It’s the kind of mega-growth story anyone starting a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company dreams about.
You and a couple of friends have an idea for a product that fits a clear gap in the market. You pitch at a local startup event, which lands you in a growth accelerator, which also leads to your first seed funding. You spend that money hiring and building out the software. Before long, you’re closing your Series A, then your Series B. You’ve turned that original idea into a fast-growing SaaS platform serving hundreds of customers.
The co-founders of Vancouver-based Procurify—Aman Mann, Eugene Dong, and Kenneth Loi—made that dream a reality. As of 2019, the spend management company has raised over $30 million in funding, counts Mark Cuban and Ryan Holmes among its investors, and is one of the most exciting tech startups in the city.
But as with any SaaS investment, the influx of capital came with a catch. Procurify’s marketing team was under more pressure than ever to keep their growth going—even accelerate it. If they were going to hit their bold new revenue targets, they needed a way to kick customer acquisition into overdrive.
That’s where Mark Huvenaars and Jendi Logan come in. We had a chance to talk to Mark, the Demand Generation Manager at Procurify, during Unbounce’s 2019 Call to Action Conference. We also spoke with Jendi, Procurify’s Marketing Web Designer, over the phone.
Mark and Jendi told us how the marketing squad overhauled their strategy to become more purposeful in the way they pursued new customers. They did a bang-up job, too. Over several months, Procurify’s team:
- Developed an innovative outbound marketing strategy that would help them connect directly with prospects in an engaging way.
- Built 50 super-personalized landing pages with a 38% demo rate in a pilot account-based marketing (ABM) campaign.
- Started pairing landing pages with video ads, which have a cost-per-conversion that’s just 1/4 what they were paying with search ads.
We were totally blown away by Procurify’s execution of account-based marketing campaigns using Unbounce—and by just how easy it’d be for other SaaS brands to try, too.
Here are some of the highlights from our chat with Mark (but read on for the deep-dive into Procurify’s story):
The Challenge: Increase Awareness & Schedule More Targeted Demos
At Procurify, we’re in full-on growth mode. We’ve expanded our teams. We’re looking at new systems, new tools, new ways to maximize our growth. Our goals have really been elevated.
That’s the dynamic environment Mark steps into when he joined Procurify early in 2019. The company had surpassed 100 employees and was close to securing its Series B funding. It was that exciting, precarious stage for a startup trying to scale up, and there was big pressure on the revenue unit to find another gear.
Procurify’s software helps companies streamline purchase requests and approvals. It’s an ideal solution for small and medium businesses, Procurify’s target market. The trouble was that lots of the people who could benefit from the software didn’t know it existed. In fact, most didn’t even recognize they had a problem that needed solving.
At the time, we were really focused on inbound. Someone would conduct a Google search for purchasing software, they’d go into a landing page, and they’d book a demo.
That works when there’s a lot of search volume, but to scale up, we also needed to reach people who aren’t actively looking for purchasing software yet.
The biggest obstacle Procurify faced was awareness. The marketing team needed to develop an outbound marketing strategy that would get their product in front of the people who needed it most. They knew if they could demo the product, people typically started trials of the software at a high rate.
So, the Procurify crew decided to try something new: account-based marketing (ABM). An increasingly popular approach for selling SaaS products, an ABM campaign focuses just on companies matching your ideal customer profile. In practice, Procurify would reach out directly to prospects that were a great fit for the solution based on indicators like business size and industry.
We created an outbound team whose focus is building personalized campaigns and experiences that pull people through the funnel—helping them recognize their spend management problem and letting them know about Procurify as a solution.
Procurify had lots of ideas for ABM campaigns that could get the attention of decision-makers at target companies. After, they’d point these prospects to custom-made landing pages that described the benefits of the platform and encouraged them to schedule a demo. But this newly-formed outbound team didn’t have the technical skills to build pages on their own—and with just one designer, it was going to be a challenge to pull off.
The Solution: Account-Based Marketing (ABM) with Personalized Landing Pages
That’s when Procurify found Unbounce.
Jendi explained how the landing page platform has been key to enabling the company’s more nimble marketing strategy:
It’s my job to make sure we’re consistent in the way that we visualize Procurify’s brand story. But as the only designer on a growing team, I also don’t want to be a roadblock to execution.
