The world is full of unsung heroes, and here at dapulse, perhaps the most valiant of them all is our incredible Marketing team. We’ve had crazy growth over the past few years, and while of course we can thank our amazing product and wonderful customers for this success, we couldn’t have done any of it without our Marketing team.
When we tell other marketers about how we’ve gotten to where we are, they’re usually quite surprised by some aspects of our strategy. We thought it would be cool to introduce you to the team and tell you a bit more about how our mighty Marketing team drives our growth.
Budget: $1.7 million a month
Channels: Adwords, Facebook, Instagram, Capterra, Outbrain, Bing
Adwords Team Leader: Rotem Shay (far right)
Known for: His alter-ego and nickname “karnaf” (rhino)
Facebook & Instagram Team Leader: Seffy Kotz (middle)
Known for: His passionate obsession with music
SEM Campaign Manager: Jessica Tacher (second from right)
Known for: Her Venezuelan accent & brilliant proofreading skills
SEM Campaign Manager: Michal Gonen (second from left)
Known for: Being an avid rock climber
SEM Campaign Manager: Liron Katzav (far left)
Known for: Her excellent footwear choices
Rotem: I started working at dapulse in January 2015, when we only had a few hundred paying companies. We’ve relied on performance marketing from the start. Advertising has changed so much from the days of traditional advertising like you see in Mad Men; now with digital marketing, you can target groups precisely, get fast results, analyze the data, and quickly improve. You measure every single penny that goes in and out.
We started our performance marketing campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, and that’s where we had all of our initial growth. This is unique because most software companies don’t have a lot of success on Facebook or Instagram marketing B2B tools. We started off with a budget of about $30K a month, and when said we’d eventually like to ramp up to around $1 million a month, our account managers were skeptical.
That’s because they assumed we would be taking a traditional B2B approach, trying to target conventional decision-makers like CEOs and senior managers. That’s very hard to do on Facebook and Instagram. But as we explained in the post 4 Ways We’ve Made It This Far Without a Sales Team, we did something different and created a direct response advertising funnel. We appealed to people’s emotions and designed our pricing so that the purchase could be a one-person decision. This made our target decision-maker basically anyone who has a computer and works with a team.
Some might say that we hacked B2B to become B2C, but I say that our marketing approach has always been H2H—human to human. We’re people solving real issues other people face every day with a great product. Facebook is a vast network of people, and it has been an amazing platform for us to reach a huge audience.
Seffy: When I started in July 2016, our budget was around $300K and since then, we’ve more than doubled to $750K. On Facebook and Instagram, our success has been through hypertargeting our audiences. But a lot of it, Facebook doesn’t tell us. So we create “lookalike” groups on Facebook where we submit a pixel of successful customer acquisitions we’ve made in the past and tell Facebook, “We want more people like these.” Facebook analyzes these profiles and targets a new group of potential customers with similar profiles. This has been critical to our success.
But no matter how effective our targeting is, nothing matters if the banner isn’t effective. It’s very hard to create a good banner: you need image and copy that’s engaging and eye-catching, but that also clearly explains what our product is and what people can expect next if they click. Here are some examples of our most effective banners. What they have in common is that they clearly state that we’re software and show the system in some way, but also trigger conversation and even controversy. It’s amazing to see the comments and engagement that these banners get.
By the beginning of 2017, we knew it was time to expand beyond Facebook, so we started rapidly ramping up Adwords.
Liron: My background is in Adwords, and I’ve always been accustomed to the traditional use of the word “intent”—for example, if someone is searching for the term “project management software,” then it’s reasonable to assume that they have a very high intent to purchase it.
That’s why I was blown away by dapulse’s intent model. It’s totally different from anything I’ve ever seen before. Through machine learning and data analysis in BigBrain, we get a quality score for each signup, no matter where they come from, which predicts with an extremely high degree of accuracy if they’re likely to become a paying customer.
The score is based on a variety of factors including:
- Gmail vs. work email addresses: dapulse is a tool for teams to use at work, so it only makes sense that people who sign up with a business email address are far more likely to be serious about purchasing than someone using their personal email just browsing around
- Day of the week: People who sign up during the workweek (Monday through Friday) are far more likely to convert than if they sign up over the weekend
- And a lot more :): The intent model also factors in how long a user spends on our site, the first actions they take once they log in to our system, and other things that predict how likely they are to become a paying customer
Jessica: The biggest challenge we’ve faced is continuing to meet all our KPIs as we’ve dramatically ramped up our marketing spend. To give you a sense of our scale, our annual recurring revenue (ARR) grew by 350% in 2016 and our client base doubled every 5 months. Our goal is to finish 2017 with an ARR of $20 million, and every dollar that we earn is reinvested back into our marketing spend.
Even a small dip in the conversion rate has a dramatic impact on every aspect of our business and impacts critical growth KPIs. So we work really hard to optimize campaigns and constantly test new banners and landing pages to ensure that we’re staying on track. But it doesn’t end there—we’re now working to create a consistent and cohesive experience for customers all the way through the funnel. For example, if someone signs up looking for a Gantt chart, then we make sure that their first experiences in the product are customized to their needs. They’re automatically directed to the timeline, which gives them exactly what they were looking for and even more.
Michal: In Adwords, we recently started targeting specific industries and verticals. When we first launched back in early 2014, we were expecting to have the most success with other startups, and we were amazed to instead see how we quickly spread across tons of different industries. 70% of our users come from non-tech companies: construction, marketers, breweries, wedding planners, and even churches, just to name a few.
We first tried targeting verticals in Facebook over a year ago, but didn’t have much success. It’s much easier in Adwords with keyword-related search, and we’re now having much better luck with groups targeting inventory management, event planning, CRM, and more. We’re also trying new languages on Facebook and Adwords, so that we can reach audiences outside of the English-speaking market. You can work in dapulse in any language you want, so there’s a lot of potential there. Our target market is anyone who has a team and works with a computer, so the sky is the limit in terms of how we can grow.
We’re always looking for more amazing people to join our team. Check out our open positions and see if there’s anything you’re interested in!