Tuesday, June 30, 2015

5 Subtle Yet Super Powerful Copywriting Tips

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Copywriting is a bit like martial arts; you don’t need to take aggressive action to see results. Image source.

Marketing can be like martial arts.

In a fight, you can floor your opponent with brute force.

You can throw a burst of punches and strikes, or grapple until you’re blue in the face. Or you can calmly step back, target one of your opponent’s pressure points, and quickly end the fight with one swift strike.

Marketing your business is the same.

You can grow by taking aggressive action. You can crank out more content, or pay for ads and leads to increase traffic. Or… simply step back and target the “pressure points” in your marketing by finding small tweaks that create big wins.

One of the best ways to get big wins from small tweaks is to focus on converting more prospects into customers by strengthening your copy.

But not all copywriting tweaks are created equal.

You can spend hours tweaking the wrong things and get weak results, so here are five simple but effective ways to ramp up your conversions by cranking up the power of your copy… Mr. Miyagi style.

1. Use open loops to seduce your prospect

Ever had an awesome TV show that you couldn’t stop watching? A series of books that you couldn’t put down?

You have? Congratulations, you’ve experienced the power of open loops (also called the Zeigarnik effect).

Open loops prey on our brain’s natural desire for completion.

You see, the brain enters a state of confusion or tension when it views something as incomplete. The cause could be a story, a question, even a household chore that you forgot to complete — and the only way to overcome that confusion and tension is for your brain to close the open loop.

When it comes to writing copy, an open loop is a part of your sales message that doesn’t tie up immediately.

You can apply open loops to any copy and instantly make it more magnetic.

Here’s an open loop example from the CopyHour landing page.

copywriting-copyhour-landing-page

The writer starts the sales letter with talk of a mysterious little secret that top copywriters used to sharpen their chops, and as a result make bucket loads of cash – instantly making you wonder what this secret is.

But it doesn’t stop there. The sales page goes on to constantly dangle this secret right in front of your face. This strengthens your curiosity and makes you more invested in finding out what the mysterious secret is – increasing the chance of a conversion.

Open loops aren’t hard to implement.

The easiest way to get started is to ask more questions in your copy and vaguely expand on the question, just like the example above. This lack of completion makes your reader feel curious and more invested in your copy.

2. Make your first sentence hypnotic

Your first sentence has to open with a bang.

It has to immediately snag your audience’s attention and drag them into your copy. If your readers don’t make it past the first few sentences, they sure as hell ain’t making it to your call to action.

Shortening your sentences (and your first sentence in particular) is an excellent way to make your copy a little bit more engaging.

The trick is to make sentences so short and easy to read that they instantly suck your reader into your copy. In his book Advertising Secrets Of The Written Word, legendary copywriter Joseph Sugarman even said:

My first sentences are so short, they almost aren’t sentences.

Take for example the opening sentence on Chartbeat’s landing page for their study on audience development.

copywriting-chartbeat-audience-development

Have a look at how short and simple the opening is:

It’s not enough to just count clicks and page views anymore.

When someone begins by reading that, they’re naturally inclined to wonder, “What is enough then? What’s wrong with counting clicks and page views? What should I measure?” 

These questions then fuel the reader with enough coals of curiosity to make him want to read on.

Also, shorter sentences look like a piece of cake to read, which increases the chances of someone actually getting through your copy. This is a huge benefit because it’s harder to stop reading copy once you’re already interested and curious.

3. Deploy power verbs for maximum impact

Good copy paints pleasing pictures in the minds of your prospects. It dives into their brains and engages their senses and emotions.

This is where most writers make a fatal mistake. They rely on adjectives and limp words to add flavor to their copy, but as killer copywriter John Carlton said in his book Kick Ass Copywriting Secrets:

Good copy goes light on adjectives. And heavy on action verbs.

The right action verbs give your copy a muscular, grab-you-by-the-throat effect that keeps your reader glued to the screen.

The example below shows the difference between fluffy adjectives and power verbs in creating vivid mental images:

The stomach-turning news was extremely shocking. All of a sudden, he didn’t feel very good. He quickly sat down on the large black sofa and passed out.

After powering up with verbs:

The news hit him like a sharp hook to the stomach. He felt his heart rip, and an ocean of darkness washed through him as he collapsed into the sofa.

Big difference, right?

When it comes to descriptive power and sharp imagery, the second paragraph leaves the first, adjective-infested one coughing in the dust.