With Unbounce, I can create branded templates so the team can actually do things themselves. They can modify it to match their campaign and have the confidence to go conquer the world themselves.
For Mark, the value of Procurify’s new library of landing page templates can’t be overstated.
It’s great when we’re running a campaign and we need something up tomorrow, or today, or even in an hour.
I know that I can hop into Unbounce, I can use one of Jendi’s templates, and it’ll be an experience for a prospect that’s far better than what I’d be able to build with any other tool.
Procurify’s marketing team can now get on-brand, campaign-specific landing pages up and running in no time. That’s given them the independence they need to execute on outbound marketing initiatives like ABM.
Here’s an example of a pilot ABM campaign the Procurify team set up that combined direct mail and Unbounce landing pages to connect with target accounts. First, the team identified 50 companies that fit Procurify’s ideal customer profile. Then they sent custom swag boxes outfitted with a video screen.
When people received these video boxes, they flipped it open, it would auto-play a video that’d say, “Hey, you at company.” It was highly personalized. And at the end of the video, it directed them to a dedicated Unbounce landing page.
Each page was tailored to address the prospect directly, including their name and company logo. At the bottom, it encouraged them to connect with a specific member of the Procurify sales team.
The upshot? A whopping 38% of prospects scheduled a Procurify demo from the ABM campaign landing pages:
Beyond ABM landing pages like this, Mark, Jendi, and the team have been exploring other ways to get in front of prospects and tell the Procurify story, like with video ads on YouTube.
Video ads help us tell the Procurify story before people even know that they need a procurement solution. We can send them through to an educational landing page [from the CTA] and seed that intent.
Additionally, these ads really help us build our remarketing lists. So, not only do we capture someone’s attention from the onset—after they click through to one of our customized Unbounce landing pages, we can serve them up remarketing ads that speak to the video campaign itself.
The Results: 38% ABM Demo Rate & Way Lower CPC on Paid Traffic
Given the impressive results from their pilot campaign, Procurify is already planning new opportunities to put ABM into action. And because the marketing team can build personalized landing pages in a jiffy, they can now test and optimize their ideas a whole lot faster.
Here’s Mark’s big takeaway from that first ABM experience:
In addition to connecting with more than a third of target companies, we continue to see the viral impacts of people sharing these video boxes on social media. It was an exciting, unique way to kind of cut through the B2B clutter.
Here’s one of the responses Procurify got on Twitter. Clearly, they’ve made an impression.
— Justin Choi (@JustinCie) August 27, 2019
Procurify’s increased focus on video advertising (paired with landing pages) has also been paying dividends. Not only is it a more compelling way to tell the brand story than with search ads, but it’s also significantly reduced Procurify’s cost-per-conversion (CPC) on paid traffic.
The clicks are relatively inexpensive, so we get a lot of traffic to our landing pages. While the conversion rate is only around 0.02%, it’s significant when you consider the volume.
Mark estimates that the CPC for a YouTube ad campaign is roughly 1/4 of what it’d be with search advertising. That’s a meaningful difference.
Get Your SaaS Startup Noticed with Landing Pages
As marketers at a fast-growing SaaS startup, Mark, Jendi, and the others faced more pressure to bring in customers than ever before. So, they got creative. They totally revamped their acquisition strategy and started talking more directly to their target prospects. Based on early results that showed a 38% demo rate for their ABM campaign, it looks like a slam dunk.
Mark credits at least some of that success to adding Unbounce to Procurify’s toolkit:
If I were to recommend Unbounce to another SaaS company, I would say it can grow with your growth. It’s highly scalable. It saves time, and it integrates with the marketing tech stack that you likely currently use.
What have we learned? In marketing, independence is key. It would’ve been really tough for Mark and the Procurify team to pull this off if landing page development and design had been a bottleneck. But armed with a bevy of on-brand templates (thanks, Jendi!), the marketing team is free to launch campaigns as fast as they can dream ’em up.
Wanna give ABM a whirl at your SaaS company? First, figure out how you’re going to get your product in front of decision-makers at your target accounts. Then drag-and-drop together a super personalized landing page that’s sure to get you noticed.