🥾 7 ways to bootstrap to 5k customers + ✨ Shiny new tools! + 🚀 How to scale your startup

Plus how an indie maker from Ukraine built a tool to verify product endorsements 👀  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

📚 Posts

🥾 7 ways to bootstrap a no-code SaaS to its first 5,000 users

Today we're taking a look at Popsy, a SaaS tool that lets you turn a Notion page into a website in just a few clicks.

It's super-convenient for anyone wanting to build a website quickly. But it also allows those lacking a natural eye for design to create websites that both look professional and function well.

Impressively, in less than one year, the Popsy team has managed to grow the SaaS company to over 5,000 users with $0 marketing spend.

We chatted with Popsy’s manager of Growth, Gal Lamovšek, to find out how they did it.

Introducing Popsy

"Popsy's mission is to help people create websites quickly, easily, and for free, using Notion.

It's ideal for personal portfolios, resumes, landing pages, product drops, creator pages, influencer portfolios, local business information sites, and even online stores.

Using Popsy is really as simple as taking what you have created in Notion and connecting it to Popsy to transform it into a website. If you’re inexperienced with Notion or don’t want to start there for any reason, Popsy also offers pre-built templates.

"Popsy was built and entirely self-funded by Mlex in August 2021.

We entered a very competitive and saturated market. So far we have grown to over 5,000 users without any funding. In a market that’s so tough for SaaS companies to thrive in, growing this quickly is really exciting for us!

7 strategies and channels that helped us grow to 5,000 customers

1. 100% free

We noticed that the price of our competitors was a pain point for users. So we worked on solving that by offering Popsy completely for free, including hosting. Popsy is also one of the simplest and easiest-to-use solutions out there.

This removed much of the barrier to entry that users experienced with other similar tools. It made us a very attractive option.

2. A 'Made With' badge

We put a clickable ‘Made with Popsy’ badge on all of our free websites.

Although we’ve recently introduced a paid plan which gives the option to remove the badge, this tactic has been one of the best organic traffic generators. As Popsy sites are shared and seen, we gained new customers without having to go out and find them.

3. Community launches

Launching your product in communities applicable to your niche is not just highly recommended; it’s a necessity.

Thanks to Notion’s amazing community, we were able to introduce Popsy in their subreddit which today has over 200,000 users. This introduction alone got us more than 700 users!

We also promoted Popsy to Indie Hackers' >20,000 users.

Niche communities can be very engaged and provide a lot of value. But you need to make sure you provide value in return. Don’t just self-promote and post spammy links. Solve users’ issues, post free and helpful resources, teach people something new!

4. Growing Twitter

No marketing tactic is guaranteed to be a success, but being active on social media has worked wonders for us.

It’s mostly about knowing where your target customers hang out. You need to meet them where they are. Our ideal users hang out on Twitter, so this seemed the perfect place to start.

Our core strategy is built around bringing value to our followers with every tweet. We;

  • Post engaging product updates (building what the public want in our roadmap)
  • Showcase creative ways to build websites with Notion, which also doubles up as growing awareness of this as a concept
  • Share tutorial videos and animations from our YouTube channel

We’ve also found that engaging our own creator community (people who make and sell their own Notion templates through Popsy) works really well.

twitter profile avatar
Popsy
Twitter Logo
@PopsyHQ
June 3rd 2022
1
Retweets
6
Likes

5. Active and quality customer support

Our automated customer feedback process emails users who stop using our tool or never get to publishing a website. We ask them what was wrong, how can we improve user experience, is there something we can do for them, etc.

We back this up by providing active and quality customer support. Your users must be able to contact you easily.

6. Cold email outreach

Done properly, cold email outreach can be one of the best ways to start building personal relationships with creators, influencers, or businesses in your niche, as well as ideal customers – if you know who your target audience is.

There’s no perfect recipe for cold outreach, but what worked for us is:

  • Personalization. Let people know your email isn’t from a bot but an actual person.
  • Super short copy. Most recipients won’t read long paragraphs, especially from someone they don’t know.
  • One CTA (call-to-action). We used a short introductory video instead of a direct link to the product.
  • Closing with a question. For example, “Would you be interested?” prompts the recipient to answer your email. After they respond, have a follow-up email prepared with more instructions, a link to your product, etc.

These techniques helped us gain more than a 70% reply rate for cold outreach, which was great!

7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

I’ve divided our SEO activity into 5 main actionable tips:

  1. Keyword research. Narrow down to 3-5 main keywords and produce content around these, including your homepage.
  2. Produce quality content around your keywords, such as tutorials, blog articles, newsletter issues, guest posts, etc.
  3. Nail your on-page SEO. Optimize title tags, meta description, URLs, images, alt text, keyword placement, internal linking, etc.
  4. Off-page SEO. Write guest posts, submit your tool to directories, post on Quora, Reddit, Indie Hackers, Makerpad, etc.
  5. Optimize your page speed to stand a chance of competing on Google. Compress files, optimize code, minimize or lose redirects, use browser cache, improve responsiveness, optimize images, etc.

Hopefully you’ve learned something new and feel inspired by some of these techniques have helped us grow Popsy to where it is today.

Thanks for reading and please reach out if you have any questions!"

Read the full post.

👀 Verifying company tech stacks so you can trust endorsements

Have you ever checked out a landing page for a new product, seen a collection of endorsement logos of wildly successful companies, and felt a tiny bit skeptical? How can we know for sure these companies really use those app or products? An indie maker from Ukraine realized this dilemma and decided to do something about it! Here’s his story.

Read the full post.

✨ Recently added tools

Cuttles - Fully interactive startup builder and guided business plan software

Abyssale - Automate & scale your visual marketing

Pensight - Build & manage your knowledge business with your own page, payments and more

Text Blaze - Eliminate repetitive typing and mistakes

Hovercode - A QR code generator for your brand

💼 Jobs

Webflow Designer – Tangram

🐦 Tweet of the Week

twitter profile avatar
Brian Bourque 🚀
Twitter Logo
@bbourque
June 14th 2022
698
Retweets
3,830
Likes


😍 Want to see your own story featured in this newsletter?

If you have a great story to tell that you think the no-code community would be inspired to read, we'll publish it on our blog and feature it in this newsletter. Send us an outline.

Cheers!

Ben & the Makerpad team ✌️



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