How we started to bring our SaaS product to the global market

Published on August 10, 2011

How we started to bring our SaaS product to the global market

    An attentive reader of our blog remembers that the whole company started with the idea of ​​creating an automation system for the service business (IT outsourcing, b2b Internet services, later realized that internal IT services have the same needs), which will be distributed according to the SaaS model.

    The same SaaS, which we called SmartNUT, is now in the closed operation phase. This means that there is no beautiful site yet, but everyone who wants to connect can submit an application via google form on the stub page (on the same stub page you can read a little about what will happen in SmartNUT). So, since there is no website and the service has not been launched into official production, we had no choice but to go to the global market. This will be discussed further.

    As a spoiler: this is next about using Google AdWords contextual advertising on the global Internet. And as a disclaimer: we understand that this is not the only way to search for potential customers in the global market (and, perhaps, not the most effective - we still cannot judge other methods). Well and still - we are never a guru in terms of managing contextual advertising.

    First shot: quickly look at the possibilities

    One fine July day, I thought, why not look at the effectiveness of Google contextual advertising in terms of attracting potential customers for SmartNUT in the global market. And so itchy hands that I wanted to see some result quickly and cheaply. In the end, we did this:
    • An English-language stub page that briefly explained what SmartNUT is and honestly informed that the system is not yet available, but you can leave your email to inform about the launch (15 minutes);
    • A form on Google, which could be accessed from the English-language stub page in order to leave your email and some more information (5 minutes);
    • One ad was created in AdWords for the keywords helpdesk, servicedesk, etc. (one of the main functions of SmartNUT);
    • AdWords threw 4000 rubles;
    • They set a daily budget limit of 1,500 rubles.

    As a result, we received the following:
    • Google suddenly wrote off 18% VAT, so in reality we have ~ 3400 rubles left;
    • For 2 days with a little received 311 clicks with an average cost of ~ 11 rubles (if you do not forget about the previously subtracted 18%, then the average cost of a click is ~ 13 rubles);
    • Out of 311 clicks, 11 registrations received (conversion ~ 3.5%, registration cost including VAT deducted ~ 363 rubles).

    It should be noted that to conclude whether it is expensive or cheap at the current stage is pointless - because the conversion from registered users to paid is still unknown. But if you look at the average for domestic SaaS-3-4%, the cost of the attracted client would be ~ 9-12 thousand rubles, which is a lot. But rather, on the verge of payback, taking into account the average life time of the client and the average cost of systems of this class. However, I don’t want to go into metrics within the framework of this post (and those who wish can independently familiarize themselves with recording a wonderful story on the topic).

    In addition, no optimization of contextual advertising has yet been carried out, and visitors are “landed” on a page that was not made in the best possible way. In addition, we received a certain number of registrations, especially target ones (judging by the websites of companies whose representatives left applications). So you can dig further.

    Second shot: normal page

    Then we decided to see how the conversion from visitors to registration changes if there is a normal landing page. The freelancer made a new one . And again they threw 4000 in AdWords for the impressions of the same ad (writing off 18% VAT was no longer a surprise to us). The results are as follows:
    • 251 clicks in two days - it’s not difficult to calculate that the cost of a click has grown to ~ 16 rubles;
    • 251 clicks led to the same number of registrations: 11 pieces.

    In other words, despite the fact that the conversion has increased from 3.5% to 4.3% (although the difference may be a measurement error for such a number of conversions), the cost of the click has also increased. As a result, the cost of registration has remained the same - 363 rubles.

    As a result of the manipulations we spent 8,000 rubles, having received 22 registrations with an average cost of 363 rubles. We decided to look at the geography of registrations:
    • India: 3 registrations;
    • Mexico: 2 registrations;
    • China, USA, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Egypt, Indonesia, Morocco, Peru, Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Spain, Jordan, Dominican Republic, Ecuador: one registration.

    And one registration with such data: هحجنتمربغ عامح The

    Google translator suggested that it was Urdu (but could not translate), whose carriers reside both in India and Pakistan. Therefore, we did not take this registration into consideration.

    The next reasonable step: combine the geography of registrations with the geography of clicks, in order to identify the most interested countries and to target an ad on them.

    This would be reasonable if the number of visits from any country was sufficient to build statistics. More or less the number of visits was from India: 30 pieces. But this is not enough to draw conclusions about the real conversion.

    Therefore, we decided to go around the BRIC countries (excluding P from there - in Russia and the CIS we will start in the next month, after the public release; and the flow of leads from the community of IT company leaders created by us is sufficient to break in the system).

    Third Shot: Location Targeting

    “Divide” in AdWords an old ad in three countries (Brazil, India, China). We fill in 2000 rubles for each advertisement. We look at the disappearing 18% VAT and wait for the day (in reality, in every country the money disappeared in 2-3 hours). The daily budget limit has been removed.

    • China: 0 registrations (sadness-sorrow);
    • India: 5 registrations, 150 clicks;
    • Brazil: 7 registrations, 93 clicks.

    Thus, India showed a conversion close to the world average and the cost of registration (400 rubles per registration), Brazil took the lead (285 rubles per registration).

    They decided to stop the experiments until the appearance of the English version of the service (since it is known that registrations, if you do not work with them, become “dead” over time).


    For ourselves, we concluded that contextual advertising on the global Google e can serve as a normal source of leads (we are not talking about the quality of leads - until we make a sale, this will not become clear). The cost of registration is not sky-high. There is a feeling that it can be reduced by working on the optimization of the advertising campaign (including involving people with experience).

    ps Those wishing to learn more about SmartNUT without connecting to operation can read and see screenshots here .