How a silly landing brought us more traffic
Some months ago, we decided to do a landing page for a guy who was not our user yet, but who seemed to be “The Perfect Client Looking For Our Solution”. He is kind of famous. By famous I mean someone who has more Twitter followers and a bigger number of subscribers to his newsletter than the rest of us. I’m referring to Brennan Dunn.
You might know Brennan for his businesses Double Your Freelance Rate or Planscope. In fact, if you are a freelancer, if you are into SaaS business or bootstrapping, and if you use Twitter, I am 110% sure that you have probably seen a RT from him on your timeline.
During our career as a web development agency working with clients and working on our product–Quaderno–we learned a lot from Brennan’s experience through the small pills of knowledge in his tweets and in his posts.
Here's how it all started. One day we saw this tweet on Brennan's timeline:
When we saw this tweet, we totally understood the pain Brennan was suffering. Having a billing integrated area in which your users or customers can get access to their previous invoices, etc., is a game-changer.
If you have received emails in your support inbox that say things like “Can you send me my invoice for the last 2 months?” or “Where can I find the latest movements of refunds and invoices for my subscription?” or even “I need to update my billing address, can you edit that for me?”, you might already know how time-consuming it can be to answer the same questions day after day.
The best thing about all this was that we knew we had a solution for Brennan, since Quaderno provides a billing area to save you a ton of time when it comes to providing billing support.
We tweeted him back, but there was no answer, and we thought: “Ok, at least we tried.”
The Return of The Pain
The second time we tried to pull Brennan into our pipeline, it was because of this tweet:
Like many USA-based businesses that work with European customers, (we supposed) Brennan received dozens of emails every week asking for a receipt so that companies or businesses could include their VAT identifiers. In case you just joined the party, let me tell you that in Europe, many people need to include a fiscal number in their invoices so that the invoices can be considered valid in terms of accountability procedures.
But, even if you were to come up with a solution that would allow you to add diverse specifications from your users, you would still have to work on complying with European VAT rules. New EU tax directives imply that even if your business is not Europe-based, you may have to add VAT to your final price depending on the location of your customer.
We tweeted Brennan back. We had a solution for his pain. But we got no answer 🙁
So we decided to send him a cold email, offering our help. We even attached a sample-but-customized invoice to show him the more tangible version of our solution.
An Idea Was Born
So, Brennan apparently is not an easy guy to impress. We started to think bigger, and that’s when, in an exchange of emails within the team, we decided to start up a plan we called the “Last Thing To Get The Attention of Brennan and If Does Not Work, We Stop Bothering Him.”
Yes, that 17-word sentence was the name of this ultimate plan.
We decided to make a landing page just for Brennan. How cool is that! For a guy we probably won’t ever meet in person, but that the Internet brought to us.
Voilà! This is the very basic structure of that landing page:
- We introduce our ideal customer.
- We explain the problem he was encountering.
- We explain how we could help.
We even changed the colors to totally match the palette of Brennan’s flagship product, Planscope.
“If this is interesting enough to grab Brennan’s attention, and the attention of others, why not try something similar for EVERY potential user?” This is something we were wondering. We had been delaying the redesign of our site for a while, but now we had to do it. Until then we were showcasing what our tool could do, but we didn’t really think much about how to show how our tool could help solve different scenarios for different people.
Brennan is one such person:
- He is a USA-based businesses owner,
- He uses Stripe to charge his users, and
- He was not only in need of a billing area for his users, but also needed to produce invoices with extra data as VAT identifiers.
After All The Work, What Happened
In a naive tweet, we sent Brennan our last planned interaction, including a link to his custom landing page. After that, it was just a matter of crossing our fingers. We don’t fight this hard for every user!
Brennan tweeted about his landing page, and after that we moved a bit in forums such as Boostrapped.fm – WTF marketing strategies seemed like a good title in that moment. Here is how all of this affected our traffic.
Having a traffic peak of x3, even if your traffic is low, really does matter for small SaaS like Quaderno.
Before beginning this action, we had in mind just one goal: get Brennan to become a user of Quaderno. But we didn’t achieve that goal. Don’t look at us; ask Brennan why!
However, we got some exposure for the pain we were solving, and some sign ups came from having this landing page as the first contact.
If there is something we have learned from this, in addition to addressing people first, it’s the fact that sometimes, crazy ideas can work.
What about you? Have you ever done something that you consider to be out-of-the-path, extravagant, WTF marketing? Tell us in the comments section – we’d like to hear more stories like this.
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