Here are some examples of powerfully “verbed-up” sentences from Jon Morrow’s Serious Bloggers Only landing page:

copywriting-jon-morrow-serious-bloggers

Pay attention to some of the verbs he uses:

  • Because they stumbled into popularity
  • They are desperate to seize the opportunity before it slips away from them.
  • If you’re a serious blogger, you’re tired of wading through thousands of articles, reading contradictory advice, and trying to figure out how to piece it all together.

See how alive and vivid the writing becomes with just a few well-placed sharp, powerful verbs?

Keep a thesaurus handy at all times, and be sure to have a swipe file on standby. This will help you inject strong verbs and words into your copy without ripping your hair out in frustration.

4. Adhere to the AIDA formula

When writing copy, it’s easy to find yourself staring at a blank page wondering, “What’s next?”

That’s where the AIDA formula (by copywriter Gary Halbert) comes in handy.

It’s a formula that allows you to consistently create a smooth, strong sales message that latches onto your reader’s attention and keeps them interested.

So what does AIDA stand for?

  • Attention. This is where you snag your prospect’s attention with a benefit-driven headline and introduction to make him want to read on.
  • Interest. This is where you’ll pique the interest of your prospects and nudge them deeper into your copy by describing how your pain solving product/service benefits their lives.
  • Desire. After arousing your prospects interest, here’s where you pump up his desire for what you’re selling. Usually with a bullet point list that describes all the juicy benefits of your product/service.
  • Action. After your reader is blown away with the amazing benefits your product, you then invite him/her to take action. Usually to make an order or fill in a form.

Here’s an example of the AIDA formula in action from the webprofits.com landing page.

Attention

copywriting-webprofits

The headline is curious and grabs the reader’s attention by suggesting that the SEO game has changed.

Interest

Once the page catches the reader’s attention, it cultivates interest with paragraphs which explain how SEO has changed (next to the laptop).

Desire

After that, it arouses the prospect’s desire by describing the benefits of the product.

copywriting-webprofits-benefits

Action

It finally closes with the “Get Free Analysis Now” call to action.

copywriting-webprofits-free-analysis

Following the AIDA formula inserts a smooth compelling flow into your copy and keeps readers glued to your sales message.

5. Harness the power of reframing to shoot up perceived value

A 1999 study by psychologists Davis and Knowles showed the shocking persuasive power of a technique called reframing. In the study, they went door to door and sold note cards for charity.

  • In the first pitch, they said that it was $3 for 8 cards. They made sales at 40% of households.
  • In their second pitch, they told people that it was 300 pennies for 8 cards, which was followed up by, “which is a bargain,” resulting in 80% of the households buying cards.

This tiny change in the pitch had a huge effect on results, but how and why was it so influential?

Here’s what happens:

When people are told the cost of the cards is 300 pennies instead of 3 dollars, their routine thought process is disrupted. Now, while they’re distracted trying to process the odd sounding “300 pennies” and why anyone would use pennies instead of dollars…

They’re immediately told that it’s a “bargain.” And because pennies sound so easy to spend in comparison to hard-earned dollars, they are more likely to accept the suggestion that the cards are a bargain.

This is known as reframing.

Reframing is a wickedly effective technique. It allows you to manipulate the perceived value of a product by making comparisons and shifting the focus of your reader.

Here’s an example of what reframing looks like:

copywriting-reframing-example

You wouldn’t rush to buy something that’s $500 a year right? I mean for most people, it’s a decent amount of change.

How about for $42 a month?

Or $8 (the price two lattes) a day?

Sounds much more appealing doesn’t it?

This landing page reframes the price of a brand new car in terms of two lattes per day ($8), which serves to soften the blow of the price and make the offer more appealing.

Here’s another example from the CopyHour landing page:

copywriting-copyhour-reframing

The landing page reframes the price by comparing the total price of the course to how much it costs per day, instantly reducing the weight of the price in the prospect’s mind.

Crafting seductive landing page copy doesn’t have to be painful

Powerful landing page copy doesn’t have to be painful to create. Pick a couple of strong techniques and tips, focus on the needs of your prospects, and you’ll be fine.

Now it’s your turn. How do you go about cranking up your copy power to increase conversions? What’s the weirdest conversion boost/decline you’ve had with regards to copywriting? I’d love to know!


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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Why Solar Energy Is a Good, Renewable Energy Source?

