Guest post from Recruiterbox Co-Founder Raj Sheth.
Over the last twelve months, Recruiterbox has been focused on inbound marketing to grow our customer base. The logic was simple we have an easy-to-use web application for an affordable monthly subscription. Our site and signup process are so simple, that all we have to do is get relevant folks to visit the website.
While this has worked well and translated into a good number of customers, we are now expanding our channels of customer acquisition.
Limitations of a single marketing channel.
We are not Facebook or a gaming app where virality plays a role. We are a business software for hiring. As such, we need to provide results and a platform that managers, founders and HR personal are comfortable with. We observed that most marketing channels, especially organic ones, give diminishing returns beyond a point. We also experienced a cap on customer acquisition by inbound marketing alone.
We realized that beyond inbound efforts, we may need to add more channels to reach our audience. Yes, thousands of customers jumping on your software as a service application is cool, but the reality of the paying customer mix might involve more hard work and a lot of varied channels.
Direct Contact with the customer.
We also realized that by not having a direct interface where we talk to potential customers and give them demos, we may not learn enough about our product and what our market wants.
Inbound marketing turned out to be an effective funnel to bring a lot of relevant attention to our software, but it seemed like we would have deeper penetration if we started having a conversation with these fleeting visitors.
What was surprising to me in the last six months is that people looking for our kind of software WANT to be written to, they want a demo and a call. I was surprised because initially we did not want to bother anyone with any contact, just keep building a super product and hope they would discover us as we shout on social media.
We have learned and adapted to effective inbound marketing and its been our ultimate weapon (as it is for all startups). And I am certainly not bashing it! In fact, we are going to increase our efforts more specifically and keep experimenting. However, the point of this article was to share what our startup has recently realized it is ok to sell.
We are about to start an inside sales process, which does a better job of explaining our already super simple product to all potential customers. While we have been doing demos over the past year, this is going to be a direct outbound effort to reach people over the phone.
I would appreciate advice from anyone who has been down this path before startup founder or mentor.
Recruiterbox is the best way to track applicants and make better hiring decisions. Be sure to follow them on twitter (@recruiterbox) and check out their MassChallenge Startup Profile. MassChallenge is an enthusiastic user of Recruiterbox, which has been incredibly intuitive and a big help in streamlining our hiring process. That said, were hiring! Visit www.masschallenge.org/jobs for more information about open positions.