The thing I love about SaaS is that I can use world-class software to power-up my business and pay for it monthly. If things don’t work out in a year I am down only for 12 months. Unlike before, where I would have to purchase the entire software and even run it on my own. The beauty - as a small company we can measure, analyse, automate and optimise just like the big guys (or small competitors who have a head start). So, while the team was busy developing Brightpod last year I started trying out a dozen or so tools. This was one of the things I was responsible for as the founder - finding the set of tools that not only did their job well but that my team loved using.
KISSMetrics: helps us analyse how people use Brightpod and how they converted to paying customers. e.g which features are the most popular, least popular, most used workflow etc.
Intercom: helps us track signups and know more about our users without asking them a lot of details when they signup e.g location, twitter handle etc. Intercom is a customer relationship management and messaging tool for web businesses. Running a web business can be impersonal as you don’t see your customers face to face. Hence, what is important to the success of your business is understanding your customers and getting in touch with them (and letting them get in touch with you easily) at the right time. This is where Intercom steps in.
Postmark: helps us send out transactional mail from our app (e.g. when you invite a new team member etc) than running our own mail servers and digging into mail logs when something doesn’t go right. Postmark is expensive than AWS and other competitors but you need to understand why they charge more for their service.
Google Analytics: helps us track visitor activity on our site. We currently have 1 goal which tracks visitor to signups on Brightpod.
WPEngine: this is where we host the Brightpod blog - do check it out as we have started writing some cool stuff on there. We first had it on Tumblr but couldn’t customise it much and hence moved it to WPEngine. Another option was to self host it but we didn’t want to go that route.
CrazyEgg: we use this tool to see how people interact with our most important asset - the Brightpod marketing website.
NewRelic: helps the dev team monitor our servers, memory usage, CPU, slow queries etc. This app is truly their best friend :)
Mailchimp: we sent out our first newsletter last week. Mailchimp offers a free account for the first 2000 subscribers (we are less than 500 right now) so it was a no-brainer to go with Mailchimp.
Campfire: helps us facilitate a daily chat with our dev team. It works well currently for 4 of us. However, I wish I knew who is typing at the moment.
Pingdom: helps us monitor our servers from different locations around the world.
These set of tools helps us smoothly run Brightpod and helps us with on-boarding, server monitoring, messaging, people analytics, marketing etc. You really can’t improve what you can’t measure.
Feel free to ask me any questions you have regarding your SaaS business in the comments below.