These days we hear a lot about using organic products, biodegradable products, recycling plastics, etc., to minimize carbon footprint and save the environment. But we do not realize that unless and until we minimize consumption, we can not really save our environment. For example, look at the world consumption; Today’s products are manufactured, used and disposed of at a higher rate than the earth can accommodate in a less harmful way. Therefore it is important that we move to green alternatives now, otherwise, will be covered by pollutants and toxins produced in the normal course of the manufacture of non-biodegradable products like plastics. In this article, we will discuss as a green alternative that has a remarkable effect on reversing the negative effects that we created by technological progress and industrial revolution.

There are many ways to fight climate change, but the transition to a power of clean, renewable solar power is an ideal way. So let’s look at some of the interesting facts about solar energy.

· It is the most abundant source of energy. The amount of energy the Earth receives in one minute is approximately 10,000 times the energy needed worldwide.

Undoubtedly, solar energy is the energy source of cleaner available on the planet. Unlike fossil fuels, solar power produces no toxic byproducts. Solar panels use photovoltaic system that has no harmful effect on the environment and humans.

· Solar energy is practical, versatile and flexible in relation to wind energy and the main source of solar energy is the sun that is accessible to all parts of the globe. Unlike hydropower (which is also a source of renewable energy and cheap energy), solar power is not a threat to marine life and / or people on Earth.

· Worried increase utility bills and looking for a way out? Well, solar energy is the solution. By installing solar panels will not only reduce their utility bills, but is also increasing the value of your property. Although solar panels are little expensive at first, they turn out to be efficient and profitable in the long term. The best part is they do not require much maintenance and saves additional costs as well as being sustainable.

One of the misconceptions about solar panels is that they are expensive and affordable only to the elite class is wrong. Solar panels require an investment of time after which you do not have to invest in regular maintenance. In fact, in most countries, the government provides special tax benefits and other advantages of solar energy. Once installed solar panels, freedom of utility bills is obtained, power outages and enhance the value of their property by being friendly to the environment.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Using the “So What?” Test to Transform Your Copy

Take a look at various products and services around the web, and you’ll find one common theme.

They all talk about themselves and what their product does. Few of them talk about what they can do for you. This is a devastating mistake that marketers and copywriters make.

To write effectively, you can apply a simple test to all your copy.

The “So What?” Test

You want customers, right?

Then start telling them what your product does for them!

Stop simply reciting what your product does. For every line of copy you write, ask yourself “So what? What does this do for them?” Let’s use Dropbox as an example:

Dropbox stores your files in the cloud.

So what?

It means you can use Dropbox and retrieve your files from any device. The files don’t have to be stored on the device.

Now put that in a short sentence.

Dropbox keeps your files safe, synced, and easy to share.

Okay, great. Now I understand what it does for me.

What Does Your Product Do for People?

Customers don’t care about your product itself or how hard you work on it. They care about what it does for them.

So what does your product do for customers? What are the benefits, and how do those benefits solve problems?

Let’s take a look at a couple of products.

Salesforce

Check out this copy for Salesforce:

salesforce-copy

It’s a simple, benefits-focused opening sentence. They don’t write about the product. They write about what it does for people: it helps them sell smarter and faster with the biggest CRM in the world.

They could write this:

Salesforce puts all your leads and sales into one database.

So what?

What does that do for me? I can just use a spreadsheet for that.

Let’s move further on down the page, and you’ll see that it’s all about the prospective customer and what Sales Cloud can do for them:

salesforce-copy-page

Sales Cloud handles a lot, so you can take on even more.

The [what the product does], so you can [how this helps you] is a good template for copy. Explain what your product does, and then explain how it helps the customer.

As you can see above, throughout the rest of the page, all the copy is benefits-driven. Even the video isn’t about the product. It supports the top line copy (sell smarter and faster) with a testimonial from a customer.

Let’s take a look at another product, this one in the B2C space.

Sonicare Toothbrush

Toothbrushes are a big market. The majority of people on Earth need one, and they will need to keep repurchasing them until they die. There are a lot of toothbrushes out there from many different companies.

So if you’re responsible for marketing a toothbrush, how do you make yours stand out? Philips Sonicare has done a good job of this. Let’s examine the copy:

sonicare-toothbrush-copy

People don’t care about a toothbrush. They care about what it can do for them, the effect it can have on not just their teeth, but their overall health and appearance.

In the above three sections of copy, we get concrete numbers on why the Sonicare toothbrush is better than the traditional manual toothbrush. It removes 7x more plaque, improves gum health in 2 weeks, and whitens teeth 2x better than a manual. This is what people care about – healthy, shining teeth. They don’t care about how many bristles are in each brush or how the toothbrush works. They care about what it can do for them.

