi 30:51
oh, that’s absolutely do not pull out there case, that actually should be somewhere at the top. But So cloud that guys, there actually is interesting, one of their marketing team members actually just left a company and went to another company, and they’re actually signing their new company to resign as well. And the existing team club is still using it. They also started out didn’t have as good of a content strategy at the beginning. So they basically, were still experimenting with the whole content game, I think you just pass right here. So we’re at the beginning, where basically, they didn’t have all these fancy keywords and content pieces put together yet. And what they were doing was what
Jeremy Weisz 31:34
is Cloudbeds, just so people get a reference of what type of char is,
Farzad Rashidi 31:38
yeah, so this is one of the leading hotel management software. So if you own a hotel, or some sort of rental property, you can use their platform to manage it, basically. And so, at the time, what they were doing basically was called hours of going after hotels, one by one, et cetera. And now they wanted to build a search presence so that people would come and increase inbound leads basically start come contacting them directly. And so what they did at the beginning, which was, which I very much recommend to everyone is starting from some of the low hanging fruit, like don’t get so tied up into, okay, I need to go have like 100 pages on my website, and everything needs to be perfect. Before I start doing some average, they actually started pitching themselves on podcast, they started going on reaching out to some listicles, right, hey, what are some of the best hotel management tools, you don’t need fancy content or anything on your website that would require doing these type of outreach, and collaborative and other web publications kind of get into flim Dora, the stuff that is common sense, but most companies don’t do. And so they started with that while they were building that content strategy, and basically doing the keyword research, all that good stuff. And then once that content pieces, those content pieces were ready, now that started shifting their focus not towards some of the more advanced techniques, which is now okay, how do we actually acquire links to specific pages, right, and educational resources, which is a little more complicated. So that kind of warmed the way up into the game, even though they hadn’t done any sort of average before. And they just accomplished great things. Now they’re getting over 100k 120k something and the organic traffic, and they’ve been with us for about a year and a half and, and going strong. Talk about the tool itself for a second.
Jeremy Weisz 33:30
And how they’re, you know, maybe get into the weeds a little bit on, you know, I know one thing that if you someone goes to respond calm, you can actually go to the demo page, which one thing that I love about this is you know, you can book a call and get a demo, but you can also go on there and get an instant demo and watch a video on it. So talk about for their use case, how what are some of the things they’re doing with the software itself?
Farzad Rashidi 34:01
Right. So not sure how comfortable they may do are with me sharing specific use case strategies
Jeremy Weisz 34:08
general, you know, general, if it’s a b2b, what would you recommend some of the b2b company like big going to respond to? What are some things that best practices I guess you could say?
Farzad Rashidi 34:20
Absolutely. So let me first start with the resource. And then we can give give some specific examples. If you scroll down on respondent icons page, if you scroll down in the footer anywhere in the footer we have under Resources and outreach strategy hub. So actually, under the resources tab, there we go. Perfect. So if you click that will give you a ready to use recipes and templates of basically all popular average strategies. So this is a step by step instructions you can follow with relevant templates so that you can actually have a blueprint of what to do and these are the type of tactics that are separated based on their objective. So you don’t need to respond to implement them right. You can still do it yourself. manually, it’s just as a set of responses kind of helps you do it faster. But as far as the the specific strategies go, as I said, normally, I recommend folks who start from some of the basics, like for example, listicle strategies, right? Any list posts that are listing? Hey, what are some of the best marketing agencies in Texas? Right? What are some of the best restaurants in Nashville? What are some of the best link building tools? Right? I haven’t already mentioned you go and reach out and pitch to him. He’s like, Hey, man, we’d love to have you on on our restaurant, or on our chain or for our factory or for responding, we give him a free product to come and check it out. And and if you liked it, give us a mention here. So that’s the that’s one simple strategy, I recommend podcasts isn’t that or not a one that’s interesting is press inquiries. So there’s a lot of journalists writing content already. And they’re looking for experts, subject matter experts that are wanting to comment and gather comments. And so respond to collect some of these. And you can also sign up for a free service called harrow or help reporter out the free service by a decision. And you can kind of see every day to send you three emails of the field with like journalist queries from all over the place. So response kind of has a dashboard, it helps you kind of keep your sanity, but you can do it still, manually and go and find specific journalists queries that come out that are relevant to you, for example, if somebody is asking, Hey, what are some of the best ways for web for businesses to increase organic traffic? Guess what, I have a few things to say. So I could go ahead and write a few. write a few sentences. Now journalists gonna read it, and if they like it, put it under Article, and they’re gonna have to cite me. So they’re gonna guess what I’ve mentioned responding. Right? So that’s another simple strategy. So again, simple stuff doesn’t have to be nerdy or super complicated. And over time, as you start kind of putting together some of these more strategic pages, then you kind of get your strategies a little bit more targeted. So that that’s sort of where I would recommend folks and get started.
