It’s easier than ever to acquire customers for your SaaS business

KISSmetrics Path Report

Just today we released a new report we’ve been working on at KISSmetrics. It’s called the Path Report and you can learn more about it on the landing page. We decided to announce it on Product Hunt first and we’re offering a Product Hunt exclusive to the community as well.

This reminded me of how much effort it used to take to acquire customers for new things, whether it be new features or new products. Times have changed.

When we started Crazy Egg back in 2005, acquiring customers online through non-paid channels wasn’t as common as it is today. It also wasn’t very easy, especially for self-service SaaS products since there really weren’t that many in existence. Paid acquisition channels such as banner ads (yes, banner ads) and AdWords were at the top of the list for most SaaS businesses. The main non-paid channel besides word of mouth was SEO. We were able to get over 23,000 emails of people who wanted early access to Crazy Egg.

Our original Crazy Egg early access landing page:

Crazy Egg Early Access

We collected half of the 23,000 emails by advertising on CSS galleries. They had a lot of traffic at the time, the banner ads were inexpensive and these sites were where our target audience of web designers would hang out. The rest was from a web designer community called 9rules (another place web designers would hang out) and word of mouth.

When we were ready to release the product, in August of 2006, we submitted the site to Digg.

A screenshot of the Digg submission:


We got hit with the Digg effect and our servers went down, this was before Amazon launched AWS and so had servers on racks at a data center in Orange County, CA. The good old days.

Now, there are so many more non-paid channels and tactics to release a product and acquire customers. It really is easier than ever to acquire customers (and probably harder than ever to keep them!). In future posts, I’ll be sharing more about how easy it is to acquire customers in today’s world.