The remainder of the page discusses some extra features of the toothbrush:

sonicare-copy-part-2

Do you think Philips hired a copywriter to write this? Probably not. There are no clever headlines or fancy writing here. It was likely written by someone on the product marketing team. Does it matter? No.

You don’t need to hire a copywriter in order to put together an effective landing page. Just speak directly and tell the reader what your product can do for them. You’ll be putting yourself in a good position to boost conversions and bring high quality leads to your sales team.

Hat tip to James Currier for providing us with the “So What?” framework.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is a Content Writer for Kissmetrics.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Marketing is Changing and Kissmetrics is Here to Help

It’s a great time to be a marketer. Never before have we had access to so much customer and behavioral data. We know which campaigns turn prospects into paying customers. We know the content customers prefer, their buying patterns, and the reasons they stop doing business with us.

But just when we thought we had it all, customers are changing even faster than ever, and the way we market to them must adapt. So, that’s what we’re doing – and we’re making tools to do just that.

Our Big Changes

In a strategic move, Kissmetrics has released a new product called Engage, which fills a huge market need. It gives marketers a powerful new tool to improve their performance. (More on that in a bit).

Also, as you may have noticed, we’ve updated our brand, logo, and website.

km-homepage-june-2015

Our new look is more in line with our market and our company. It’s modern, strong, helpful, committed, smart, confident, and trustworthy. Also, our website is more informative, clear, and concise about the products we provide and the value they bring to the market.

The Market’s Big Changes

The market is changing rapidly. If marketers don’t change their approach, their companies won’t be able to compete or survive. Now that’s an extreme statement, but here’s what I mean and why I truly believe it:

Buyers are in control and have amazing power at their fingertips. They can shop, compare, review, search, and ultimately purchase at any time, from anywhere. Their expectations are high and their attention spans are short. They expect to find answers, information, and guidance quickly and easily. They are going through the buying process on their own, according to their own terms, and in their own time frames.

It’s their journey, and if you’re not on hand to guide them at key moments, you are likely to lose. You may have heard, and even said, all this before. But now, it’s a business requirement to live it.

Change Brings Opportunity

As a result of all these changes, marketing has to go way beyond the top of the funnel to fuel growth. Marketers have to generate interest and be there all the way through the customer lifecycle, providing the information and guidance required to keep buyers on the path to the targeted conversion, be it a sign-up, download, registration, or purchase.

This is easier said than done because every journey is different. So, we need a new approach to marketing. The static, pre-defined campaigns won’t cut it. We must provide continuous, dynamic, behavior-based messaging to a segment of 1 – the holy grail of marketing.

The key ingredients for making this a reality are:

  1. Understand your buyer’s journey and customer lifecycle.
  2. Monitor digital interactions and activity.
  3. Deliver timely, relevant interactions based on behavior.

Kissmetrics is Here to Help

Our flagship product, Kissmetrics Analyze, was built to help marketers understand interactions between people and their companies. It shows marketers how people respond to campaigns and pages and how they move through the buying cycle, from their very first visit, through purchase, and back again.

The next step is to act upon that valuable insight. In order to do exactly that, Kissmetrics has released a new product – Engage.

Engage lets marketers easily create interactions that are timely, relevant, and based on behavior. Marketers can go along on each and every buyer’s journey as they proceed at their own pace, choose their own process, and follow their own rules. The buyer is still in charge, but now you can respond based on their behavior at just the right moment, to a segment of 1.

Analyze + Engage gives you the ability to measure and optimize interactions with your audience. So, to fully understand the buyer’s journey, monitor that journey. Then respond with timely, relevant messages to increase conversions.

Time to Shine

Now marketers can have amazing power at their fingertips, just as buyers do. The buyers are in control, but they’re ready and willing to be won over with timely guidance and information that makes your company shine. Here’s to marketing! It’s awesome.

We invite you to start a free trial of Kissmetrics. You’ll get access to both Engage and Analyze. Our support team will be available during your trial to ensure your setup success. Get started by clicking the button below.

About the Author: Brian Kelly is the CEO of Kissmetrics.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

What Is a Photovoltaic System?

This is a common question from the uninitiated. A photovoltaic (or PV System) is an installation of solar panels that can be used to provide electricity and if you generate more energy than it needs, can be fed back to the network.

