Hey fellow entrepreneurs and marketers! Startup Radius interviewed Bybrand – an ambitious company in the email marketing industry. Bybrand’s product is a simple but effective software-as-a-service that allows users to replace their boring old-fashioned email signatures with high-converting modern ones. We all send tens and hundreds of email messages daily, so why not to use a simple signature as an additional traffic channel?
Learn how to grow with little to no marketing budgets, why freemium is the worst monetization model ever, how to outcompete bigger companies, and why marketing automation is the key to growth. Enjoy, and read below!
Can you tell us about what you are working on? What is Bybrand?
Bybrand is an email signature manager, but not only that. It is a strong tool that can engage all collaborators who use corporate emails, in spontaneous marketing, with each email sent from each respective account.
Our goal is not only creating email signatures, but turning the signature into something that can increase website visits, phone calls and movement in social media, as well as branding.
Why are you building this? Was there a particular source of inspiration or a money-making idea?
I love working with email. My previous business was an email hosting company; I am very comfortable in this area. I wish to make email signatures a great marketing channel.
For instance, I received the email from Startup Radius, and at the end, I only saw “Paul” where the email signature area would be. You can improve this by creating a rich signature that renders the recipient an easy way to get to know your business. (Thanks for advice!)
We constantly develop our product, and recently came up with idea to integrate RSS feeds into Bybrand to allow blogs and media (just like Startup Radius) to put latest pieces of content as an email signature.
Time for bragging! How big you are – traffic, users, anything else?
Bybrand is legally a Brazilian company. 60% of our traffic are clients from Brazil. However, now we are working towards changing that. I believe that Startup Radius will be a great boost.
We have an average of 100 registrations per week, for the 14-day trial.
And out of these, only 4% actually made a purchase. This is a very low number, and that is why today we are working to reduce the TTV (time to value) and make more clients actually use the email signatures. I learned about TTV in the book Customer Success (by Dan Steinman and Lincoln Murphy), two months ago.
We have many challenges to overcome, but we cannot attack various fronts all at once.
Who are your main competitors, and how good/bad they are?
I love my competitors (joke!). And we do have many of them, which is a good sign. If you have competitors, it means there is a market.
I believe that the leader today is Sigstr.com (for big companies) and WiseStamp for professionals (freelancers, for example).
Bybrand is the newest kid in the block, and when I look at our competitors, I think that if they do not move, they will lose space quickly. They are not working for their clients. List 3 or 4 services similar to Bybrand’s and, look, they are causing more trouble than actually creating a solution to help the business.
Take a look at their product updates. No one does anything; but this is not due to a lack of options regarding what to do. I have registered to receive the WiseStamp newsletter and every email that I receive from them is always about a discount coupon or a 30% off promotion if I hire their services this week. Now you tell me, isn’t it easy to love a competitor like that?
But let’s agree on one thing. They have enough money to burn, with marketing and sales, and Bybrand does not.
Who uses Bybrand? What is your perfect buyer or user persona?
Our perfect users are people from IT departments, marketing professionals, web agencies, law firms. And now after launching the integrations, we were able to branch out to Freshdesk, G Suite and Zoho users – and any other email platform integration that we may activate in the future.
Even Startup Radius can be a potential client. I think the RSS Feed resource would be very attractive. It may seem a bit vague, but any company that works a lot with corporate emails are a potential client.
Were there any early ‘growth hacks’ or tactics that have contributed to your current success?
Oh, yes, definitely. Integrations have been a publicity strategy focused on a well-segmented target audience, and a low budget.
For instance, we can segment our advertisements only for users interested in Freshdesk. I think that if a business is willing to pay for help desk software such as Freshdesk, there is a great chance that they will also hire Bybrand to manage their email signatures.
We are currently betting on that, despite it only being the beginning. We are all doing the same with G Suite and Zoho Desk, and it is likely that this may happen with any other integration in the future, such as, who knows, maybe Zendesk, HelpScout and Outlook 365 who don’t yet have an API.
What were some of the biggest challenges while building Bybrand early on and how did you solve them?
Wow, there were so many. I will go into details regarding one of them.
In the beginning, people were not willing to pay for email signatures. But the issue was that Bybrand was in the wrong environment. When we were following the Freemium business model, where the first signature was free, we had a database with 30 thousand registrations, but we only had 105 paying clients out of all of them.
Free was our magic word. Around 3k registrations per month. However, it was hard to convince someone who registered of the potential that our service had, although we also did not have many resources.
Removing the word “Free” from our website, from the sign-up page, and changing the business model to a 14-day business trial was the best thing we could have done. Today we have around 400 registrations per month and we pay our clients more attention, having a much better chance of being hired.
I think that many startups are figuring out naturally that in the long term, Freemium doesn’t work. But there is a secret; Freemium brought us many registrations and that allowed us to evolve our service. If in the future I start a new business, it will be Freemium in the beginning.
If you could give a marketing advice to other companies, what could it be based on your experience?
I am from the technical area, but I love marketing. Because I am the only one who is truly committed to the business, I greatly value automation. It is very easy to do with the tools that we have today, such as Mailchimp, Buffer and Intercom, and you don’t have to spend heaps of money.
2. Evaluating alternative channels
Alternative channels such as email signatures from company collaborators can be surprising. We use this a lot at Bybrand. Generally, a professional in an office sends around 120 emails per day. Now multiply that by the number of employees.
Which marketing channels you prefer and why?
Paid traffic is currently our main marketing channel. With good segmentation, we have been spending little money and obtaining good results, attracting new visitors who have a great chance of become clients.
Email is another of my favorite channels. We use email signatures in all of the messages we send, which ends up being a sub-channel. Clients are usually not ready to buy a product at first. Creating a drip and rich email signature campaign, showing how the service truly works helps the client to better understand our proposal.
Why did you choose the current monetization method?
Since Bybrand uses a B2B model, the free trial of 14 days was more adequate for the current state of our business. We have the Lite plan with a limit of 15 email signatures, which is ideal for small businesses. Generally, with Bybrand, the client creates two or three models of the same signature, in order to test which will have the best results.
The Bybrand Premium plan has unlimited signatures. In the future, we will re-analyze the prices. We will be creating an Enterprise plan, and the Premium plan will have a limit of signatures.
What are the top 5-10 products/services you use in your company and why do you like them?
- Notion – All businesses are managed through it. I use the “Personal Plan” and there is not a day in the week when I do not log in.
- Fiverr.com – We are basically partners of Fiverr.com – we have thousands of quality professionals of all types at our disposal, on the date and time that we need.
- Mailchimp -Automated segmentation and marketing resources save a lot of time. Several weeks ago we started working with Remarketing and I am enjoying it. I can’t forget to mention their robust and well-documented API, which made the integration very easy for Bybrand.
- HelpScout -All of our email communications go through HelpScout. I like the clean interface and the company’s culture.
- Atom – Regarding development, we use Atom.io. It has a vast gallery of plugins that facilitate our work.
- Paddle.com – All of our payment systems are managed based on Paddle.com; it takes good care of the tax issue, it is a good alternative for places where Stripe.com or Braintree are not yet available. But it is limited; there’s not a lot you can change.
- Buffer – Simple to use; I can schedule posts in social media throughout the week. That saves a lot of time.
- Hotjar – Sometimes I use it to understand how people really use Bybrand, especially in the internal area of the app.
- Bitbucket – We chose Bitbucket in the beginning due to the free private repository. But the people over at Atlassian have been greatly evolving the software with resources such as Pipelines and Trello.