4/17: Apple pays to play with "Apple Arcade"

Abby Sullivan Apr 17 2019

Hey hey subscribers, it’s Abby here on National Cheese Puff Day, and any excuse for Cheeto time is an excuse I’m willing to give rein to. For now, subscription time.


The Rundown
In resources...

Zapier Finds Forms That Fit (for Free)

Zapier’s all about that information drop. So they find the nine best form and survey builders for us, all free, with trendsetters like Typeform and Ninja Forms topping the list.
Some of our favorites? When we're searching for a form builder, there are a couple of things we (and Zapier) look out for: unlimited number of forms, web design, and ease of use. Zapier recommends Google Forms, and if you're already a G-Suite devotee, it's an easy choice. Google Forms is completely free, and while there aren't too many bells and whistles, the ability to save the form/poll/quiz right to Google Drive is a plus. And because it's Google, there's a Google Forms integration with all your go-to marketing apps, including Mailchimp, Trello, and Slack. If you want forms that work and are nice to look at, Typeform is the way to go. They have several well designed templates with different fonts, layouts, and colors to choose from. The templates are also based on use so your RSVP doesn't look the same as a quiz. There are a couple of limitations with the free version of Typeform (10 questions per form, 100 responses per month), but it's definitely worth a test run.


Userpilot on Activation
There’s too often misunderstanding between the “aha moment” and user activation. And since Userpilot knows user activation is one of the most important KPIs in SaaS, they have your "in" to making it happen.

How do we get from "aha" to moolah? Before anyone buys your product, they're going to need to dig it first. That's where the "aha" comes in. But, for users to experience true value, there are a couple extra steps. Pushing potential customers to take the time to activate and use your product can be tricky, but not impossible. One option is to be direct and simply ask. A strong CTA via email worked for Docsify, who saw activation jump from 40%-45% to 71%. Userpilot also suggests letting your users get in the groove before demanding action. Let the onboarding process do the heavy lifting when it comes to activation and sprinkle in the busywork (sign up, email confirmation, etc). And the best way to ensure users complete the onboarding process is to personalize it to their specific needs and have extensive customer support available every step of the way. If you can manage that, customer activation should be a no brainer. 


Traffic In, Leads Out with Mike Sonders
Recurring rev superstar Mike Sonders reverse engineered over 50 SaaS companies to see where the heaviest traffic originates from, and offers us a guide — using data, research, case studies, and 10+ years of digital SaaS marketing expertise — to help us design a marketing channel mix and get the most cost-effective impact. This one’s a doozy, and we are diving deep.

Gimme the data deets. First, where does the traffic come from for these major sites? Organic search consistently tops the list, making SEO extra important. Referrals are another major source of traffic, so building them into your workflow is key. Email and social media are smaller slices of the pie, but with email's crazy-high ROI, and the fact that several people use social as a search engine, it makes them worthwhile. Still, organic search far outstrips other traffic sources, and that's what your workflows need to hone in on. The effects of search are exponential: a quality blog post can be shared and re-shared for years, each time driving your site further up the results page. So, how can you effectively translate that traffic into leads? According to Sonders, it's all about SEO. Think about it: Which is going to generate more leads? Someone stumbling across your site who needs to be convinced they have a problem and you're the solution, or someone who knows what they need, searches for a solution, and finds you at the top of the page? Seems obvious enough, but SEO and content marketing are long-term investments. To boost the effectiveness of your SEO efforts, consider implementing referrals into your workflows, another driver of traffic. If done right, it can also increase your backlinks and page authority, which also helps your site climb to the top spot. It's a lot to consider, but in addition to Mike Sonders' guide, he's launching an email course on SEO for SaaS startups, so there's no reason to feel lost. 


ProfitWell Report: Is Software Heading to $0?
On the latest ProfitWell Report, we’re talking pricing (our favorite) with MightySignal CEO Ryan Buckley, as he ponders if all software is bound for $0. Of course we found your data, and evaluated over 2 million customers to discover if the theory holds water.

What do the numbers say? It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that has been computing since the 90s that software prices are at an all-time low. What's also decreased is customers' willingness to pay. After looking at 900,000 customer data points, we determined that products and features have lost 70% of their value over the past five years. Before you freak, we recommend you read the full report as we explain perceived value versus willingness to spend. Armed with that information, you should be able to find the niches that have the highest value to customers, resulting in both retention and growth. 


In headlines...

Apple Pays to Play

When it comes to gaming, Apple is not playing around. According to a Gizmodo report, Apple is looking to spend upwards of half a billion dollars on streaming for Apple Arcade. That’s a whole lot of coins.

Apple is big, but half a billion is a lot. For context, this will eat up half of Apple's entire streaming budget, which is shared with Apple TV+. There's no doubt $500 million is an insane number, but seven-figure budgets for game development are pretty par for the course. Currently, Apple's competition is Google Stadia and monthly subscriptions like Playstation Plus, that give users free access to a selection of games, as well as discounts and additional features. If Apple's aim is to bring console-worthy gaming experiences to mobile, low-budget isn't going to cut it. Convenience isn't going to be their sticking point, either, since there's already a ton of fun, cheap experiences available for the casual set. Quality content is the only thing that will bring the hardcore audience to Apple Arcade, justifying the high budget (yet not making it any less nerve-wracking). 

Product of the Day

Freshbooks' third annual Self-Employment in America Report has been released. It’s no longer enough to get a degree, a job, wash, rinse, repeat. More and more Americans are looking to self-employment as an option, either as a supplementary income or an alternative to the traditional 9 to 5. According to the report, even though 24 million people are considering self-employment, just a fraction of those have taken the plunge and gone full-time with it. If you’re curious about the potential for the next economic shakeup, it’s a worthwhile read (supplemented of course by the freshest of infographics).

By Abby Sullivan

Content Marketer

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