Domestic photovoltaic systems have two main options installations. Existing properties tend to opt for a mounting system “roof”, where the panels are sitting slightly above the roof surface. This causes the least disruption of the structure and the tiling of existing coverage. The alternative is a system of “roof” where the panels replace the shingles. This is most suitable for a new house a home that is to have the roof replaced.

Photovoltaic panels produce energy even on cloudy days because they use not only direct sunlight but also diffuse solar radiation. The question is how energy is achieved at night? Well a residential installation usually connected to the national grid so you can buy energy to the national grid at night.

PV systems are also available for commercial and industrial purposes. Freeholders, in particular, can use the system effectively to generate revenue. They can use a large plant on earth to produce energy for sale to the network. They also work well in farm buildings for energy, where it is difficult to connect to the national grid.

Most roofs are strong and large enough for a residential installation. The panels are reasonably robust as they have to withstand the weather frequently. Interestingly, the approach of the Council to see whether the planned system will require a building permit. When choosing a company to install your PV system, ensure that you are looking for a (Microgeneration Certification System) certified company MCS.

There are, of course, other forms of alternative energy such as wind power, hydropower and geothermal, but these are much less suitable for a residential installation!

How to Buy an Ideal Solar Power System for Your Home

Concerned about the sudden increase in their electricity bills? You want to get rid of this problem? Why not switch to solar energy and live a tension free life thereafter!

As electricity prices are increasing day by day, people began to feel the pain of this abrupt question mounting. Many owners of the world are moving towards a better option and expense, ie, “solar energy”. Installation is no doubt that this type of power system in your home is the best way to use the sun’s energy and cut all electricity bills, but there is a big question that arises here, namely, “Is it a good investment or not? This is one of the most popular these days and millions of people believe that the issues are worth investing in. Many people think that the transition to this form of energy can save nature and pockets.

Adaptation of the solar panels is the best way to back up all your utility bills

Solar energy is free, clean, cheap, efficient, autonomous, sustainable, environmentally friendly, easy to install and requires little maintenance compared to electricity. It offers a solution to the energy produced by coal, which significantly reduces the emission of greenhouse gases. When it comes to buying these systems, there are many options available these days, but not all power systems are of the same quality, so it is important to choose the right one for your home.

Written below are some useful tips that you should keep in mind to buy a solar panel for your home perfect.

• Ask for help – it is important that you get the help of friends, relatives, family members and ask for feedback. This will help you know more about the product, its advantages and disadvantages.

• Look around and choose the right – You have to look around and visit companies that offer different solar equipment. By doing this, it allows you to compare prices and choose the one that suits your budget without compromising quality.

• Guarantee Search – Once a panel ideal energy for your home, make sure it meets all the essential requirements and check if the company offers a sufficient guarantee of their product is selected! In addition, you must take into account the duration of the warranty and the company provides adequate support in case of problems with the team in the future.

Advantages of solar energy for businesses

You will receive many benefits of installing these panels, such as:

• Reduce operating costs
• Return on investment
• Increased reliability
• Easy maintenance
• environmentally friendly approach
• Elimination of electric bills
• Promote your business in a better way
• Increase the effectiveness of your departure

Therefore, in order to take care of the installation process, it’s best to hire an expert and stay tension free.

Monday, June 15, 2015

How to Retain Your Customers in an Age of Free SaaS

It seems like everyone is creating free software right now. This trend is only continuing to grow as time goes on.

I understand. In fact, I’ve done it myself — several times. Free SaaS turns companies into traffic-generating machines. But it also does something to the not-so-free SaaS providers. It makes them worried — with good cause — that no one is going to spend money on their service.

Look at it from a practical point of view. Which would you rather do — pay for software or get it for free? It’s kind of a stupid question, but it brings up an important point: What should a paid SaaS providers do in an age of free SaaS?

Restrategize.

back-to-drawing-board

The simplest answer is kind of a non-answer: You’ve got to restrategize.

Free software is a trend right now, and it’s not going away. (In fact, it’s getting bigger.) You can either adapt to the shift or risk getting marginalized. The fact is, few people are willing to pay something that they can get for free somewhere else.

When you start restrategizing, you’ve got to think way outside the box. Making superficial tweaks to your existing SaaS or providing discounts to your current customers probably won’t keep you afloat for the long haul.

I’ve jotted down a few forward-thinking ideas in this post, but I challenge you to come up with your own set of strategies to succeed in your niche.

Remarket.

The most direct way to respond to the crisis in free SaaS is to do a teardown and build-up of your existing marketing methodology.

I made the blanket statement above that “no one is going to pay for something that they can get for free somewhere else.” Now, I want to clarify that statement.

