This is an archived version of the original newsletter, sent via email.
I interviewed Rick Perreault, CEO and co-founder of Unbounce, a landing page platform. Through their platform, they’ve helped marketers generate more than 3M leads. This is Part 1 of my interview with him, as we’ll talk about how they launched the company. I’ll follow up with him next week to cover Part 2 – how they used content marketing to grow their business.
Tell us about Unbounce – how did you come up with the idea?
Unbounce makes it easier for marketers to create and test landing pages for their online advertising. We came up with this business idea out of our own pain in trying to get landing pages done. So the process without Unbounce was that as a marketer, I would get my campaign ready, and I’d have everything ready to go. Then, I’d want to develop specific landing pages for all my different campaigns. I would have to go outside my department and work with web developers to get these landing pages coded up. But, we could never get them done because I needed them soon, and IT was busy. So with Unbounce, I can build my pages, publish them live – all without any kind of knowledge of HTML or any kind of coding. So I don’t have to bug my IT department.
So, how did you find and get your first customers?
So once I realized there was a pain, I went searching for a solution. There were definitely some enterprise solutions out there that had some features that Unbounce eventually had but nothing for SMBs. But, I wanted to know – are other marketers having this pain? If so what does this pain look like? I started off with marketers that I knew and interviewed them. Then I started reaching out to marketers I didn’t know. I actually did some Facebook advertising and targeted people’s interest/profession, and believe it or not, people actually clicked the ad and went to my survey and filled out the survey. I was able to start building relationships that way.
I also called on some local marketing agencies and got intros to other marketers. I just tried to reach out to as many marketers as I could. Once I did that and realized the idea was sound, I started seeing what the solution should look like.
We started marketing the day we started coding. We started our blog at the same time we started developing the product. This allowed us to attract people who were interested in conversion-rate optimization and online marketing, in general. Then we created a landing page optimization guide and people could sign up for it with their email addresses to download it. We’d then contact these prospect applicants to let them know what we were doing and started asking them questions about their needs. Finally, we used our blog to announce that our beta was opening soon and people could sign up for that as well.
That seems rather unusual – to start marketing a product you didn’t already have! Let’s dive in a bit more – tell us about how you survey people. How do you get random people to complete your surveys?
Well, I try to keep it really short. I practice it a few times myself and also get somebody else to do just make sure it doesn’t take up too much time. It should only take five minutes. I think the last survey I did was just ten questions, and seven were check boxes or multiple choice.
Now check out Part Two, where Rick talks about how they’ve used content marketing at Unbounce to grow their business.
Illustration by Orissa Jenkins