Jeremy Weisz 37:01
Yeah, I see Vlad, shout out to Vlad. He’s the one who I believe who reached out to me. So thanks for reaching out and making this happen.
Farzad Rashidi 37:09
As a rockstar. Yeah. So
Jeremy Weisz 37:12
just if you’re watching the video part, you can scroll down on respondents page and in the footer, there’s a link outreach strategy hub, and just so people can understand what’s on here, here’s some categories, you can go deeper and go to that page. And check it out. But there is a reverse image search link building is an article for that infographic outreach. unlinked mentions guest posting. There’s also content promotion category, which has resource page links, blog post mentions broken link building, SERP competitor backlinks anchor text strategy, and as a blogger outreach, so there’s a you have a treasure trove of of methods here that people should check out affiliate recruitment listicle strategy, which you talked about. And then there’s digital PR, which is how to use press inquiries, journalists outreach and podcast outreach. So check that page out. There’s a lot here and one thing, you know, just start with one of them. Right?
Farzad Rashidi 38:17
That’s right. Yeah, exactly. Not rocket science. You need one or two of these strategies to work for you. Yeah. So
Jeremy Weisz 38:23
you know, probably take you a couple weeks or months to work through those, but I’m sure it’s well worth it. So check it out outreach strategy hub, on the responder page, one thing I want to do is just talk about you know, you have, you can tell you spent a lot of time and energy on the messaging on the UI and watch on this each of the pages. So I’d love to talk about pricing, and how you came up with the pricing piece because you have a very simple pricing plans. And again, people can can check it out. Obviously at the top. There’s a seven day free trial so people can just come in and test it out for themselves. And then when you again, when you’re listening to this, this may change in the future. Who knows but now at this point in time, this is what it looks like. So don’t yell at me if like a couple years from now they’ve increased the pricing. But there’s a starter plan in there. There’s an unlimited plan. So tell me about how you came up with these.
Farzad Rashidi 39:31
You know, Jeremy, I’m gonna have to make a confession. A lot of people in the SAS world when he asked about their pricing, I guess we did some market analysis and we spent you know, five expert as to get their opinions and random market survey and at the end of the day, anything your price including your house, is the number you catch off the air. It’s just the reality of things. Anything you price, you have a service you offer right advice 25 You caught that price off Fair of thin air, right? Obviously, you have some sense, it’s an educated guest. It’s not something that it’s completely arbitrary. Obviously, you have some team members. So their salaries are taken into account, average number of hours it may take, right. So any type of company, but at the end of the day, at the end of the day, you’re still picking a number that you think may be reasonable. So we experimented a lot with our pricing. And what we found were like, Okay, who is our ideal target customer, people that are actually coming in using our platform, we noticed that a lot of people who are very successful on their own, that are implementing a lot of these link building tactics in house are a lot of other b2b SaaS companies, some companies like Bhisma, etc, companies that are tech savvy, in general, it doesn’t have to be a software company, companies that are tech savvy, they don’t want to go pay an agency to do all this work for them, they want to have that level of visibility in house and have that level of control to be able to kind of make it work by themselves and scale things while keeping obviously the cost reasonable. So we know that was one of the Harkin mark. So we started out pricing at 145 a month back in the day when we started and and it was a little rich for a lot of smaller companies, startups that were just getting started. So we landed on 99 a month, just simply because a lot of other marketing tools in this space were around that range. And it felt comfortable for a lot of people to start with that. And so we’re like, Okay, what’s the minimal things that people need to be successful? Right? So not to scale things, and not too little that they’re gonna have to make him operate after like two months, right? So we’re like, what’s the minimum set of tools you need? That would make you successful? And what we found is that you need one sending email account can have a limited team members who help you right, wait, that’s arbitrary metric, because I was we just share your login. So we didn’t want to charge per seat. Like, that’s stupid, because we always share our logins internally. So we’re like, let’s just make people unlimited and make an unlimited let them invite their team members, so they can have their own login that off the share for security reasons. Let’s just give them one email that they can actually use for sending pitches is more than enough for in small companies, stars, and 5000 Mah credits, which is the sweet spot, we found that you can run meaningful or large enough campaigns out that would yield meaningful results. And as 99 month, Bill, month to month, there’s no fees, taxes, nothing like that, that we got you in fees, right? So 690 $9 on the dot that you pay. And then now over time, if you’d like to now, okay, this is working great. Let’s add another team member, or let’s add another email account. Now let’s increase our credits. So we added upsell ways that you can upsell, but only they become relevant when you’re already getting results. And you want to now scale. Thanks, Bard. Right. But what happened was that since we were paying or it since we were charging per email account, extra added email cancer credits, a lot of marketing agencies that were working with clients, but they had 85 of them, right. So that 85 clients, and they were like, Hey, this is going to become absolutely ridiculously expensive. If I need to have 85 email accounts and, you know, 100,000 credits a month, based on your pricing the half? And I’m like, yes, you’re right. It doesn’t make any sense. So what we did, we were like, okay, agencies, people, they hate limits and credits. And we’re like, okay, let’s, let’s do it this way, let’s pick a number that’s comfortable enough for an agency to begin with, that’s not going to cut too much into their margin, and just give it to them unlimitedly. But put together some safeguards, because we respond to dealing with data. And it’s a very resource intensive operation that is running because there’s scraping things is contacting multiple data providers.