If your target audience doesn’t know about free SaaS or is skeptical of free SaaS, then they will pay for your service. Find customers who pay — those who are unaware that free versions exist. It all depends on the target audience. Some markets are more amenable to paid services than others.

dist-hacks

We highly recommend watching our webinar with Lincoln Murphy: Distribution Hacks – 5 Simple Steps to Get In Front of Your Ideal Customer

The alternative approach is to create a marketing strategy that establishes the superiority and/or security of a paid service. Find your customer’s pain points. Then market directly to those needs, promising the very thing that they’re craving.

Make your SaaS better than anything else available.

You’ve heard the saying, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”

This principle holds true in SaaS development. If you have a better product, people will be willing to pony up the extra cash.

Development is, of course, very expensive. You may have the advantage of an existing paying customer base. Yet at the same time, you must compete with free SaaS providers who often have deep investment pockets or some other form of funding.

Provide something that the free service can’t or won’t.

The biggest thing that a free SaaS provider has going for them is that their product is free.

That, of course, is a huge selling point, but it’s not the only selling point. There are other features of a SaaS that are compelling, rather than just the price point. Determine what your single most valuable perk is, and promote it.

Here are some examples:

Guarantees

You can’t really guarantee something that’s free. If you have a paid service, then you can increase the value of a guarantee for your customers. Such guarantees may cover issues like data loss, downtimes, etc.

Consultation

Some customers may want more than your software. They may also want your no-strings-attached advice. You don’t have to provide a sales gimmick where a 30 minute “consultation” call turns into a full-fledged hard sell. They’re already a customer! You simply provide some free consultation.

Providing consultation has an extra benefit. You get to establish a relationship with the customer that goes beyond surface level acquaintances.

Give your prospects the royal treatment.

rs-support

Rackspace has centered its brand around “fanatical support”.

If you’re selling software, then you’ve given a lot of thought to the conversion funnel.

There is one aspect of the funnel, that some marketers don’t think about enough — lead nurturing.

Notice I said lead nurturing, and not lead generation. There’s a difference! “Lead generation” sounds more like assembly line production, whereas lead nurturing is about giving your potential customers specific, individualized, and careful attention.

Marketers who engage in lead nurturing experience 50% more leads and 33% lower customer acquisition costs. The whole idea behind lead nurturing isn’t that complicated. It’s simply about giving your prospects and existing customers the royal treatment.

Focus on your existing customers.

Your most profitable group of customers are your existing customers. Existing customers produce 75% or more of your revenue. They are your greatest source of value.

Rather than throwing all your effort into gaining new customers (and trying to peel them away from free services), focus on cultivating and caring for your existing customers.

The Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. In productivity, it means that 20% of your time creates 80% of your results. In marketing, it suggests that 20% of your customers represent 80% of your sales.

The Pareto guru, Perry Marshall, wrote this:

If you have 1,000 customers, 80% of your business comes from 200 of them. But if we ignore the bottom 800 and just look at the 200 best ones, 80/20 is still true of the ones that are left. 80% of your business will come from 20% of the 200, which is 40.

With just a few minutes of digging into your numbers, you can figure out your most profitable slice of customers. It might be just a handful — 40, 20, or even fewer.

Since these are your most valuable customers then you should expend more of your time and effort giving them what they need.

Provide them with perks.

Your loyal customers deserve the best you can give them. What can you give them? A free upgrade? More storage? Tickets to a local event? Free catered lunch for their office? Think about it, then deliver.

If you spend a few hundred dollars to reward and give back to a loyal customer, you can earn their respect and continued relationship for a long time.

Personally contact them.

The most powerful form of customer relationship is customer contact. Think of a way that you can stay in touch with your loyal customers on a regular basis. Phone calls from sales representatives or client managers are great, but do what you can to let someone in leadership talk to the customer — the founder, president, or owner.

Listen to them.

Most importantly, listen and respond to what they have to say. If you go to the effort of reaching out to them, then go to the next logical level of responding to their concerns. Just contacting them isn’t going to do anything if you don’t do anything about it after you hang up the phone.

Conclusion

Paid SaaS is not going away. Just because there is a proliferation of free services does not mean that all other SaaS will shrivel and die. The industry is changing, however, and forward-thinking SaaS providers will need to adapt. What is your best adaptation strategy?

What ideas do you have for staying profitable in an age of free SaaS?

About the Author: is a lifelong evangelist of KISSmetrics and blogs at Quick Sprout.