The

Task

For this project the head of content at SaaStr, and I were tasked with generating more leads from our existing base and to grow our base of marketable names while repurposing content that SaaStr had previously invested time and resources in.

The

Process

Before we explored solutions we collated our existing data looking for data from our base of existing marketable names to see which marketable names had the highest value, Which categories in our existing marketable names were underperforming in that we desired to be better performing and which arm or categories of our content was being under utilized.

After we examined the data we outlined 3 core audiences or categories of content that were being under utilized they are as follows:

 

Founders and CEOs

Our largest audience, and most valuable marketable names in our base.

Sales, Leads, and Hiring

A category of content that we produced content on often but wasn't front and center or had been scattered throughout the years, some relevant, and some not.

Getting Traction

A specific piece of content that our CEO had written with the intent of publishing back in 2017 but was never able to get it from Microsoft word and into our audience's hands. We saw this as an opportunity to release new content to our audience, while only requiring the team to update an outdated piece of content and breathe new life into its publishing.

The

SOlution

After defining our resources, audience, and goals we came up with the solution of releasing gated e-books. This is partly because one of the under utilized pieces was already in a some what book already and our audience is familiar and desired long written content from us. We developed an asset for each of defined categories or audiences outlined above.

For Founders & CEOs

Scaling, Sales, & Raising Capital

This was our largest and highest engaged audience, they are well aware of the SaaStr brand, have hit the subscribe button, and active members of our community. This made getting unique content that was underserved  quite difficult. We landed on the idea of taking the top answers to founder’s most pressing questions and compiling them into a Call-and-Response based book. We sourced the content from our Qoura space, where our CEO has been named a Top Writer 5 years running and whose content has amassed over 50 million views. Qoura at the time for us had an extremely low overlap into our marketing list which meant that for most of our existing audience the sourced content would appear as if it were new content. We pulled the top 100 questions related to Scaling a company, Sales, and Raising capital.

Underperforming Audience Segment

Sales, Leads
& Hiring

Sales is a very niche topic for founders and startups, specifically because in these early stages most CEO’s and founders are the sales team, the fundraisers, the recruiter and many more hats. This was important as not only did this build on our largest audience of founders and CEO’s but this also expanded into sales and hiring which is one of out most sought after content verticals when we dived into our analytics. We sourced this content from our own site of thousands of articles filtering out poor performing content by sorting from the longest time on page vs bounce rate around the topic of hiring and sales.

Underutilized content

Getting Traction

As mentioned this piece of content was something our CEO had written with the intent of publishing back in 2017 but was never able to get it from Microsoft word and into the audiences hands.

The

Details

Interactive Experiences

Since these were Ebooks we knew the importance of making it an interactive PDF, which is where you could hyperlink in and out of the document. To capitalize on this feature we included a table-of-contents that enabled the user to quickly hump around inside the document quickly because it would be rare that a user would read our Ebook from cover to cover in one sitting. We also utilized hyperlinking to expand the offerings of a traditional ebook by linking to relevant session recordings from our events over the years, to enable the user to get both written, audio, and visual learnings all in one document. Lastly we included specific offerings and Call-To-Actions at the end of the book to drive next steps for our readers.

Sample Table of Contents

Sample quote and relevant session CTA

Sample Marketing CTA

Visual breaks

We knew it was important to give the reader lots of visual breaks when possible as to increase completion rate and also just make the experience more enjoyable than a wall of text. To facilitate that made big visual breaks with clearly defined sections, making scrolling and at a glancing easier, we gave the reader visual breaks by including some illustrations that helped drive key points and specific take aways. Lastly we gave the reader visual breaks with clear and bold headlines so that they could know, prior to reading the copy, if the information they were about to read was relevant to them and their goals.

Sample of Section Dividers

Sample of Clear and Bold Headlines

Sample of Clear and Bold Headlines

Favorite Part

One of my favorite sections of this series is in The Ultimate Guide for Hiring a Great VP of Sales is a section where we used an analogy for different types of VP candidates in the interviewing process, I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to give this section some visuals to accompany the content and drive home this character types. I went with a monochromatic color scheme inline with the color range used throughout the rest of the book.

The

Learnings

Formatting content that wasn’t written for E-publishing was by far the hardest part of this project. We had multiple formatting from our sourced materials, drastically different writing tones, and sometimes just screen shots that had to be transcribed or graphics/graphs that had to be completely recreated, all while keeping some sort of narrative thread throughout the books. I feel if I were to redo this project or a similar project that I would have more hands on or more time on the formatting. There are some sections were typography in the justified columns gets wonky or a widow peeks it’ head out. Overall I am extremely happy with the end result and so was our audience.