Jeremy Weisz 43:46
Let’s put some of those real costs involved. There’s exactly
Farzad Rashidi 43:49
the real costs involved, that we wanted to put some safeguards in form of a Fair Use policy that would prevent abuse, right, so that nobody could come in, like, share their account with like their entire country, right. That’s what we put together some safeguards release all over the planet that’s actually been very, very popular. And to my surprise, actually, quite a lot of companies that are in house teams also signed with them to plan but it’s actually half an hour. And just simply because they’re like, listen, when we’re like $10 million a year company like this is 500 bucks a month, there’s nothing to us like 499 a month billed monthly. They’re like I don’t want to worry about limits or credits or something like that. So just sign up with that limit. The plan are like, alright, that’s fine. We’ll take it. But, but But yeah, most agencies normally start with that unlimited plan. But we’ve seen that a lot of companies start on the startup plan and a over the course of one or two years, they hit a point where like, Hey, this is awesome. Want to hire a bunch of team members actually invest like, for example, visit us on our limited plan to have 10 full time average team members, so they kind of go Graduating to that level after a year or two?
Jeremy Weisz 45:04
So, first of all for that one last question. And before I ask it, I just want to point people to respona.com. To learn more, check out more episodes that I’m inspiredinsider.com. I mean, I think you know, going through responses site is almost like a master class of conversion rate optimisation, all the things that someone looks at, including in a page and content. So, going through the pages, I encourage anyone to check out the pricing page, the demo page, the case studies page, the careers page, you guys have done an amazing job, and it just looks nice. All right, so thank you, thanks for what you do. My last question is, who are some other people in the in the SAS industry that you look at as either, you know, specific mentors to you or distant mentors that you just look at what they’re doing in the industry?
Farzad Rashidi 45:56
That is a great question. There’s quite a lot of companies in our space that are doing wonderfully well. And the two companies that I have huge respect for is our sem rush and or SEM rush, whichever way they pronounce it nowadays. And H refs, that we actually have directly integrations with both and these companies have done phenomenally well. And especially H refs, as a bootstrap company never raised any outside funding, they’re doing $100 million a year plus in revenue, and with a team of 50 people. So it’s phenomenal how they’ve grown so fast quickly. But what has been working very well for them has been a Content First approach where they’re getting almost almost all of their clients through inbound channels through their traffic. And there’s very little reliance on on cold outreach and and also paid ads. And it’s not to say that those approaches don’t work. They actually work very well for for the industries that they’re built for, like cold hours for enterprise sales, obviously can’t get around it or paid ads for lifestyle businesses, right if you sell T shirts and like sunglasses, yes, obviously Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Tik Tok, right? So for Irish sort of space in the place that we’re in, and we’ve seen that no channel really works come near SEO as a main customer strategy, customer acquisition strategy, and we’ve learned quite a lot of them just by watching up and seeing what they’re doing. And kind of getting a lot of inspiration from them. So obviously, a lot of the things that we’re doing is not something that we came up with these are stuff that people have been doing experimentations with or for couple of decades so Oh, I see you you got the you got to see Mrs. Guy on your pod chinos
Jeremy Weisz 47:40
on yeah, see what it was a great episode so they I love it. I love that shout out that’s that’s a good one.
Farzad Rashidi 47:46
Yes, absolutely. And sem Rush is a great complement to our product actually. So that they’re extremely good add on page stuff, right? So doing the optimization and keyword research all that good stuff and respond to sort of takes an average part part of it so a lot of people like export a lot of data from sem rush or pull it directly through an integration important to respond.
Jeremy Weisz 48:06
Rosa, first of all, thank you, everyone check out Respona and more and I want to be the first one to thank you. Thanks for that. Appreciate it.
Farzad Rashidi 48:15
Thank you so much for having me Jeremy. This was fun