Twice a year we hold ‘strategy sessions’ at Bitrix24 and the winter one just ended. I’ve written before about our strategic planning method, and many of you liked the idea. Today I’d like to share a few ideas about communication strategies that we employ.
In my opinion, when thinking about communications many startups and services pursue the wrong goal. They are thinking about an image they’d like to form in the heads of their prospective customers.
We approach the process differently. For us, there’s only one really important question. When a new visitor lands on Bitrix24.com or Bitrix24.de or Bitrix24.es or Bitrix24.in, he or she needs to quickly understand how Bitrix24 is DIFFERENT from all the other CRM, project management, landing page builder or contact center solutions WITHOUT ACTUALLY TRYING Bitrix24.
Allow me to elaborate.
Suppose, a person googles the word CRM and lands on Bitrix24. After browsing for a couple of minutes that person will likely understand two things about our service. First, that’s free and second that it’s not just a CRM, but also a task manager, and a project manager, and a call center, and a landing page builder, and an HR system, and …
Now, I am not going to insist that this is always good — some people are searching for something super simple, but Bitrix24 is such an unusual combo, that it immediately stands out. And if the person clicks the pricing page, they also learn that Bitrix24 doesn’t charge per user, like everybody else, and that it’s available both in cloud and on-premise. Bitrix24 isn’t your usual Saas. It’s Slack+Dropbox+Trello+Asana+Salesforce+Intercom+Wix in one.
An amazing thing happens next.
85–90% of people leave the website WITHOUT registering (depending on the channel, our conversion rate varies from 10% to 15%). BUT they remember about Bitrix24 and sometimes recommend it even though they didn’t try it themselves. I know that I personally do the same myself. I have recommended solutions in the past that I’ve read about but didn’t try myself.
That’s our goal. We have planned this outcome in advance.
No matter how hard you try, you’ll never convert most of you visitors into users. Only those who sign up for your service will be able to validate your message and verify that your project management is simple, like you claim. The rest will simply leave.
I truly believe that most SaaS are missing the point. People DO want simple tools (simple CRM or simple task manager), so many of the services craft their communication strategy around being easy to use. But when everyone does this, you don’t stand out. So simple in my mind is never enough.
Quickly, name the most simple or easiest to use CRM. You are probably drawing blanks. But if I ask you about free CRM, you probably can name a few names. Because there aren’t really that many CRM options that are truly free — Bitrix24, Hubspot CRM and open source ones. Had everyone offered free CRM, that message wouldn’t stand out either.
This simple strategy allowed us to reach 3 million companies who registered with our service with really modest marketing investment in just five years. Most of our competitors invested tens of millions of dollars in messages that sound nice but don’t really work. That’s why hardly anyone insists in 2017 that they are an email killer (both Slack and Asana removed the message from their front page a while ago — people really use them because they are free and convenient) or mobile first.
So, when crafting your communication strategy, ask these two questions. First, is your message so simple that everybody understands it without any explanation? Second, how likely is it that the message will be remembered by those who never try your product?
Happy New Year!